How to Trim a Dog's Hair with Clippers

Medium
15 - 30 Minutes
1 Month

Introduction

Have you been paying ridiculous amounts of money each month taking your pup to the groomer just to have his coat groomed? Or are you one of those people who will wait until your pup begins to look like a great big ball of fluff before doing anything about it? Well, you certainly aren't alone, as millions of people go through the same issue every day. What they may not want to know or learn to do, you can learn to use clippers to trim your pup's hair, keeping him looking his best and your money where it belongs, in the bank. 

Dog's Perspective

Very few dogs ever start out enjoying being groomed, especially when you are talking about using noisy electric clippers. Not only does grooming require them to sit still for what--to a dog--seems to be an eternity, but it also requires your pup to put up with being bathed, brushed, combed, snipped and clipped. For many dogs, this can feel like too much, but with training, you can teach your pup to enjoy grooming time or at least tolerate it. 

The Read First Method

Effective
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Slicker Brush
Shampoo
Flea Comb
Dematter
Comb
Clipper
Step
1
Study time
Before you take clippers to your dog, take the time to read up on his breed so that you know what is considered to be the "right" hairstyle for your pup. While you may never compete with your pup, the guidelines are designed to provide the best match your pup's health, comfort, and lifestyle.
Step
2
Get used to it
Take the time to get used to your clippers, learn where the on/off switch is and how to hold it in the most comfortable way. You can also use this time to let your pup get used to the sight and sound of the clippers. Do this over several days until your pup does no more than give you a quick look when you turn them on before going about his business.
Step
3
Bath time
Time to give your pup a nice warm bath using veterinarian-approved shampoos and conditioners. Use your finger to try and remove any tangles if he as medium to long hair.
Step
4
Start at the top
Start at the top of his head and work your way slowly down to his shoulders, around his neck, under his muzzle, and finally down his chest. Working from his shoulders, run the clippers to his rear haunches. Trim his sides and belly, working your way all the way under him to his belly, making sure to meet in the middle.
Step
5
Finishing up in the rear
Trim his rear haunches and rear end, then back to the front to trim his legs. You can do the outside first and then gently lift each leg to trim the inside. Repeat this process for his rear legs and trim up his tail. The last thing you do is give his entire coat a good brushing and trim up any loose ends. Be sure to praise him and give him a treat when you are done.
Recommend grooming method?

The Multi-Pass Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Scissors
Dematter
Clipper
Step
1
Gather the tools
For this, you will need clippers, a blade assortment, guides, brushes, combs, and treats. Be sure to place everything readily at hand and that all of the blades are nice and sharp. The different guards are so that you can cut your pup's hair in several passes. This is much easier for your dog to deal with and far less likely to result in long hair becoming jammed the clippers, causing them to be painfully ripped out.
Step
2
The long pass
Start with a longer blade. The first pass should leave more hair on your pup than it takes off. Start at the top of his head, working your way down his neck, then do around his face and chest. Take on his front legs, then do his back, hindquarters, belly, and tail. Leave his legs until last, lifting each up gently to trim the insides.
Step
3
The short pass
Once you have completed the long pass, its time to put the shortest blade for the final cut. Take your time and go slow as you follow the same cutting sequence as before.
Step
4
Brush and check
Take a boar bristle slicker brush and go over his coat completely, checking for high spots that may have escaped the clippers. Trim as needed until you are satisfied with the final look.
Step
5
Trim regularly
Your pup will need to have his coat trimmed every month or two to keep him looking his best. Be ready with praise when you are done and maybe a few treats.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Keep all tools easily within reach.
  • Keep clipper and shear blades sharp.
  • Use the guides (guards) to keep the cut the same length with each pass.
  • Keep the clipper blades lubricated to reduce heat and increase efficiency. Wipe excess lubricant off the clippers to keep it from getting on your dog's coat.
  • If your pup's hair is really long you may need to make more than two passes using different guides until you reach the desired length.
  • Never scold your dog for being skittish, you may need to give him more time to get used to the clippers.
  • If the clipper blades get hot, change them out for cold ones to avoid injuring your pup.
  • Never use water to cool the clipper blades, this will ruin them.
  • Always give your pup time to get used to the clippers until he finally reaches a point at which he is no longer bothered by them. 

Conclusion

Using clippers for the first time can be a little scary. The best thing you can do is get used to them yourself before you expect your dog to accept your grooming efforts. By taking time to get used to them and then giving your pup time to get used to them as well, both of you will have a much better time when it's time to trim his coat. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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