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How to give your dog a haircut at home

give your dog a haircut at home

This has been a strange year for all of us. Most of us have struggled to get out to have our own hair cut, let alone our furry friends’. 

Whether you’re looking to cut your dog’s hair at home regularly or if it’s just a one-off whilst the doggy salon is closed, it’s important to get things right (for your dog’s sake). 

We understand that the idea of cutting your dog’s hair can sound really scary, that’s why we’ve put together this article. We want to give you all the information you need to give your dog a fresh trim… safely. 

Let’s dive straight into it…

The preparation 

Step 1 – Work out what kind of coat your dog has 

There are 5 main types of dog coats: 

  1. Wirey coats
  2. Short coats 
  3. Double coats 
  4. Long coats 
  5. Curly coats 

Not sure what coat your dog has? Check out this guide

Short coated dogs do not need to be groomed. 

Double coated dogs only need to be brushed when they are shedding. 

Wirey, long-haired, and curly-haired dogs will need regular grooming.  

Step 2 – Collect your tools 

The next step is to collect everything you need in advance. You don’t want to have to stop halfway through to look for something and cause your dog even more stress. 

We recommend having the following items to hand. 

If you need any advice when picking out the perfect grooming tools, check out the grooming section of Welovedoodles.com! We picked up one of the grooming tools they recommended. It was a game-changer. 

Buy Dog Grooming Kit on Amazon

Step 3 – wash and dry your dog 

We recommend washing and drying your dog before giving them a trim. This is the best way to avoid accidentally cutting out clumps of hair. It will also give you a better opportunity to examine the state of your dogs’ coat before you get the clippers out. 

If your dog is not used to hairdryers, it is probably best to towel dry them to avoid the distress. 

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Wash your dog

The Hair Cut 

Before we start remember that this may not be a fun experience for your dog. Many dogs won’t be used to home grooming and may find it very distressing. There are a few things you can do to help relax them: 

  1. Speak in soft, slow tones 
  2. Have a safe space prepared for them to retreat into afterward  
  3. Give them a top reward* treat afterward 

*This should be a treat they don’t have very often, read more about high reward treats here

Step 1 – Brush out the tangles 

To make the process as painless as possible for your dog slowly brush any tangles out of their coat. With wirey dogs, you may want to use a detangling spray

READ NEXT:  What Should I Do With My Dog's Poop? We Asked The Experts
brush out the tangles
Brush out the tangles

Step 2 – Wirey dogs only 

With wirey dogs before you turn on the clippers, you are going to want to use a pair of scissors to trim off tangles at the ends of their coats. 

Step 3 – Shart shaving 

This will look slightly different depending on your dog’s coat type. 

In general, you should always begin shaving at the back of the neck. Move from their shoulder blades to the base of their tail. Then moving in the same direction trim their sides, and then bellies. 

Now, starting at their shoulders or hips move down their legs. If you have a smaller dog you may want to do this manually with a pair of scissors. At this point you should leave their paws, we will come back to that later. 

shaving your dog at home
Shaving your dog at home

Step 4 – Curly and long haired dogs only 

If you have a curly haired dog who hasn’t had a trim in a while this one will be obvious. You will need to very carefully trim the hair around their face using a small pair of scissors. It is best to have a second person holding the dog’s face if possible. 

If your dog does not want to let you trim their eyebrows, mustache, or beard then you should trim what you can do safely and leave the rest for a professional groomer to do. 

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Step 5 – Trim and adjust the fur between their toes

The best way to do this is to pull the fur up between their toes (so the fur is sticking out above the top of their foot). From here you can trim them with a pair of scissors would worrying about damaging their footpads.  

give your dog a haircut at home - trim fur on dogs toes
Trim the fur on their toes