How to Cut a Dog's Leg Hair

10 - 20 Minutes
4 Weeks


Your dog's leg hair will probably need to be cut each time you groom the rest of him. Every dog is different. Some have short hair on their legs and some have long hair. Some dogs even have longer feathered fur on the back of their legs. You can scissor cut or even trim leg hair with clippers. Dogs with longer hair may need to be cut in a cone shape so their hair is shorter on the top and feathering out towards their paw. Dogs with shorter hair on their legs still need to be groomed for a neat and tidy look. 

Dog's Perspective

Your dog may or may not be excited about grooming his legs. Some dogs don't mind if you are touching their front paws because they can see what you're doing, but when it comes to their rear legs or the backs of their front legs, they may be a little nervous if they can't see the tools you're using and exactly what you're doing. Take your time to get your dog comfortable with both the grooming process and the tools you'll be using.

Caution & Considerations

  • If you are grooming a puppy, consider he may be nervous when it comes to scissors or even clippers. Let him sniff your grooming tools before you use them on him so he's comfortable with what you are doing.
  • If your dog is anxious or wiggly, you can recruit a friend to help you or groom each leg with your dog lying comfortably in a bed.
  • Harnessing your dog and attaching his leash to a sturdy surface can help to keep him still while you are working on each of his legs.
  • If you're grooming from home and you're not sure what your dog's breed should look like, do some research first to see what a typical look is for your dog's legs. Some dogs have feathers on the back of their legs. Some dogs are clean and tidy from the top all the way to the bottom. And other dogs cone out or box out in shape to appear as if they are wearing a skirt.
  • If this is your first time trimming your dog's legs, be patient as you learn how you would like your dog to look and how to get that look.
  • Remember safety first. Always point scissors down and do not hold clippers too close to the skin.
  • If your dog is distracted or anxious during leg trimming, feel free to give him lots of treats throughout the process. This will keep him motivated to stay still and keep his attention focused on you.


Your dog's legs can look beautiful if they are fluffy or short haired. Give your pup a longer leg look or expand the appearance of strength with lots of flowing long hair draping down the legs. However you'd like your pup to look, have confidence you can get him there with a bit of practice cutting his leg hair.

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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