How to Cut Dogs Hair? Step by Step Like a Pro

How to cut dogs hair

Don’t know How to cut dogs hair yet? you have come to the right place, Ma’am

Whether you want your pooch looking nice and shiny for your next Christmas family photos or you want to get rid of that matted hair on his Now-Carpet-Looking coat, Giving your fluffy pal a haircut is a skill as a Dog parent you should master

You don’t want to pay hundreds of dollars for something that you can do at home easily, you just need simple tips and tricks to do it and you are good to go. That’s why you are here, and that’s Exactly what you gonna get

It’s not an intimidating chore as you might think,
you just didn’t know the jest of it,

In this article, We gonna show you all you need to know about your pup’s hair and How to give your fluffy friend a haircut in simple easy to follow steps.

So let’s start right away, Shall we?

10 Step Guide of How to Cut Dogs Hair

To accomplish anything in life, you have to start with the right preparations.

The following first steps are most needed to prepare yourself and your puppy for your hair cutting session together

Preparation is The Key

Step 1. Prepare Yourself, Get Educated

Your dog now may look like a huge cotton ball with four legs, but also he shouldn’t look like a skinned sphinx cat when you finish your hair cutting session

That’s why you should know what he should look like before you start putting the clippers on his coat.

Read a book or search online for the best haircuts suitable for your specific dog breed.
You can even look at an old picture of your pooch to get an idea of how he should look,
whatever works for you, ma’am.

how to cut dogs hair

Get acquainted with your pup’s coat, Understand what you are gonna deal with. Look at the hair growth direction in different areas of your pup’s coat.

With your fingers, go through your pup’s coat and figure out where the hair is thickest, which areas are going to be tricky to cut, and where are going to be obstacles to avoid such as facial features, nipples, claws, and genitalia

You need to condition your dog to understand what is happening to him during this grooming procedure. (More on that later)
Your pup needs to know that he will be safe and rewarded at the same time.
You can calm your dog by Behavioral Training solely based on Touch and Reward before you even start grooming your dog

Step 2. Touch and Treat

Practice touching your dog in various areas of his coat where the hair will likely be cut. Give him a treat after each touch.

Step 3. Assemble Your Tools

Before you start your hair cutting process, make sure you have everything you will need in one place.

grooming tools. How to cut dogs hair

Here is basically what you will need ( a brush or a comb, scissors, clippers, shampoo, towels)

Make sure they are within your reach before you start the hair cutting session.

Having the best equipment will not only make it easy for you to groom your puppy but also it will result in a much better aesthetic

There are plenty of products out there you can choose from, so you might get puzzled.

Not so long ago one of my friends have recommended PROGROOMER kit to me and I have been using it since.

How to Cut Dogs Hair? Step by Step Like a Pro |

The PROGROOMER kit does have everything I need. Plus, it is half as expensive as what I used to pay for one professional grooming session

What makes the PROGROOMER kit works for me is the low noise feature in the clippers.

My dog, as most dogs too, usually feels anxious whenever he hears the noise of machinery around him, but with the PROGROOMER kit I never have this problem

Step 4. Introduce The Tools

First, you should bring all the grooming tools you gonna use (especially the scissors and the clippers) and lay them out in front of you and your pooch.

This step is useful to Ease your dog into the hair cutting session and also to get him used to the tools being Near him so he won’t freak out when you start.

Take a set of clippers or a pair of scissors and put them near your dog without touching them, let him sniff them. When he does so, give him a treat.

Repeat this for every tool you have like brushes, combs, clippers, and scissors until you’re sure your dog feels comfortable around them

Try The Air Training Technique which is to practice what you gonna do with your tools without actually touching your dog’s coat. That way your pup will get used to the sort of motion from you with the tools in your hand around him

Step 5. Freshen up Your Pup with A Bath

Just like you whenever you go get your hair cut, the stylist usually starts with backing your head into that incredibly uncomfortable sink to wash your hair, to get all the tangles out and smooth your hair.

woman bathing a dog as part of how to cut dogs hair

Do the same thing with your pup.

This also will help to get all the dead hair off your dog, leaving only good hair to cut.

You can’t tell if the dog likes it or not. Sometimes you will find your dog’s eyes sparkle with joy, Other times your dog will run as fast as he can trying not to get wet.

If he is the latter not the former, I recommend this amazing device

This has worked for me personally, my puppy used to dread his bathing time and he always gave me a hard time showering him until I started using this magical glove

How to Cut Dogs Hair? Step by Step Like a Pro |
look how happy he is

This is a kind of two birds with one stone situation. As the soft bristles on that glove can provide your pup with the most relaxing massage while washing him at the same time

Now, my puppy is always waiting for his next bath

Use high-quality shampoo for your puppy’s sake.

For more on How to bathe your dog without getting soaked.

Step 6. Clean Dry Slate

After Bathing your pup, you should dry him up before any attempt to clip him. Trying to trim a dirty, or wet dog can result in the pulling of some hair.

This will end up hurting your dog a little which in turn will make the whole home grooming experience a bad one.

You don’t want to induce anxiety in dogs whenever you whip those clippers out their pouch!

Don’t use a human hair dryer for this as they are too hot for dogs and may burn them. Use a dog dryer for that matter

There are plenty out there. Me personally I use DRYPET.

It’s easy to use, cheap, and more important, it’s silent

With the DRYPET, you can finish drying your puppy up in a matter of minutes.

So moving on,


Once your get your dog’s coat dry, brush him thoroughly to get rid of dead, tangled, and matted hair.

Use a comb to go through your fluffy friend’s hair and try to work out any tangled hair you may find.

brushing a dog. how to use dog clippers
credit: Yorkie magazine

Begin at your dog’s head and move down his body. The underside of your dog’s stomach is an especially sensitive area, so take extra care to be gentle when brushing there.

If there are any heavily tangled or matted areas it’s best to brush around them. you can deal with them later.

For more on How to Get Mats out of Dog Hair.

Brushing your dog may take some time, especially if he’s a long haired breed. Avoid brushing too hard as this could irritate your dog’s skin. 

Now your dog is Bathed, Brushed… and Ready to get his Hair Cut!!
So let’s get down and dirty to bring your pooch back to his prettier former self

The following steps are the second phase of our hair cutting guide which involves the actual cutting,

There are two ways you can approach this, Cutting with Clippers and Cutting with Scissors

Make up your mind on which route you gonna take
or if you want to mix things up,
It’s up to you

If you decide to use clippers, Choose the quietest ones possible so not to freak your pup whenever you turn it on.

Also, ensure the sharpness of the clippers and have them well-oiled before you start. It does help if you turn the clippers besides your dog’s ear for a little while before you start using them so that your dog gets used to the sound of it and lower his anxiety levels for a little bit

If you decide to use scissors, Make sure they are suitable for the thickness and length of your dog’s coat.

It’s advisable to use smaller blunt-ended scissors for trimming sensitive areas

Step 8. Cutting with Scissors

Clippers may not be suitable for long-haired dogs, Especially if you only want to give them a trim, In this case, scissors are better.

how to cut dogs hair

Generally speaking, trimming your pup’s coat is the same whether you are using a clipper or a scissor but there are a few significant things that you should remember if you are gonna use a pair of scissors to get the finished cut looking Professional, Here are some of them:

  1. First of all, you need straight grooming scissors for basic cutting, Curving scissors for rounding off layers of hair, Thinning shears for problem areas and to give your dog’s coat more of a natural finish. You can also use rounded tip scissors for those delicate areas
  2. Make up your mind on how short you gonna cut your pup’s coat beforehand. Once you do that, Start cutting and use your fingers as a guide to creating a more consistent finish
  3. Cutting should start at the front and all the way to the back of your dog, leaving all difficult and sensitive areas till last
  4. The thinning shears should be used on areas that are thick, heavy or prone to matting
  5. Work slowly and gently to avoid holding the scissors at a steep angle where the points are close to the skin
  6. If you find yourself cutting the hair short and unsure how close to the skin you are, It’s advisable to keep a comb between the scissors and your dog’s skin as a safety barrier

Step 9. Cutting with Clippers

Clippers are the ideal instrument you can use for short-haired dogs or those in need of an extreme makeover. Clippers are also ideal for dog parents who are nervous about their abilities. Here is how to use clippers to get the perfect finish:

  1. Start working on an inconspicuous area first to test your skill and your dog’s tolerance. 
  2. Go slow when using the dog clippers, and work your way down your dog’s body in the direction of the hair growth
  3. Be sure your clipper blades are sharp. Dull clippers pull hair more.
  4. Make sure the clipper blade you choose works best with the specific type of coat your dog has so you achieve the result you want.
  5. Use the guide comb for a consistent cut and to keep from nicking the dog.
  6. Switch blades and let the hot ones cool down.
  7. Use coolant to keep the blades from overheating and burning your pet.
  8. Wipe excess coolant from the blades before touching the coat.
  9. Check the blades frequently to make sure they aren’t overheating If they become too warm, simply spray on the coolant.
  10. Do not use water to cool the blades.
  11. Place the blade on a metal surface, which quickly cools it off 
  12. If you see signs of redness, swelling, or infection it’s best to stop and visit your veterinarian before attempting to groom the area. 

And that’s how it’s done,

Step 10. Few Notes to Remember

Remember, This isn’t a task that can be rushed. If your dog starts to be anxious or skittish, take a break, give him a treat. You can always come back the next day

You are dealing with a delicate living being that you can easily injure if you’re not careful. So please, Take your time.

With practice, you can surely master How to cut dogs hair. You only need to have some confidence in yourself and take the first step

Finally, Make sure your dog feels it’s a fun time for him and that will make the grooming process much easier

That’s it.

That was our How to cut dogs hair guide. I hope you have enjoyed it

How to cut dogs hair may seem like a frightful task at first but with practice and patience, it will get easier each time.

Remember, love is the most important ingredient of this equation, So for this to work make sure he feels your love

So what’s the cutest experience you had while grooming your fluffy buddy, tell us in the comments.

If you enjoyed this article share it with a friend

And as always if you liked what you read here and you wanna read more feel free to check my other articles on Top 5 Easy-to-Train Dogs or How to Train a Dog to Attack

If you got any more tips or suggestions regarding grooming pups, please share it with us and the readers in the comments, we are all here to learn!

If you have any questions leave them in the comments, We will respond ASAP

Have a nice day and Read you next time

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