How to Groom a Dog Using Clippers

Medium
15 - 30 Minutes
1 Month

Introduction

Does taking your dog to the groomers for a trim cost more than you can afford each month? Or has his coat become more like a giant tumbleweed? There is a simple solution to this seemingly complicated problem. Why not learn how to groom your dog using clippers? While using clippers can be challenging and take some time to master, it isn't rocket science. Just wait until you have completed your first complete trim, you will be so proud of yourself! Once you get good at using the clippers on your dog, the job should take you no more than 15 to 30 minutes from start to finish. 

Dog's Perspective

Chances are good your pup is not going to be very happy about those noisy clippers in your hand. To a dog, noises like this can be very unnerving-- if not outright frightening. If your pup tends towards the anxious and is easily excited, try taking him for a nice long walk to tire him out before you try to make use of those shiny new clippers. Along with this, be sure you have plenty of your pup's favorite treats on hand. 

The Clean First Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Shampoo
Pin Brush
Flea Comb
Deshedder
Dematter
Comb
Clipper
Step
1
Wash and brush
Your pup's hair needs to be freshly washed and brushed before you clip him. This will help get rid of most of the clumps and tangles that typically end up in a long-haired dog's coat. These can make the job far more difficult and can make it painful for your pup. This pain could make it harder for you to groom your pup in the future.
Step
2
From the head down
Starting at the top of his head, work your way down his neck and to his shoulders. Take your time here because the noise of the clippers may startle your pup until he has time to get used to their sound. This will also give him time to become accustomed to their feel as you clip his hair. Continue clipping around his ears, under his throat and chin, and down his chest.
Step
3
Front legs next
Continue working down one of his front legs, grab a firm but gentle hold of his leg and lift it up so that you can trim it. This area tends to have very thin skin, so you need to pay close attention while you are working here so that you don't hurt your pup. Don't forget to clip the hair on his paws and take care around his dew claw so you don’t cut into it.
Step
4
Moving on back
Continue clipping your pup's back, sides, and chest. You will need to lift his front paws up so that you can get under his armpits and under his belly. Here again, as you clip back towards his belly you need to pay close attention to where the clippers are cutting as the skin is thin here too.
Step
5
Time for the hindquarters
Clipping the outside of his rear legs and rear end is straightforward, but you will need to lift his right leg to clip the inside of his left leg, and vice versa for the inside of his right leg. Be gentle as you lift his legs; be firm but try not to hurt him. At all times, be sure you are not putting your pup into an awkward position that could injure him. If necessary, trim about one inch of his tail and you are all done.
Recommend grooming method?

The Start Long Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Pin Brush
Flea Comb
Deshedder
Dematter
Comb
Clipper
Step
1
Choose equipment
This method involves clipping in multiple passes, cutting successively shorter each time. Doing the job in more than one pass makes it less stressful for your pup and is less likely to end up with the clippers jammed in your dog's long hair, causing pain and fear.
Step
2
For the first pass
For the first pass, start with a longer blade, one that will leave more hair on your pup. Take your time, start at the top of his head and work your way down his neck, around his face, down his chest, and his front legs. Then move on to his back, sides, and belly, finishing up at his hindquarters and tail.
Step
3
Second pass
This is the time to get out the shortest blade you plan to use. Follow the order used in your first pass to clip the dog's entire body.
Step
4
Go slow at all times
No matter which pass you are working on, but especially on the final pass, take your time. The last thing you want is for the clipper to get hot and burn your pup's skin. Not only will this hurt your furry friend, but it may make it much harder for you the next time you need to trim his hair.
Step
5
Final pass
If you have to make a final pass to crop his coat as close as possible, be sure to cut in the direction his hair grows. The reason for this is that cutting against the direction in which his hair grows could leave your pup with a coat that is far shorter than you actually wanted it to be.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Before you make the first pass with the clippers, take a few minutes to learn more about your dog's breed and how they should be clipped. While many dogs are just fine having their coats cut with electric clippers, there are a few breeds that should only be trimmed using scissors. Some breeds may have issues growing their hair back properly if you use clippers, for these dogs you may want to pick up a de-shedding tool.
  • How often you need to clip your dog's coat depends on several things, including his breed, the time of year, and how short you want his hair to remain.
  • Choosing and maintaining your equipment is essential. A high-quality, quieter clipper will make it much easier for you to trim your pup's hair. Never try to cut costs, you will only end up with a noisy clipper that will scare your dog and make grooming that much harder. 
  • Choose a clipper that comes with several different detachable blades so that you can change blades to match the cut you are planning.
  • Use plenty of lubricant to prevent the blades from getting hot and avoid burning your pup's skin.
  • As with most forms of grooming and training, the earlier you start using the clippers on your pup, the sooner he will get used to them and the easier it will be to keep him trimmed. 
  • If your pup starts to get antsy during his grooming, stop and take him outside and let him have a break and go pee. Give him a treat and then when he is ready to start again. Start slowly and finish up. Doing things this way can ensure a smooth trim each time. 

Conclusion

No one wants a straggly unsightly pup covered with matted hair, least of all your pup, as this can be quite uncomfortable. While this might seem odd, make this time as much about cutting your pup's hair as it is about making it fun. The more fun you make it, the less stressful the entire process will be for both of you. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions