Groom A Dog At Home With Scissors

Firstly you will need a pair of decent scissors, a wide-tooth comb and a brush. Depending on what type of dog breed you have there are mainly two types of brushes, a pin brush or a slicker brush. With these three items, you will be able to groom your dog at home with no troubles.
lot of dogs
This is what dog heaven looks like

I have put together a general how-to guide on using scissors at home to cut your dog’s fur. However, please remember that dogs do come in all different shapes, sizes and have different types of coats.

I have a diploma in dog grooming, just one of my many ideas that I had randomly thought of doing one day. Unable to contain my idea, I jumped straight in, and I instantly booked a dog grooming course. I was grooming at least four dogs a day and was surrounded by dogs of all different sizes, ages and breeds. I must admit I felt like I was in doggy heaven. 

After completing the month-long intensive course, one thing I did notice, a lot of the dogs didn’t like the clippers, and sometimes we had to revert to scissor cutting. I never took up the opportunely of being a fulltime dog groomer! However, the good thing was I learnt some fantastic scissor techniques, and these scissor techniques I use on my dogs at home.

Let’s get started

How to groom a dog at home with scissors?

Firstly you will need a pair of decent scissors, a wide-tooth comb and a brush. Depending on what type of dog breed you have, there are mainly two types of brushes, a pin brush or a slicker brush. With these three items, you will be able to groom your dog at home with no troubles.

There are many reasons why its best to cut your dogs fur at home yourself. Maybe he or she is old, perhaps your dog is scared of clippers, or can become aggressive towards unknown people, perhaps you don’t have the money. Whatever the reason is your more than in the rights to cut your own dogs hair at home.

With the steps below, you can have the confidence to make your dog look beautiful or handsome without using the clippers and in the comfort of your own home.

It all starts with a bath.

Grab the doggy shampoo, an old towel and head to the bathroom. Be sure to read the label for the amount of shampoo you should use. Start with wetting your dog’s fur, getting rid of any lumps of mud/dirt, then start shampooing process, just like you would with your hair. Careful not to get any shampoo in your dog’s eyes and ears as this can cause discomfort. 

Depending, on if you have a showerhead or not. If the answer is no showerhead, then you could think about filling up the bath with a little lukewarm water and using a jug to rinse out any dog shampoo as and when you need to. Fill it up just a little bit past the lower half legs. You can also directly use the taps to fill up the jug each time. Altho I find this a little slow as you have to wait for the water to fill the jug on each rinse. 

Those with a showerhead can use this to rinse off the dog shampoo, which is quicker. Check the water temperature now and then to make sure it hasn’t changed. Keeping them entertained with a toy in the bath will help with any anxious dog.

Never leave your dog unattended in the bath.

Should I dry my dog before I scissor cut them?

Yes, either by towel drying and waiting for your dog’s fur to dry on its own or you can use a hairdryer to speed up the process. That’s if your dog is okay with using a hairdryer, some dogs can be a little scared of the hairdryer.

If its a winter’s day don’t let them outside with wet fur

Time to brush but which brush to use

When your dog’s fur is fully dry, you can then start brushing them, using gentle strokes the same way the coat grows, and getting out any knots along the way. Use a pin or slicker brush for the body and use a comb for the face area. Please be careful of there eyes and ears.

Slicker Brush

Use this brush if your pet has a thick, or wiry coat. Also, perfect for the deep matted coats like the Cocker Spaniels or the labrador. It helps penetrate deep matted dogs with double coats.

Pin Brush

Use this brush if your dog has thick, long or curly coats like a Poodle or a Bichon Frise. The wider gaps between each pin help stop the pulling of hair, which can be painful and damaging to the coat.

Now your dog’s fur is clean and smooth, its all ready for trimming, get the scissors ready!

images showing different several scissor techniques
Scissor techniques

Using the scissors the right way

Never point your scissors at them, or let them play with them in their mouths. I’m sure you won’t, but I wouldn’t forgive myself if I didn’t write this in and something happened.

Start with your dogs head first, and you will find that your dog will be more fidgety as time goes on, so best to get the head and face done first.

  • Face, using your comb brush towards you and cut to the length you’d like. Use your fingers to get between skin and scissors. Then you know that you won’t cut them by mistake. Be cautious attention to how fur falls near your dog’s eyes and around the mouth. If in doubt don’t cut
  • Ears, find the edges of your dog’s ears and cut around them, leaving a small gap. Depending on your dog’s breed, you will also need to cut under the ears. You do so by lifting the ears and delicate trim the hair on the underside of the ears. 
  • Neck and body, hold the scissors parallel to the skin, don’t point at the skin always know where the skin is by using your fingers if needed. Or if you have a wriggler take your time, stop and calm them, try giving them a toy they can quietly chew whilst you get to work. Trim parallel and straight in a downward motion, comb in between cuts to blend any lines your scissors create. 
  • Legs, brush the fur around to one place, hold the coat with your fingers and cut downwards, repeat on the other side of the leg, repeating this on all legs. 
  • Sides and back, cut your dog’s fur in an angle with scissors pointing down. Comb in between to make your scissor lines blend.
  • Tail, depending on your dogs breed you can decide on the length you’d like to see on your dog. The best way is to lift their tail and trim the backside of it using downward motions with scissors pointing down.

After you have completed the above, please give them a once over, snipping any stray hair. Give your dog a treat and a good big boy or good girl voice. Always have patience with your dog never get angry or cross with them.

The above isn’t breed-specific it is a general how-to guide so before you start on your journey, make sure you research as much as you can on your specific breed. I know that youtube has plenty of videos on this.

Good luck and happy snipping guys!

About the Author

Teresa loves animals and travelling around the UK! She currently has two dogs and two cats. She loves caring for and sharing her knowledge of pets. Qualified Dog Groomer and currently studying Canine Behaviour. She has been part of the Dog Friendly Team since 2016

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