Do you spend lots of money on professional grooming? Or worse – just neglect grooming until the dog looks like a cotton ball? Why not give your pup a trim yourself? Grooming your own pets is cost-effective and helps your puppies look more attractive for customers. Learning how to use dog clippers doesn’t require a college degree and it’s nothing to be afraid of.
The cardinal rule in grooming is wash and brush first. Bathing and brushing your dog before you cut
reduces tangles and clumps of hair that make grooming difficult for you and painful for your dog. A thorough brushing will eliminate shed hair (no sense in cutting those).
You’ll need a clipper, comb, and slicker brush which can be purchased at your favorite pet supply store.
Do your research online or talk with a groomer about the types of tools are best suited for your needs. Keep in mind, stainless steel, although pricier, will last longer and provide one of the strongest, cleanest cuts out there.
Quieter is better. Loud noises are scary for some dogs, especially if they had a bad experience in the past.
Test different clippers and get the one that makes the least noise. Keep all outside distractions like people and other pets to a minimum while grooming.
Don’t yank. Keeping your clipper sharp will make it easy to slice through hair without painful pulling on the skin. Clipping around the head and ears will also be much easier with a sharp blade.
Take it slow and in the right direction. Don’t push the clipper too fast as this leaves lines in the fur.
Starting at the root of the hair and moving your clippers toward the tips makes a smooth, natural look. Watch for changes in hair direction as you work across the dog’s body. Learning to cut in the right direction can take some time.
Work with your dog. Hold him/her to avoid sudden movement. Start clipping at the neck and continue to
the back leg. Repeat on the other side. Professional groomers recommend cutting in an orderly fashion to
prevent skipping areas.
Know your breed’s style. Before you try grooming by yourself, you’ll benefit from one last visit to a
professional. Have them walk you through the process and show you the best way to clip the coat of your
specific breed. Pay attention to the length of hair in different areas of the dog’s body and what comb attachments are used on the clipper.
Stay tuned for the next article where we’ll talk about different coat types, choosing the right blade, preserving blade life, and top selections in clippers and shears.