Your First Home Clip For Your Dog
There are many reasons why you might choose to try clipping your dog yourself rather than take them to an experienced dog groomer.
- You may have a highly nervous dog.
- Don’t want to commit to the ongoing cost of regular grooming fees.
- Have an elderly dog that needs a little extra TLC and patience to be groomed.
- Have a puppy that you’d like to start to introduce to trimming.
- Want a simple trim for an easy to maintain coat.
- You prefer a specific look for your dog.
- Keep on top of your dog’s coat between professional grooms
Whatever your reasons for wanting to groom your dog yourself, we’re here to help you with the best advice and top tips to achieve the perfect groom in the comfort of your own home. Grooming your dog also helps to build a closer bond with them and provides an opportunity to monitor health issues, spot grass seeds or parasites.
WHICH CLIPPERS ARE BEST?
For body clipping your dog, a mains powered or cordless A5 clipper is best. These clippers are used by professional grooming salons and are compatible with a wide range of clipper blades to suit a variety of coat types. You can also choose from a selection of comb guides to offer a choice of length of cut up to 32mm (11/4 inches) for a long plush clip. Masterclip offer simple packages for clipping various breeds of if you prefer something tailored specifically to your dogs breed and coat type, you can choose from our grooming by breed clipping sets with either our mains powered Pedigree Pro A5 clipper or cordless A5 MD Roamer clipper with 2 batteries.
PREPARATION IS KEY
Before you begin to groom, run your hands through the coat and feel for any knotted or matted areas and brush these out first with a comb and slicker brush. This will ensure knots don’t become tighter during bathing. For large matts, you could carefully use bull nose scissors or your clipper with a close cutting 10F blade to get under the matted areas, close to the skin.
This is perhaps the most important step to take before clipping your dog. Bathing removes the grease and dirt from your dog’s coat to give the best possible tidy finish, keep your clipper blades nice and sharp and give the most comfortable groom. Choose a natural dog shampoo without conditioners that won’t leave a residue in the coat. Conditioning shampoos can leave a film on the hair that can build up on your clipper blades and make them go blunt more quickly. We love these Wildwash ones made by a professional dog grooming company in London.
DRY AND RE-BRUSH
Next towel dry your dog as much as possible. You may want to use a hairdryer on a low setting to make sure your dog is completely dry and wait until the naturally air dry. Use a slicker brush and combination comb to ensure the coat is completely brushed through and no knots or tangles are left.
Lift each paw and check your dog’s nails and pads. If the nails are a little long, use safety dog nail clippers to trim the very ends of each nail. For light nails its usually easily to see the red vein called the quick. Make sure you trim the nail above this line. For dark nails, just take off the very end of the nail. You could finish by rounding the rough edges of the nail with a file. Next take bull nose scissors, small cordless trimmers such as our Showmate dog trimmer or your clipper with a toe blade and trim the hair carefully between the toes.
Our top tips for clipping
- Run some clipper oil along the teeth and into the sides of the clipper blade before clipping and every 5 minutes during the clip.
- Each time you need to oil the blades, check the blade temperature is comfortable for your dog by testing it on the back of your hand.
- Clip in the direction of the lay of the coat.
- Rest the clipper blade onto the dog so that it’s lying flat rather than pointing down which could dig into the skin and leave an uneven clip.
Now it’s the time to clip your dog. Take a short cutting blade such as a No. 7F and trim the underside of the lower belly for a sanitary a trim. You will need to lift the rear legs to keep the skin taught and to help you see where the clippers need to go.
Next, decide how short you would like the coat to be with either a clipper blade or comb of your choosing and test it on the underside of the dog first. This way you can check you are happy with the length and if it’s a little short, it won’t be obvious that this patch is a little shorter! If you’re happy with the length of the clip, start clipping from the back of the neck and clip along the body and down each leg. You may need to lift the fore legs to reach under the armpits and keep the skin taught. Clip down the length of each leg. If you have a lot of clipping to do, use Andis cool care spray to keep your clipper blade lubricated and cool, and save time from swapping blades.
Clip the head and muzzle if desired and don’t forget to clip under the jaw and down the neck. Our Showmate trimmer is ideal for clipping these delicate areas too. Watch professional dog groomer Lauren Emily clip this area here.
GROOMING SCISSORS & TRIMMERS
Depending on your dog breed, trim the ears, face and beard using bull nose or curved scissors. Trim the hair from in front of the eyes and round off the ears. Use your fingers to feel for the end of the ear and trim below this point. If you prefer, use a trimmer. Take the time to check the inside of the ears too. Use some cotton wool and specialist dog ear cleaner to clean inside the ear.
For dogs with beards and rounded faces, use thinning and curved scissors to give the face a cute, rounded shape. Use scissors to trim the hair around the paws to give a neat, rounded shape to the feet. If you are leaving a skirt on the belly of your dog, comb out and trim the hair with curved or straight scissors. For leg feathering, comb the feathers out on each leg and use thinning scissors or straight scissors to smarten up the feathering, tapering towards the foot.
Brush out the tail and use straight scissors to trim the hair and trim around the rear end to help keep this area clean. Use a comb and slicker brush to fluff up the coat and check there are no uneven areas. Now that you have completed the clip, you can use coat conditioning sprays or fragrance sprays. We love this bug spray too from Wildwash for keeping your dog super fresh.
When you’ve finished clipping, take time to remove the clipper blades from your handset and give them a deep clean and apply some clipper oil ready for the next use.
Don’t forget, clipping takes time to get used to, so you’ll likely get better with practice and so will your dog. Remember to praise your dog and use treat rewards and they will soon enjoy the grooming experience. When you have your very own clipper, you don’t need to do a full groom all at once so you can take your time and take a break between the different stages if needed.
For more hits and tips, take a look at our YouTube channel and see full grooms for a range of dog breeds by @Lauren Emily Dog Grooming and clipper tutorial guides here. Have a query? Give us a call on 0116 2796900 or drop us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org, Facebook or Instagram.