Every time I see small long coated dogs in the streets or parks, one of the things I observe is their topknot. Most of the time, I’m flabbergasted by the way the topknots are being tied and dressed. Some are so badly tied that I feel compelled to redo their topknot for free. But I refrain from doing, as some owners might take offense to my offer.
Honestly, the skill of tying a great topknot isn’t that difficult. However it does take a few practices, a bit of creativity, and some fashion tips not to overkill the look and for your dog to get used to. Don’t forget to get an ESA letter to keep your pets with you.
For daily wear, a simple single topknot will serve its purpose of getting hair out of your dog’s face. But if you have that special party to attend or in the mood of dressing up, that plain topknot doesn’t deserve to be seen in public. The worst is when the topknot is poorly groomed, lacks the volume and glamour.
This is a special dedication to all small dog (Yorkie, Shih Tzu, Maltese, Poodle, and Lhasa Apso) owners who have difficulties getting that show quality topknot look for their pooches.
Before I begin showing you the steps, these are things you need:
- Grooming comb with both fine and wide toothed.
- Latex bands. Do not use any rubber band as they break hair easily. Plus you’ve to go many rounds to secure a knot. I personally use dental surgical latex bands which I got them from my dad’s clinic. Not many pet stores carry these bands so you may want to get them from your dentist! Just kidding! You’ll have more luck finding them in dog grooming parlors, concession booths at the dog shows or pet boutiques. Amazon sells them too—transparent and colored ones. For small dogs, use 4.5mm (best) but no larger than ¼ inch as it is sufficient to hold the amount of hair for the top knot. The larger the diameter the more turns you have to secure the knot.
- Wax papers, perm papers or any paper product designed to allow hair to breathe. It’s optional; it’s commonly used on show quality Maltese’s topknot or long coat wrapping to prevent the coat from breaking or hair from tangling around the latex band.
- Bows or ribbons or plastic stones or fake pearls for that decorative look.
- Hair spray. Optional, if you’re going to use it then you may want to have a makeup visor in hand so that the chemical won’t get into your dog’s eyes. Now you know why those show dogs’ coats managed to look so glamorous and stayed intact after a long day parading around the rings.
Steps to Tying Single Topknot
- Gather the hair from the outside corner of the eye to the crown of his head and smooth comb it out. From a bird’s eye view it forms a rounded corners triangle on the crown. For puppies or dogs with shorter hair length at the crown, you’ve to gather part of the hair above his eyes (usually half to three-quarter inches away from each side of the stop – approximately 1 to 1.5 inches width of gathered hair). In this case, it forms a rectangular shape instead of the triangular.
- Gently back-comb the gathered hair to add volume. Depends on the length of the hair, if it’s more than six inches long back-comb half way through its length.
- Again depend how much puff you want to create, generally about 1.5 to 2 inches from the above of the eyes secure the topknot with a latex band.
- Alternatively, you may want to use a perm paper wrapped around the gathered hair before it doubles over and ties the topknot with latex band. This is commonly used on Maltese’s topknots as the paper blends with the coat color, and it also creates a little knot above the bow. This is great for those who fear breaking the hair way too often. You’ve to precut the wrapper to approximately 1″ by 1.5″ in size.
- If the remaining hair bothers one side of your dog’s eye, you’ve to redo by gathering more hair from the crown and tie the knot farther back.
- If there is plenty of length to play with, you may want to back-comb a few inches from the latex band, double over and secure it with another latex band. This is a very gorgeous classic 50s look – almost looks like an extension hair piece.
- Smooth out the back-combed area with the wide-toothed comb so that it appears smooth, but still has the shape and volume of a glamorous topknot.
- Tie a bow or any decorative hair clips around the latex band.
Step to Tying Double Topknots
It’s similar to single topknot, the two differences are:
- Part the hair in the center of the head (right above the stop) in step one. While you are working on the first knot, have a hair clip to hold on to the other part of hair.
- Letting the hair fall to the sides of the face instead to the back of the crown in step three. This adds more volume to the hair around the ears giving the head a lion’s mane look. If done well, it has a very mysterious look as the falling hair shades the sides of the face.
The only downside to the double topknots is that you can’t go for that 50s doubled over look in step six as the puffiness looks out of place at the sides. You don’t want your dog to look like he has four ears sticking out!
Now you have it, my biggest secret of tying great glamorous topknot is? That’s right, Back-Combing!
About the author: Diane H. Wong is a business coach. She likes producing articles for domywriting. In this case, she has her own pages on some web sites. It gives her an opportunity to share her knowledge with others.