How to Use Scissors to Give a Dog a Haircut

If your dog has a lot of fur and you want to give it a haircut using scissors, the process will take time and patience. Once you know how to hold the scissors at the proper angle, you can safely cut your dog’s hair to the length you prefer. As long as your dog is very cooperative, the more you use the scissors, the better you will get.

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A comb is a big asset in scissoring your dog's hair.

Place your dog on a grooming table at a comfortable height for you. If your dog is uneasy, it may be necessary for you to secure a grooming arm to the table so that you can restrain your dog, or get the assistance of a helper.

Brush your dog's coat thoroughly to remove any excess fur, and always follow up with the comb to guarantee you have not missed any mats.

Pick up the scissors by placing the index finger and the thumb in the finger holes. If the holes are too large, you can use rubber finger guards for a more comfortable fit.

Begin along the dog's back and comb the hair up and backward to see all the uneven ends. Use your fingers as a guide to hold up the hair and clip on top of your fingers. You will need to repeat the process of combing backward, holding up the hair and clipping until you get the desired length and all hair is evenly cut.

Repeat with the back combing and scissoring all the way down the back to the base of the tail and proceed down each side. Keep back combing and clipping until you see no unruly hairs sticking out.

Back comb one of the rear legs and scissor to the shape of the leg. Do so with each leg, repeating the back combing and scissoring process.

Use your brush to brush the hair upward on your dog’s foot, and scissor the hair that is sticking out. The objective is to keep back brushing and clipping the unruly hair sticking up. The finished look will give the appearance of a round, velvet slipper on your dog. Repeat the process on all the feet.

Grab the tail at the tip and allow the hair to hang equally on both sides. Trim a nice even length. Hold the fur at the tip of the tail and twist it. Cut the length at this point, straight across, being careful not to cut the tail itself.

Work to give your dog’s head a nice rounded effect. Begin at the top of the head between the ears, comb the hair up through your fingers and clip the hair on top of your fingers. Work in rows from ear to ear and then from the back of the head to the top of the eyes. Pull up the hair on top of the nose and near the eyes with your fingers or a small comb. Use rounded tip scissors to carefully clip the hair around and under the eye area. To finish the head, comb down and clip each side to form a half moon. Proceed to clip under the chin in an even line with both sides of the head.

Hold the ear and comb downward to be sure there are no mats. Before trimming you want to be sure to hold the ear at its point where the leather ends. You want trim the ears evenly to the shape of the leather without cutting the skin. Repeat with the other ear. Stand back, call your dog’s attention to look at you so that you can check the length of the hair on the dog's head and ears.