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How to Cut Dog Hair at Home – How to Use Dog Clippers

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For many pet owners, with long-haired breeds, clipping dog hair is an ongoing, important part of the grooming process. Cutting your dog’s hair is definitely not an easy task, if you decide to do it yourself.

Learning how to groom a dog at home would definitely involve managing the right kind of clipping for your particular dog breed.

This article provides, tips, steps, tool suggestions and a video that shows you how to groom a dog with clippers. It covers the clipping basics on how to groom your dog at home.

As a dog owner you must keep in mind that not all dogs are alike, including those of the same breed.

A Guide on How to Cut Dog Hair at Home

Usually, the dog breeds with double coats such as Siberian Huskies and Samoyeds are not trimmed. But, as you would be aware, Poodles, Cockapoos, Maltese and Shih Tzus, to name a few, belong to the group of breeds that are frequently clipped. At the bottom of this article, you can find links to some breed-specific haircut guides.

But, here is a simple, generic guide on how to cut dog hair at home.

Steps for Clipping a Dog at Home

It is generally recommended that dog owners enlist the services of a professional pet groomer for the purposes of clipping dog hair. However, if you choose to do it by yourself at home there are certain steps that you can follow while you are learning how to cut dogs hair.

How to Give a Dog a Haircut

  1. First you need to have all the necessary grooming tools ready.  These include:
  2. Next comes getting your dog nice and clean.
    This involves a good wash in the dog tub followed by drying and brushing/combing. Dirty and entangled fur is difficult to clip and will be uncomfortable for the dog.
  3. Secure Your Dog
    As you progress, the dog may become impatient and start to wriggle. This is where a grooming restraint comes in handy. Or, alternatively, the dog can be secured on his leash to prevent too much movement and of course, most of all, to prevent his escaping!!
  4. Start Clipping
    It is very important to start with the delicate areas before moving to the rest of the body. A good place to start is the head. When trimming the head area, you should hold the dog between your free hand and your body to keep him still.
    The trimming hand should be free enough to cut the hair effectively. Remember to keep the clipper away from the dog’s eyes.
  5. Clip Sensitive Areas
    Then clip the other sensitive areas like the groin, anus and belly.
  6. Clip the Body
    Finally, clip the rest of the body starting from behind the head down the dog’s back finishing off with the sides.
how to properly use a dog clipper to give your dog a haircut

View the video above to see an excellent demonstration of how to cut a dogs hair with ease. It shows you how to use dog clippers, comfortably for both you and your dog.

Grooming With Clippers

There are many makes and models of clippers available on the market and your choice should depend on your dog breed.

Popular Dog Grooming Clippers (affiliate link)

There are blades of variable depths to cater for different fur lengths.

When grooming your dog with a clipper the most important thing is to be steady and flexible. Do not force the blade through the dog’s coat as this can ruin the fur or injure the animal.

You should clip following the direction that the coat is growing and of course, the shape of the dog.

It is advisable to clip in sweeping lines unless trimming the head area. To achieve a smooth even finish, comb the dog’s coat lightly then re-clip.

Grooming With Scissors

The 3 main types of grooming scissors are:

  • straight
  • curved and
  • thinning scissors

A small scissor should be used for clipping the dog’s delicate areas.

Ideally, you should use scissors if your dog has particularly long fur or if you are considerably skilled at dog grooming. The proper handling of scissors is important to avoid injuries.

When using scissors, you should not cut in straight lines and care must be taken when cutting near sensitive areas.

Clipping at Home vs Going to the Groomer

Although it is generally recommended that clipping be done by a licensed pet groomer, there are upsides and downsides to either choice.

Pet groomers are better trained and will achieve a better finish but at a cost to you.

Clipping at home, while much cheaper, may not provide a pristine finish to the dog’s coat.

One of the biggest injustices you can do to your dog is clipping him too often. But how often depends on the breed of dog. If you are concerned about this then you can take your dog to a grooming salon for his first cut and ask the groomer’s advice.

Dog Haircuts and Dog Hairstyles

When it comes to different types of dog haircuts, this comes down to the owner’s choice, the breed of dog and whether or not the dog cut is for show. For example you can lean more about breed hairstyles here:


2 thoughts on “How to Cut Dog Hair at Home – How to Use Dog Clippers”

  1. That’s good to know that there are grooming restraints that can be used for dogs that struggle. I have an old Jack Russel Terrier who can’t hold still when we try to groom him. I’ll have to do some more research to see if a grooming restraint is the right option for my dog. Thank you for the info!

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