Raising The “Bar” (Re-setting Low Cocker Patterns)

13 Feb

I have yet to train my eye to see the proper pattern for a clippered pet cocker spaniel. I know that every cocker pattern is different. I know that it is NOT supposed to be a straight line around the dog. I do not know exactly what to do beyond that.

Last week I had a sweet American cocker in a Pet Cocker pattern. This lovely boy was groomed 4-6 weeks ago by the previous groomer. Re-setting another groomer’s pattern choice is always a challenge… especially when you haven’t done this particular breed’s pattern in well over 7 months! Excuse poor quality photos, still getting used to my new phone.


Old pattern was set by a previous groomer. Her notes were: Head & Body #10 / Legs & Skirt #3 3/4. Owner req. completely shaved ears and the belly “tunneled” out (completely shaved)


1/2 way through. I decide to focus on blending the pattern this time and gradually raising the placement over several appointments. His furnishings were quite cobwebbed at the shoulder and on the bottoms of his front legs, above the feet.


Blades Used: #8.5 on body and head / #10 throat, face, ears / A cc on legs / C skirt / 1 cc to blend pattern line.

I am QUITE unsatisfied with the outcome but unsure what I should have done differently. I hoped that by using a longer length on the body that by the next groom I would have enough growth to raise the pattern without creating a double pattern line, if that makes sense. I did hand dry 100% using the velocity dryer about 99% and then a low-powered stand dryer the rest of the way. I couldn’t seem to straighten him completely. He was also COMPLETELY unused to being hand dried and required some consoling.

Below is a photo I played with in PaintShop Pro.


Here’s an EDITED version of the above photo. I rotated the photo for easier viewing and placed a free-hand line where my natural inclination is to put it. I also cloned the furnishings and used varying levels of transparency to create a much higher pattern. Is this closer to correct?


2 Responses to “Raising The “Bar” (Re-setting Low Cocker Patterns)”

  1. Faith Chipman February 18, 2013 at 5:46 pm #

    I would like to learn about the ‘bevels’ around the feet….Am looking forward to taking more seminars about the cocker pattern and modifications. 🙂 Thanks for this great, fun blog! Faith Chipman

  2. Emma August 31, 2013 at 3:56 am #

    I am no cocker expert, but I do see a good number of them. when i set my lines (the hight you have is perfect) I like to make them a little more of a peanut shape than what you photoshopped. meaning I would drop the butt a bit, I liketo pretend I laid a circular cloth right on the bum and use that as i guidline. Then very slightly come up on the ribcage, and that helps mine have a nice shape, without the hula skirt effect.

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