Once you have put the applicable blade onto the clippers (for instructions on attaching the blade to the clipper refer to our page on Dog Clipper Blades) and plugged the clippers into the powerpoint (unless you are using battery operated clippers) you are ready to start clipping your dog. Make sure that you don’t attach the blade while the clipper is running.
Switch the clippers on and hold the clippers comfortably in your hand. Place the flat side of the blade so that it runs over the surface of the dog’s body. You can start anywhere however I always find it easier to work to a pattern. The clippers should glide through the coat with very little pressure unless the dog is matted or very thick coated. Always keep the clipper blade flat against the body. The blades are very sharp and can easily cut your dog’s skin if they are not kept level. The danger spot is the legs and the very thin folds of skin as you stretch the leg out however unless you are careful it is possible to cut the dog anywhere on the body.
- Start by clipping at the top of the head down the neck and shoulder area, under the ear and then under the chin and throat area down the chest.
- The clippers should be held comfortably in your hand and should glide easily over the contour of the body and through the coat. If there is matting close to the skin a little more pressure will be needed to get the blade through to cut the fur. Be careful not to cut the skin, though. The clippers should be run according to the direction of the coat on the dog. If you run the clippers in the opposite direction to the way the coat flows then you will end up with a shorter length again.
Using the clippers and working to a pattern as above
- To continue clipping down the front leg – gently but firmly pick up the dog’s leg and hold it straight out in front. This is where your dog might get wriggly and more difficult. Don’t bend the leg into an unnatural position as you can easily do the dog some damage. Be careful of the very thin parts of skin – if the clippers are pressed too hard on these parts it is possible the skin will be cut. You will need to raise the leg to the side a little to get the clippers right into the shoulder area. This is the area which tends to mat up first so if you find it too difficult with the clippers then you might prefer to cut the fur here with the scissors. Run the clippers right down the legs and over the paw making sure you manoevre all around the leg. Be careful of the dew claw (side nail) you don’t want the blade to cut into that.
- Continue to run the clippers over the dog’s back and then down the side of the body. You will need to lift the front leg upin order to manoevre the clippers from the chest area to underneath the belly.
- Next is the hind leg area. It will be reasonably easy to clip the outside of the hind leg.but then you will need to move the leg in order to get to the inside. You can turn the dog around and then lift the other hind leg so as you can get the clippers in to the inside of the hind leg you are working on. Once again, be gentle as you hold the leg and don’t manoevre into an awkward position.
- Once the hind leg is done clip run the clippers from the body and about an inch down the tail all around. You might prefer to work on the other hind leg in the same way before you change blades to clip around the anal area and underneath the tummy area.
- Now is a good time to change the blade to the number 10 for a very short cut around the anal area and the tummy. In the same manner of holding the clippers hold the tail up and use the clippers around the anal opening and the down the backside. Then lift the hind leg up and out enough that you can then clip around the tummy area. Take care to only use this blade at the back end area there where matting tends to occur more easily, generally no further forward than the hind leg.
- Change blades back to the longer length and then continue clipping the other side of the dog as per the instructions above.