Man clipping his dog's hair at home with Wahl pet clippers.

How to Cut Your Dog's Hair

Does your dog have a curly, wavy, wiry, silky or long coat? If so, there’s a good chance he will require a regular routine of hair clipping. Even if your dog’s coat isn’t all that long, it still might be advantageous to have a haircut for far more than aesthetic reasons.

With many breeds, clipping and trimming lessens the chances of matting, tangles and the infestation of fleas and other pests, thus reducing the risk of skin infections. It can also help him stay clean and cooler during long, hot summers. Clipping your dog’s coat is easier than you might imagine. With the right clipper, trimmer and scissors, it is simple to give your dog a haircut, saving you money and outside trips. Wahl has all of the tools you’ll need.

What you need:

  • Pet Clipper
  • Brush or comb

Dog Hair Clipping Step-by-Step

  • 1

    Take your dog for a short walk to calm them down and burn off extra energy. Take a few minutes to pet your dog to make sure they are not overly stressed or scared. When your pup is calm, you can start brushing to prep the coat for clipping.

  • 2

    Thoroughly brush or comb your dog's coat to remove tangles and mats. Once the coat is tangle or mat-free and sleek, you can start clipping away hair.

  • 3

    Understand the product difference between a pet clipper and a pet trimmer.  Wahl dog clippers are larger tools designed to cut longer body hair. Wahl dog trimmers are more for detailing and touch-ups.

  • 4

    Consulting specific breed, size and coat type instructions, use clippers to trim excess fur off your dog’s body, choosing the appropriate clipper guide comb to achieve desired length. Start with the shoulders and progress towards the tail.

  • 5

    Clip as close to the body as desired, leaving at least a 1/2-inch or more in order to maintain enough protection from the elements.

    After the body, move on to clip hair around the paws and tail. Inspect the chest to determine if any trimming is needed. Clip any excess fur that is hanging or isn’t uniform to the rest of the body.

  • 6

    Clip the head and face last. Be careful of moving around ears, mouth, eyelashes and nose. Choose a clip attachment adhering to your desired fur length. Place the clipper flat against the top of your dog’s head with the blade spokes facing to the rear. Pull the clippers towards the back to push fur away from the upper brow.

  • 7

    Clip the muzzle by beginning at the bridge of the nose and pulling clippers downward towards the dog’s mouth.

  • 8

    Clip or trim between the eyes by placing the clipper guide comb or the trimmer flat against the forehead with the blade spokes facing the nose. Progress towards the nose, being extra cautious of potential head movement or jerks in order to remain safely away from the eyes.

  • 9

    Gently wrap your free hand around the dog’s muzzle and point it towards the ceiling. Place the guide comb against the chin, with the spokes facing the throat, and run the clippers towards the throat to trim the underside of the muzzle.

  • 10

    Hold the ear tip between your fingers so that only the fur rests above your fingers (no skin) and trim the hair. Repeat along the edges of the ear. If necessary, gently trim excess hair in the inside of ears, using a smaller trimmer. Always avoid the ear canal.

What to use

Need help deciding what you need?

Wahl has a full line of pet-grooming products that will let you handle brushing to bathing in the comfort of your own home.

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