Wahl is one of the most popular brands in the dog clipper market, and it’s easy to see why. The company has been in business since 1919, and Wahl clippers are still used in thousands of (human) salons across the world.
Wahl has since expanded into the pet grooming market, and the brand’s at-home clippers are surprisingly easy to use.
If you’re new to grooming your pup and just bought a new set of Wahl clippers, here’s how to use this grooming tool on your pup’s coat.
If your dog has a silky, wiry, wavy, curly or long coat, he can probably benefit from routine trims. When we say trims or clippings, we don’t mean shaving. Unless your dog has a single coat, shaving is not a good idea.
Instead, you want to trim your pup’s coat to make it more manageable and to help prevent matting.
Before you start clipping, there are a few supplies that you’ll need to gather:
- Brush: Slicker, pin, bristle, finishing or de-matting (or a combination of brushes)
- Pet trimmer
- Pet clipper
There’s a difference between a clipper and a trimmer. Wahl offers both. Trimmers are smaller and designed for detail work and touch-ups. Clippers are larger, and they’re designed to cut your dog’s body hair.
Once you have all of your supplies, you can prepare your pup for his trimming.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Cutting Your Dog’s Hair
1. Go for a Walk
Yes, you read that right. Before you get down to business, take your dog for a walk to burn off excess energy and de-stress a little.
Once you return from your walk, take a few minutes to pet your pup. This will calm him down even more and help him relax.
2. Brush Your Dog
Next, give your dog a good brushing to remove any loose or dead hair that may be hiding in his coat. Brushing and combing will also remove tangles, mats and knots that would otherwise get caught in the clippers.
3. Start Clipping
With your dog’s specific breed, coat and size in mind, begin trimming excess fur from your pup’s body.
Make sure that you choose the appropriate clipper comb guide to achieve the length you want.
Begin at your dog’s shoulders, and work your way down from there. Make sure that you leave at least half-an-inch of fur to protect your dog’s undercoat (if he has one).
4. Detail Work
Once you’ve trimmed your dog’s body fur, move on to detail work. This means clipping any excess fur around the paws and tail.
Inspect your dog’s entire coat and chest area, trimming as needed. Make sure that your dog’s coat is uniform and even in length.
Save the face and head for last, as this can be a challenging area to trim. Be extra-gentle and careful when clipping around the ears, nose, mouth and eyes.
When working around the face, you may need to switch clippers. Again, you want to choose the appropriate length comb guide for your dog’s face. Here are some tips for clipping around the face:
- Make sure the clipper is flat against the dog’s head and the blade spokes are rear-facing.
- Pull the clippers toward the back, pushing the fur away from the dog’s upper brow.
- To clip the muzzle, start at the bridge of the nose and pull down toward the mouth.
- If you clip between the eyes, place the guide comb flat against the forehead. The blade spokes should be facing the nose. Move toward the nose with the clippers, being extra gentle and careful. Stay clear of the eyes, as your dog will probably jerk his head around.
- Gently wrap your free hand around your pup’s muzzle, and point his nose toward the ceiling. Place the comb guide against the dog’s chin with the spokes facing toward the throat. Run the clippers down toward the throat and trim the underside of the muzzle.
- To trim the ears, hold the tip of the ear between your fingers so that only fur (no skin) is above your fingers. Trim the fur, and repeat all along the edges of the ear. If there’s excess hair on the inside of the ear, clip gently using a smaller trimmer.
4 Clipping Tips for New At-Home Groomers
1. Never Pull Your Dog’s Hair
It’s easy to pull your dog’s hair accidentally when clipping, which can cause your dog pain or make him scared of his grooming sessions.
Be gentle, and keep your clipper blades sharp to prevent pulling.
2. Choose a Quiet Model
The goal is to make your clipping sessions as positive and pleasant as possible. Choose a Wahl clipper with a quiet motor to help keep your pup calm. Most of the brand’s clippers are quiet, but you may want to do a sound test just to make sure.
3. Go Slowly and in the Right Direction
Work through your dog’s coat slowly and move in the right direction. There’s no need to rush through your grooming session, especially if your dog is calm and content. If you push the clipper through the coat too quickly, it will leave unsightly lines.
Also, make sure that you move the clippers in the right direction. Move with the growth of the hair to keep a natural look. Clipping against the growth will also cause lines.
4. Keep Your Clippers as Cool as Possible
Believe it or not, you can actually burn your dog with a pair of hot clippers. To avoid this, be sure to turn off the clippers regularly, and touch the blade to check the temperature.
If your clippers get too hot, try using a spray-on cooler, or swap the blade with a cooler one. If you can, remove the hot blade and put it on something metal, which will absorb the heat quickly.
Follow the steps and tips above to groom your dog using your Wahl clippers. Before you dive in and start grooming at home, consider booking one last appointment with your groomer and asking him or her to walk you through the steps of cutting your dog’s coat.