Lessons From a Groomer: Clipper Tips and Tricks

Grooming your dog yourself can be intimidating, especially if you don’t know what to do.

However, once you learn the basics of dog grooming from home, you’ll see that this is the more cost-effective and fun way to go. Not only will you get to spend time with your dog, but they’ll also feel less stressed since they’re in a more comfortable and familiar environment.

Try to find a suitable fur clipper for your dog using a dog clipper guide combs size chart. Once you do, you’ll get to apply these clipper tips and tricks to help you groom your dog at home.

dog nails

Get the Right Tools

To start grooming your dog, you’ll need the right tools. Ideally, you should have a clipper, comb, and slicker brush to go through all your dog’s grooming needs.

Professional groomers will easily have things available but will charge you more than the price of actually buying the tools.

Spend less money! Clipper blades, combs, and brushes are readily available at any pet store.

However, you should look at reviews before purchasing hair clippers, blades, nail clippers, and slicker brushes. This will help you pick the appropriate ones for your dog’s hair type and length.

You should also try investing in some stainless steel equipment. While they can be more expensive, they will last longer, won’t rust, and offer one of the most efficient and cleanest cuts available for your pet’s fur.

Use Appropriate Blade

Every new groomer and pet owner should know that there are two blade types: skip-tooth and finish-cut. Skip-tooth blades are risky for a beginner; therefore, if you’re not a professional, always buy a finish-cut blade.

Every other tooth in skip-tooth blades is short. Professionals only use them to cut through matted, tangled, or thick coats since the spacing of the teeth makes it easier to injure your dog accidentally.

You can tell the difference between a skip-tooth and a finish cut by looking at their blade and the numbers. Finish-cut versions will frequently include an abbreviation of the name and the number.

A finish-cut blade, for example, will be represented as #5FC or #5F, whereas you’ll only see a #5 written on a skip-tooth.

dog groomer

Know What to Do When Your Clipper Jams

A jammed clipper blade is a common problem encountered while grooming, and this can be a very frustrating experience if you don’t know what to do next. When this happens, the blade no longer cuts the hair; instead, it drags it through.

If this happens, spray the jammed blade with a cooling lubricant like an Andis Cool Care spray. While spraying, point it squarely onto the teeth of the blade while maintaining the blade at an angle until you see hair dripping from the blade.

If this hasn’t freed the jam, try this method again and ensure you spray it all over the areas of the blade that touch metal to metal.

You have to ensure that you remove hair that got stuck between the two pieces of metal and caused the blockage. If it worked, clean the blade with a towel before using it again.

Get the blade sharpened if you’ve tried everything and it still jams.

Keep the Clippers Cool

Hot clippers can burn your dog’s skin, so try shutting them off and touching them to test the temperature.

If they appear to be overly hot, you can try spraying your clipper with a specialized clipper coolant or lubrication. Don’t use WD40, though, since it can get into your clipper housing and tends to evaporate quickly from the heat.

Alternatively, you can change to a different clipper if you have a spare or just replace the blades with a cooler one. You can also try placing the hot blade on something metal to transfer the heat better away from the blade.

dog on walk

Use the Grain’s Direction as a Guide

For a clean, natural-looking coat, it’s better to cut with the growth of the dog’s hair. Dog hair is remarkable in changing directions at specific points on the body.

As a result, cutting in the appropriate direction may take some time. Pay attention to how the hair grows to ensure the cut is smooth, even, and complementary to the existing coat.

Alternatively, you can try shaving against the grain. This means that you’ll go against the direction of hair growth, allowing the dog to be totally shaven.

If you use this procedure with a dog clipper blade, you won’t have to worry about where the dog’s hair is coming from or where it’s heading. This strategy is also used throughout the summer when dogs become overly hot.


Grooming your dog on your own doesn’t have to be intimidating. With the proper clipper techniques, you won’t have to go to a professional groomer anymore.

Just remember to keep your pet comfortable and safe when trimming their fur. You should also research new grooming equipment and techniques before using them.


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