When I got my second Cockapoo (Basil) I made up my mind that I would have to learn to groom the boys myself. Although it was a decision based mainly on cost, it was also an opportunity to try and achieve the 'look' I like best, balancing practicality with the shaggy character of Cockapoos.

I have attended the One Day Grooming Course, Pampered Pooch ( Merrist Wood College, nr Guildford, Surrey)  twice, once with Rufus and once with Basil. I took Rufus back in October 2011. The course covered brushing out and dematting, washing, drying, clipping, scissoring and finishing (ears, feet, toenails etc). It was an intense day running from 10am until 4pm. There were 8 of us on the course and we all worked at our own pace with the tutor taking us individually on to the next stages.

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Before
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After
I was pleased with the result and more than anything I felt confident to be able to have a go at home. I'm never so keen on the 'I've just been to the groomers' look but I've got years ahead of me to experiment!

A few weeks ago I had Rufus back on the table for a second time since doing the course. I am very fortunate at home as we have a downstairs wetroom which was adapted for my disabled son. It works a treat for grooming the dogs and rinsing them down after muddy walks!

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Rufus sitting ready on the table. I adore this look but his coat was becoming very high maintenance.
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A thorough wash before cutting is important as a dirty coat will blunt scissors and clipper blades. Rufus loves a wash........not!
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How bouffant! A clean and dry Rufus awaits the clippers!
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Finished at last!
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We were taught to start with a complete brush through to get rid of any matts,starting with paws and working up.
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Clippers will not run through a wet coat so if clipping on the same day as washing then a blaster/dryer is invaluable. The dryer is also useful in showing up missed matts as it blows the coat sections apart.
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Rufus is having a clip using a number 6 comb attachment.
The whole process took me about five hours. I take my hat off to groomers. It is only really when you do it yourself that you really appreciate the work that goes into a full groom. I'm sure I'll get quicker....at least I hope so!