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Do you have a dog breed that needs clipping every month or so? it is hard to beat that professional looking hairstyle when you pick up your pooch from the groomers. However, if you sit down to add up the cost, over a few months, not to mention years, you might be staggered to see the totaled figure.
And letting the hair grow a little longer between salon visits is not the answer. Neglected dog coats usually lead to matted hair which means that the time spent clipping ends up being longer than usual.
You have probably already tried a form of clipping at home and discovered that there is more to the art of clipping than at first expected.
So there is a good chance that you are among dog owners who ask questions such as:
Can i groom my own dog?
Can I do my own pet grooming at home?
Can you show me how to used dog clippers?
So, let’s take a look at how to go about using dog clippers so that you can tackle your own grooming at home.
How to Give Your Dog a Haircut with Clippers
First you need to make sure the dog’s hair is nice and clean and of course you want to have the right tools which we will discuss. Perhaps equally important is having the right amount of space to do the job without getting hair everywhere.
Cutting Your Dog’s Hair at Home – Steps
- Get your tools ready so that you don’t have to leave your dog mid-bath or mid-cut:
- Dog bath
- Hair Dryer
- Thinning shears
- Dog clippers
- Vacuum for cleaning up afterwards
- Bath your dog with an appropriate dog shampoo.
- Towel your dog dry or use a dog hair dryer.
- Brush or comb the hair to smooth it out so that it is free of mats or tangles.
- Find the right table in the right spot in your yard or laundry to get started on the clipping process.
- If your dog is nervous when going to the groomer, perhaps have a couple of distracting dog toys on hand or some of his favorite treats (bribing is a great strategy for a dog owner)
- Start clipping.
You can check out the videos below to watch groomers at work but in the meantime a handy procedure that you can follow would be:
- The Body
Clip from the back of the head down the dog’s back.
Clip in the direction of the coat, not against it.
Hold the dog steady (as shown in the video below) and in a way that stretches out the skin so that the clippers will more easily glide down the back and sides.
- Back Legs
There are certain spots on the legs that can be tricky to manage when you first start out, spots such as the knees or the tendon area between the leg and the body. The following video does a great job of showing you how to hold each leg, keeping the tail out of the way, so that you can glide through these otherwise problematic areas.
- The belly
This is best managed by lifting the front paws so that you dog is temporarily supporting himself on his hind legs while you glide through the belly hair with your clippers.
- Front Legs
Hold each leg taut in a forward motion. Be careful of the elbow area and the sensitive skin area adjoining the body.
Clip the leg hair from top down towards the toes
- Head, Ears and Chin
The 2nd video below demonstrates this very well.
- The Body
Dog Grooming at Home Video
If you have tried scissoring your Poodle or Cocker Spaniel or some other breed at home, you probably have given up DIY grooming because of the time that it takes and the mess that is left in the grooming area as well as all over your clothes.
Dog clippers are the way to go.
And here is a groomer at work showing you just how easy it can be once you follow a few time-honored tips.
By the way this video is not only useful for dog owners, I think it would be an exceptional help for newbie professional groomers, especially given that there are some invaluable customer-related tips throughout the video.
As you can see in the video, the groomer is using Wahl clippers and supporting the dog with a harness.
Furthermore you can see from the clippers above and from the video, snap on combs add real versatility and prove to be a huge time-saver.
This model comes with adjustable blade sizes: 9, 10, 15, 30 & 40
The following video demonstrates clipping the head area of a Shih Tzu and how to scissor around the eyes. Then the groomer goes on to trim the ears.
I particularly like that she shows how to hold the Shih Tzu’s head both for comfort and safety because around the eyes can be a tricky area to manage. You’ll see how the groomer shapes the ears in a nice curved fashion.
Here the groomer is using:
- Thinning shears
- A dog comb
- A slicker brush for finishing off
Clipper Guard Sizes
Snap on combs save so much time and allow you to clip to the required length such as 1/8 or an inch up to 1 inch.
The groomer in the first video mentions that he uses the 1/2 inch blade the most.
This pack provides 8 different sizes:
The Wahl snap on combs are very easy to work with, minimizing the clogging aspect of many other types of combs. And because this set comes in 8 different sizes you can manage a wide variety of breeds such as:
- Shih Tzu – could use a 1/2 inch blade
- Maltese – could use a 1/2 inch blade
- Cocker Spaniels
- Golden Retrievers
Dog Grooming Haircuts
The types of cuts that you might like to go for, if you have a variety of snap on comb sizes, might include:
Have fun with DIY grooming at home. You will find it provides a great opportunity to further bond with your pooch.