How to Groom a Small Dog's Face

Easy
10 - 15 Minutes
1 Month

Introduction

For many small dog owners, the thought of trimming their pup's face can be a bit scary. Even if you have finally mastered being able to trim and groom the rest of his body, grooming and trimming his face can be pretty challenging--at least in your mind. But the real truth is that as long as you take your time and work quickly and gently, the whole process shouldn't take more than about 10 to 15 minutes on most small breeds. However, breeds with really long or ungroomed facial hair may take a little bit longer as will any special cuts or styles. 

Dog's Perspective

At first, your pup may not like the idea of having the hair on his face groomed and trimmed. Those noisy clippers and shiny shears seem pretty scary when you get them close to his face. You need to take your time and introduce him to all of the tools you plan to use slowly and let him get used to them before you try to use them. 

The Facial Brush First Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Scissors
Comb
Clipper
Step
1
Brush and comb first
Start by brushing or combing the hair on your pup's face to remove any old food, burrs, or debris from it, brushing or combing in a single direction.
Step
2
Start at the bottom
The best place to start is under your pup's chin. Gently pull the hair down and then use the shears or clippers to trim the hair to the right length. Watch for any hanging flesh or jowls to be sure you don't nick or cut your pup.
Step
3
To the nose
While your dog doesn't have nose hairs like a human, he does have plenty of hair around his nose that needs to be gently trimmed back using shears. If you let this hair grow too long, it can start to irritate his nose, causing discomfort.
Step
4
Up and over
Trim the hair all the way across the bridge of his nose and up to the inside and outside corners of his eyes.
Step
5
Clean up around his eyes
Brush the hair above his eyes, and then use thinning shears to trim this hair back so that your pup can see clearly. If you need a straight edge marker, you can always use your finger as a guide.
Step
6
Make your pup look his best
Give his face a good healthy brushing all over, and then use the thinning shears to trim any spots you missed. The end result is a great looking face any small dog would be proud to show off around town.
Recommend grooming method?

The Tired Pup Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Scissors
Comb
Clipper
Step
1
Go outside and get some exercise
Since small dogs tend to be very energetic, the best thing you can do before trying to groom your small dog's face is to wear him out a bit. Take him for a nice long walk or play with him outside to burn off as much of his excess energy as possible.
Step
2
Pick one spot
Pick one spot in the house where you will always groom your pup. Try to pick a small room where you can install a grooming table or close the door, so he can't get out.
Step
3
Start with a slicker brush
Start out by going over your pup's face with a slicker brush. This type of brush is designed to separate the hairs, making them much easier to for you to trim if needed.
Step
4
Choose the right clipper guide
Decide how short you want your pup's facial hair to be and install the appropriate size guide on your clippers. Give your pup time to get used to the noise.
Step
5
Time to cut
Working from the top of your pup's head, trim the hair from the top of his head down to the base of his neck. Trim under his muzzle and around the rest of his nose. Don't forget to lift is muzzle and trim his neck and chin.
Step
6
Clean up time
Take a pair of thinning shears and trim the hair around your pup's eyes, and any hair you missed. Give him a final brushing and let your pup take a good look at how handsome he is in the mirror.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Always use sharp shears, dull ones will snag your pup's hairs and rip them out instead of cutting them.
  • Always use sharp clipper blades, dull blades can rip a lot of hair out of your pup's face.
  • Always use safety shears with rounded tips to avoid injuring your pup.
  • Always take extra care around your pup's eyes and any hanging skin to avoid injury.
  • Never groom your pup's face immediately after a bath, let his hair dry completely.
  • If your pup doesn't want to stand still, you may need to get a grooming harness or help from an assistant.
  • Be sure to give your pup plenty of time to get used the clippers and shears before you try to use them on him. This will help reduce the risk of serious injury. 

Conclusion

Just because you are a little nervous about learning to groom your small dog's face, it really isn't that difficult. It just takes plenty of practice and patience. It won't take long before your pup looks forward to having his monthly facial grooming. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!