How to Groom a Dog's Fur

Easy
15 - 30 Minutes
1 Month

Introduction

If grooming your dog at the professional groomer's is getting to be too expensive, there is an alternative. You can learn to groom your dog's fur at home yourself and save money. Not only is this a good way to cut down on your bill, it's also a great way to bond more closely with your pup. 

In most cases, grooming your dog can be a lot of fun and once you have mastered the skill, you might find yourself wondering why you waited so long to get started. Once you have mastered the basic grooming skills, it should take less than 30 minutes to groom him. 

Dog's Perspective

While your dog might like being well-groomed, he is likely to be pretty nervous the first few times you break out the shears or clippers. The sight and sound of these items can be pretty scary to your pup at first. You can help by taking him for a nice long walk to tire him out and calm him down before you get started. You should also have a handy supply of his favorite treats until he is comfortable with being groomed. 

The Bath Time First Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Shampoo
Scissors
Pin Brush
Comb
Clipper
Towel
Step
1
Clean up time
The best way to start the grooming process is to give your pup a nice warm bath or shower. Using vet-approved shampoo and plenty of warm (not hot) water, give your pup a head to toe bath. This helps remove, dirt, debris, fleas, ticks, and some tangles and mats.
Step
2
Getting ready
Start by letting your pup get used to the shears or clippers. Hold them where he can see them and sniff them. Give him plenty of time, including with the clippers turned on. The more time you spend here the easier the rest will go.
Step
3
Top to bottom
Starting at the top of your pup's head, slowly clip around his ears, face, muzzle, neck, and chest. Take your time and avoid getting too close to his eyes. You can trim those areas up later with a pair of shears.
Step
4
Front quarter
Work your way down his chest and front legs, lifting each leg gently so that you can trim around the back of them and under his armpits. Be sure to trim the hair on and under his paws--be extra careful around his dew claws to avoid cutting him.
Step
5
Back and belly
Move on from the front over his back and down to his belly, following the natural flow of his hair growth (typically a dog's hair grows from front to back). While you are grooming his belly be very careful not to cut him here where his skin is very thin.
Step
6
Finishing up at the rear
Start by working your way down his hips to his rear paws. Lift his rear legs gently and clip the inside and his paws. Finish up by trimming the first inch of his tail or further if desired. Finally, give him a thorough overall brushing and then trim any leftover long hairs.
Recommend grooming method?

The Comb Out Method

Effective
0 Votes
Scissors
Comb
Step
1
Comb out his coat first
The first step is to use a good quality comb to go through your pup's coat slowly and gently. Work from front to back to ensure his coat is laid out in the direction it grows naturally. This will remove most tangles and mats. Trim the hair under his muzzle with the shears, taking your time and gently pulling the hair out before cutting it. Remember it is easier to cut it a little longer and go back for a finish trim, you can't go back and cut it longer if you cut his hair too short.
Step
2
Off with his head
Well, not quite. More like off with the hair on his head. Trim the hair on top of his head until it is out of his eyes. Then using the shears, trim around his ears and the rest of his head. Remember to cut the hair close here, but take care not to cut his ears.
Step
3
Moving on down
Using a comb as a cutting guide, start working your way down his neck and then move down to his shoulders and chest. You can use standard shears for this unless your pup has a really thick coat. In this case, you may need to use thinning shears first and trimming shears to finish it up. Work from the bottom to the top of each leg and then lift each leg up so that you can trim the inside of his legs, around his toes, and between his pads. You should use smaller trimming shears in these areas to avoid injuring him.
Step
4
In the middle
Working from the middle of his belly, slowly work your way up to the middle of his back. Trim by using your fingers and the comb as a guide and start off cutting a little bit at a time until you are confident you can get the length right. This could take several passes until you have been grooming your pup for a while.
Step
5
At the tail
Finish the job up by trimming around his tail, rear quarters and legs. You do his rear legs the same way as you did the front ones. The final step is to give him one more good brushing and trimming up any areas you missed or didn't get quite right.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Never use dull shears, they rip more hair out than cut it, which can be very painful for your pup.
  • You need three types of shears: straight, curved, and thinning.
  • Keep clippers nice and sharp and both shears and clippers well-oiled for best performance.
  • If your dog won't calm down, consider buying a grooming harness. This will make grooming much easier.
  • Give your dog plenty of time to get used to the shears or clippers. Again, this will make the job much easier.
  • Take your time, this will help keep your dog calm and makes for a better-finished result. 

Conclusion

Any time you groom your pup, you want him to come out of it looking his best. Take your time, work with your pup, and both of you will learn to enjoy the process. Imagine how good you are going to feel when you no longer have to spend a fortune at the groomer's just to make your pup look his best!

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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