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So, you have taken the plunge and decided that your going to groom your dog from home. You have bought your first set of professional dog clippers and obviously you want to test them out on your dog.
Nerves will play a big factor in first time groomers and will always take over and maybe even put you off. This is natural and can be quite scary. What if it goes wrong? What if you hurt your dog? Please do not worry, everything on our site will help guide you to doing this the right way
Taking your dog and paying for a hair cut can not only become expensive but can be a hassle especially if, like Ralph, your dog doesn’t like travelling in a car. Grooming your dog at home is a great way of building up a better relationship with your dog. Below are some amazing tips that will ensure you can give your dog that 5 star hair cut right from your very own home
How do the Professionals Cut a Dogs Hair?
Research Research Research. With anything you do that you have never done before, always research. The internet is full of amazing videos and advice that will really help you on your way. Also, why not ask your current dog groomer. Start a conversation with them. How long have they been doing it? What’s the most difficult part? How do they cut a certain part of a dogs hair? Dont make your questions to obvious that they then know you wont be returning. Using your own professional dog clippers at home requires a bit of skill and a lot of patience.
Ultimately, YouTube is a great channel for training videos. Many professionals are willing to share step by step instruction videos for specific dog breeds to help you on your way to grooming.
Where do I start?
Before you give any dog a hair cut you must ALWAYS give your dog a nice bath and make sure they are completely dry. Cutting a dogs hair that is wet or dirty can result in severe discomfort for your dog as the hair will pull and become a painful experience for your dog. Wherever you can, make the grooming experience the best for your dog otherwise you could cause anxiety, this will then mean your dog will be scared each time he see’s the clippers.
Drying your dog is actually very simple if you have the right tools. Never ever use a human hair dryer as these get too hot and can burn your dogs skin. Purchasing a professional dog grooming hair dryer will really make the process quick and easy. You can get some that attach to a proper grooming table. Tables are great for your dogs hair cut also as the harness attachments will keep your dog comfortable
Can I Use Human Hair Clippers Instead?
The simple answer to this is NO! Human Hair Clippers are made for humans and are too loud for dogs. You should make sure you get the best dog clippers. Owning the right dog clippers will make your dogs hair cut much easier and make your dog feel much more comfortable about the groom itself.
When looking for the best professional dog clippers I found that the Andis, Masterclip and Wahl clippers were the best. These are not the cheapest around, but as they are professional grooming clippers you will get the professional look and feel for your dogs haircut.
Always Ask For Help – Don’t Be Scared
Starting out on any new project or job is always a daunting experience and this is no different. Cutting your dogs hair can be very stressful as your dog will sense that you are nervous, un-easy and maybe a little scared. This will make your dog also feel the same and become agitated. If your dog is agitated then being on your own will be very difficult. Why not ask a friend or family member to help. Use them to talk to and comfort your dog while you’re clipping your dogs hair.
Puppies are much more difficult to cut hair as they may get scared of the noise and vibrations that the clippers make. Having a friend with you for your puppy is great as they can provide regular treats to help them through the process.
Any professional dog groomer will tell you not to let your dogs hair grow too long as a quick trim is much easier than a full cut. Freshening up your dogs hair is easier when its not too long. This can also cause your clippers to start over heating and your dog to lose its patience with you and the process.
Recommended time between trims can vary between dog breeds. If you are wanting to keep on top of your dog and ensure he is regularly groomed then anything from 6 to 12 weeks is more than enough. Ensure your are reminded of each time you are going to do this and ensure its kept too. Your dog will quickly learn that a trim is coming up.
Whats That Noise?
I mentioned early that with young dogs, the noise and vibrations can be really difficult to get used too. It is extremely important that you introduce the clippers to your puppy slowly. Let them hear the noise before you even think of using them. This will really help them understand there is nothing to be scared of.
While the clippers are turned on, let them touch your dog. Do not use them to cut the hair, but just the handle so they can feel the vibrations. Take off the blades and use the clippers like a brush. Leave them turned off and gently rub them on your dog. Once you feel that your dog is relaxed then try turning them on. Show your dog that you have turned them on and then start to rub your dog again. Continue to praise your dog and reward them for good behaviour as this will encourage the dog more and more. If your dog starts becoming nervous then stop / slow down and then try again after a short break.
Another great tip, if your dog is not comfortable with the noise, is to turn them on from a distance. Let your dog hear the noise for a short time and then turn them off. Each day, bring them closer and closer and leave them on for the same amount of time. This trick works the same with hoovers and hair dryers also. Eventually your dog will become used too hearing the noise they will allow them to be near enough to use.
What Direction Should Go?
Clipping your dogs coat is quite simple once you get the hang of it. If you try and cut the dogs hair the opposite way to which it grows, this can become painful and irritate or pull your dogs hair. Ultimately, your dog will be very agitated and may even react to this. You should always cut / clip your dogs hair following the direction that the hair is growing.
Professional dog groomers recommend starting in the larger parts of your dog, mainly the back. Throughout the process you will then move to the smaller areas such as legs, feet, head and face. If you don’t want to cut near to your dogs face, you could always use some grooming or thinning scissors to help get these more sensitive areas.
Keep Your Blades Sharp
Key to long lasting dog grooming clippers is your blades. If you keep them cleaned and sharp then your clippers will last a long time. As some of the best professional grooming clippers are quite expensive you wont want to keep having to buy new ones.
Using oil and cleaning the blades regularly will help with maintenance then use a blade wash to remove any rust on the blades. Eventually, you will need to change the blades as only so much cleaning and oil will keep them looking healthy. Ceramic Blades are amazing and will give your dog a much smoother cut and a greater grooming experience.
Each different style of professional dog grooming clippers come with additional addons. Depending on which pair you own depends on the variety of blades you can buy. It is always best to shop around for alternate blades.
My Clippers Get Really Hot…. WHY?
Most amateur dog groomers are not aware that all dog grooming clippers can overheat and potentially cause skin burns. If your dog has a lot of hair the grooming session can take a while. This will make the blades get hotter than they were before you started the session. Keep your eye on the heat, especially if you are moving towards the genitals, feet or face (OUCH!).
There is no harm in you regularly checking the temperature by quickly turning them off and touching with your hand. You could also take regular short breaks leaving the clippers to cool down. This could extend the time it takes to groom your dog however, the choice is yours, do you want a well groomed dog or a trip to the vets for burns? Thought so.
If you are having to take regular breaks then make sure your dog is well treated for having to wait. Patience is key and there is nothing worse than having to sit around.
Although I have done a lot of research for you on professional dog grooming clippers, I always recommend you have a further look and research yourself.
Once you have made your final decision and are going to take the plunge into dog grooming make sure you practice, practice, practice.
You can also check out some of these great videos over on YouTube to help you get started;
- How to Use Clippers to Trim or Cut Dogs Hair
- How NOT to Shave Your Dog
- How to Trim Your Long Haired Dog at Home
Our top tips will not be complete without a small checklist that will ensure you complete your dog grooming effectively;
- Groom Daily ✓
- Clean Ears Weekly ✓
- Brush Teeth Weekly ✓
- Bath Monthly ✓
- Trim Nails Every Two Months ✓