The Big Picture – Attention to Detail

Sarah Drouin NCMG – Pet Tech CPR CErtified – Award Winning Stylist –

Sometimes the devil is in the details, and other times the devil is in spending too much time on the details. Detail orientation is most  useful when it is sufficiently complemented by an eye for the big picture.

So, I have a friend who is learning to groom. She attended a school and learned the basics, but she is still trying to hone her skills. She mentioned to me that she wondered how she could start developing an eye for attention to detail.

I know that she is not the only one; regardless if you have been grooming for one, five or twenty years, this has probably crossed your mind.

How can you train the eye to pay attention to detail?

Some activities that can help train your eye; finding what’s wrong in this picture, memorizing photos, and even making little rhymes to help you remember something.

“Norwich terrier has the pricked ears and Norfolk terrier has the folded ears.”

I think we have all compared ourselves to others.  While you may want to steer clear of comparing, I do think it is a great learning experience to watch another groomer.

Begin with the feet; focus on what you want your feet to look like, invision it. Work on feet for a week or two. If it takes longer, then do it until you are satisfied.

Once you have feet down pat, move on to tail sets. Tail sets differ between breeds, but you should start looking and reading your breed standard. When you learn which tail set is for each breed, you will already know how to set the tail for a mixed breed.

Next, work on faces. Take as long as you need and focus on what you want that face to look like on that client.

Once you are comfortable with faces, it is time to perfect your finishing  work. Step back when you are done with your dog and take a look to see  what sticks out to you. What don’t you like about this groom?

Go back and fix it.

Before that dog leaves, do yourself a favor and take a picture. Over time you will see how much you have progressed. You will also go home, see that picture and pick things out that you didn’t see at the salon.

Attention to detail may take one person longer than another to perfect. Stop comparing yourself to others and set your own goals to strive to be the groomer that you know you can be.

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