How to Trim Puppy Fur

Medium
15 - 30 Minutes
2 Weeks

Introduction

Before you set out to trim your pup's fur for the first time, you must be sure that his coat is actually ready to be cut. If you cut his coat too soon, you are cutting it before his primary hairs have had a chance to grow in. Puppies like Jimmy are born with short, fluffy hair, but by the time they reach six to eight months old, their adult coat should have grown in. If you trim his hair too soon, this could have a negative impact on how well his permanent coat develops. Beyond that, trimming around his eyes and muzzle may be necessary, but don't be in a rush to trim his body hair. 

Keeping a puppy's fur trim can help keep him clean, but only if the trimming is necessary. Consulting a veterinarian or a professional groomer on whether or not you are able to trim Jimmy's fur is a good first step. 

Dog's Perspective

Jimmy is far too young to really care if his coat is perfectly trimmed. His only real interests are food, fun, and going potty. Once his adult coat has grown in and is ready to groom, the process is very similar to the one you would use for adult dogs. The biggest difference is that Jimmy is going to be wound up like an eight-day clock. The methods used are very similar to those you would use for any excited dog. 

The Clippers Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Shampoo
Scissors
Step
1
Burn out the energy
Start by taking Jimmy out for a walk. Make it long enough to tire him out without exhausting him. Give him enough time to go potty and burn off a bunch of his puppy energy. This will make everything else much easier for both of you.
Step
2
Into the tub
Time to give Jimmy a nice, warm bath. Using a vet-approved shampoo, scrub Jimmy all over. Make sure you get everywhere, including his paws. Use a washcloth to wash his face and cotton swabs to clean his ears. Rinse thoroughly to remove all traces of the shampoo.
Step
3
Get used to the noise
Turn on the clippers and give Jimmy a couple of minutes to get used to the sight and sound of them running. Using the appropriate length guide and starting at the top of his head, work your way down his neck and shoulders. Trim up under his chin and up under his ears.
Step
4
Trim the legs
Using the clippers, trim from the paw up on each leg. Then trim his back and sides following the direction in which his hair grows. Trim around his tail and his rump. Have him lay down so you can trim his belly and the insides of his legs.
Step
5
Trim the face
Using shears, trim around Jimmy's eyes, ears, nostrils, and chin. In time, you may feel good enough to do this with the clippers, but at first, shears are a much safer choice. Finish up by going over his coat with a boar hair brush to spread his natural oils and make him look his best.
Recommend grooming method?

The Shears Not Tears Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Shampoo
Scissors
Step
1
Run the bath first
Start by placing a rubber safety mat on the bottom of the tub and fill it with a couple of inches of warm water. It should come up to Jimmy's knees, give or take a little bit. Plop Jimmy in the tub and using a detachable shower head or pitcher, soak him down. Using vet-approved shampoo, give him a thorough scrub down. Rinse thoroughly to remove all traces of the shampoo and let him air dry.
Step
2
Decide on a finished look
Some breeds have very specific styles while others can be trimmed to match any style you have in mind. Decide how you are going to trim Jimmy's fur before you get started.
Step
3
Pick up the shears
Pick up the shears and let Jimmy get used to seeing them in your hands and the sounds they make when you open and close them. Then trim around his eyes, ears, nose, and chin. Use a finger to hold his eyes closed and as a straight-line guide when trimming over the top of his eyes.
Step
4
Going down
Using a comb and the shears, lift his hair by pushing against the direction it is growing with a comb. You can also use the comb to set the finished length of his coat. Trim down his neck, chest, back, and sides. When doing his sides, it is better to start from the bottom and work your way up. When you get to Jimmy's rear end, carefully trim the hair around the area to help keep it cleaner and then trim the rest of the hair around his rump.
Step
5
Get the underside
Have Jimmy lay down and then place him on his back. This will let you trim his belly, the rest of his chest, his legs, and his paws. Make sure you trim the hair between his paw pads and toes. Have him stand up and brush him down with a boar hair brush. Give him a treat and plenty of love.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Be sure to use products like shampoos, conditioners, detanglers, and soaps that are made for use on dogs and vet-approved. 
  • You should never use products made for use on other animal species such as cats or humans as they can contain ingredients that are known to be toxic to dogs.
  • Be sure the clipper blades are sharp and you are using the right guide in order to avoid any mistakes.
  • Be sure you keep the clipper blades well lubricated to avoid a buildup of heat that can burn Jimmy's skin.
  • Be sure the shears you plan to use have a sharp blade. Dull blades tend to snag and rip hair out rather than cutting it.
  • If Jimmy won't sit still for trimming, you may need the help of an assistant to hold him still until he gets used to being trimmed. You can also consider using a collar and leash to have a decent hold on him throughout.
  • Take your time and make it fun for both of you and in time, Jimmy will come to look forward to being trimmed. Feel free to use treats or toys to keep him distracted and occupied. 

Conclusion

The hardest part of trimming puppy fur is working with a pup who can't or won't stop wiggling. Plenty of exercise and a nice, warm bath are good ways to relax Jimmy and put him in the mood to be groomed. If he doesn't, you may need the help of an assistant until he gets used to being trimmed. Never be afraid to use treats to get Jimmy to behave while you are working. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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