Find a GOOD groomer, but yeah, I wouldn't recommend doing it yourself. I had a cockapoo growing up and he had gorgeous long fur. We usually went to a local groomer, but when she went on a vacation for a month, we took him to a different groomer. It was awful. My poor dog's ears were all nicked from the clippers, she had cut both ears a different length, and she had shaved his sides and left his belly fur long! Needless to say, we never went back to her and remained faithful to our regular groomer until the dog's death.
Make sure you ask the groomer how they handle your dog; which restraints they use, how they clean up, etc. Ask if you can see the area where they do the grooming. We found out later that the awful groomer who had nicked my dog's ears had muzzled him right off the bat (which made him CRAZY, he hated muzzles) and had also vaccumed his fur. Had we known this (our fault for not checking), we never would have taken him there. He was terrified of vaccums!!
Back after a hiatus.
Pongo - HMPK Koi Male
Onyx - DSH Cat