How to Cut My Dog’s Hair at Home? The Guide You Will Need

how to cut my dog's hair
16 min read

Do you often find yourself googling ” how to cut my dog’s hair at home”? Well, after reading this guide, you might just become your dog’s personal hair stylist and hairdresser.

Today, we are going to teach you how to cut a dog’s hair. The days of spending a lot of money on professional dog grooming services are offically coming to an end. You’ll hit ywo birds with one stone becasue you’ll be able to get your dog groomed and save your money!

Get ready to bid your farewells to sitting in traffic, and spending so much money. Starting from today, you’ll be able to groom your dog with so much love and without any causing any inconvenience or even hurting your four-legged best friend.

By grooming them at home, you’ll also reduce the amount of stress that your dog experiences when they leave the house to go to their groomer.

How to cut my dog’s hair – Hair Types

First things first, recognize your dog’s hair type. Please note that it is absolutely crucial for you to analyze and understand the nature of your dog’s hair before you start grooming them.

But how can you identify what is the type of hair of your dog has? Don’t worry about that cause we’ve got your back! We’re going to give you some examples of what you should use according to the type of hair your dog has.

The four types of dog’s coat typer are:

  1. Wiry Coat
  2. Curly Coat
  3. Long Coat
  4. Short Coat

How to cut my dog’s hair – Wiry hair:

A dog with a wiry coat usually has a hair length that is four inches or more. Wiry coats are characterized by their thick nature. Often, the term wiry coat is used to refer to dogs who have large furry brows or a beard. Dogs who have wiry coats include the Schnauzer, the Fox Terrier, and the Drathaar.

When the hair of dogs who have a wiry coat grows, the older hair tends to dry out and gets trapped within the dog’s thick fur. That is why dogs with a wiry coat must get their hair brushed daily.

Note that some dogs who have a wiry coat usually have double hair layers. One of them is wiry hair, while the other hair layer is usually thinner, smoother, and even shiner.

Daily hair brushing isn’t the only aspect that is going to make up your wiry dog’s grooming regime. Your dog’s hair must be clipped with hair clippers to help keep their hair at the desired length and avoid the formation of hair mats.

The matting of the hair could be a painful thing, and it tends to leave your dog’s skin sensitive and sore. You could also use a stripping comb, which makes the hair grow to be healthier and stronger

A shower once every three or four weeks is ideal. Makes sure to use a shampoo that is free of any oil and softners. This means that using a conditioner isn’t acceptable as well.

 How to cut my dog’s hair- Curly hair:

A dog with a curly coat will need more frequent bathing than any other dog with a different coat type. That is because curly coats get dirty quicker, and thus the recommended bathing frequency is once every twenty days.

With curly coats, you can use a special, nourishing, moisturizing shampoo. This is because a dog’s curly hair is more prone to dryness. N.B: Try to protect your dog’s ear while you’re bathing them and make sure to dry their ears after they shower properly.

Stay away from using any conditioner that could mimize your dog’s hair volume. Of course,make sure they coat is thorougly dried after their baths.

Like wiry coats, curly coats should get brushed daily as well. We don’t want knots and form and mats to form. Like we mentone previously, mats are super annoying and painful to your dog.

When it comes to cutting a dog’s curly hair, you’ll need to use both scissors and clippers. Some dog breeds that have a curly coat are the Kerry Blue Terrier and the Poodles.

 How to cut my dog’s hair- Long hair:

Dogs with long hair are so easy to itendify. These dogs are reknonwned for their contionuous hair shedding. Dogs witl long hair include the Yorkshire Terrier,

Like both of the previously discussed hair types, long coats require daily brushing as well. Will you be surpised if I told you that this is a must to prevent the hair from getting tangled?

When the hair gets tangled, it becomes very painful for your dog and very hard for you to detangle it. The best option is to just cut the entire tangled bush off.

Dogs with long coats usually require to bathe once month. Please note that these personalized showering frequencies are important to maintain the health and shininess of dogs’ hairs.

You can use a shampoo with a softener, so conditioners are allowed with this hair type. This helps to reduce hair tangles and promotes a smoother and silkier coat appearance.

After showering them, dry your dog’s long coat with a hair dryer but be careful with how hot the air is. The hotter the air is, the more painful it is for your dog. Also, heat can damage your dog’s hair, so be careful why drying their lovely coats.

To trim your dog’s long hair, use scissors. Only trim your dog’s long hair with scissors after washing and most importantly, conditioning their hair.

Check our Which Dog Has Long Hair and Their Grooming Needs blog post for detailed grooming practices for three different dogs who have a long hair coat.

 How to cut my dog’s hair- Short hair:

Dogs with short coats usually have hair length that ranges between 0.4 to 0.6 inches. A dog’s short hair is mostly characterized by its smooth appearance. Dogs with short hair coats include the Pitbull, the Boxer, the Doberman, and the English Bulldog.

Short hair is the easiest type of dog fur to take care of and maintain. You’ll only have to bathe your dog every month and a half.

Unlike all of the other coat types, a dog with short hair only needs to get brushed once or twice a week and not daily. They’ll need extra attention though during the Spring and Fall when their hair molts.

In case you want to trim their hair, then use clippers and avoid using a conditioner while giving them a bath.

How to cut my dog’s hair- How to groom a dog at home

How to Cut My Dog's Hair

Grooming your dog’s hair at home might sound a bit intimidating at first. However, it is really not that hard to groom your dog. Always remember to do do a quick check up on your dog’s hair and skin and look for any signs of lice, ticks, allergies, or even wounds before you start trimming your dog’s hair.

We’ve already discussed how to take care of each hair coat earlier in this post, so follow this general guide to get understand what you’re going to do, then reread the section that talks about your dog’s hair coat to be able to implement the steps correctly and efficiently.

How to cut my dog’s hair- Set up a first date

Dogs are so curious because they have keen eyesight and a strong sense of smell. If you attempt cutting the hair surrounding their eyes, then they might be tempted to wiggle around out of curiosity and look at that new shiny object you’re using.

This could get them seriously hurt, so that is why you have to your dog on a date with the grooming utensils before using them on your dogs.

Allow your dog look at and sniff all the grooming equipments for a couple of seconds. Pick up the scissors, and start opening and closing them. By doing that, your dog is going to understand where the sound is coming from, and recognise that it is not something that he has to get scared of.

Do the same thing with the Clippers, but note that you should not use ones that produce loud noises.

How to Cut My Dog’s Hair- The steps

Now that you know your dog’s hair type, let go through the hair grooming steps.

How to Cut My Dog’s Hair- The Shower

  • It all starts with a shower, so go give your dog a nice bath. You never want to start clipping your dog’s dirty hair, cause that is definitely not sanitary at all.
  • Remember to check what sort of shampoo you’re supposed to use and if you’re allowed to use a conditioner or not before you take your dog to their bathing spot.
  • Pick up a clean towel, and start drying your dog. According to your dog’s hair type, either dry it up completely or simply just remove the excess water from their coat.

How to Cut My Dog’s Hair- Set up your grooming sation

  • Pick a table that has the perfect length so that you could stand and groom your dog on it comfortably. Make that table your dog’s grooming station and place on it all of the things that you might need. Once the table is ready, pick up your dog, and put them on the table.
  • After you place your dog on the table, reward them with some treats. Although your dog is now familiar with the grooming tools, they’re still probably going to move. Their movements aren’t out of fear or even curiosity; your dog is just moving because dogs are active creatures.
  • There are two solutions to that problem. The first one is to put your dog in their harness and hold them in place with a leash. If your dog is still not harness trained, then I highly recommend you read our Dog Training Harness: Ultimate Guide blog post.
  • If your dog isn’t harness trained, don’t worry. The second solution is for people like you. You’ll have to ask someone to help you by holding down your dog while you groom them.
  • Now, I realize that not everyone lives with roommates or a partner, but you can always ask a friend or a family member to come and help you. .

How to Cut My Dog’s Hair- Detangling and brushing the hair

Now that your dog is held in place, grab your dog’s brush and start untangling their hair. If you want to use a brush, then make sure that you’re using a brush that is suitable for your dog’s coat.

How to cut my dog's hair

How to cut my dog’s hair- Which brush should you use?

  1. If your dog has short hair, use brushes with rounded, polished tips. These brushes also a great choice for dogs who have sensitive skin.
  2. Pin brushes are great a great choice medium haired dogs.
  3. A slicker brush is great for dogs with long and/ or curly hair because they’re made of wire pins that are gentle.

How to Cut My Dog’s Hair- Trim with scissors

  • Now that your dog’s hair is completely tangle-free and brushed, it is time to pick up the scissors and start trimming while using a comb as a guide. Do it slowly and be patient with this process, and be careful while handling delicate areas like the face.
  • Two areas that must be trimmed first with scissors before using your dog’s hair clippers are your dog’s hind legs and their back.
  • Trimming the hair between your dog’s paws could be a bit tricky. You have to be careful while doing that because this is a very sensitive area. Pick up the scissors or safety shears and start trimming the hair that is between your dog’s paws.
How to cut my dog's hair
  • Leave the first half inch of hair growing out of the skin, and only trim what’s after that.
  • I will teach you a very simple trick that is going to help you. Press gently on the paw you want to work on before attempting to remove the hair between your dog’s claws.
  • Repeat the process until you finish trimming all of the hair that is between your dog’s paws and reward them with their favorite treats after each paw you finish.

How to Cut My Dog’s Hair- Use a dog’s hair clippers

  • It is now time to use your dog’s hair clippers. Turn on the grooming machine and start trimming your dog’s hair in the same direction at which hair grows. Don’t exert much pressure, just glide it gently across your dog’s body.
  • Continue working on your dog’s hind legs and their back using the hair clippers.
  • After you finish trimming each part of your dog’s body, reward them with some treats.
  • After you’re done trimming your dog’s hind legs and back, start trimming the hair on your dog’s neck, then move on to their chest, then their front legs.
  • Again, reward your dog with some treats so they view their grooming session in a positive light, and grow to move less during their hair trimming sessions.
  • Now, trim the hair that is on their belly. You can do so by making them stand up as you support them, or by making them lay down on their backs.

How to Cut My Dog’s Hair- Pick up the scissors again

  • After you finish all of that, all the only area that still needs some work is your dog’s face. You’ll revert back to using scissors as you work on your dog’s face. Avoid using the hair clippers because the face is a sensitive and a delicate area.
  • Ears are such a sensitive┬ábody part, so be cautious as you work on them. To trim the hair on your dog’s ear, hold their ear gently, and start brushing it downwards. Try to leave at least one inch of hair after your dog’s the actual ear ends, then trim the hair that is beyond that one inch.
  • Trimming the hair surrounding your dog’s eye is probably the hardest part, but you are capable of pulling it off. If your dog has a tendency of moving a lot, then secure hold their muzzle to make them sit still.
  • Get your dog’ sheath or scissors, and similarly to what we did while trimming your dog’s ears, you’re going to at least leave half an inch of the hair that is surrounding their eyes, and trim beneath that.
  • Do that to the hair surrounding your dog’s eyes. It is really important to trim that area because if the hair becomes too long, it could start poking your dog’s eye. This could potentially damage your dog’s beautiful eyes.

How to Cut My Dog’s Hair- Final touches

  • Finally but not least, grab the dryer and dry their hair while combing it. Try to use a hair dryer that is not so loud. However, if you can’t get your hands on one of those silent blowdryers, then you can use the one you have.
  • Just make sure that it is not set on the highest mode; the lower the mode, the less noise any hair blower is going to make.
  • Make sure you dry everything after you finish grooming your dog to prevent fungal growth.

How to cut my dog’s hair- Tips for cutting a dog’s hair

How to Cut My Dog's Hair: Hair trimmer

The grooming machines can get heated very easily, so do not leave them on all the time. Turn them off when you’re not using them, even if you are just pausing for a couple of seconds.

If the machinery heating up as long as it is still working isn’t your concern, then think about your dog. A heating grooming clippers could easily burn your four-legged best friend.

If your dog’s hair is fluffy or curly, then do not use the grooming machine when their hair is still wet. Wait until their hair is completely dry, else the hair is going to get entangled and even stuck within the grooming machine. This could be extremly painful for your dog, and they might even get hurt.

After washing and drying your dog, start the next stage of this grooming secssion with a scissor and a comb. Note that the type of comb that you should use depend on your dog’s hair coat type.

If your dog has very long hair, then use a comb with intermediate bristles. However, if your dog has thick, luscious hair, then just use your fingers to comb through your dog’s hair. A comb that has seperated, wide bristles will work as well

Be patient while grooming your dog and don’t be in a rush to finish the hair trimming session.

How to cut my dog’s hair- Should all dogs get their hair completly trimmed?

How to Cut My Dog's Hair: Scissors

During the warmer times of the year, we usually want to make our dogs more comfortable by giving them a good haircut that is going to help them survive the weather’s high temperatures.

However, this isn’t always a good thing to do. Your intent might come from a place of love, but this action might potentially harm them. It all depends on the characteristics of their skin and hair type.

Some dog breeds have long, voluminous hair, but still shouldn’t get their hair extremely trimmed. You know how long and heavier coats tend to keep dogs warm during the winter.

Well, it turns out that the same heavy coat that is supposed to protect dogs from the cold weather also plays a huge role in protecting the dogs’ skin from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. So the long hair is actually an essential thing that dogs need, especially if they’re white.

That’s why it is not recommended to give your dog a haircut in the summer if they belong to a certain breed. Make sure to research this before your dog’s nest grooming session.

If you’re worried about your dog getting a heatstroke, then read our How to Keep Dogs Cool During The Summer (5 Ways) blog post to learn more about how you can prevent heatsrokes without giving your dog a haircut.

If you want to learn more about cutting your dog’s hair with scissors, then check out How to Cut Dog Hair with Scissors Safely blog post.

That’s it for today’s post. You should now be able to groom your dog from home. If you have any questions related to how to cut your dog’s hair or need further help with determing your dog’s coat, then leave all of the in comments down below.

If you’ve already tried following this guide, feel free to share your experience with us. Was it scary at first, or were you able to groom your dog easily and swiftly?

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