How to Groom a Large Dog

1 - 2 Hours
1 Month


If you have a a Great Pyrenees, St. Bernard, Great Dane, Newfoundland, or other large breed dog, his size can present a challenge when it comes to grooming. These dogs can weigh well over 100 pounds and up to 200 pounds or more in some cases. Daily grooming and brushing will require more time, as significantly more real estate is involved! The real challenge occurs when it is time to bathe or clip your large dog. Regular bathtubs and grooming tables may not accommodate a large dog easily, and some professional groomers do not like to groom large breeds as they take significantly more time and require specialized tools that add to their costs. Also, handling a large dog can be difficult, as manipulating the dog's heavy limbs or transporting them from bath to grooming table can require heavy lifting that is physically difficult and awkward. The job can be made easier with the right tools, techniques, and a little bit of planning to accommodate your large dog.

Dog's Perspective

When grooming a large dog, it can be easy for the dog to feel uncomfortable being lifted. Big dogs are not used to being handled this way, like small and medium dogs are. Also, if your large dog is lifted onto surfaces that feel unsteady or inadequate in size, this may add to his discomfort. Bathtubs can be too small and awkward as well. Large dogs often have orthopedic issues, and if they feel unsteady in their footing they may experience discomfort or fear. Using non-slip mats and ensuring equipment can safely accommodate a large dog's size will help your dog feel more comfortable, and secure.  

Caution & Considerations

  • Large dogs are heavy!  Make sure you have assistance from another person before lifting to avoid injury to yourself. Use appropriate techniques for lifting heavy weights.

  • Use appropriate techniques for lifting dogs so as not to risk dropping or injuring a large dog.

  • Restrain large dogs in bathtubs or grooming tables, so they do not slip or jump out or off of equipment and injure themselves

  • Use non-slip surfaces to prevent the dog from slipping.

  • Be creative when figuring out how to handle and groom your dog; use kiddie pools, showers, etc.

  • Recognize a larger dog will take longer to groom. This may mean more expense at professional groomers, or more time on your part to adequately brush, bathe, and clip the dog, so make plans to accommodate this. Set more time aside so you are not rushed and more inclined to accidents.


Your dog may be more the size of a horse, or at least a small pony, than a dog! That doesn't mean he can not be safely and adequately groomed. Getting help, and/or investing in some equipment to make the job easier on your back and keep your dog comfortable will be well worth it if you have a very large dog. Remember you have more dog to cover then the owner of a small dog, so it is going to take a bit more time!

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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