How to Shave a Dog's Hair

15 - 30 Minutes
12 Months


Shaving your dog's hair, while challenging, is not as hard as you might think. In fact, it is much easier than trying to cut your pup's coat into one of those fancy styles. Before you make the decision to shave Fluffy's hair down to the skin though, you may want to talk to your vet to make sure it won't harm your pup. When you remove Fluffy's coat, you are removing her skin's protective layer. The coat keeps water, sunlight, dirt, and many other things away from her skin. Without it, she will be more susceptible to sunburn, flea infestations, and serious injury from bugs, branches, and many other dangers. 

Dog's Perspective

Your dog needs her protective layer, it helps keep her warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Chances are good that she is not going to be happy about losing this protective layer. Once you have shaved her, be sure to use sun block whenever you take her outside. 

Caution & Considerations

  • Try pulling her skin tight for a smoother, cleaner shave. This also helps reduce the risk of nicks and cuts.
  • While some restraint is good, going overboard can make your dog feel anxious. If your helper has to struggle to hang on, you may want to use a grooming table with restraints or a leash.
  • Use baby oil to loosen up any mats. This will let you lift them up off your pup's skin, allowing you to remove them with the clippers.
  • Do not dry your pooch's coat with a hair dryer, the air is hot enough to burn their skin.
  • Keep the clippers one inch away from your dog's eyes to prevent injury.
  • Keep the clipper blade sharp; a dull blade can snag your dog's hair, ripping it out instead of cutting it off. 


Talk to your vet regarding shaving your dog and if it is a good idea. While some breeds do okay with being shaved, for others it can make their life miserable. Be sure that you take time during the session and give your pup plenty of time to get used to being shaved. This will help him to remain calm during the process. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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