Introduction: Help Your Dog Beat the Heat

About: I'm a designer/fabricator working in the Waterloo Region of Ontario, Canada. Currently working on practicing my TIG welding, CNC production, and working on bringing some small stainless steel products to marke…

Summer is finally here in Canada, and with the weather improving its nice to finally get outside.  Although I can dress for the weather, my dog, Coco, can't and is stuck with his big fur coat.  I figured I would try and make him more comfortable in the rising temperatures by giving him a new haircut.  If you want to shave your dog, all you need is a few supplies and a spare hour or two.

NOTE: Although shaving some dogs will help them be more comfortable, giving some breeds a shorter haircut can make it difficult for them to moderate their body temperature and could possibly ruin their coat.  Please do some research on whether it is safe to give your dog a short haircut before continuing with the rest of this Instructable.

Step 1: Supplies:

To give your dog a haircut you will need:
  • Hair Clippers (Preferably heavy duty)
  • A Wire Brush
  • Scissors
  • A Shop-Vac or a Broom
  • A Table
  • A Bathtub
  • Dog Safe Shampoo
  • Towels
And about 1-2 hours of spare time, maybe more depending on how big your dog is.

Step 2: Initial Brushing

The first step of the process is to brush your dog really well.  This is especially important for breeds with curly fur, like labradoodles, and will help your dog relax before you start to shave them.  Brushing your dog will help align all the hairs so that it is easier to use electric clippers which will help you save time.  Try to brush out any tangles or mats to keep the clippers from getting hung up.

Step 3: The Cut

Now that you have finished brushing your dog, its time to get ready to use the clippers.  Pick the guard that will best match the length you want your dog's hair to be, and attach it to the clippers.  If you don't use a guard you do so at your own risk: in my experience it cuts through mats and tangled areas better but you also will end up giving your dog patches at some point.  So unless you want to make your dog look scraggly and uneven using a guard on the clippers is advised.  If you do run into any tough patches with the clippers slow down and try to go through them again.  If it still doesn't work use the brush again and try and smooth out the area.

With the clippers I start on the back of the dog's neck.  Then I work my way down all the way to the tail.  After that I start at the back of the neck and move to the top of the head and the snout.  The final use for the clippers is to trim the chest and do a general shortening on all of the legs and paws.

After you are done with the clippers, it is time to use your scissors.  Scissors are good for sculpting the shape of your dogs head, tail, and paws, and are good for getting any areas that are too difficult to reach with the clippers.  Be careful with the scissors, and make sure that you always know where your dog's skin is.  I start with the scissors on the dogs head and ears, then trim the tail, legs, paws, and underbelly.  It is important to make sure that you get the insides of the dogs legs, as these are easy to forget because they are difficult to reach.

Here is the video:

***Unfortunately I am currently having some trouble embedding video to this instructable.  For now, here is the url for the youtube page: ***

***If any of you have any ideas here is my question posted in the Answers forum: *** 

Unfortunately at some points my SD card ran out of memory and the video appears to skip because I had to attach the video with pieces missing.  The song is Mr. Polite by The Jungle Giants.

Step 4: Final Brushing

After you are done trimming your dog it helps to brush out all of the little furs that can get stuck in their coat and fall out later.  Then you can clean up with a Shop-Vac or a broom, and put all your supplies away.

Step 5: Bath Time

I find that it always helps to give your dog a bath after giving it a haircut.  It removes any little cut off hairs that could still be stuck in their fur and makes them smell nice.

Step 6: All Done

Now that your dog has a shorter haircut they will hopefully happier and more comfortable.  Enjoy the nicer weather and get outside!

If you liked my Instructable please vote for it.

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