With salons and barbershops shut down, a lot of folks are picking up the scissors and clippers to provide themselves with their own haircuts. Before you try that you might want to “practice” on your own pet. A lot of the same hair cutting principles would apply. Of course, you might be using different tools but it will help to understand what it means to cut a little vs. a lot. Here are some tips to help you cut your dog’s hair:
You spend a lot of time with your pet but have you really “studied” them? Before reaching for the clippers, take the time to study your dog’s coat. Does the hair grow in different directions? Where is it the thickest? Where are the “obstacles” to avoid like claws, nipples and genitalia.
You should also study photos of what your dog should look like after a cut. You might remember it from the last time they went to the groomer but it will help to have that reference fresh in your mind. If you are using clippers, then make sure they are quiet. You might also want to turn them on around your dog without cutting so they are used to the sound. With scissors, make sure they are sharp. Blunt ended scissors can be used for those sensitive areas.
Clippers work best for short-haired dogs or for pups who need a lot of fur sheared off. Most clippers will have snap on blades that determine the length of what you will be cutting off. It is best to start with the longer blades that will cut off the least.
You should first wash your dog and brush their coat to get rid of the tangles, mats and clumps. You don’t want to pull clippers through those because they could pull out the hair.
Work from the neck to the back legs on one side and then switch over to the next side. Keep talking to your dog as you’re cutting to reassure them. It might help to have someone else hold the dog in a leash. They would be used to not running off that way. You can also give your dog treats throughout the process.
Scissors might be needed for dogs with longer hair and when you just want to give them a trim. You should still wash and comb out the hair. You will find that grooming scissors come in different sizes and each with a specific purpose. Follow the directions for the best approach to using scissors on your dog. You can use a comb as a kind of “barrier” to make sure you aren’t cutting too close to the skin. Comb out a section and snip. Just like your hairstylist does!