How to Shave a Dog with Knots

Medium
15 - 30 Minutes
12 Months

Introduction

There are several reasons for your dog's coat to become knotted. It can be that he is not getting brushed frequently enough or that he been out playing in tall grasses. Or, there are some breeds that just seem to be more prone to tangling and knotting. While shaving your poor pooch seems to be the only answer, keep in mind your dog's coat is his only way to stay warm in the winter, cool in the summer, and to keep his skin protected from sunburn. You should only shave him if you cannot remove the knots or there are too many of them to simply cut them out. 

Dog's Perspective

Chances are good that your dog has no idea his coat is full of tangles and even if he does, he probably doesn't care. However, left alone, the knots can turn into mats that can be very uncomfortable for your pup and can hide parasites, dirt, and debris. Be sure you give your pal plenty of time to get used to the clippers before you start using them, to reduce his anxiety.

The Relax Method

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Clipper
Step
1
Be calm
Your dog can pick up on your feelings very easily and if you are anxious about shaving him, you can bet he will pick up on this. In turn, he will be more anxious about what it is to come, making the task even harder than it already is.
Step
2
A secure place to shave
For smaller dogs, you should use a grooming table with a restraint system. For larger dogs, you just need an easy to clean spot on the floor and a place to secure his leash.
Step
3
Set up the clippers
Add a drop of oil to the clippers and then install a No.10 blade and guide. Make sure the blade is nice and sharp or it might rip more hair out than it cuts. This will be very painful and make shaving your dog very hard.
Step
4
Head down
Starting at the head, follow the way his hair grows and shave his head, ears, and muzzle. Then shave his armpits, genitals, and around the base of his tail.
Step
5
The rest of his body
Shave his back going from neck to tail, then his sides and the outside of his legs.
Step
6
On your side
Have your dog lie down on his side so you can shave his belly and the insides of his legs. Finish up with a treat and a nice cool bath to soothe his irritated skin. Apply sun block before taking him outside to protect his skin.
Recommend grooming method?

The Grooming Room Method

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Step
1
Pick a room
For consistency's sake, choose one room in your home for grooming and shaving your dog. Pick a room with an easy to clean floor, like the laundry room or the bathroom. If you have a small dog, a grooming table with a restraint is ideal. For bigger dogs just have some way to secure one end of a leash.
Step
2
Grab another person
Since your dog might wiggle around, especially if this is his first shaving, you may want to have another pair of hands to help hold him still.
Step
3
A little off the top
Start by shaving his face and head since this is the most sensitive part of his body, and one which might cause him to flinch the most.
Step
4
Drop down
Shave his armpits, under his tail, and around his rear end.
Step
5
Body work
Shave his back, going from neck to tail, then down his sides to his belly.
Step
6
Belly up, then soothing bath
Have your dog lie on his side and shave his belly from front to back. Be very careful around his genitals as the skin here is very thin and sensitive. When you are done, pop him in a nice lukewarm to cool bath. This will soothe any irritation and wash loose hair off his body.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Be sure to use a sharp No. 10 blade and the associated comb.
  • Keep an eye on the temperature of the blade, if you let it get too hot, it could burn your pup's skin.
  • Keep the blade lubricated, this will help keep it cool.
  • Keep the clipper blade at least one inch away from the eyes to avoid injury.
  • Give your dog plenty of time to get used the sound of the clippers before you try to use them.

Conclusion

Shaving a dog with or without knotted hair can be challenging at first, but once you and your dog get used to it, it will go much more smoothly. However, you can avoid having to shave your dog often by spending more time grooming him on a regular basis. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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