How to Give Your Dog a Haircut

Dogs are great to have around, and they are usually at their best when they are well-groomed. Trimming hair off them goes beyond looking good. Hair that is well-kept and neatly done keeps unsightly hair from their eyes, maintains their coat tangle-free, and prevents irritation from common hair pathogens.

Your dog’s playfulness will also rely on the haircut that he has. It can affect their day-to-day ability to be friendly and playful at home.

Can I give my Dog a Haircut at Home?

Grooming is an essential part of having a pet dog. While it is best to have them groomed professionally at specialized dog clinics, it can be an expensive maintenance regimen for your best friend.

Giving them a haircut at home is very feasible. If you have the right materials, giving them a haircut is a breeze.

Know the Coat of your Dog

Know the Coat of your Dog

All dogs will at some point need a trim, yet the first thing to figure out on how to give them a haircut is to know their coat type. This will help you plot a schedule on how often you may need to keep their coats in good shape. It also gives you the idea of what materials and brush types their coat will be at its best.

Smooth Short Coat

These dogs do not need a lot of maintenance as their coats are short. A bristle brush in the direction of their coat will neatly maintain your dog’s hair. They basically don’t need a haircut that often, and brushing will help keep their coats free of dirt and debris.

Double Coat

Dogs with double coats are common household pets. They basically have an outer coat that repels water and a softer undercoat. Brushing them regularly with a slicker brush is helpful because their topcoats can become matte easily.

Some can have a stubborn snarl as their double coats grow longer. It is best to trim these with straight grooming shears. Scissors with rounded safety tips also work best for these coats.

A fine-tooth comb can start your way out in dealing with stubborn snarls.

Long Coat

Long-haired dogs with a single coat fall in this category. The coat is basically continuous and will have a different maintenance regimen than those with a double coat. A guide comb that easily snap-on will help in trimming their hair off. Investing in a trusty pair of electric clippers can go a long way for these long-coated dogs.

Brushing them off first with a bristle or pin brush can retain the hair in place before trimming them off.

Wire Coat

A wire-coated dog can be tricky to groom. They are also called Broken Coats. But they can be easy to manage. A slicker brush or a trusty stripping comb comes in handy in brushing their fur out.

Hair can accumulate around the muzzle and become their ‘beard.’ Trimming this area is best done with a pair of safety tip scissors that are round. Electric clippers will do the trick in keeping their fur tidy.

Curly Coat

Matting and tangling are common in dogs with curly coats. A soft slicker brush will help you fluff up your coat. This is best done against their fur for a nice puffy look.

A fine-tooth comb will easily tame their curls from time to time. Again, scissors with round safety tips can be of good use to trim their fur.

What are the things I need to give him a haircut?

Can I give my Dog a Haircut at Home

Giving them a haircut at home is best to have the things you need nearby so you won’t have to leave your furry best friend behind. It will also save you time and effort in having these hair-cutting sessions. Here are the things you will most likely need:

  • A table fit for your dog
  • Dog brush (it is best to have the right brush with the kind of coat that they have)
  • Grooming pole fit for their size
  • Dog clippers and combs
  • A pair of scissors
  • Dog shampoo of your choice

What are the steps to give my dog a haircut?

Step 1: Bathe your dog

Before attempting to trim your dog’s fur, it is best to bathe them first. This will allow the snarls and the clumps of tangled fur to be easily brushed soon after.

Bathing will also wash off the dirt that may have hidden underneath. It will also make them feel cool before that cutting part.

Step 2: Dry and comb your dog

After giving them a cooling bath, dry them out with a towel. Once they are totally dried up, you may start combing their hair to have an estimate of how much you will cut in a while. The right brush and comb will remove the mats and tangles that were not removed while bathing.

Step 3: Start with the Head

Your dog’s head is a sensitive area. Most professional dog hair stylists start in this area first to establish a good relationship with the dog. Once you have conquered this risky part, trimming the fur down will be quite a breeze.

To introduce them with the clippers, turn the sound on first before placing it on their head. Shave the fur at the sides and near the nose with a uniform stroke.

Don’t forget shaving the ears, the chin, and the neck area. Hold the ears when you are about to cut them. You may also give them treats from time to time so they will feel reassured while trimming this sensitive area.

Step 4: Move down the Body

Once you have reached shaving or cutting down through the neck, continue clipping towards the body. Shave with uniform strokes at this area. Move along their backbone before proceeding towards each side.

When cutting hair, you may cut along the growth direction to avoid your dog being uncomfortable and fussy during these sessions.

Step 5: Do the rump and the legs

What are the things I need to give him a haircut

As you move along, be careful around the rump and the tail. Some dogs could be excited and playful as you trim through.

They may flinch in these areas, so it is best to have them stay still and be reassured that the pampering session is almost done. Move downwards on the legs, especially the rear end.

Step 6: Trim the belly

Let your dog roll over the back to trim the belly area. You may start at the bottom and work slowly on your way up. This will give you a more even look.

Trim the bum at this point with extra care. They are sensitive in this area and may leap through the clipper’s strange sensation or the scissors.

Step 7: Check the even cut on both sides

Completing the cut is one of the most fulfilling parts. But before you let your dog down, check if there is still some hair left out with a farther view. Check both front legs and hind legs as well.

Let them stand up after and brush the newly trimmed coat. Lastly, check for missed or uneven areas in different viewing angles.

How often should you cut your Dog’s Hair?

There is no definite time as to when you will need to cut your dog’s hair. As each dog breed will have its own unique hair growth, it will all depend on how fast their hair grows and if they shed fur a lot.

Your dog’s haircut sessions’ frequency will depend on the style you are going for and the dog’s breed. The owner’s preference will have the final say as to when hair should cut it.

Dogs that continually grow their hair out ideally need a haircut every 6 to 8 weeks. Show dogs need a more regular grooming session. If the appearance is not an issue, and if the hair is not out of its way, you may leave it on for quite a long amount of time.

 Can you give me some tips on how to cut his hair?

  • Start cutting your dog’s hair at an early age. Older dogs are harder to train for a grooming session. With this in mind, introduce to them early the sound of the electric clippers.
  • It is best to choose the minimal sound so they won’t easily fret while being groomed.
  • Familiarize the grooming table so they won’t have a hard time adjusting through.
  • Clipping is a lot easier when you go through the same direction of the hair growth and not against it.
  • If you have been through a professional dog groomer, you may take advice from them to share their own experiences and let you handle your dog grooming session with a different perspective.


While some pet owners view grooming as a tedious and boring chore, this could be a great bonding experience for you and your best friend. It will help them build more trust in you as you try to maintain their hair neatly. Challenges may come along the way, but this will only get easier as you cut their hair more frequently.

Rita Wagener
Rita is a resident paw expert at Pet Keepers. A registered & licensed dog trainer, she also has a degree in animal nutrition, and runs her own dog training course.

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