If you have a dog of any breed, you need to make sure that your dog is properly groomed. You might have all of the recommended brushes, nail trimmers and other grooming supplies, but this doesn’t mean you know how to cut a dog’s hair with clippers.
Clipping your dog’s coat improperly can cause you to:
- Waste excess time
- Leave your dog’s hair uneven
If you’re going to take over the role of groomer, you need to be ready to use your dog clippers properly.
But before you even begin to start clipping, there are a few steps you need to take:
- Wash: You want to bathe your dog beforehand. The washing will help loosen the hair, remove dead hair and allow for a clean “canvas” to start clipping your pup.
- Brush: A good brushing is in order. The brushing process should start from head to tail and you’ll want to be especially cautious when brushing on sensitive areas or in regions that get matted hair or tangles. Brushing removes these clumps and tangles to allow you to use clippers on your dog without pulls, pain or anything else.
- Gather: You’ll need a few items to help make using your clippers easier. A few of the items that I recommend are: clippers, slicker brush and comb. This is all you need to start clipping your dog’s hair, but feel free to perform nail clippings while you’re at it, too.
Once you’ve taken all of these measures, you’ll be ready to start grooming your dog. This is the fun part, but there are a few things to remember before you start clipping the hair away.
- Slow: You need to trim your dog’s coat slowly. When you go too fast, you’ll find that lines are left behind. There’s also a higher risk of injury or causing discomfort to your pet if you brush too rapidly.
- Sharpen: Your clippers need to stay sharp if you don’t want to pull your dog’s hair. This may mean you’ll need replacement parts in the future, but if you want to extend the lifespan of your clipper, simply oil up the clipper. Proper maintenance will keep your clippers sharp and able to cut through any dog’s coat without snags or hair pulling along the way.
Dogs also have very sensitive hearing, and with sensitive ears and clippers, it can be a struggle to keep your dog calm. Some dogs do fine with the loud humming noise, but others will be under very high distress and discomfort because of the clippers.
What can you do in this case?
Well, if you haven’t purchased your clippers yet, try and find ones that make a low noise when in operation. The experience for everyone involved – you and your pup – will be much better when the clippers don’t make a loud, scary noise.
If your clippers were lower in sound and all of a sudden start making a lot of noise, clean the blades and add some oil to the blades.
How to Cut a Dog’s Hair with Clippers
As I’m sure you’ve noticed, there’s a lot that goes into clipping your dog’s hair properly. Once you know the basics, it will make the rest of the experience much easier. There are some things you can do to cut your dog’s hair properly at this point:
Proper Direction is Key
The proper direction when clipping ensures that the cut goes with the dog’s hair and provides a natural look. While you might not hurt your pup by clipping against the hair, this doesn’t mean that it will be your dog’s favorite experience.
You’ll also find that there will be a lot of lines when clipping in the wrong direction.
It’s as simple as brushing your hands along your dog’s coat and finding which way the dog’s hair grows. You want to clip your dog’s hair in the direction that it goes rather than clipping against the hair, which is what a lot of people tend to do.
Choose a Proper Blade
The right blade will mean a lot for your dog. First, the right blade will:
- Work for your dog’s coat – not all dogs have the same type of coat
- Create a different effect
- Provide a better overall trim for your dog
It might take a lot of trial and error to find the right blade, but it’s worth the effort. When in doubt, you can go to a professional groomer and start asking questions. The groomer doesn’t need to know that you want to start grooming your dog.
I would ask:
- What blade type is best for your dog
- What’s the best way to clip your dog’s hair
You’ll often find that there are snap-on combs that go over the blade. Experiment with these blades and see which one works best for you.
Pay Attention to the Clipper’s Heat
Clippers can and do get very hot, and this is amplified when you’re clipping a dog’s coat. The dog has a much thicker coat than a human has hair, and this means that there’s a much higher chance of the clippers overheating.
If the clippers get too hot, this can burn your dog.
- Spraying a cooling lubricant on the blades to keep heat to a minimum.
- Using another set of clippers when your main set gets too hot.
- Changing the blades to a higher quality blade that might not get too hot.
All you need to do is stop every few minutes and touch the blade to see if it gets too hot. A blade that’s too hot will need to cool down before being used on a dog.
You can choose to shut off the clippers and wait 10 minutes or so until the blades have had time to cool off. This is a great option that allows you to properly use your clippers on your dog and allow for a great cut without causing any pain.
If you’ve never used clippers on your dog before, make sure you really know what your dog is supposed to look like. You can search for images online or go to a groomer to see how they cut your dog’s coat and how it should look.
Once you start using clippers, you’ll find that it’s a lot easier to cut your own dog’s hair rather than bring your pup to an expensive groomer.