How to Trim a Dog at Home

30 - 60 Minutes
1 Month


Perhaps your dog hates going to the groomer for a trim, but does not seem to mind staying at home for one. The sights and sounds, not to mention the smells, at the groomer's might be stressful for your dog, but if he doesn't mind being groomed at home, learning to trim your dog at yourself may be the perfect solution, and it’s cheaper too. 

If you are going to trim your dog at home starting with a simple cut, at least at first, is probably advisable. Most professional groomers will be willing to give you advice on how to groom your dog. Also, you should probably be fairly tolerant of possible haircut "faux paws” at first while you are learning how to trim your dog.  If having a perfect “do” for your dog is a necessity, a home haircut may not be the best option for you and your diva dog.

Dog's Perspective

Although some dogs love to go to the groomers, many would prefer to give it a miss. It’s noisy, smells funny, and other dogs can be intimidating.  A nice trim at home may be far preferable to your pooch; he is comfortable with you, can take a break if he gets tired, and there are no strange dogs to deal with.  If your dog would rather give the professional groomers a miss, maybe an at-home haircut is just the ticket. After all, your pup probably isn't very self-conscious about what he looks like if you don’t get his cut perfect the first time anyway!

Caution & Considerations

  • Use sharp clipper blades or scissors suitable for cutting dog hair.
  • Use guides combs on clippers to avoid nicks.
  • Use clipper coolant, not water, to cool clipper blades if necessary, and check frequently to ensure that blades do not overheat and burn your dog.
  • Always hold scissors parallel, never pointing at your dog.
  • Use rounded scissors when working on the face, or if your dog is liable to move around.
  • Use neck and haunches restraints if possible to hold your dog still while trimming. A grooming table or elevated surface that allows you to easily access your dog is ideal.
  • Take your time. Do not rush, as this can stress out your dog or cause injury.
  • Give your dog a break if he needs one and finish later,  your dog doesn't care what he looks like in the interim.


Trimming your dog at home can be a great way to save money and keep your dog from stressing at the groomers.  Plus, it can be a great bonding time for you and your dog if he enjoys you grooming him. It may take a little practice to get the desired results--don't be too picky at first, remember your dog probably doesn't care if he does not look perfect. Clippers or scissors used at home should be appropriate for the job and in good condition just like at a professional groomer's.  Good equipment is a must!  Give it a try you might just be sold on a new way to get your dog trimmed by doing it from home.

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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