How to Groom a Dog's Hair

Easy
15 - 30 Minutes
1 Month

Introduction

Does your dog need a haircut? Have you been putting it off for fear of messing things up? Do you spend a fortune every year paying someone else to do the job for you? No matter what your reason for wanting to learn how to groom your dog's hair, you will soon find out that it is not as hard as your worst fears want to make it. Grooming your pup's hair is a great way for the two of you to spend some quality bonding time and it can be a lot of fun if you let it be. 

Dog's Perspective

Much like you, your pup probably likes his coat to be clean and well-groomed. It makes him feel and look his best. One thing you do need to know is that until your pup gets used to the sound of the shears and clippers, he is likely to be a little on the skittish side. Take your time letting him get used to seeing them and hearing the noises they make. This and plenty of treats will make the training sessions go far easier for both of you. 

The It Starts with a Bath Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Shampoo
Scissors
Pin Brush
Flea Comb
Deshedder
Dematter
Comb
Towel
Step
1
Bath time
Good grooming should start with a nice warm bath using his favorite vet -approved shampoo. The bath helps to wash out dirt, debris, tangles, some mats, and fleas. Which, in turn, will make the rest of the grooming session go more smoothly. Brush his coat out and let it air dry.
Step
2
Laying it all out
Before you bring your pup to the grooming area, you need to make sure your work area is all set up and ready to go. This means laying out all of the brushes, combs, shears, clippers, and any other tools you might need within easy reach.
Step
3
Starting at the top
The best place to start is at the top of your pup's head, around his ears, down his neck, around his face and muzzle. Be careful around his eyes, take your time so you don't startle him.
Step
4
Front legs and chest
Working with the clippers, work your way down his chest, the outside of his front legs, and lifting each front leg, take care of the insides. This is also a good time to use a small pair of shears to trim the hair between his toes and pads.
Step
5
The midsection
Follow the natural growth flow (typically a dog's hair grows from front to back) using clippers or if you prefer, a good sharp pair of shears. Trim his back and work your way down to the middle of his belly. Do this on both sides. Remember the skin on your pup's belly is very thin and cuts easily, so be careful.
Step
6
And in the end
And in the end, the love you show (your dog) is equal to the quality of the finished job. Finish up by using the clippers or shears to trim around his rump, his rear legs (lifting them to get the inside), and the first inch or so of his tail. Brush his coat once more and trim up anywhere you missed.
Recommend grooming method?

The No Bath Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Scissors
Pin Brush
Flea Comb
Deshedder
Dematter
Comb
Clipper
Step
1
Comb it out
Start by using a good quality comb or brush to go over your pup's coat very thoroughly. Take your time and be thorough. This will help remove any loose dirt and debris, you can also use a flea comb to remove any parasites. This is a good time to trim the underside of his muzzle with a sharp pair of shears. Care is needed when working around your pup's face and eyes.
Step
2
Head first
If you look, your dog's hair grows from the front to the back. You should cut his hair the same way, starting at the top of his head, around his ears and face, down his neck, and finally his chest. If you are still working on mastering your grooming skills, start by cutting it longer than you want it to be when you are finished. This gives you room to correct any errors, without cutting his hair too short.
Step
3
Back to the middle
Using shears or clippers, work from the center of his back down his sides and to the middle of his belly. You need to take extra care when trimming around his belly and personal parts. The skin is thinner in these areas and very easy to nick or cut.
Step
4
Tail end Charlie
Trim his hips, hindquarters, and his tail. Depending on your pup's breed, you may also have to trim the first inch or so to make it look neat and tidy. Some dogs may require more extensive trimming. If you are not sure, talk to a groomer or your vet.
Step
5
Legs and feet
Legs and feet are trimmed one at a time by lifting each leg up and trimming the inside, the outside, and the hair between your pup's pads and toes for added comfort. Finish up by brushing your pup's coat one more time. Step back and look at your work, use shears to trim up and long areas, and then sit back and admire your handiwork.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Keep your shears sharp. This makes cutting hair easier and makes it easier to do the job right the first time. It also reduces the risk of simply ripping the hair out of your pup's skin.
  • Keep the blade in your clippers nice and sharp as well, for the same reasons.
  • Oil the clippers regularly to keep them operating smoothly. You should also oil the pivot point on your shears.
  • Be sure to give your pup plenty of time to get used to the shears and clippers before trying to use them. This will reduce the possibility of your pup being startled and ruining your hard work.
  • Follow the direction in which your pup's hair grows, this will result in a much smoother cut and it is actually easier to cut this way.
  • You can always use treats to help your pup get used to being groomed.
  • The most important thing to keep in mind is that you need to take your time and stay calm. Your dog will pick up on your vibes and should remain much calmer. This will help ensure a better-finished job and a happier dog.

Conclusion

Grooming your dog might seem a bit on the scary side at first.  But if you take your time and give your pup time to get used to being groomed by you and the tools you use, the entire process can be fun for both of you and give plenty of special bonding time. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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