How to Trim a Dog's Muzzle

Easy
10 - 15 Minutes
1 Month

Introduction

While you might feel as though you have mastered the art of grooming your pup's coat, it can be a little different when it comes to trimming his muzzle. While grooming the rest of his body may be a little challenging, working around his face can be a bit more difficult, especially if he is nervous at all. The sooner you start training your dog to allow you to groom him, including is muzzle, the better. 

Trimming around his muzzle may be a bit challenging, but it needs to be done. The most important thing to remember is that your pup will pick up on your nervousness so be calm and patient with him and you both will do just fine. 

Dog's Perspective

The last thing your dog wants is hair getting in his nose, his eyes, or his mouth every time he eats or drinks. Imagine how you would feel if it was you. Of course, you know your pup is not going to be so happy with the idea of watching you with shears or clippers in your hand that close to his face. But, if you give him time to get used to the tools and being trimmed, it won't take long before trusts you. 

The Walk First Method

Effective
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Slicker Brush
Scissors
Clipper
Step
1
Go for a walk
Take your pup out for a nice long walk (about 30 to 45 minutes). This will help tire him out and help him to be more relaxed and calm. On top of this, it gives him a chance to go to the bathroom.
Step
2
Small room
Confine your pup to a small room in the house, one you plan to use during grooming sessions. The small room will also keep him from running off. Alternatively, you can use a second person to help hold your pup in place.
Step
3
The slicker brush
Using a slicker brush, go over your pup's coat from front to back in the direction his hair grows. This type of brush helps to separate and smooth out the hair.
Step
4
Set the depth
Place the guide of your choice on the clippers and turn them on. Place the clippers flat on his muzzle and gently work from the middle of his nose down the sides. The guide will keep the blades off his skin, but let you cut his hair close.
Step
5
Clear the chin
Lift your pup's head up so that you can access his muzzle and, starting from the tip of his chin, run the clippers back to his throat. Trim any loose hairs around his mouth or nose with a pair of safety-shears. Brush his nose and you are done.
Recommend grooming method?

The Straight Shears Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Scissors
Step
1
Start with the right shears
For this job, you will need a pair of sharp straight-edged thinning shears. Never use a pair of pointed shears as they may lead to injury.
Step
2
Brush his face
Using a slicker brush, gently brush the hair on top of his muzzle and the under his chin. This will remove any dirt or debris.
Step
3
Clean his jowls
Use the thinning shears to trim the hair back on his jowls first, taking the hair down to just above skin level.
Step
4
Across the bridge
Using the shears, trim the hair right back against the bridge of his nose. You can cut the hair as short here as you want.
Step
5
Around the nose
Be sure to trim any long hair around his nose to keep it from irritating his delicate nose. Finish up by brushing everything one more time and trimming back any long hairs you missed. Give him a treat and praise him for being a good boy.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • You may need to do this every 2 to 4 weeks depending on your dog's breed.
  • Never place the clipper blades directly on his skin as they could burn or cut his skin.
  • You may find using a grooming table for small to medium size dogs will make it easier for both of you.
  • Always use clippers or shears with sharp blades to avoid ripping the hair out of your pup's muzzle.
  • Pay close attention to your pup's eyes to ensure you don't hit them with the shears or clippers.
  • With most breeds, you will not need to trim the top of his muzzle, just the sides and his chin.
  • Take your time getting your pup used to the shears or clippers, this will make grooming his muzzle much easier. 

Conclusion

Long before you break out the shears or clippers, take a few minutes to research what the average dog in your dog's breed looks like. This will help you to cut your pup's hair and muzzle properly and not leave him with an embarrassing haircut he will not be happy with. Of course, in time the hair will grow out and your pup will forgive you. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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