How to Cut a Hyper Dog's Hair

Hard
20 - 40 Minutes
1 Month

Introduction

Your little Schnoodle needs a haircut, but this wiggly little pup won't stay still for 5 seconds, let alone 20 minutes needed to give him a proper haircut! What are your going to do? 

Some dogs are “gifted” with a lot of energy. You might as well see it as a gift--it always pays to look on the positive side! Extra energy is great for playing and running and probably would have served your dog well if he was part of a far-ranging pack that had to hunt for food every day. However, if he is a house dog that needs a hair trim, this high energy is not quite as useful! Hyper dogs can be a real challenge when it comes time for a haircut. Working with clippers or scissors around a hyper dog that is exuding energy out of his pores can result in a lopsided haircut or worse, an injury from a cutting tool that breaks skin. You will need to get your hyper dog to be still while you cut his hair. This is not always easy, but there are several strategies you can employ to get cooperation and have a safe, even haircut!

Dog's Perspective

So much excitement, so much energy, so little time! That’s what your hyper dog may be thinking; getting a haircut is pretty low on his list of priorities, no matter how high it is on yours. If you need to cut your hyper dog’s hair there are a few things you can do to gain his cooperation and reduce hyper behavior, which can result in frustration for you and your dog, or worse, an injury from a cutting tool.

The Be Prepared Method

Effective
0 Votes
Scissors
Clipper
Step
1
Pick a secure area
Have a space for cutting hair with few distractions. A mud room, bathroom or hallway where you can close the door to avoid escapes and stimulation is ideal.
Step
2
Elevate
Use a grooming table or elevated surface that allows better access to your dog. Make sure the table is sturdy enough for your dog, even when he is moving around, to prevent accidents. An elevated surface gives you better access to your dog and discourages escapes, which are more likely from a position on the floor.
Step
3
Restrain
Use a neck and hind end restraint from an overhead L shaped bar on the table. Make sure the restraint is secure, but not too tight. A back-end restraint goes under the belly in front of your dog's back legs.
Step
4
Non-slip surface
Use non-slip surfaces on an elevated surface or the floor, so that a hyper dog does not slip. Hyper dogs can get more excited if they feel insecure.
Step
5
Have tools ready
Have clippers and scissors in good shape and readily available, along with other grooming tools, to prevent having to step away from the table or prolong grooming sessions. Hold tools parallel to your dog's skin with sharp ends pointed away from your dog.
Recommend grooming method?

The Control Energy Method

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Scissors
Clipper
Step
1
Train obedience
Train your hyper dog with obedience commands when not grooming and cutting hair so you can use them when you are grooming cutting hair. Use positive reinforcement and practice often to establish.
Step
2
Exercise
Exercise your hyper dog before cutting hair to burn off excess energy. A long run or play session, followed by quiet time before cutting will reduce energy levels.
Step
3
Avoid punishment
Avoid getting excited or yelling at hyper dogs, as this only increases agitation and hyperactivity.
Step
4
Keep occupied
Distract your hyper dog while cutting hair with a chew toy or rawhide bone. Have an assistant provide treats when your dog stays still, to keep him occupied.
Step
5
Medicate if neccessary
Talk to your veterinarian. Some mild sedatives can help calm hyper dogs when hair cuts are necessary.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Make sure when using a grooming table that it is adequate for your dog's weight, especially for hyper dogs that move around a lot.
  • Ensure your dog has good footing wherever you are working, and use properly fitting restraints when on a grooming table, to prevent a hyper dog from slipping or falling while you cut hair.
  • Make sure you establish control before using cutting implements like nail cutters, scissors, or clippers, so as not to injure your dog.
  • Point scissor tips away from your dog to avoid the risk of getting stabbed by sharp tips.
  • Hold scissors or clipper blades parallel to the skin to reduce the risk of cutting a hyper dog that moves suddenly.
  • Do not groom a hyper dog when you are in a rush; be patient.
  • Punishment, like excitement or yelling at a hyper dog, increases rather than decreases the hyper behavior.

Conclusion

A hyper dog that moves around is difficult to work with when cutting hair. Besides having a very funny looking haircut, a hyper dog that won't stay still is subject to injuries from scissors or clippers. This will make subsequent hair cutting sessions even worse as your hyper dog now associates haircuts with pain. Frustration and fear can result in a vicious cycle. You can use tools and techniques to make cutting a hyper dog’s hair a lot easier. Work in a quiet, distraction-free location, use an elevated surface with restrains and non-slip surfaces, and have everything you need at hand. You can also reduce hyper energy with exercise, medication, obedience training, or distraction. Ensure your and your hyper dog’s safety when trimming hair to prevent injuries to your dog or yourself, and create a pleasant experience that will make future haircuts less frustrating.  

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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