How To Groom Your Dog
Learn how to groom your dog like a professional by following these easy steps. You can clip your dog's fur using dog clippers and scissors.
You first need to assemble the necessary grooming tools:
1. Clippers- Do not attempt to use clippers meant for human hair as they are designed for light-duty cutting only. Your best bet are "heavy duty" or "professional" clippers which are specifically designed for a dog's fur. It will cost you around a hundred dollars to purchase a good set, but you will recoup your initial investment plus save additional money by grooming your dog yourself.
2. Dog Brush
4. Dog Shampoo- There are several different types of shampoo you can use on your dog. If you have a problem with fleas, it's best to use a good flea and tick shampoo. Or, if you have a white dog, there is a special whitening shampoo you can buy. In a pinch, you can use regular baby shampoo too.
5. Hair Dryer
7. Dog Nail Clippers
Now that you have the necessary tools, it's time to round-up your pooch and begin.
Prepare Your Dog's Coat
Brush your dog's coat out thoroughly. Make sure to remove all the tangles, mats, and snarls. Next, bathe your dog in a tub of warm water. Be sure to work the shampoo into a good lather all over its body. The cleaner the fur, the easier it is to clip its fur, and dirt and debris in the fur dulls the cliper blades in a hurry. Use caution not to get shampoo in Fido's eyes. Finally, rinse your dog thoroughly. Carefully squeeze the excess water out of its tail, legs, and ears. Carefully towel dry the insides of both ears. Continue to towel dry the entire body, then brush and dry your dog's coat with the hair dryer. Make sure to dry your dog's coat thoroughly before proceeding to the next step.
Note- Your clippers should come with a variety of attachments which, when used, will clip the hair in three different lengths- short, medium, or long. Which attachment you use is entirely up to you and what kind of dog you have. Running the clippers with the hair grain is the best idea for a beginner.
Place Your Dog On A Table Top
A rubber mat placed underneath is a good idea. This will give your pet a non-slip surface to stand comfortably on. Make sure your work area has good lighting too.
Start with your dog's back. Carefully clip the fur down the back starting at the neck and ending at the tail. Do not clip the tail fur at this time. Again, how long or short you clip the hair depends on your dog's breed. Be careful not to jab your pet with the attachment, but, rather, glide the clippers down the back in a smooth and gentle motion. Follow the contour of your dog's body.
Clip the fur along your dog's sides. Start at the top and move the clippers in a downward, gliding motion. Again, follow the contours of your dog's body and clip it as long or as short as you desire.
Carefully clip the fur on your dog's face, neck and chest. Do not use the clippers above the eyes. Trim this fur with the scissors. Be especially careful around the ears. Lift them up and hold them out of the way while you trim around them.Trim the fur on the ears, around the eyes, and around the mouth with scissors also.
Hold your dog's tail out straight with your free hand while you carefully clip the fur to the desired length. Clip the top, sides, and bottom of the tail, making sure not to nick or cut the actual tail. Using scissors, carefully trim the fur around your dog's hind end.
Now it's time to clip the fur on your dog's stomach. You may either do this while your pet is lying down, or you can lift its front legs up and clip its fur while in that position. The easiest way, of course, is for your dog to be lying on the table on its back. Do not nick or cut your pet's nipples. Use your free hand to cover each one as you proceed carefully around them with the clippers.
If your dog's nails need trimmed- Hold one paw firmly up with your free hand and carefully snip off a small bit of the nail using the dog nail clippers. Do not trim off too much or you will cut into the "quick" and cause bleeding. Trim off only a small piece of the nail at a time.If your dog's nails are white, you can see a fine, dark line. This is the "quick line." Only remove the translucent portion of the nail below this line. Never, ever cut above this line! If your dog's nails are black, you will not be able to see the "quick line", so you must use extra caution not to trim the nails too short. If you're not sure how short to trim your dog's nails,it would be a wise idea to consult your veterinarian first.
With time and practice, you will improve your skills as a dog groomer, and your pet's hair cuts will look better each time. You might want to consult your veterinarian or check out some books at the library to find specific information on how your particular breed of dog should be groomed. After all, you want to save money by doing the grooming yourself, but you don't want your Toy Poodle to look like an English Sheep Dog.