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How to Trim Dog Hair at Home 101


home grooming man-combing-dog's-hair

Learning how to trim dog hair at home can be great for you and your pet.

I have written many How-to posts, but helping people learn more about how to trim dog hair at home and similar topics are great.

Why put yourself through the process of hair trimming yourself if you can simply bring them to a professional?

To start with, if your dog has long and/or curly fur then you will be broke very, very soon. Even if your dog sports short fur, regular visits to the dog groomer can become a pain in your wallet.

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Furthermore, alone in the US, there are hundreds of dog abuse cases that go unreported.

Poor handiwork, intentional cutting, using the wrong method to groom the dog- you name it.

Since no good pet parents would ever want their furry babies to go through something like that, I have made it my goal to inform you about the correct way to take care of your dog.

Obviously, I do not intend to demonize dog grooming salons and every dog owner should choose on their own what they see best fit for their beloved pet.

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Learning how to trim do hair at home can be very useful

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Comfort and Trust

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First of all, you need to make sure your dog trust you 100%. I am sure they already do as only great pet owners constantly want to improve themselves to help make their best friends lives easier.

Start by showing them the tools.

Let them sniff comb and scissors. Then turn on your automatic trimmer next to them so that they can get used to the sound. Generally, this should not take longer than a minute or two, your dogs should only get an idea.

Now, switch on some relaxing music for both of you. This doesn’t have to be Mozart or Beethoven. It is whatever you two like, as long as your dog can associate it with positive feelings.

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Getting your dog used to grooming tools

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Put the new object somewhere on the ground. lay a few of their favourite treats on and around it. Repeat this process a few times, encouraging your dog to explore the new tool at their own pace.

Start by using the comb to gently groom them. Praise them and pet them while doing so. Then you should try grooming their bellies a little bit. This should not take more than maybe 10 minutes.

Finally, at the end of it give them a high-quality treat.


Furthermore, you can repeat this process while “leveling up”. One day the comb, the next day the scissors ( in a protective case, of course) and then the trimmer.

Following a step-by-step process in crucial in learning how to trim dog hair at home.

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Break down tasks into smaller ones

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Firstly, divide your dog grooming at home sessions into two portions.

One is for bathing and possibly combing the first time. The second time should be a little while later after you have distracted your dog with another activity.

Similar to small children, dogs have a limited attention span. Even I would get bored of 2 hours back to back hair styling.

Then it is time for the second round of grooming. This is why it is important that your dog has “recharged” enough to be able to for their second round of grooming.

Please remember that it is super important to be patient with them. Even if they literally start whining calm them down, give them a big hug and talk in a gentle and loving voice to them.

Just make sure that they don’t get muddy again before the grooming process.

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Bath time!

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Dog grooming at home bath time

Remember how I just mention positive feelings? yea, this is going to be especially important now.

Some dogs love baths, some…not so much.

Baths are an important part of dog grooming at home.

Also, make sure to bathe your dog in the morning/noon but not later than that so that they have enough time to dry before getting a new dog haircut.

Last but not least, use non-fragrance shampoos without many artificial ingredients. This prevents your dogs’ nose from becoming irritated and can help keep them calm.

If you are looking for a more in-depth article on how to bathe your dog, read this.

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You can’t cut dog hair without washing a dog first.

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Additionally, make sure the water isn’t too hot or too cold for your dog.

You will want to go for a nice lukewarm temperature. Also, make sure not to get any shampoo or other products in their eyes.

Last but not least, when drying your dog you can use a blow dryer.

However, make sure to have it on the lowest setting of wind and heat possible and to stay faaaar away from their sensitive ears. The best way would be to simply let them dry naturally in the sun or cuddle them with a warm and fluffy towel.

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Hair cuts

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long haired dog breeds

Does my dog need a haircut?

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As mentioned above, especially dogs with long and/or curly hair are subject to this. If you are the lucky owner of one of those, or your dog just generally loves rolling around in the mud or otherwise getting themselves dirty, then yes, very much so.

Without regular haircuts, your dog will have matted fur which would be annoying for both of you. Not to mention, if various bugs and other not/so/nice/things could get stuck in them.

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DO NOT cut your dogs hair like this:

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  • Never trim the head or tail. Those two places are some of the most sensitive places on their bodies. If you want to get rid of nasty knots or need to downsize their fluffiness a bit, use scissors and a comb. Using a trimmer could seriously hurt your dog, and we don’t want that to happen.
  • Never yell at your dog or turn it into a negative experience for them. For your dog getting a haircut can be seriously stressful at first. Even though it can be maddening sometimes when they run around the house dripping wet or keeping shifting around, please don’t lose your patience. I know you can do this!
  • Don’t cut unwashed dog hair. Bathe them early on in the day so that they have enough time to dry. This allows you to cut dog hair way easier and safer.

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Always go WITH the direction of the hair growth

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Similar to us humans, dogs should get their hair trimmed with the direction of their hair growth. This prevents ingrown hair, irritations and cutting your dog.

…. Use comb and scissors

Use comb and scissors

First of all, if you want to trim the area around their eyes, ears or other sensitive parts (including wounds or cuts) simply opt for the old-fashioned style.

Please only start using these tools after you have generally tried to get the knots out before. Usually, bathing them with a good quality shampoo and combing their hair thoroughly should do the trick.

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Thoughts

I hope this article was useful to you. Learning how to trim dog hair at home can seriously save you some coin as well as strengthen the bond you have with your dog. If you would like a detailed manual on how to bathe your dog. Read you next time!

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