How to Groom a Large Dog's Legs

Medium
15 - 30 Minutes
2 Week

Introduction

Grooming your large dog's legs can present certain challenges, depending on the breed of your dog. Most dogs with shorter leg hair require very little in the way of special grooming beyond a good bath from time to time. No, it’s the long-haired breeds that seem to need constant attention. Thankfully, grooming their legs really isn't that hard, but it needs to be done on a regular basis in order to avoid mats and tangles.

No matter what grooming method you choose, you should start out by combing or brushing out the hair on your dog's legs. 

Dog's Perspective

The last thing your dog wants is you messing around with his legs and paws with shears or clippers. The mere sight and sound of them probably make him nervous. But since he can't exactly keep his own leg hair trimmed, this is a job you are going to have to do yourself. Just remember, the calmer and more relaxed you are, the more your dog will pick up on these vibes and behave in a similar fashion. 

The Electric Clipper Method

Effective
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Slicker Brush
Scissors
Clipper
Step
1
The right guide
If you are not familiar with the proper length for the hair on your dog's legs, you can ask your vet or look online for the guidelines for your dog's breed. Then attach the appropriate guide to your clippers.
Step
2
Give me a paw
Have your dog sit in front of you and give him the "Give me a paw!" command or gently lift his paw.
Step
3
From top to bottom
Using the clippers, start trimming your dog's front legs from top to bottom on the outside and then on the inside. Take care not to nick his skin. Then trim from bottom to top to help smooth out the level of his hair.
Step
4
At the hind end
Repeat the same basic process for his rear legs, just don't ask him to give you a paw.
Step
5
Clean up time
Use a pair of sharp straight shears to trim around his toes, between his pads, and any long hairs you missed with the clippers and create the final shape for your dog's leg hair.
Recommend grooming method?

The Shears Method

Effective
0 Votes
Scissors
Comb
Step
1
Train a cue word
Start out by working with your dog to teach him a cue word that can be used to call your dog to your chosen grooming spot in your home. From this spot, call your dog by name followed by the cue, "Howie, groom!", or your own version. Each time he comes to you, give him a treat and lots of praise. Practice this until he masters it.
Step
2
Assume the position
Have your dog stand in front of you and give him the 'stay' command. If for any reason he just won't settle down, you may need to use a safety harness and anchor. Some dogs are happy to be groomed laying on their sides, which can make grooming easier, but not all will tolerate it.
Step
3
The grooming comb
Using a grooming comb, go over the hair on all four of your dog's legs. Gently remove any tangles you can, but if they have become tight knots, you will need to use a pair of sharp shears to cut them out.
Step
4
Trim time
Using straight shears, remove any mats and difficult knots, then trim the hair on his legs to the desired length and style.
Step
5
Comb it over
Go over your dog's legs with the grooming comb one more time and trim off any excess or long hairs. Then use the comb or a good quality slicker brush to smooth out the hair on your dog's legs for a neat finished look.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Be aware your dog might be a bit nervous, give him time to get used to the tools before using them.
  • If your dog won't stand still, try laying him on his side, having an assistant help, or using a grooming harness.
  • Do not try to comb out tough mats, use sharp shears to snip them out.
  • Be sure your shears and clipper blades are sharp.
  • Be sure your shears and clippers are lubricated.
  • Never use clippers on wet hair, it will cause them to jam.
  • Don't worry if you cut it too short or wrong, your dog's hair will grow back.¬†

Conclusion

There is no reason why you should keep on spending so much money to take your dog to the professional groomer. With a little patience and practice, you can master this simple task. Think of it as a way for the two of you to spend time together. Have fun and don't let on to anyone just how much you and your dog are enjoying yourselves. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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