Many pet owners at some point ponder the notion that they could perform a haircut on their pet to save on grooming fees. They will see the clippers available at the local pet superstore and decide that the price of the clipper will pay itself off in about 3 or 4 clips. They will get the clipper home, put on a blade, and start shaving. They soon learn that it is a bit more “hairy” of a procedure than they thought.
Not All Dogs Need Clipping
First, what type of dog do you own? If you have a dog that does not require clipping such as a Golden Retriever, Labrador, or breeds with fur instead of hair, put down the clipper and buy a deshedding product. If you clip these breeds, you will destroy the coat and it will not grow back in properly. In some cases, the coat will not grow back in at all or in blotches. These breeds also need the coat to protect their skin and just the undercoat is what should be removed.
The best breeds for beginning clipping are the ones with hair such as the Poodle breeds, Shih Tzus, and Bichons.
The clipper should be quiet, so ask if you can plug it in at the shop to try it out. In addition, if possible have them show you how to attach & remove the different sizes of blades. If your clipper has attachable blade combs, you can use those with a number 10, 15, or 30 blade. The number 10, 15, and 30 blades should never be used to clip the pet’s body without a comb attachment. Never just grab a clipper and start clipping until you have checked to see that you have a safe blade size on the clipper. For a short puppy cut, you can use a number 4F blade. Always cut in the direction that the hair grows, otherwise you will end up with a cut shorter than wanted. For a longer puppy cut, use the attachable clipper combs.
Note: The higher the number on the blade the shorter or closer the cut will be. A #4F blade will leave 3/8 of an inch.
Thinning shears can be then used to blend any areas that are uneven. Thinning shears can also be used to shorten the face. Caution should be taken when working with the face, ears, and always know where the skin is. If you do clip your dog, take your time, have the dog secured, and have someone to help if necessary.