How to Shave your Dog Without Lines

Medium
30 - 60 Minutes
3 Months

Introduction

One of the most common reasons given for taking the family dog to a professional groomer is the fear of leaving lines in their coat after shaving her. Of course, it only stands to reason that there will be a few lines in Adele's coat after your first several attempts to shave her instead of spending a fortune at the local groomers. But before you cut ties with the groomer, you might think about asking them to show you how they manage to shave so many dogs without leaving so much as a single line. With enough practice and dedication to your dog's grooming, you can start to shave her coat down without leaving any hint that you weren't a professional yourself! It just takes the right amount of practice and the appropriate techniques to get it right. 

Dog's Perspective

Chances are very good that Adele won't notice or care that you have left a few lines in her coat after you have finished shaving her. The only person affected by the lines is you. Other than being a little unsightly, the lines aren't going to cause her any lasting physical or mental damage. The best thing you can do to prevent lines is take your time and follow the methods that are well known and used by the professionals in the grooming salon. 

The Right Equipment Method

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Slicker Brush
Shampoo
Scissors
Clipper
Step
1
Shopping trip
It all starts by making sure you have the right equipment to do the job right. You can't use that old set of clippers you have had laying around the house. You need clippers that are made for use on dogs and the right blades for Adele's type of fur. Along with this, you need a good supply of clipper oil to help keep the clippers working smoothly and running cool so they don't burn her skin. You also need the right comb or guide to set the final length of Adele's coat.
Step
2
Prepare her for the job to come
Give Adele a nice bath to remove tangles, dirt, mats, and anything else that is hiding in her coat. Brush her coat and let her air dry. Do not use a human hair dryer on any setting above cold as the hot air produced can burn her skin. You can also buy a pet hair dryer that is safer to use.
Step
3
Grab some help
Since you are shaving Adele with electric clippers, you may want to grab an assistant to help hold her still. Not only will this make the process easier and safer, it will help when it comes to not leaving lines behind.
Step
4
Getting the job done
Start with Adele's more sensitive areas first using clippers with a well-lubricated sharp blade and the right comb or cutting guide attached. Keep the clippers away from her eyes if you have to shave her head. Shave the rest of her body going with the grain of her coat. Note that this direction changes on different parts of her body, so you will need to change the direction in which you are shaving to suit.
Step
5
Overlap and finish trim
Be sure you overlap the cuts, as this will also help to reduce the presence of lines. Brush Adele using a boar hair brush and if you see any lines, go back over the area gently with the clippers to smooth out the lines. Be sure to give her a treat and lots of praise.
Recommend grooming method?

The Tool and Action Method

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0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Scissors
Clipper
Step
1
It starts with the right tools
One of the best things you can do to reduce the risk of leaving lines behind on Adele when you are done is to have the right tools. This starts with buying a good quality set of clippers. Don’t skimp out and go for quality.
Step
2
Check your blades
You should never use dull blades to shave Adele as they cut unevenly and can snag her hair and rip it out instead of cutting it. This will cause her a lot of pain. Make sure the blade is clean, has no nicks in it, and is properly lubricated as this will keep the blade from getting hot and burning her skin.
Step
3
Slow strokes
One of the worst things you can do when trying to shave without lines is being in a hurry. Take your time, work slowly with the clippers held level with her skin, and use light pressure. Use long, slow strokes on her back and sides always going with the grain of her coat.
Step
4
Even pressure
As you work, you need to keep the pressure even at all times as too much fluctuation can leave lines that can be hard to remove. Be very gentle when shaving her rump and other sensitive areas because she may twitch at the wrong moment. You may want to consider using shears around her 'private parts' to avoid the risk of injury.
Step
5
Brush and check
Go over Adele with a slicker brush and go over any lines with the clippers or shears to remove them. Be sure you let Adele know how good she has been and give her a treat when all is said and done.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Never use dull blades as they can rip hair out, which is very painful. If your blades are dull, you'll want to go out and purchase a new set in order to avoid any injury or improper handling of the fur.
  • Always lubricate the clipper blades to help keep them cool. If you don't have the proper lubricant for the blades, wait until you do in order to ensure that you won't cause burns or leave lines.
  • Check the blades frequently with a finger to make sure they are not overheating. You may need to take small breaks throughout the process to do these checks.
  • If you must use shears, be sure they are sharp and have rounded safety tips to prevent nicks or cuts.
  • Be sure you are using the right guide on the clippers. If you're using the wrong guides, it can be difficult to avoid getting lines.
  • If your pup won't sit still for being shaved, be sure to use a helper to keep it safe. You can also use a collar or a leash for easy holding.
  • Don't be afraid to use lots of soothing talk and treats during the session to make everything easier.

Conclusion

The biggest challenge to shaving a dog without leaving lines behind is time. You need to go slow and Adele wants to move. This is where having a second pair of helping hands to keep her still. It is also where talking to her and giving her treats can help make the entire process go smoothly for both of you. Take your time, be patient, and work on your technique in order to get a good, quality shave for your dog's coat. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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