How to Use a Dog Clipper? Step-By-Step Guide!

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Author: Jeanette Hampton

Welcome to the world of dog grooming, where a little TLC goes a long way in keeping your dog looking and feeling their best! So “How to use a dog clipper?“🐶

In this guide, we will understand a step-by-step guide to using a dog clipper. This is a tool that transforms your dog from shaggy to chic! A well-groomed dog has many health perks too.

So are you ready to pamper your dog join us in this grooming guide where we explore various parts of this.

How to use a dog clipper

How to Use a Dog Clipper?

Imagine dog clippers as your dog’s personal stylist. There are two main types: electric and manual.

Electric clippers are like the superheroes of grooming, saving time and effort.⌛

Manual clippers require a bit more elbow grease but can be a gentle option for delicate areas.

If your dog has a thick coat, electric clippers with adjustable blades are your go-to, ensuring a clear trim without causing discomfort.

The grooming isn’t complete without supporting tools like combs, brushes, and a touch of finesse. A slicker brush works wonders for removing loose fur, while a comb helps untangle stubborn mats.

Choose brushes with ergonomic handles for a comfortable grip. Think of it as a spa day for both you and your dog!🫧

Dull blades? That’s a no-go. Regularly clean and oil your clippers to keep them in tip-top shape.🐩

A well-maintained clipper glides through your dog’s coat effortlessly, like a hot knife through butter. Make it a ritual to clean the blades after each grooming session, ensuring a smooth experience every time.

How to use a dog clipper

Preparing Your Dog

Before the grooming, Use a gentle brush to untangle any knots or mats. This not only ensures a smoother clipping process but turns the grooming routine into a bonding experience.

Example: If your dog has a longer coat, start with a wide-toothed comb and gradually switch to finer teeth as you progress.🪮

Switch on the clippers away from your pup, allowing them to acclimate to the sound. Reward positive reactions with treats, turning the introduction into a positive experience.

Fun Fact: Some dogs find the buzzing sound intriguing, almost like a canine spa day soundtrack!🎶

Grooming is a mutual affair, so choose a quiet, well-lit space. If your dog feels at ease, the entire process becomes a delightful ritual rather than a dreaded chore.

Play some soothing music or use calming scents to create a spa-like ambience. A relaxed environment makes for a happy dog.

How to Use a Dog Clipper Step-By-Step?

Let’s understand “how to use a dog clipper?” with this step-by-step guide:

a man grooming his dog

Step: 1) Starting With the Right Blade Length

Just like choosing the perfect outfit, selecting the right blade length sets the tone for your dog’s new look. Think of it as the hairstyle you’ve been dreaming of, longer, shorter, or just a trim?

For a stylish summer cut, opt for a shorter blade. If you’re aiming for a fluffier vibe, a longer blade will leave more fur intact.

For curly-coated breeds like the cockapoo, start with a longer blade length to avoid cutting the coat too short with your dog clippers for cockapoo.

Step: 2) Holding the Clippers Correctly

Now, let’s talk about the grip. Hold the clippers as if you’re shaking hands with confidence. A steady hand ensures a precise cut, turning you into the Picasso of dog grooming.

Imagine you’re guiding the clippers over your dog’s coat like a paintbrush on a canvas, smooth and controlled.

Step: 3) Going Against the Grain for Smooth Cutting

Time to break free from the norm! Going against the grain (opposite direction of hair growth) delivers a polished finish. It’s like vacuuming, the against-the-grain pass picks up the stubborn stray hair.

If your dog’s hair grows downward, gently guide the clippers upward for a flashier finish.

Step: 4) Dealing with Sensitive Areas

Sensitive spots require a delicate touch.

giving a cut on dog's cut

Approach ears, paws, and other delicate areas with finesse, just like applying a dab of perfume, subtle yet effective.

Step: 5) Checking for Overheating

The clippers can get a bit toasty during their styling debut. Occasionally check for overheating, ensuring a cool and comfortable grooming experience for your dog friend.

Have a spare set of blades on hand. Swap them out if they start feeling warm to the touch. Your dog will appreciate the cool breeze!

Stay confident, keep it cool,🆒 and enjoy bonding time with your dog while grooming them.

Tips for a Successful Grooming Session

In order to have a happy grooming session, you need to keep a few things in mind and here are those tips:

Tip: 1) Taking Breaks to Reassure Your Dog

Everyone needs a breather so, take short breaks during the session to reassure your dog.🐶 It's like a timeout during a playdate, giving your dog a chance to relax and recharge.

If your dog seems a bit fidgety, pause, and offer a gentle stroke. A mini-break can work wonders.

cutting dog's nail

Tip: 2) Offering Treats

Treats are important in the grooming world. Use them correctly to reward good behaviour. It’s like getting a gold star for a job well done,⭐ a tasty incentive that turns grooming into a delightful experience.

Try special grooming treats to create a positive association. Your dog might start wagging their tail at the sight of the treat bag!

Tip: 3) Signs of Discomfort

Dogs are like master communicators, and they speak volumes without saying a word. Watch for subtle signs of discomfort, like a hesitant tail or tense body language.🐕

If your dog suddenly pulls away, it could be a sign they need a moment. Listen to their cues, and the grooming journey becomes a smooth ride.

Tip: 4) Gradual Approach

First impressions matter, even in the grooming world. Introduce your dog to grooming gradually, step by step. It’s like learning to ride a bike, starting with training wheels before aiming for the big race.

Begin with short grooming sessions, focusing on one area at a time. As your dog becomes more used to it, you can increase the sessions for a full pampering experience.

giving a cut on dog's cut
Tip: Regular nail trims are part of good grooming. See our guide for tips on how to cut dog nails safely and correctly.

Fixing Common Issues

Dull blades, however, can turn this masterpiece into a bit of a smudge so regularly sharpen your blades, ensuring each trim is smooth. A sharp blade glides effortlessly, leaving your pup looking dapper.

Clippers can sometimes play hard to get, jamming at the most inconvenient moments. Keep a small brush handy to sweep away hair debris during grooming pit stops.

Grooming anxiety? It’s more common than you think[1]. If your dog tenses up, pause, and reassure them with a gentle pat. It’s like telling them, “Hey, we’re in this together, and it’s going to be alright.”❤️‍🩹

Offer a favourite toy or a tasty chew to keep your dog’s focus elsewhere. That’s the Power of Distraction!

Aftercare and Clean-Up

After the grooming session, it’s time for the last clean-up. Let’s see how can we do that:

  • If you’ve given your dog a stylish trim, run your hands gently over their coat to feel for any uneven areas. It’s like the final edit in a photography session,📸 perfection in every detail.
  • Use a slicker brush for shorter coats and a comb for longer ones. It’s like magic, the disappearing act for loose hairs!
brushing dog's coat
  • Apply a few drops of oil, and voila, your clippers are ready for their next dazzling performance. Regular cleaning and oiling keep them in superhero shape, ready to tackle any grooming challenge.
  • Elevate the grooming experience with a hint of fragrance. With these aftercare rituals, every grooming session becomes a work of art,🎨 leaving tails wagging and hearts smiling.

If your dog develops irritation or clipper burn, it’s important to treat it properly. Learn more about how to treat clipper burn on a dog.


❓How Do I Maintain My Dog Clipper Blades?

It’s important to ensure that the blades are sharp before using them. Dull blades can cause pain and discomfort to your furry friend. You can sharpen the blades using a sharpening stone. Additionally, you should clean the blades after every use and oil them regularly to prevent rusting.

❓What Size Blade Should I Use for My Dog?

The size of the blade you need depends on the length of your dog’s fur. If you’re unsure which blade to use, it’s best to consult a professional groomer.

❓How Do I Get My Dog Used to the Clippers?

Before using the clippers, let your dog sniff and examine them. Then, turn them on and let your dog get used to the sound. You can also try giving your dog treats and praise while using the clippers to create a positive association.

❓Can I Use Human Clippers on My Dog?

No, you should not use human clippers on your dog. Human clippers are not designed for animal hair and can cause irritation and discomfort to your dog’s skin. Additionally, human clippers are not as powerful as dog clippers and may not cut through your dog’s fur easily.

❓How to Use a Dog Clipper?

Hold the clippers at a right angle to the skin and move them in the direction of hair growth. Use your free hand to hold the skin taut and ensure a smooth cut. Be careful around sensitive areas like the ears, paws, and tail.


In conclusion “How to Use a Dog Clipper?” Grooming dogs using dog clippers is important. This can be a great bonding time for you and your dog.🐶

It is crucial to keep dogs clean and tidy for their health. Remember as pet parents it is our responsibility to look after our dog’s needs to keep them healthy and happy.💖


  1. Signs Your Dog is Stressed and How to Relieve It | VCA Animal Hospital
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Jeanette Hampton
Jeanette Hampton is a content writer at WWD and an expert on all things pets. She’s been writing pet blogs for over 5 years and knows everything there is to know about dogs. Jeanette enjoys writing about pet-related topics because she enjoys helping people learn more about their furry friends.

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