How to Groom Dogs with Clippers? (Expert Guide)
Is your dog's coat curly, wavy, wiry, silky, or long? If it falls into any of these categories, there is a likelihood that your dog will need regular hair clippings. Even if your dog's coat isn't excessively long, there can be benefits to getting a haircut that goes beyond just looks. And for this, you must know how to groom a dog with clippers.
While it is generally advised to entrust the task of clipping your dog's fur to professional groomers, there might be situations that prompt you to undertake the task on your own.
Fortunately, with proper guidance and the appropriate tools, it is feasible to groom your dog using clippers in the comfort of your home. Below is a step-by-step guide to grooming your dog with clippers.
7 Steps to Groom Your Dogs with Clippers
Step 1: Begin by giving your dog a thorough bath and ensuring they are completely dry. Clipping a clean and dry coat yields better results and is easier on your grooming tools.
Step 2: Carefully brush your dog's fur, making sure every strand can be combed through. With this preparation done, you can proceed to use your clippers along with the appropriate guide comb.
However, if your pet's fur is severely tangled or matted and cannot be brushed out, it is recommended to have a professional groomer address this issue.
Afterward, establish a regular home grooming routine to prevent tangles. Attempting to clip a matted coat can be risky and is better left to experienced individuals to avoid harming your dog.
Step 3: Select a secure and comfortable place to work on your pet. Keep in mind that dogs move around, and grooming tools are sharp. Ensuring your pet remains as still as possible during the process is essential.
If you are working on an elevated surface, ensure your dog can't jump off and get hurt. Never leave your pet unattended. Using a bathing tether or grooming table can aid in maintaining control and safety.
Step 4: Start at the top of your dog's head and work down to its neck and shoulders. Progress slowly, as the sound of the clippers may startle them initially.
This will allow your dog to adjust to the noise and sensation of the clippers. Continue clipping around the ears, throat, chin, and chest.
Step 5: Proceed to one of your dog's front legs. Gently lift the leg to trim the fur, being cautious due to the thin skin in this area. Don't forget to clip the hair on their paws and take care around the dew claw to avoid cutting into it.
Step 6: Continue clipping the back, sides, and chest of your dog. Lift their front paws to reach under their armpits and belly. Pay attention to the skin's thinness as you work toward the belly.
Step 7: Clipping the exterior of your dog's rear legs and rear end is straightforward. For the inside of their legs, gently lift the appropriate leg to reach the area. Always handle your dog's legs gently and avoid causing any discomfort.
Ensure your dog is not placed in awkward positions that could lead to injury. If needed, trim about an inch of their tail to complete the grooming process.
Important Safety Considerations and Cautions
1. Before you begin the initial clipping, take a few moments to understand your dog's breed and the appropriate grooming methods. While many dogs are fine with electric clippers, certain breeds should only be trimmed using scissors. Some breeds might face hair growth issues post-clipping, and for them, a de-shedding tool might be more suitable.
2. The frequency of clipping your dog's coat depends on factors like their breed, the season, and your desired hair length.
3. Selecting and maintaining your tools is crucial. A high-quality, quieter clipper significantly facilitates the grooming process. Investing in reliable equipment is worthwhile, as attempting to cut corners can result in noisy clippers that might frighten your dog and complicate grooming.
4. Opt for clippers that offer various detachable blades, enabling you to switch blades for different cutting styles. Use lubricant generously to prevent the blades from overheating and avoid the risk of burning your dog's skin.
5. Starting to use clippers on your dog early on helps them become accustomed to the experience, making subsequent grooming sessions easier.
6. If your dog becomes restless during grooming, take a break, and let them go outside to relieve themselves. Reward them with a treat before resuming the grooming session. Start slowly and finish gradually, ensuring a smooth trimming process each time.
How Often You Should Trim Your Dog’s Hair?
Not all dogs require regular trims, but for those that do, a recommended interval is every four to eight weeks.
Breeds with long hair, such as Poodles, Shih Tzus, and Lhasa Apsos, and sporting breeds like Spaniels, often necessitate frequent haircuts. Employing clippers to give them haircuts maintains their appearance and minimizes the risk of their lengthy hair tangling.
However, it is important to be aware that dogs with thick, double coats like Pomeranians, Huskies, Chows, and similar breeds should generally avoid having their hair clipped.
Clipping these breeds' hair, especially too short, can disrupt their natural hair growth patterns and lead to "post-clipping alopecia," which can cause unusual hair regrowth.