How to Trim a Dog's Fringe

Easy
5 - 10 Minutes
1 Month

Introduction

Mickey the Maltese has a problem: he can't see very well. Actually, there is nothing wrong with Mickey’s eyes, it's his hair that's the issue. 

Some dogs have a lot of hair on their head and face that grows down and covers their eyes. This is a dog's fringe, kind of like doggy bangs. When a dog's fringe is not trimmed it can grow so long and thick that it actually impairs your dog's vision. Another problem is that, for some breeds, show standards dictate that the hair on their head not be trimmed for showing. This can result in a dilemma when breed standard rules come into conflict with your dog’s well being. For most dog owners, trimming their dogs bangs or fringe is not an issue, if your dog can't see, or if long hair in the eyes or is getting yucky from eye discharge, trimming it is a no-brainer.

Dog's Perspective

If your dog's fringe needs trimming and it is interfering with his sight, your dog will be a pretty unhappy pup. A fringe that covers a dog's eyes not only interferes with his ability to navigate his world, it interferes with his ability to communicate with you and other dogs by making or averting eye contact. Trimming your dog's eye fringe will resolve this, but be sure to protect your dog's eyes from stray hairs, which can cause irritation, even infection, if they land in your dog's eyes. Also, you will need to work carefully, slowly and gently around your dog's eyes so he feels comfortable with you working in this sensitive area.

The Mushroom Cap Method

Effective
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Scissors
Pin Brush
Step
1
Brush
Brush your dog’s fringe back from his face to remove tangles and debris.
Step
2
Hold with hand
Hold your dog's fringe out from his eyes with the back of your hand in front of his eyes to protect him and a section of hair between your first and second fingers. Hold the hair up and out at a 45 degree angle.
Step
3
Trim small amount
Cut about 1/8 of an inch off length with your scissors on the other side of your fingers from your dog's face, to protect your dog from injury and shield his eyes.
Step
4
Check length
Check for length, continue to trim fringe in small increments until you reach desired length.
Step
5
Continue front to back
Take additional sections, working from the front to the back. The back sections should be longer than the front.
Recommend grooming method?

The Topknot Method

Effective
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Scissors
Pin Brush
Comb
Clipper
Step
1
Brush back hair
Comb all hair on the crown and head back from your dog's eyes.
Step
2
Trim around eyes
Lift hair between your dog's eyes with a fine tooth comb. Trim between your dog's eyes with rounded scissors on the other side of the comb to remove tear stained hair at the corner of the eye. Alternatively, use a #10 clipper blade.
Step
3
Make a topknot
Comb some hair forward over the eyes and make a topknot with remaining hair on the head to keep it out of the way. Use a soft covered elastic to secure the topknot.
Step
4
Trim brow
Using scissors, trim the hair that is left over the eyes to the desired length. using a comb or your hand to hold the hair out from your dogs face to prevent hair falling in eyes and to protect your dog. Trim a little at a time and shape the fringe to curve down the outside and blend with the rest of the dog's face hair. Trim the hair directly above the dogs eye very short to open up the eye.
Step
5
Trim topknot
Trim the top of the topknot to desired length while secured. You can cut it straight or give it a curvy shape.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Be very careful with scissors around your dog's eyes, hold fingers or comb between the scissors and your dog to protect him.
  • Make sure hair doesn't fall in your dog's eyes. Brush excess hair away after you are done.  
  • Take your time and do not rush when working around eyes.
  • Cut a little at a time, you can always cut more but you can't put it back!
  • Have an assistant help secure your dog if you think he is apt to move when you are cutting around his eyes.

Conclusion

Nobody wants bangs in their face. If it's annoying for you, it's annoying for your dog!  Most pet owners opt to carefully trim their dog's fringe, to open up the eyes and allow their dog to see well. Also, removing excess hair around the eye reduces discharge from the eye becoming stuck on hair, which is unsightly and unsanitary.  When trimming your dog's fringe, take precautions to protect his eyes and cut a little at a time until you achieve the desired results.

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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