Professional grooming salons are lifesavers for people who don’t like the time-consuming task of grooming their pets. However, grooming sessions can and will cost a lot. An excellent way to reduce that expense considerably is learning how to cut dog hair.
Now, cutting dog hair at home isn’t something that you should attempt unless you’re fully committed to spending time on it. It will take time and patience to learn how to do it safely and efficiently like the professional groomers.
If you get impatient and stop halfway through, your dog might never want to get his hair cut ever again. You should know that some breeds have coats that need a lot of attention, such as breeds like Poodle, Bichon Frise, Afghan Hound, and Komondor.
They need frequent and careful haircuts, and adopting one of these breeds means you’ll have to rely on professional groomers. While giving your dog a thorough haircut by yourself at home is generally discouraged, you can certainly give them a trim to prolong the time between visits to the groomer.
This is an excellent way to ensure that your dog is well-cared for and your wallet doesn’t run too dry. In this blog post, I will talk about the tools you’ll need for cutting dog hair, the careful way you should go about it, and the necessary steps. So, without further ado, let’s get started!
Table Of Contents
- Tools You’ll Need to Cut Dog’s Hair
- How to Cut a Dog’s Hair: Steps
- Tips for Grooming a Nervous Dog
Tools You’ll Need to Cut Dog’s Hair
Brush or Comb
Before you even start cutting your dog’s hair, it’s essential to brush the coat. Different dogs require different brushes, such as bristle brushes, wire pin brushes, slicker brushes, rakes and mat breakers, etc.
Bristle brushes come in a range of varieties. For example, they could have soft or firm bristles. The length of the bristles also tends to vary. Short and soft bristles are suitable for short-haired and fine-haired dog breeds. On the other hand, long and firm bristles are helpful for thick and coarse-haired dogs.
Medium to long-haired dog breeds can benefit more from wire pin brushes and slicker brushes. If your dog is suffering from tangled or matted hair, rakes and mat breakers are helpful. For dogs that shed excessively or just during the shedding seasons, de-shedding tools come in handy.
These brushes are generally used for any dog. Other sorts needed are grooming combs (explicitly used for hair cutting), flea combs (to battle a flea infestation), curry brushes, or combs (for removing dirt and debris from the coat).
Professional-grade grooming scissors are your best bet if you’re thinking about trimming a dog’s hair at home. Keep the scissors sharp so that they do not snag or pull your dog’s hair while cutting. There are a few types of scissors that you might need for cutting a dog’s hair.
- Straight grooming scissors are for cutting big chunks of hair.
- Curved scissors are for rounding off layers of hair.
- Thinning shears make your dog’s coat look more natural.
- Rounded tip scissors are for trimming delicate areas such as ears and face.
Clippers and Trimmers
First, you need to understand that clippers and trimmers are similar but not the same. Clippers are for cutting longer body hair, often with the use of a guide comb. On the other hand, trimmers are for detailing, touch-ups, and cutting the hair around delicate areas.
For beginners, it might be better to employ clippers and trimmers to give a dog a haircut at home. Then, there’s less risk of accidentally giving your dog a cut or a scrape from the sharp scissors.
Treats may seem irrelevant, but they do wonders to make your dog warm up to the idea of grooming at home. There are some treats available to keep your dog occupied while you’re grooming him. Others keep him calm.
Moreover, after grooming is done without any unwanted incidents, you really should pamper your dog with some delicious treats. Then, your dog will look forward to haircuts.
Giving your dog a haircut would often include other activities, such as taking him out for a walk, brushing him, bathing him, drying him, etc. These activities need accessories such as a leash, other restraints, shampoo and conditioner, a bath towel, hairdryer, styptic powder in case of an injury, and many more. So make sure you’re equipped with these things before you proceed.
Acquaint Your Dog With the Tools
As you can already tell, your dog might be uneasy around some of these tools. Get your dog acquainted with the scissors first. Keep them around your dog as you’re petting him and giving him treats. Touch them gently to your dog’s paws, tail, and mouth area.
The trimmers and clippers would make your dog even more uncomfortable since they make unfamiliar sounds and vibrations. Instead, turn the clipper/trimmer on and keep it to a side while your dog gets used to it, much like scissors. Then, please turn it off and touch it gently to various parts of his body.
How to Cut a Dog’s Hair: Steps
Get Your Dog Ready for the Haircut
Getting a haircut might not be a process that your dog enjoys. Some dogs might get very stressed during this activity. On the other hand, some dogs tend to be so hyper during a haircut that there’s a significant risk of them getting hurt.
The trick is to make sure your dog is relaxed and tired. For example, you could take them out for a walk and also play with them for some time to use up some of their nervous energy. This is even more necessary if you’re attempting to groom a highly energetic dog.
Bath and Brush
Bathing is also an activity that tends to tire out a lot of dogs. First, use a good pair of dog shampoo and conditioner for bathing your dog. Then, use a towel or a hairdryer to dry him. Sometimes, a bath isn’t needed, in which case you can directly proceed to brush your dog.
Brush out your dog’s dry hair to remove dead fur and any tangles or matted hair. Start from the top of your dog’s head and move towards the tail. Take care to brush the places where your dog is very sensitive, such as around the head and stomach. If you encounter heavy tangles or mats that you can’t get rid of, it might be best to let a professional handle them.
How to Cut Your Dog’s Hair With Clippers
Using a guide comb, you can clip the hair all over your dog’s body, following the direction of hair growth. You can start with the shoulders. Afterward, it would help if you clipped around the paws and tail. To cut hair on the face, you should use a trimmer.
- Start trimming from the top of your dog’s head and towards the back.
- While trimming the muzzle, start clipping from the top of his nose and then down towards the mouth.
- While trimming the underside of the muzzle, start from the chin and then go down towards the throat.
- As you’re trimming the ears, do not touch the trimmer to the skin. Instead, trim the hair on top. Practice extra caution while trimming the inside of the ears.
How to Cut Dog Hair With Scissors
After you’ve finished trimming your dog’s body with a clipper, your dog might not be inclined to let the clipper or trimmer anywhere near his face. You could try trimming the dog’s ears, face, and legs using scissors in cases like that.
For trimming delicate areas such as these, you should use a pair of round-tipped scissors. Then, by chance, if your dog makes a sudden movement, there’s less chance of an accident happening.
Tips for Grooming a Nervous Dog
First of all, even if your dog isn’t nervous, it’s always best to practice caution. Therefore, it would do you well to follow these tips while you’re giving your dog a haircut.
- Never rush and never try to give a haircut to a hyper dog. Instead, please wait for it to calm down.
- Use an elevated surface like a sturdy table to groom your dog. It’s even better to make sure the surface is non-slip.
- Use restraints while cutting your dog’s hair. You can ask a friend or family member to hold your dog while you’re clipping its hair. If that’s not possible, then use proper restraints.
- Before using a clipper or a trimmer, always make sure your dog is well acquainted with the machine.
- While you’re using scissors, always point the tip away from your dog.
- If your dog seems unsettled, stop the haircut and prioritize calming down your dog before you attempt to cut his hair again.
Also Read: How to Deshed a Dog – Learn More About It
After reading through all of that, you now know how to cut dog hair. Congratulations! However, let me remind you of the dangers. You could easily blind your dog or otherwise mutilate him with scissors or clippers if you aren’t mindful enough. So, what should you do? First, I suggest you carefully observe how a professional groomer cuts your dog’s hair.
Then, it would help if you asked them any questions you have and even ask them to walk you through the process. This will give you a good idea of how to go about things. Take the time to get yourself and your dog acquainted with the tools, and only attempt a haircut when your dog is relaxed, tired, and in a good mood.
It also pays to have someone else nearby for help. Now, if you’re thinking that going to a professional groomer and giving your dog a haircut at home both are cumbersome tasks, you could always opt for a dog that doesn’t need haircuts! A Bully, Pug, or Beagle would be ideal for you, in that case.