How to groom an English Setter
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English Setter grooming guide
A guide how to groom an English Setter by breed specialist dog groomer Rebecca Goutorbe. The guide is for the UK show type English Setter, it’s not an English Setter field cut.
Grooming an English Setter
A lot of hair will come off your English setter when grooming but there is not a lot of hair to actually cut off or trim. The trimming of the English Setter can all be done with a pair of thinning scissors, or both the dog clippers and thinning scissors.
Most of the dog grooming with an English Setter is coat preparation rather than clipping which can take around an hour. Then extra time half an hour to an hour to trim the dog. You don’t clip the back or the feathers on an English Setter.
Dog grooming equipment you may need
Professional dog grooming kit
Cheaper grooming kit which will do the job
Guide to grooming the English Setter
Step 1 Brush out
Give your English Setter a good all over brush and comb, I find a soft slicker brush is the best brush for an English Setter. Use a de matting tool to remove tangles or knots. If any knots are too big to detangle then use the dog clippers or thinning scissors to remove the knots. English Setters like most dogs are quite sensitive to knots being pulled out.
Step 2 Trim the hocks
I always start at the back of any dog which I am going to groom. Clip with a 7FC dog clipper blade or use the thinning scissors to remove the excess hair on the hocks (hock to heel). With the dog clippers, clip down the back of the hock to remove the hair.
Step 3 The foot
Pull up the hair between the toes and use thinning scissors to cut the hair. Use a small pair of straight scissors to trim the hair underneath and around the foot. Trim the nails or the ends of the claw on the paw while you are in this area with dog nail clippers.
Step 4 Trim the pastern
Use your thinning scissors or you can clip with the 7FC the pastern, just be careful of the dew claw. then trim the front paw.
Step 5 Trimming the ears
Clip the ears using a 9F, 10 or 7FC dog clipper blade or use thinning scissors. Start at the top of the ear and clip down the ear, don’t clip up the ear if you are not used to using dog clippers. A 9f or 10 blade will give the best finish to the ear. The 7FC will work fine but you may need to use the thinning scissors to take a little more dog hair off. If you just want to use thinning scissors, brush the hair out on the ears and cut the hair. Finish the ears by trimming around the edge of the ears with thinning scissors. Leave a fringe on the ear at the front.
Step 6 The neck
I prefer to clip the neck of an English Setter with a 7FC blade but you can use the thinning scissors. To clip the neck start from the throat of the dog and clip downwards to the chest bone. Clip under the ears back down to the chest bone. Depending on the type of coat which the dogs have for example a thick coat or a thin coat, then reverse the clippers.
Reverse the dog clippers
If you are used to dog clippers, reverse the 7FC blade only do this if the dog has a thick enough coat on the neck. Reversing the blade means you will clip against the way the coat grows. Stretch the dogs head up to tighten the skin then starting from the chest bone clip back up. This will take the neck very short. If the coat is not thick enough, doing this will show too much skin. With the thinning scissors blend the hair which has not been clipped into the clipped parts. You want a natural look when blending the two together.
Step 7 Repeat
Repeat the trimming on the other side, the hock, pastern and feet.
Step 8 Trim the tail
Brush the tail, bring the hair to the end of the tail and cut the excess off but not too close to the end of the tail. Hold the tail out and trim any stray hairs creating the fan effect. Hold the tail out again and scissor with the thinning scissors a scissor width, (about an inch) underneath the tail at the base.
Don’t clip the back and don’t trim the feathers of an English Setter, you want a natural look with a flowing coat not a shaved English Setter. No straight lines from trimming the feathers, you don’t want the groomed English Setter to look like a Spaniel when trimmed.
Book a dog grooming appointment for your English Setter
Looking to get your English Setter professionally groomed?
How I started my dog grooming business
Take a look at how I started K9 Dog Grooming 5 years ago at Tansley Matlock. The before and after photos setting up the dog grooming room. Ordering the hyrdobath dog bath from Redcape