Friday, 28 September 2018

Cocker Spaniel Masterclass

Mike Wildman started grooming at 12yrs old
Last Sunday I attended a Cocker Spaniel Masterclass with Mike Wildman ICMG in London. A rare opportunity not to be missed, since Mike is actually based in Chester and only makes occasional visits South.

Both my husband and my brother have to attend CPD (continued professional development) for their various professions and claim their sessions are invariably a waste of time &/or money amounting to box ticking exercises. So I feel really blessed to be in a profession where Master Groomers like Mike are so generous in sharing their knowledge & experience on a huge variety of topics. I generally find grooming seminars to be fun and interesting and this one did not disappoint!!

During the morning Mike took us through the traditional method of grooming a Cocker Spaniel, hand-stripping. A hand-stripped coat is breed standard for show dogs (no clipping allowed) although sadly most pet owners find this method too high maintenance &/or too expensive so will opt to clip. Also many pet spaniels do not have suitable coats for stripping due to neutering, which alters the coat texture as a result of hormonal changes.
For a silky coat in top class condition Mike recommended monthly grooming appointments. He warns against being tempted by any short cuts or quick fixes as once these are used on a spaniel coat sadly there is seldom any going back. For both owners and groomers, PATIENCE is a necessary virtue!!

Clipped Spaniels can be glamorous & practical!
Happily, although clipped spaniels have a different texture to their coat, it is still possible to make them look glamorous, retaining their spaniel character and the afternoon was spent showing us how best to achieve this.

Mike also shows, judges and breeds Cocker Spaniels so was able to give us some expert tips on how to scissor on both hand-stripped and clipped dogs to show the dog's physique off to best advantage. A judicious snip in the right places can really enhance the deep chested and square build of my favourite breed. And now that tails are no longer docked Mike showed us how to trim them for a neat, practical finish in keeping with the breed style and character.

Just bought a Cocker Spaniel puppy? Want a practical groom which doesn't make your dog look like a Labrador pup? Call Babs on 07555207128 for more information.


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