How to Groom a Dog Around the Eyes

5 - 30 Minutes
1 Month


There are many dog breeds with hair that seems to be constantly growing into their eyes. There are several very good reasons you shouldn’t let this facial hair become too long. This hair grows from above and below, which can hinder their eyesight, and rub their eyes and cause irritation and damage. Depending on your dog, this may also cause excessive tearing and staining to occur. Thankfully, with a little practice and patience, you can learn to keep your pup's facial hair trimmed back out of his eyes, so he finally stops bumping into everything in the house. 

Dog's Perspective

Chances are good that your pup is not going to be delighted to have a pair of scissors and your hands right up in his business. Most dogs don't like having anything close to their eyes. Just like humans, we flinch too when someone sticks something close to our eyes. The best way to get him used to this is to start very slowly, introducing him to the scissors before you try to groom around his eyes with them. 

Caution & Considerations

  • Anytime you are using a pair of scissors around your dog's eyes, there is a high risk of injury if your pup decides to jerk his head.
  • If he won't hold still, you may have to use a slightly firmer grip. However, this might just be an indication you need to take more time getting him used to having scissors around his eyes.
  • Be sure that you use safety scissors for this job, never use scissors with pointed ends as they can seriously injure your pup.
  • Do have plenty of treats on hand, and a comb or brush to help brush out the hair around his face.
  • Take your time. Not only will this help to keep him calm, but it will also help make the finished job look much better.
  • If your dog tends to be wound up and easily excited, talk to your vet. He may recommend using a mild sedative to help calm him down. These medications will not harm your pup, but they will make it much easier for you to groom around his eyes. 


The goal is to keep your pup's facial hair trimmed back out of his eyes and to be able to do so without either of you becoming stressed out. It is an important task that can protect the health of his eyes. Not to mention, it will help keep him from wandering into things like Mr. Magoo. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

Grooming Questions & Answers

7 Months
1 found helpful
1 found helpful
7 Months

Bonnie gets lots of black/brown crusty discharge round her eyes. How do I deal with this please? She hates her face being groomed.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
0 Dog owners recommended

Bonnie is adorable! I would go to the vet's office and have a look in their retail section for a product that is vet-approved and safe for the eyes. The staff should be able to direct you to a gentle, yet effective product. You can take a cotton ball soaked in cooled down, boiled water and gently wipe the eye, but a solution designed specifically for removing the crusty discharge will bring better results. Good luck and enjoy your pup!

I use a child size tooth brush and brush under eyelid and remove debris then I use eye cleaner for brown stains once i finish that part i put eye wash in their eyes. When I am through I put Castor oil with my finger where the stained hair is. It was really bad they are
chihuahuas 2 females 5 years old. They just recently started getting brown hair around eyes and the 2 front paws they were licking one worse than the other. Its a slow process but it is getting better. A few days ago one had black crutty stuff on her hair on vulva. Cleaned it with doggie wipes and trimmed hair around it. I have no problems doing all this. They come to me and I talk a low voice and sometimes I will rub their bellys and they fall asleep. They are very easy to work with. I've had Chihuahuas since I was 8 years old and I'm 73. They are so affectionate and just want to be loved. My first Chihuahua lived to be 16 years old.

Thank you so much. I rescued my first chihuahua/papillon mix she was 3 when I got her. She is 10 now and I use a damp wash cloth and she hates it but let’s me do it or sometimes I just use a comb. Thank you for your comment it is a lot more useful. I did ask the vet and he cleaned it. He said it is just because they didn’t message her tear ducts when she was a puppy. But didn’t say there was a cleaner for it. So thank you. And, yes I love her to pieces. She is the most loving dog to me. She picks who she likes. My husband and my brother. She tolerates the kids and my friends and the rest of the family. I would rescue always now.

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