Cutting a dog’s fur is necessary sometimes, especially if you have a dog that is prone to getting himself or herself into the water which can then cause their fur to matt. Some dogs have coats that are trim enough to the body that they don’t need cutting, but if you have a dog with a thick shaggy coat, regardless of whether it malts or not, it needs to be cut on a fairly regular basis. Dogs tend not to enjoy the experience of having their coat cut, but the more you do it, and the earlier on you do it in their lives, the better they will behave throughout the process.
Having it cut professionally can cost a fair amount of money, however, so some people look to cut their dog’s hair at home. They will certainly save a lot in groomers fees in doing so, but when first starting out, how do novices know how to cut a dog’s hair like a pro? And do they need all the gadgets and gizmos that a professional groomer has at their disposal?
In short, it is not necessary to buy all the accouterments that groomers have in their facilities to cut your dog’s hair. For instance, some groomers will have hairdryers or similar so these are not necessary at home where owners are, more often than not, happy for the dog to drip dry.
However, there are a few things to keep in your mind while you cut your dog’s hair – either for the first time or for the hundredth. It will make the process so much more pleasant for you both.
Things To Consider Before Cutting Your Dog’s Hair
- Little and often
Don’t immediately assume that because you have a good relationship with your dog that you can jump right in and give him or her a haircut with no problem. Even the most placid and well-behaved dogs will find it an odd experience at first, so build up to it and approach cutting their fur as a form of training. Remember to give them treats or rewards whenever they are behaving well throughout the process so that they associate having their hair cut with good things. Build up to longer sessions of cutting their fur in this way and, in the long run, you will find it easier.
- Brush them first
It’s a common mistake when cutting a dog’s fur, or even when simply giving them a wash in a basic grooming session to forget to brush them first. But yet, if owners remember this step, they will remove so much loose hair that makes cutting fur a great deal quicker and cleaner as loose fur is already dispensed with. It’s also a great way of identifying if your dog has any knots or mats and where they are. This way, when you cut your dog’s fur you won’t miss a patch.
- Forgetting body parts
It can be easy to forget to cut all around the body as well as the face. While some parts are trickier than others, try not to concentrate purely on the back, the stomach fur, chest or tail, simply because they are easier. The eyes are a body part that often needs to have the fur around them trimmed so that your dog can see properly at all times.
- Get the right tools for the job
Whilst it is true you definitely do not need all the equipment a groomer has, you will need some kit to help you do a good job. Sadly, your kitchen scissors are not suitable, nor particularly hygienic to use either. Instead, if you are using scissors, invest in a pair from a pet shop that you can turn to time and time again to perform a good job. If you are using dog grooming clippers, try to buy the best dog grooming clippers available or that you can afford. They’re the type of gadget that if you buy cheap, you sadly have to buy twice and your dog could end up with a patchy haircut.
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Top Tips For Using Dog Grooming Clippers
While you can use scissors for cutting your dog’s hair, we wouldn’t recommend it. They simply have too much fur to cover and they are too wriggly and prone to moving to attempt a haircut with scissors like you would with a human. Using dog grooming clippers is really the only way forward. They make what can be an onerous task that little bit easier.
Other than buying the best dog grooming clippers that you can, it’s best to follow these tips for cutting your dog’s hair.
- The quieter your clippers the better. Most dogs hate noisy items like hairdryers, and vacuum hoovers so clippers fall into that category too. So when out buying your clippers, keep an eye out for the quietest ones possible.
- Keep your clippers sharp. If your clippers are blunt, you are likely to pull your dog’s hair repeatedly making for a very uncomfortable grooming session for you both – even if you have a very patient dog. Plus, if they are sharp, they are quicker and easier to use in the hard to reach places like around a dog’s head and ears.
- Take it slowly. Not only will you miss spots if you go too fast with your clippers over your dog’s fur, you are also likely to leave unsightly lines on their coat.
- Work with your dog’s fur. All dogs have fur that grows in certain directions. However, most dogs also have fur that grows in different directions on different parts of their bodies. Bearing this in mind, make sure you go with clipping your dog’s hair in the same direction it grows. This will result in a natural looking coat that is shiny and smooth. It will be more comfortable for them too while you cut it.
- Cuddle your dog. As best you can, hold on to your dog in a way that they think you are cuddling them so that when you start shaving them they are not as scared or anxious as the noise can sometimes make them prone to be. Once you have them calm, start shaving your dog’s fur in an orderly manner, by starting at the neck and going down to the back leg. Do one side first, and then the other. This will result in a much more even finish.
- Get the blade right. Much like making sure your blade is sharp, making sure the blade is the right one you need for your dog’s fur is necessary too. Otherwise, you could make your job far more difficult or in the worst cases, give your dog a shocker of a haircut. Sometimes, depending on how long your dog’s hair naturally is and should be, and where it grows longer in parts, you may need more than one type of blade or comb.
- Don’t give them a buzz cut. All dogs need to have some layer of fur on their bodies as their skin is much thinner than ours so that even in the Summer they could get cold if they have been given too close a shave.
How To Cut A Dog’s Hair Like A Pro – The Bottom Line
While so much of owning a dog results in having one of the best and nicest relationships around, there are a number of tasks that dog owners have to perform to keep their dog healthy that is a bit of a chore. Sadly cutting your dog’s hair is one of those tasks, but it is necessary unfortunately too.
It helps keep your dog healthy by reducing any skin irritations that may occur from a coat that is matted and holding on to any nasties that sometimes are hidden by such long fur. Additionally, for some breeds who suffer from the unruly fur on their faces, it can really help them with their eyesight and keep their eyes in good shape too. Often, when a dog’s fur is too long around the eyes, it can constantly cause their eyes to water so that they spend much of their time without clarity of vision.
However, if carried out often enough, cutting your dog’s hair need not always be a totally laborious chore as both you and your dog get used to it. As the dog owner, you will get better at using the grooming clippers. Your dog will ultimately start to become happier at staying still while the clippers are out.
Plus, the results can be absolutely fantastic, so keep this in mind whenever you are struggling to give your dog a groomer’s standard haircut.
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