GROOMLISH - the language of groomers

Your groomer uses some weird words to describe some of the things they do…Learning to speak Groomlish will help you and groomer speak the same language and avoid confusion and miss-understanding when deciding what needs to be done with your pet’s styling requirements.

This is our standard grooming service that we always perform on every pet we groom; it includes all the following.

🐾 7-point health check to make sure we are aware of any lumps bumps and conditions that could affect the grooming outcome.

🐾 A warm shower bath with foamy hypo allergenic shampoo wash.

🐾 Ears & Teeth Cleaned. (No scaling done on teeth just maintenance brushing)

🐾 Blow drying and/or Towel drying.

🐾 Brushing out and light de-matting.

🐾 Paw health and Nose health checked and sanitary shaves are included.

🐾 we do a full nail clip & check glands (secretion can be offered but will be discussed first).

🐾 All pets enjoy a Spritz of Perfume before they are handed over plus, they get a bandana or bow depending on what suits the style.

Should you wish for your pet to be styled, trimmed, or get a summer or winter shave down it is a separate add-on to the services in the Foundation Groom.

Your groomer uses some weird words to describe some of the things they do…Learning to speak Groomlish will help you and groomer speak the same language and avoid confusion and miss-understanding when deciding what needs to be done with your pet’s styling requirements.

Below we have Styling / Shaving Terms what they mean and examples of what the result will be if your request this.

This is a very short shave. It is not recommended for double coated breeds like Pomeranian, Chow-Chows, Huskies, GSD’s, Pekingese, Etc. Although this cut length gives a beautiful smooth appearance, it might damage the under-coat of double-coated breeds. Please also bear in mind the intensity of the sun in our country as the summer cut exposes the skin and could potentially cause sun-burn. 

Still a short shave, but it leaves the hair on the body a bit longer. The hair-length still allows for the hair lay flat on the skin. We recommend that double coated breeds never be shaved shorter than this. It should also be noted that some breeds with a curly coat, will have an uneven appearance when shaved this length. mainly due to the hair being flat in some parts and raised in others. Further more important to note is that when the hair is particularly fine, the winter cut might appear patchy and uneven. 

“Puppy cut” is probably the most commonly misunderstood grooming term.  “Puppy cut” does not indicate a complete style. It’s just a general term for “one length all over”.  Usually the hair is left at least  (1.27 cm) long, but there is not a standard length for puppy cuts so you’ll need to be specific about how long you want your dog’s hair to be left.

“Kennel cut” refers to a short length all over, usually less than 1 cm, but again, you’ll need to be specific about the exact length in order to get exactly what you’ve envisioned.

A “lamb cut”, alternatively referred to as a “swim cut”, is when the hair on the dog’s body is cut short, but the legs are left longer and neatly scissored.  You’ll need to be specific about which lengths you’d like the body hair and leg hair left


For dogs, the “lion cut” involves a shorter length on the back part of the dog’s body and a fuller mane left around the head and shoulders, just like a male lion’s hair grows naturally.  Depending on your preference, the front legs may be included in the hair left longer or the groomer can cut the hair so that it comes to a point on the dog’s chest, with the front legs the same length as the back end of the dog.  Typically with a lion cut, the majority of the tail is cut short to match the back of the body, with a poof left on the end of the tail.

A dog’s “skirt” is the long hair that hangs between a dog’s front and back legs.


 A dog’s “feathers” refer to the long hair on the backs of the legs, and are specific to certain breeds, such as English Cocker SpanielsGolden RetrieversCavalier King Charles Spaniels, and others.

A”teddy bear face” is a rounded face, sometimes referred to simply as a “round face”, with the hair in front of the eyes cleared.  It is the most common cut for faces of Shih TzuPomeranians, Malteses, and many other breeds.

“Clean face” is when the face, muzzle, and cheeks are shaved very close (think of the typical poodle face).

“Tipped ears” are when the tips of the ears are shaved, but the rest is left long.  Practically speaking, tipped ears reduces the weight of hair on the ears, making it easier for them to stand up.  Tipped ears are most commonly found on Yorkies and West Highland Terriers.

“Topknot” can mean a couple different things, but basically it refers to the hair on top of your  dog’s head. For poodles, the topknot is typically trimmed into a round shape. Other breeds, such as Yorkies and Shih Tzu, usually have their topknots pulled into a ponytail.

“Pigtails” are when the topknot is divided into two equal ponytails, usually accompanied by two bows.

“Pom poms” refer to rounded balls cut into the dog’s hair, typically at the bottom of the legs, just above the feet.  Pom poms require a very specific type of hair to keep their rounded shape, usually only found in dogs with thick, curly hair, like poodles and Bichon Frises.  Similarly, a “pom tail” is a tail with a shaved base and a ball on the end.

A “carrot tail” is a tail that has been shaved on top to match the length of the body, with the hair on the sides and bottom of the tail scissored into a carrot shape.

A “flag tail” is a tail that has been cut into a pennant shape, with the hair shortest near the tip of the tail and longest near the base so that the hair does not drag the ground as the pet walks.

A “blow out” involves the use of shedding tools and a high velocity dryer to blow out excess hair, great for reducing shedding in breeds such as Huskies, Pomeranians, and German Shepherds.

It is a much better alternative to shaving double coated dogs, as there is no risk of damaging the coat.  Blow outs can also help keep your heavy coated pet cooler in summer time and prevent mats in dogs who have thick, long hair that sheds excessively.

A “sanitary cut” refers to shaving the hair around the anus and sexual organs.   It is a very important part of grooming, and even if you elect to let your dog’s coat grow to full length, you should have a sanitary cut performed regularly to prevent rashes, infections, and other issues.

“Clean feet” refers to the feet being shaved very close, even between the toes (again, think typical poodle feet).

“Round feet” is exactly what it sounds like-when your dog’s groomer trims around the feet so that they are neatly rounded.

“Beveled feet” are rounded, but the difference between round feet and beveled feet is that with beveled feet the hair on top of the foot is left longer so that the entirety of the leg and foot look like one column that is rounded at the bottom, as opposed to the foot being defined as separate from the leg.  Beveled feet are common in breeds like Bichon Frises and American Cocker Spaniels.

Some popular breed standard cuts include:

  • Schnauzer Cut

The standard Schnauzer cut features a shaved tail, back and sides, with longer hair on the legs and an angled skirt.  The top of the head, sides of the face, and ears are shaved, leaving distinct eyebrows and a beard.  The beard is typically left long and natural, but can be trimmed shorter or rounder on request.

  • Cocker Spaniel Cut

The Cocker Spaniel cut includes a short back, with a full skirt and legs.  The Cocker Spaniel muzzle and cheeks should be cut short as well, with a bit extra left on top of the head, referred to as the “crown”.  The top ⅓ of the Cocker Spaniel’s distinguishing ears should be shaved, with the rest left long and rounded at the bottom.

  • West Highland Terrier Cut

The body of West Highland Terriers or “Westies” is cut similarly to the Cocker Spaniel’s, but the head and tail are different.  The Westie cut calls for a full, rounded head with tipped ears and a carrot tail.

Scottish Terrier Cut

Scottish Terriers or “Scotties” have a haircut that is a combination of the cuts for Westies, Schnauzers, and Cocker Spaniels.  Their body, skirt, and legs are cut like a Cocker Spaniel, with a short back and full legs and skirt. Like Westies, they have carrot tails, and their heads are cut very similarly to a Schnauzer, with the exception of the ears, which have tufts of hair left in front instead of being shaved completely.

We feel very strongly about dematting…It is often very painful and we do not hurt dogs!! If an attempt to de-mat your pet causes undue stress or pain, we will stop and discuss alternative options (often a shave) to relieve your pet of this problem.

Below is picture of mat that will possibly be safe to remove…

These Can NOT

Hand stripping is sometimes done on certain breeds. It is a practice that we take on with some trepidation. We will only do hand stripping where the dog tolerates it without showing any discomfort or pain.  This process could be uncomfortable for certain dogs and we will not hurt any pet under our care…alternatives will be discussed if this happens.

If you have a specific style or idea in mind….bring a photo or picture along, or if you have a mobile booking, send a picture to us via Whatssapp. It will help us get an understanding of what exactly it is you are looking for. This will help avoid confusion and disappointment.