How To Use A Dog Grooming Clipper

If the dog salon is costing you a fortune, maybe it’s time to learn how to use a dog grooming clipper yourself. After all, you can cover the cost of buying dog clippers with three haircuts. Your dog is sure to prefer being groomed by you than a stranger. And you’ll have the flexibility of grooming your dog in your free time, not someone else’s. Best of all, learning how to use a dog grooming clipper is easy when you follow the right steps.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Dog grooming clipper
  • Snap-on dog grooming combs
  • Clipper blade coolant and lubricant
  • Scissors
  • Grooming table (optional)


  1. Choosing the right dog grooming clipper. Choose a dog grooming clipper that comes with all the attachments you will need, such as dull-end scissors, clipper blade coolant or lubricant and snap-on combs. Read reviews online before choosing a dog grooming clipper. You’ll want to buy one that works well for your breed. Dogs with thick fur, like Pomeranians or poodles, will need a more powerful dog grooming clipper than a Yorkshire Terrier. Finally, look for a dog grooming clipper that is very quiet, as this will help your pet relax.
  2. Before you start clipping. The first step to learning how to use a dog grooming clipper effectively is to familiarize yourself with the equipment before the groom begins. Make sure the clipper blade is sharp in the event that you are using an old or used dog grooming clipper. Though they will not cut you, sharp clipper teeth will feel smooth and pointed. Be sure, also, to use the right clipper blade for your dog’s fur as detailed in the product manual (the higher the blade number, the finer the cut will be). If you are unsure of the blade type, use the snap-on combs to achieve varying lengths of cuts with the same clipper blade.
  3. Important clipper warning. No matter how you use a dog grooming clipper, the blades are likely to get too hot, even to the point of scolding. Be sure to treat the clipper blade with specially formulated clipper blade coolant or lubricant. The reduction in friction reduces heat. As you groom your dog, place the blade over your wrist intermittently to test its temperature.  When a blade overheats, lay it on a cool floor or ice pack wrapped in a towel (to avoid moisture). You can also replace the hot blade with a cool one.
  4. Prepare your dog for grooming. Brush your dog’s fur and make sure it is clean and free of tangles. If you come across tangles, use scissors with the blunt edge of the blade held parallel to your dog’s skin to avoid accidentally cutting him. Place your dog on a grooming table or other surface large enough for his size. Make sure you are both comfortable and the room is well lit.
  5. How to use your dog grooming clipper. First, test the clippers on your wrist to assure yourself that the blade is safe. Begin using the dog grooming clipper on a hidden spot, such as the inner thigh of your dog where the fur is less thick. Hold the clippers comfortably and at a slight angle to the surface you want to clip and start grooming in a straight line. Very quickly you’ll learn how much fur the clipper grooms and at which angle it works best. By starting in a hidden spot, you can hide your early study of the clipper’s function. It’s best to work slowly and carefully to avoid accidentally over-clipping or hurting your dog.
  6. Get ideas for dog grooming styles. Visit the web-sites of local dog societies for your breed to get ideas on which dog grooming style may suit your dog best. This is especially true for Poodles, Chinese Crested, and long-haired breeds that receive comprehensive groom for summer.
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