before I get into the post, I wanted to just take the time to explain that I am not a groomer, I have been through hair school (for humans).
This post is just to basically explain how I groom Bently at home. I’ve been grooming him myself since he was 12 weeks old- therefore he is very use to it, I am comfortable and confident in doing it. Should you feel that your pet is not patient enough to be groomed by yourself, or you, yourself are not confident in doing it please seek professional advise as It can be risky grooming at home- if the pupper’s skin is nicked it puts them at risk of infection and so on.
So with that being said I just want to give you a word of warning to please please please be careful if you choose to groom at home, if your dog is not use to hair clippers, get them use to the sound, and having the clippers close by; before you jump right into grooming them.
So as you can see from the image above, sir Bently was in desperate need of some serious pampering. We are right in the beginning of winter here and I always like to let him adjust to the temperature a bit before I cut his hair.. I probably waiting a little too long, but hey it is what it is.
- Hair Dryer
- Clipper Guards
- Thinning Shears
So the tools I use to groom him regularly are in the image above, I also use thinning shears, A LOT. I find it’s way easier than using actually scissors because it gives you a nice soft cut; but I will get into that more later on.
The clippers I use are amazing and were so cheap on amazon, I actually use them to cut my husband’s hair as well- after a good cleaning of course, haha. Link for them below.
How to properly and safely hold the face still while trimming around sensitive areas such as the eyes.
GENTLY, do not be rough; you want to have a firm grip incase they try to move as your cutting, but not so firm that your pulling on their hair. This will saves them from nicks should they try to pull away while you are cutting around their face, lets face it, the scissors are SHARP!
I always like to start with the face, Bently is not a big fan of getting his face trimmed but loves to be able to see; some kind of silly dog logic if you ask me- haha.
The best rule of thumb, I find, is to keep to a triangular shape at the top of the muzzle and between the eyes; this helps to remove the irritating hair from his eyes and remove some of his tear stains. An example you can see above.
Next spot I move onto is his lippers, I find he tends to get some pretty long hairs that almost hook into his mouth. As you can see from the image above they start to turn fairly orange, just from it being wet all the time. For this I usually take my scissors and cut down the area, WATCH THEIR LIPS! I like to leave it a little longer, that way it leaves you enough space to get in there and soften the blunt cut with the thinning shears.
I moustache you a question
Now for this area, I am really careful; there have been a few times that I wasn’t so careful and Bently came out looking pretty funny, if I do say so myself- haha.
His moustache is really what makes him, in my opinion, it’s his signature look. So for this section, I use my scissors to get the bulk of the hair cut, sticking to a rounded shape; but again leaving just a little room to be able to use my thinning shears after to make the edges nice and soft.
What little ears you have
all the better to not listen to you my dear..
The littlest ears I have ever seen, XD. I like to keep his ears fairly short, The hair around them tends to be on the finer side; I’ve tried to grow them out in the past and do fun things with them, but they never ended up looking right. So eventually I decided he had nice little ears and we wanted to show them off. For this section I find the ear leather at the top of the ear and trim close to it, then cut a curved line down, getting rid of the bulk; as you see in the image above in blue.
For in the front of the ears, seen above in a pink line, I trim that smaller area fairly short; this allows the ears to breath and them to dry better if they do get wet when hes outside. keeps them clean, nice and neat.
How to use clippers on a pooch
After that is all done I move onto using my clippers and leaving his head until last. It has been so cold outside so I have decided to use a clipper number 6 on his body, with a clipper number 3 around his neck (where the collar sits- I find if its a little shorter in that area then he doesn’t get knotted from his collar rubbing).
The best way to use clippers, on a dog, is to go with the hair; this keeps the clippers from pulling the hair and is more comfortable for your pup.
Once his body is all nice and clipped up I move onto his feet. With Bently being a Shih tzu Maltese mix, he gets a lot of hair between the pads of his feet. I use to use my scissors and cut all the hair between each toe, but after time I found out the clippers were way faster, and I like to leave the hair slightly longer just to help keep his feet warm in the snow- if you do this you have to check them regularly and keep them trimmed, helping to keep matted hair away.
For his legs, I simply comb the hair and cut to the desired length; which is normally slightly longer than his body, with my scissors. I find using my clippers on his legs does not normally work out and he does NOT like the vibration on his little chicken legs- haha. By his hips and shoulders I use my thinning shears to blend the line from where the clippers stopped.
When his legs are complete, I move onto his belly; usually at this point hes laying on his side anyways and is maxin’ and relaxin’.
For his belly, like I mentioned earlier, I used a clipper number 3; I find having it shorter to be a lot more hygienic- him being a male, if it’s left too long he tends to pee on himself, which is not pleasant for anyone.
Always be sure that when doing their belly you are mindful of their skin; you want to keep it fairly tight just so there is not any cuts.
Once that is all finished I move onto trimming his head, and again I use my scissors. Combing out his hair to make more even cuts. I start at the back of his head and angle my fingers from short, where the clippers stopped to the desired length of his head. Using that first cut as a guide I do the same along the whole back of his head. Once at the top I use the longer end of the guide (from the back) and cut the top all the same length.
Now it’s just time for blending everything together; around the ears you blend with the top of head (your longest point) to the neck (your shortest point).
After all that is done I hose him down to remove any loose hair that is stuck to him; and it’s bath time!
Some products I really enjoy are
Burt’s Bees shampoo and conditioner; I find them to be a very nice mild smell, I don’t recommend anything that has too much perfume as dogs noses are way stronger than ours and perfume tends to cause a lot of skin irritations. Another great thing about burt’s bees pet products is they are 100% safe — veterinarian recommended formulas, free of fragrances, sulfates, colorants, and harsh chemicals. Link BelowBurt’s Bees for Dogs FFP4772ST All-Natural Oatmeal Shampoo with Colloidal Oat Flour and Honey, 16 Ounces, 1 Pack
Once he is squeaky clean I use my hair dryer (on cool or low temp) and his brush then brush him out while I dry him.
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