How to Groom a Dog Around the Eyes

Easy
5 - 30 Minutes
1 Month

Introduction

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. 

The Brush and Trim Method

Effective
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Scissors
Comb
Step
1
Brush first
Start by gently brushing the hair around your pup's eyes upwards and outwards. This will make a big difference when it comes to trimming his facial hair in a straight line. It will also help to remove any dirt or tangles that might be in his hair. Take your time and be gentle, as anything else will only make him face shy and make it harder for you to trim this hair back.
Step
2
Introduce the scissors
Show your pup the scissors and give him a moment to get used them being around his face. Try gently laying them on his snout just below his eyes and letting them rest there for a few seconds with your hand on top of his head near his eyes. Giving him time to relax and get used to their presence will make it much easier when the time comes to trimming this hair.
Step
3
Trim across the top first
Trim a neat straight line starting on one side of his face going over the top of his nose and ending in at the other side. Take a break and give your pup a treat. Grooming him in stages like this at the start will help your pup get used to being groomed and allow him to be calmer.
Step
4
Finishing up the job
When he relaxes after his treat, he will let you know he is ready for you to trim the bottom hair out of the way. If at any time you are not happy with the line you cut, give your pup a moment and trim it up.
Step
5
Rewards pay off
Be sure to give him lots of praise and treats the whole time and in time he will let you groom around his eyes without fussing.
Recommend grooming method?

The Walk First Method

Effective
0 Votes
Scissors
Comb
Step
1
Go for a walk
Start by taking your pooch for a walk. Not only does this give him time to take care of business, it will tire him out a bit and help to calm him down. At the same time, this will make it less likely for him to wiggle around when you are trying to groom around his eyes. In fact, try and make it a very long walk; the more tired your pup is, the more relaxed he is likely to be.
Step
2
The big cover-up
With one hand, cover your pup's eyes from below the fringe you need to cut. Not only will this help to keep him calmed down (what he can't see won't hurt him), it will also give you a nice straight line to trim along. Be sure you are using safety scissors (the ones with no points on the end) to cut the hair or you risk injuring your pup or maybe even stabbing yourself.
Step
3
The first cut
Using your fingers as a guide, fluff the hair up. This will help lift the hair to where it easier for you to safely cut. It also helps to give you a much straighter line when you make the cut. Be careful, take your time. As long as your pup's eyes are covered he should remain calm. If he starts to struggle, stop and take a break. Give him a treat, praise him and give him a few minutes to calm back down before continuing.
Step
4
Cleaning up the eyebrows
Now it's time to clean up his eyebrows, as they can get in his eyes at the same time. Using a forefinger, hold the eye you are working on closed. Use the palm of the same hand to hold the other eye closed while you work. Carefully trim his eyebrows, by pulling them out gently. Do a little bit at a time and use your finger as a guideline.
Step
5
Cruising along the bottom
If your pup has hair growing up from the bottom of the eyes, use one hand to cover his eyes while you trim this hair as well. This part shouldn’t take too long but, by now your pup is probably getting fidgety. So, finish up and give him treats and praise for a job well done. After the two of you have done this together a few times, he should be very comfortable when you groom around his eyes.
Recommend grooming method?

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. 

Conclusion

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