How to Groom a Large Dog's Belly

Easy
10 - 25 Minutes
1 Week

Introduction

Your dog’s belly is soft and tender. It’s likely one of his most favorite places to have you rub and pet. But his belly is also quite sensitive. This is an area where tangles and knots form rather quickly as your dog's plays or even simply lies down. If your large dog’s belly has mats or large knots, you may need to shave his belly with clippers to remove the mats. Otherwise, if you are brushing his belly at least once a week his fur should remain soft and tangle-free and easy to groom. 

Though your large dog may enjoy a good belly rub, he may not enjoy belly brushing. Remember when you brush your large pup’s belly to be aware of any tangles or knots he has so you're not pulling on his sensitive skin. Be gentle in this area and remember to give your large dog a good potty cut while you're working on his belly.

Dog's Perspective

Your large dog may not enjoy a belly brushing, so if he is apprehensive, start off with a belly rub or rub his ears or his tummy before you gently brush the sensitive area on his stomach. Have some patience and reinforce a good belly grooming with some tasty treats.

The Best Tools Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Scissors
Pin Brush
Clipper
Towel
Step
1
Prepare
Before you groom your large dog's belly, prepare with all the tools necessary and some treats to have on hand to reward your big guy while you're grooming.
Step
2
Brush, clip, cut
To groom your large dog's belly you are going to need to have a good brush on hand. If your dog has soft fur a pin brush, bristle brush, or slicker brush might work best. If your large dog has short hair, a rubber brush will give your large dog a gentle massage while ridding the tummy of any loose fur. If there are mats or large tangles, you may need scissors and clippers as well.
Step
3
Lie down
Have your large dog lie down on a towel on the floor and sit next to him. He's a big guy so you want his tummy comfortably in front of you. Make sure you put him on a blanket or towel you don't mind getting dirty because you may be trimming and causing a little mess.
Step
4
Comfort
Make sure your large dog is comfortable. You can rub his tummy or you can have a partner help him if he is anxious. Also, offer him lots of treats while you're working to keep him motivated to stay still while you groom his tummy.
Step
5
Brush
You may need your dog to roll over and switch sides during brushing, but you will want to brush out all of your dog's stomach fur before you do any cutting or trimming if necessary. Brush out any tangles or knots and leave any large mats alone while you're brushing.
Step
6
Trim
Use a pair of scissors to trim around your dog's genital area. Do not point the scissors directly at the genitals; you don't want to cause injury.
Step
7
Clippers
If the rest of his belly fur needs to be trimmed you can use clippers to trim to the length you would like, starting at the side and trimming down towards the center of the belly. Clippers are better for cutting out large mats.
Step
8
Brush again
After your dog's fur is trimmed and mat-free, brush through it again with a soft bristle brush. Use scissors to trim up any excess long fur that needs a bit more attention.
Step
9
Treat
Always end your grooming sessions with a treat. This will condition your large pup to know grooming is okay and there will always be a reward at the end.
Recommend grooming method?

The On a Mat Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Scissors
Pin Brush
Clipper
Towel
Step
1
Prepare
Prepare a comfortable place for your large dog to lie down while you are grooming his belly. This could be a mat, a towel, a blanket, or even his bed with a towel on top for easy clean up once you're done. Make him quite comfortable and give him a treat once he lies down.
Step
2
Brush
Brush your big guy's belly with a soft brush. Be sure you are not tugging or pulling on any of his tummy fur. If this is happening, your large dog will probably become anxious and want to leave. You want this to be a nice, soft and gentle brushing. Focus on removing any knots or tangles, but if there are mats that are too big to brush out carefully with a brush, prepare your clippers to cut those out easily.
Step
3
Clip
If there are large mats or knots but you cannot brush or comb out, clip them out using clippers. Be careful not to place the clippers directly on your dog's belly as you may cause a skin rash or scratching on the sensitive skin. You may need to clip very closely in order to get all the fur off of your dog's body.
Step
4
Lift each leg
Left your dog's hind legs one at a time to clip or brush the fur along the edge of the belly underneath his legs. Be careful not to lift too high, only as high as your dog is comfortable.
Step
5
Trim
Outside of getting out any mats with the clippers, you may need a pair of scissors to trim the fur on your dog's belly. You can also use clippers if you wish. Be sure after the fur is brushed out it is the length you would like to be.
Step
6
Soft brush
Use a soft brush to brush the belly fur one last time, brushing in the direction the fur grows. Once your dog's fur has been cut with clippers, if necessary, trim with scissors and brush out one last time. You may need to touch up with a pair of trimming shears to even the length all around.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  •  If you include a potty cut into your large dog's belly grooming time, you will want to have scissors as well as clippers. Try not to use clippers on your dog's genital area but rather scissors pointed away from the genitals and parallel to the skin to trim the fur on his potty area.
  • Try to brush out as much as you can on your large dog's tummy.
  • If his stomach is matted with big knots and tangles, you may not be able to brush through because it will just tug on his sensitive skin. In this case, use some clippers and get as many of the mats off as you can with clippers rather than a comb or brush.
  • To edge around your large dog's stomach, lift his back legs one at a time while he's lying down. Only lift as high as your dog is comfortable.
  • Your large breed dog will enjoy a tummy grooming on a large blanket or towel or even his big dog bed covered in a towel for easy cleanup.
  • Your large breed pup might be not only sensitive but also a little ticklish on his belly. Be aware of his reactions to your touch in sensitive areas so you can move scissors and clippers away from his skin quickly if he were to move suddenly.
  • Anytime you're using scissors for grooming, try to keep them parallel with the skin and pointed away from sensitive areas so he doesn't get hurt.

Conclusion

Whether your large breed dog has long and fluffy fur or short soft fur, his belly is still going to need to be groomed on a regular basis. Keep him looking fur-tastic by brushing that belly at least once a week. Stay on top of any mats and knots so his sensitive sanitary areas are not bothered by the pain of pulling fur.

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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