How to Groom a Dog's Face with Clippers

15 - 30 Minute
4 Week


Grooming your dog’s furry face can be quite intimidating, especially if you are using clippers. Getting anything sharp near those sweet little eyes, that little, wet nose and those tender cheeks is nerve-wracking. But your dog's fur grows and if he has a lot of it, especially on and around his face, he will begin to look scraggly quickly. Teaching yourself how to groom your dog's face with clippers will make your life easier and your dog cuter. It will only take a few tries before you have this grooming task mastered. There are some tricks of the trade that you should know before you attempt grooming your dog's face with clippers, though. 

Dog's Perspective

If your dog is not used to being groomed, especially by you, he may be a little apprehensive. Having clippers so close to his face may feel a little scary. Clippers are loud, and they feel funny up against your dog's skin. You can help ease your dog's tension by having a partner help you introduce your dog to the clippers before you use them on his face, and finding a pair of clippers that are as quiet as possible.

Caution & Considerations

  • Depending on your dog's breed and how tidy you would like your dog's face to appear, you may need to groom his face with clippers every 2 to 4 weeks.
  • If your dog is a long-haired dog and you want to keep his face short while allowing the hair around his head to grow longer, you will need to groom more frequently.
  • Avoid placing the clippers directly on the skin as these may irritate your dog's skin while also startling your dog.
  • A small to medium-sized dog may do better sitting or lying on a table while you groom his face.
  • A large breed dog can lie on the floor on a towel or a blanket with you sitting in front of him or behind him, depending on how you need to reach around his head to get to his face.
  • Be aware of where your dog's eyes are relative to the clippers as you groom his face.
  • The top of your dog's muzzle typically does not need to be groomed, however, the sides may need to be. Just make sure you do one side at a time and point your clippers in the direction of the hair growth.


Each dog breed traditionally appears different from other breeds. Before you go to groom your dog's face with clippers, be sure you know what the typical dog looks like within your dog's breed. But also, have no fear. He is your dog and he will still love you, even if for the first time you are practicing grooming his face with clippers, he doesn't look exactly fur-tastic.

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

Grooming Questions & Answers

shih poo
1 Year
0 found helpful
0 found helpful
shih poo
1 Year

I saw a matt on the backside of my dog and tried to get it out but found a couple more. She started crying and whimpering so I ended up cutting them out and now she looks bald.... I know that shih tzu and poodles can be shaved and their fur can grow back fine especially with the right vitamins, but is this the right thing to do?

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

Addy is a real sweetie! I think that cutting the matts out right away was the right thing to do because they could have been pulling at her skin and causing pain. I would have done the same. Her fur will grow back in those areas. Wait until her skin is less tender and then start giving her a quick, gentle brushing every day. That way you may avoid the matting. All the best and enjoy your little pup!

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Grooming Success Stories

9 Months

Jane let's me barber her for very high value treats.

1 year, 2 months ago
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