A Quick Guide to Basic Dog Grooming
If you’re entirely new to the art of grooming, it can seem to be a bit harder than it really is. We’ll give you a quick rundown to show you how simple this seemingly monumental task can really be, and let you get the most out of your new shears as soon as they’re out of the box.
The first thing you’ll need to do is get your dog washed and combed out. Hopefully, your dog is acclimated to normal baths, but if they get anxious, give them a bit after brushing or combing their hair in order to let them calm down before you get clipping. Try to keep them from rolling in the dirt or engaging in other canine tomfoolery before you get clipping, for obvious reasons.
Do your best to brush out any matting, these can catch the clippers and cause both of you some trouble. Your best bet if your dog is heavily matted is to purchase one of the specialized combs available online or in pretty much any pet store. Also, you can cut off mattings with safe grooming scissors.
You’ll probably want someone else around to restrain your dog during the process, so get a friend to help. Place the dog somewhere with a bit of elevation, this will help to save your back. A coffee table in the living room is probably ideal, although some people prefer higher tables.
Start at the back of the neck, you’ll want to move a bit slowly in order to get the smoothest cut possible. If you use too much force or cut too quickly you can leave lines at the edge of the way the clipper goes. Proceed down the body, going with the growth direction of the hair in order to keep things looking as natural and smooth as possible.
After this, proceed to do the back legs, and then the front legs. Have your assistant stand the dog up, and take care of the belly. You can go against the grain here in order to get a closer cut since dogs tend to pick up a lot of stuff with the fur on their stomachs.
If the hair isn’t coming off quickly enough, you can use a brush to “back-brush” the hair and raise it in order to get a better cut.
Even if you’re going to cut your canine’s hair at the same length all around, you might want to use a longer comb on the face.
All that’s left after that is to cut some of the longer hairs off of your dog’s paws and possibly their face. A word of caution on the face, though, be careful not to cut their whiskers off as this will cause your pet a great deal of distress.
As you can see, it’s a relatively simple process. Fortunately, your dog can’t sue if your first couple of cuts are a bit rough, but most people will be able to get the hang of it quite quickly.