How to Use Dog Clippers in 8 Steps | Pet PRO Advice

How to Use Dog Clippers in 8 Steps

Have you grown tired of taking your dog to professional groomers that are too expensive or you simply do not trust? Then you’ve probably considered grooming your dog at home. If so, you’ve learned that it is no easy task. You want to be able to handle your dog without harming them. To do so, you should learn properly how to use dog clippers. We came up with eight steps you can follow that will lead to you grooming your dog like a pro.

8. Observe Professionals

A good way to learn how to use dog clippers is by first learning about them via observation. Also, you can always ask your veterinarian about the process. Or, if you have a trainer, you can bring it up with them as well. Perhaps one of the best methods is by watching the actual groomer.

Pay close attention to how they manage to settle your dog, how they set up their supplies, and how they set up their workstation. If you no longer have a groomer, you can always check the internet and find a video on the matter. This is an excellent way for you to get a visual on how it should be done. It can also help reduce any anxiety you may be feeling.

7. Have the Right Tools

how to use dog clippers tools

Once you have gotten over any worries about grooming your own pet and you’re ready to give it a shot, remember to purchase the right tools. There are dozens of available clippers, and not all will work best for your dog. So, it helps to do a little research before settling on a certain product.

For your grooming needs at home, it can help to purchase an entire set rather than just the clippers. A set usually contains the clippers, combs, brushes, scissors, and anything else you may need. By going this route, you can ensure that you have everything readily available.

Concerning just the clippers, you may want to consider purchasing one that is as quiet as possible. The quieter the tool, the less anxious your dog will be by that “humming” noise. Machines that are too loud can cause them to fidget or jump, which will only make the process harder for you.

6. Practice Holding the Clippers

When you have chosen the clippers that will work best for you and your dog, it is important that you get used to them prior to using them on your pet. This doesn’t mean you go out and practice on some other dog. What this means is that you simply hold them.

This should be done both with the machine on and off. By practicing holding the clippers when they are off, you are able to get a sense on how they feel, where the buttons are, and whether or not it contours so that you won’t develop any hand fatigue. When you turn it on, there will be a different sensation and overall feel. Adjust your grip appropriately so that you are comfortable.

5. Always Groom a Clean Dog

how to use dog clippers after a bath

Learning how to use dog clippers comes with understanding the type of coat to use them on. A dirty, matted dog coat is going to hinder your grooming process. The clippers can get stuck and snag, which can harm your dog and reduce your chances of being able to groom them in the future.

Be sure to properly wash your dog, dry them properly, and brush them down. This eliminates dirt and clumps of hair that will get in the way of your clippers. Once this is done, you will have a much easier time working through their hair with the clippers, and you won’t put them at risk of getting hurt.

4. Keep Your Clippers Sharp

Learning how to use dog clippers comes with understanding how to maintain them. This starts with ensuring that the blades are actually sharp. Dull blades have the potential to tangle up the hair even if you have brushed it. It can also pull the hair rather than clip it, causing your dog to be in pain.

Thankfully, you usually do not have to sharpen your blades that often, especially if you only groom for a few minutes out of the day. You usually don’t have to sharpen your blades for months in this case. If you use them more frequently, then, of course, they will need to be sharpened more often.

Keeping your clippers sharp can be done by simple maintenance and cleaning. You should always clean your blades after a grooming session. As long as you keep up with that, your blades should maintain their sharpness.

3. Stop Your Clippers from Overheating

If your blades are sharp and ready to go, it’s time to start paying attention to the temperature. It is far too easy for blades to become too hot. Hot clippers make for uncomfortable pets. You can even burn your dog if you are not careful enough. So, how will you know if your clippers are overheating? Turn it off and touch it.

If it feels too hot, you can always switch it out if you have other clippers. Just changing the blade if you have additional blades can help as well. If these are impossible to do, be sure to have some coolant spray on-hand. This type of spray can help lubricate the blades and reduce heat and friction. It’s also a good way to just maintain the clippers.

2. Work in a Pattern

how to use dog clippers in a pattern

Beyond maintaining your blades, it’s important you know the proper way to shave when learning how to use dog clippers. You want to end up with a smooth, even coat. It won’t turn out well if you simply dive in.

What you need to do is learn how to work in a pattern. This can reduce the chance of your dog suddenly moving, and it can ease you into the process since you’re unfamiliar with it. For example, you can start from the top of the head and work your way down to the neck and shoulder areas. Be sure to hold your dog steady and clip in the direction of the coat.

1. Remember to Work Slowly

After following the previous steps, you may feel comfortable enough. There is still one thing to keep in mind: go slow. Learning how to use dog clippers means little if you rush through the process. This is new territory for you and your dog, so take things slow. By doing this, you are able to work up your confidence by steadily getting rid of any nerves. The more comfortable you are, the more at ease your dog feels.

In addition, going slow lessens the chances of improper use such as pulling at your dog’s hair or ignoring any signs of overheating. Also, pushing the clippers too fast can lead to you leaving harsh lines. So, if you want a smooth coat and a happy dog, take things slow.


If you are serious about grooming your dog at home, then it is important that you do so the right way without hurting them whether physically or emotionally. We know that the steps listed in this article will help get you more comfortable with learning how to use dog clippers. If you have any thoughts about the recommendations listed, feel free to share your opinions with us in the comments. We also recommend you read our article if you need help with stopping your dog from digging under the fence.

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