How to Groom a Long Haired Dog with Clippers

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Medium
30 - 60 Minutes
1 Week

Introduction

To many dog owners, there is nothing more beautiful than a well-groomed long-haired dog. But if you have never had to deal with keeping this type of dog groomed, you might be in for a bit of a shock the first time you try. The reality is that grooming a dog who has a long, thick coat will require effort, time, and to a certain extent, money. Part of the problem is that thick hair can become easily matted, which may be painful as well as bad for your pup's health.

Dog's Perspective

The last thing your dog wants is to go through life with his hair a mess. But it can take some time before he gets used to being groomed. The grooming tools can be frightening to him, which can make it even harder to groom. But if you let his hair go too long between groomings, you may end up with no choice but to either cut his hair really short or shave him (which is a big no-no with long-haired dogs. 

The Basic Clipper Method

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Slicker Brush
Scissors
Pin Brush
Dematter
Comb
Clipper
Step
1
Buy a clipper
The first thing you need to do is purchase a good quality clipper (think professional grade). There are many cheaper brands of clipper on the market, but they may not do the greatest job in the world. Spending a little more initially can save you a lot of worries later on.
Step
2
Use the right blade
For most long-hair dogs, you should be using a #4 FC or #5 FC clipper blade. Attach the guide comb to protect your pup's skin.
Step
3
A good rub down
Before you start grooming your pup, rub and pet him all over to relax him.
Step
4
Brush down
Using a de-matting tool, go over your pup's entire coat and remove any mats you find. If they are too serious, you may have to cut them out using a pair of thinning shears.
Step
5
Trim the hair
Trim your pup's hair, starting with his back. You will need to work with the way his hair naturally lays. Keep excess hair out of the blades to keep them from becoming too warm or hot, which could injure your pup. Work on his belly and front legs next before moving on to his hindquarters.
Step
6
Finishing up
Once you have cut all of his hair to length using the clippers, you can give him a nice brush down and then use shears to trim any areas you can't reach or trim with the clipper. One last brushing and your pup should look great. Be sure to brush him at least 2 to 3 times per week to keep him looking his best.
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The Bathing Method

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Slicker Brush
Shampoo
Scissors
Pin Brush
Dematter
Comb
Clipper
Dryer
Towel
Step
1
Start with a bath
Start by giving your pup a nice warm bath or shower. When bathing a dog with a long coat, be sure to wash and rinse from the top down to avoid creating mats or tangles. Use your fingers to gently rub the shampoo into his coat and skin and remove any debris. Add a detangler or moisturizing conditioner and rinse thoroughly.
Step
2
Dry your pup
You can either let your pup's hair air dry, which will go a long way towards not adding any more tangles. Or you can also use a hair dryer if your pup will let you. Some love the feeling of having their coat blow-dried, others will not stand for it. But you can train your pup to accept the dryer if that's your preferred method.
Step
3
Use a pin brush
Go over your pup's entire coat with a pin brush. Part the hair using one hand and then brush out his coat one section at a time until it is free of mats or tangles. If there are any serious mats, you may have to cut them out with a sharp pair of shears.
Step
4
Oh, he's so fluffy
If you want your pup's coat to be fluffy, you achieve this by brushing from the bottom to the top then start brushing downward starting at his feet and work your way back up.
Step
5
Face off
Finally, using clippers, trim the hair on your dog's face. Start with the sides of his face and gently clip his facial hair to the desired length. And the rest, as they say, is history as you have now learned how to groom your long-haired dog. You should do this 2 to 3 times per week.
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Caution & Considerations

  • When using a slicker brush, be sure to avoid going to close to your pup's skin, as it can scratch your pup.
  • Introduce your pup to all the tools you will be using during the grooming process before starting to help reduce any nervousness.
  • Do not pull on mats, as this will cause your pup pain. They should be cut out.
  • Unless your vet recommends it, you should never shave a long-haired dog as their skin could end up getting sunburned or become dry.
  • Keep a guard on the clippers to avoid injuring your pup's skin.
  • You should be brushing his coat at least every couple of days to help keep the tangles down to a minimum.
  • You should also try to give your dog a bath once a month or as often as the vet recommends.
  • You don't have to fluff your pup's hair unless you want to, but it will look very nice.
  • Always buy top-quality professional grade clippers and shears, you will find they are well-worth the investment. 

Conclusion

It really isn’t hard to learn how to groom your long-haired dog, but it will take time and patience on both parts to make the process go smoothly and end up with the desired results. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you need to take your time and be careful, so you don’t cut or nick your pup's skin. You can use rewards as treats throughout the process to help your pup relax and enjoy his grooming. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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