Common Grooming Terms – The Unofficial Groomer’s Dictionary

If you are new to grooming or interested in learning the meaning of some common grooming terms, you are in the right place! Below is a list of some common (as well as some not-so-common) grooming terms and definitions that we like to call the Unofficial Groomer’s Dictionary.


Alligator/Gator Roll – when a dog starts rolling while on a loop and tries to unalive themselves

AO/AOLHC – all-over or all-over haircut

Ball Skirt/Ball Curtain – hair left to hide testicles

BBNE – bath, brush, nails, ears

Blenders – shears with teeth on only one cutting edge spaced close together and used to blend in harsh clipper/cut lines as well as remove more hair than thinners would (great for use on most coat types, especially drop coats)

Bracelets – the round poms on the ankles of a Poodle in the Continental, English Saddler, and Lion trim among others



Carding – removing the loose, dead undercoat using a blunt-edged tool like a carding knife or stone

Cat Feet – trimming the hair between the toes the same length as the hair on top of the foot to emphasize the toes and show the nails

Chunkers – shears with large teeth spaced farther apart on one cutting edge and used to de-bulk quickly without the commitment of a straight shear cut (great for use on curly coats)

Clam Diggers – when feet are shaved too high on a Poodle 

Clean Face – shaving the muzzle, cheeks, and chin to a short length

Clean Feet – shaving the feet to expose the nails and the entire foot up to just above the knuckles

Cocker Crud – nasty skin issues common on Cockers caused by dermatitis



Dead Baby Hands – flat feet, typically on a Poodle 

Dick Wick – hair left to prevent a dog from peeing on himself

Dingleberries – bits of dried poop stuck around butt

Eastie-Westie Feet – when feet point outwards

FFF/FFS – face, feet, fanny -or- face, feet, sani

Furnishings – the longer hair left behind a dog’s legs, on their chest, mustache, and eyebrows



Gobbler/Neck Meat – the extra neck skin on a dog’s neck

Grinch Feet – hair that grows up from between toes

Groomer’s Lung – when pet hair and dander is inhaled, the tiny hairs and other harmful particles can travel down into the lung and stay there which can inflame the lung lining and scar the airways eventually turning into a chronic lung condition

Grooming Loop/Grooming Noose – a loop with hook at other end that can be attached to a grooming arm or tether and is used to keep dog safe on table or in tub 

GSD – German Shepherd Dog



Hair Splinters – embedded hair in the skin that can occur between fingers, cleavage, neck, and even eyes and can cause infections if not removed 

Hair Tumor – a bump of hair that needs to be thinned out in haircut 

Hand Stripping – a technique in which a stripping tool (stripping knife, stone, or fingers) are used to remove the dead outer coat of wire-haired breeds

Hock – located on a dog’s back leg below the stifle (knee), corresponding to the ankle joint of a human the hock creates that sharp angle at the back of the dog’s rear legs

Hula Skirt – when a skirt is left around the bottom of a dog’s underline and not blended into the body 



Mucking – quickly removing dead hair on a dog’s top coat as part of the hand stripping process

NCNS – no call no show, when a client does not show up for their appointment and does not call to cancel 

Newfie – Newfoundland

Occiput – bone on the back of the head/skull

OES – Old English Sheepdog



Pants – the long hair (furnishing) on a dog’s back legs

Pelted – a coat that is HEAVILY matted, usually shaved off in big whole pieces

Pom-Pom – the round poof of hair on the tail of most Poodle trims

Puppy Cut – a show Poodle trim and/or trim a pet owner will ask for when they don’t really know what they want

PWD – Portuguese Water Dog

Rear Angulation – the angle at which the pelvis and upper hind legs meet 

Rosettes – the poms on each hip of a Poodle Continental or HCC trim



SALT – “Same As Last Time”

Skirt – the long hair that falls on either side of a dog’s body between the front and back legs

Spoo – Standard Poodle

SRF – Short Round Face

Stacking – positioning a dog according to official breed guidelines typically done at dog shows and grooming shows when being reviewed by judges (“free stack” is when the dog positions itself like a boss)

Stickie-Outies – the random bits of hair that you miss while grooming that pop out and have to be trimmed

TBH – “Teddy Bear Head”

Thinners – shears with teeth spaced close together on both cutting edges and used to blend in harsh clipper/cut lines (great for use on most coat types, especially drop coats)

Topknot – the hair on top of a dog’s head when it is shaped, banded, or sprayed-up

Topline – the area from the last rib to the hip bone on a dog which is typically supposed to be straight with the exception of some breeds like the Bedlington Terrier and Dandie Dinmont Terrier among others

Are we missing any common dog grooming terms you think should be added? Leave a comment below with the term and definition!