How to Groom a Dog with Curly Hair

15 - 30 Minutes
1 Month


If you have a dog whose body is covered with a mass of curly hair, grooming him can seem like your worst nightmare incarnate. Unlike many other types of dogs, those with this type of coat do not shed. While this might be great for those who don't want to deal with dog hair all over the house, it does mean you have to stay on top of grooming or you could end up with a terrible mess of mats that have to be constantly cut out. Although grooming your curly-haired dog might seem a bit intimidating, once you learn how to do it, both you and your pup will be a lot happier. 

Dog's Perspective

You might think your dog doesn't care about the condition of his coat. But, the reality is that even in the wild, dogs (think wolves, coyotes) will work at keeping their coats clean and free of tangles and mats. So, when your pup's coat gets all dirty and matted, he is not going to be a happy camper. At the same time, he might not like the brushes, combs, shears, and clippers used for grooming, so a little prep work may be in order to get him comfortable.

Caution & Considerations

  • Give your pup time to the get used to the clippers, shears, and other tools. This will make the job much easier.

  • When trimming the hair on your dog's body, cut in the direction the hair is growing for best results. On the legs, however, going against the direction of hair growth is usually most effective. 

  • Use clippers or shears with very sharp blades to avoid snagging his hair and ripping it out of his skin.

  • Never let your pup's coat ungroomed as this will lead to masses of tangles and mats that may require shaving your pup to remove.

  • If your pup won't stand still, you may need to use a groomer's harness to hold him in place for his safety and yours.

  • Use a photograph of a well-groomed dog in your pup's breed as a guideline until you are sure you can groom your pup's coat to match without it.

  • Never use shampoos meant for humans, they can burn his skin and cause other medical conditions that may require veterinary treatment. 


Your curly-haired pup likes to look his best. Not only does regular grooming help with this, it also helps remove any excess hair and gives you a chance to look over his body. You can use this time to bond with your pup and to check him over for fleas, ticks, mats, and injuries. Once you get used to grooming your curly-haired pup, it should take less than 30 minutes from start to finish. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

Grooming Questions & Answers

2 Years
1 found helpful
1 found helpful
2 Years

Hi there! My little rescue has a very long haired curly tail. Hes pom, schnoodle and cocker spaniel mix. In between groomings id like to trim it as it gets so long (see photo). How can I trim his tail without completely butchering it? I trimmed and it looks so choppy and might have gone too short. Thank you so much :)

Paige Thompson
Paige Thompson
Dog Groomer
0 Dog owners recommended

Hi Leny! If you want to trim Gambino's tail in between grooms I recommend you get some professional grooming shears to start. You want to extend his stail straight out and brush all hair straight towards the ground. Trim the desired amount off in a straight line or you can make a half circle shape to keep it shorter near the hind end. Be mindful of where the tips of your shears are so you dont clip her legs. You can also have your groomer show you. Good Luck! Paige

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