There are a few dogs who need to be regularly trimmed. Yes, they are like us humans in that way. Their hair grows and gets too long. It can get matted. It can look downright shameful. There are times they need to get a good clipping.
Okay, there are the dogs with little to no hair. They don’t need to keep trim when it comes to the hair, so we’ll leave them out of this piece. That includes bulldogs, chihuahuas, beagles, Great Danes, and other similar breeds. We’re here to talk about the dogs that can look shaggy and not in a good way. Let’s explore a dog’s haircuts.
Why Give a Dog a Haircut
A dog doesn’t generally get a haircut just to get a new look or spruce up their appearance before their hair begins to drag on the floor. Their hair will only grow so far, but it can still look pretty bad. It can get matted which is unforgettable for the dog and unhealthy. It can get dirty which then requires the owner to do a lot of doggie baths. That can get expensive and messy.
Since a dog cannot tell their owner they need a haircut, the owner has to be the one to decide on getting the job done. Yes, some like to cut a dog’s hair for fun as they do their own, but there are two big reasons a dog should get a haircut: to aid in good hygiene and to make them feel comfortable in bad weather. Let’s explore these.
Look at what we do for good hygiene. We brush our teeth so they don’t rot. We wash our face so the skin doesn’t showcase sores. We wash our hands so we don’t make ourselves sick. Dogs need good hygiene as well. Unkempt hair can make them sick.
A dog’s face can get dirty with long hair around the eyes and mouth. All the food they eat, gets into that long hair. Eyes can get infected when the hair around them is matted with dust and fluids from the eyes. Sores can develop. Infection can set in. Keeping the hair on their face trimmed is part of taking care of a dog.
Now let’s consider the opposite end. Dogs don’t use toilet paper. What does that mean? They can’t keep themselves too clean there. Yes, they can clean the area well, but long hair can be a hindrance to a good cleaning. An untrimmed rear can cause matting and eventually difficulty going to the bathroom. Excrement gets caught in the hair and clots up. The dog is uncomfortable and will do nearly anything to get rid of the annoyance that can became painful. This is one very important reason to give a dog a haircut.
Speaking of feeling uncomfortable…
Consider the Weather
Bitter cold or intense heat can take a toll on your dear pet. Too much hair on your dog can increase the impact heat has them. They are uncomfortable and less active when they feel like they are being smothered by their own hair. Too little hair in the coldest of winters can cause them to shiver and not go outside to do their business.
Take the Husky for example. They are bred to survive in the Arctic Circle. That means heavy fur that keeps them wrong. This can be uncomfortable in the tropics. Less hair is better for them. Then there is a little terrier. You don’t want a short cut when the harsh winters hit. They’ll freeze.
Consider the weather when you give your dog a haircut. Keep it trimmed but not too much in winter and a little more so in the summer. Give them relief from the temperatures simply by choosing the right cut.
Now what is the right cut?
Haircut Styles to Consider
What is your intent with getting your dog’s hair cut? Looks? Just the hygiene part? There are a few styles you might want to consider when you get your dog groomed.
Shaved – This is not one that is highly recommended as it is mostly for extreme cases. A shave is literally getting down to the skin and removing all the hair. This might be necessary if your dog is extremely matted, suffering from fleas, or has a skin condition. Shaving should be reserved for starting over and not something you want to do regularly. How would you like to be shaved completely bald and then forced to walk the neighborhood naked? That’s what a shave does to your dog.
Poodle – This is a widely recognized cut that poodles seem to have around the globe. I could say just look at a poodle to know what it looks like, but that feels lazy. Basically, a poodle cut is very short hair (not shaved) on the body and puffs of hair left long around head, neck, and at times around the ankles. A few might even leave a puff of hair at the tip of the tail. The poodle breed is not the only one that can successfully have this cut, but they are the most known for it.
Teddy Bear – This is one of the cutest cuts around. It is designed to make your dog into a cuddle teddy bear, at least in looks. It is similar to a poodle cut in that there is more hair around the face than the rest of the body but is not a poof as the poodle cut. It is more rounded.
Neat and Clean – This is just a simple cut where you want your dog comfortable and clean. You want the face trimmed and the bottom neat so your dog avoids sores, infections, and just plain uncomfortable matting. Any groomer will understand your needs if you just want a neat and clean trim.
By Breed – Most breeds have their own unique cut that causes them to stand out. We mentioned one in the poodle cut. It is hard to determine a poodle if they aren’t presented in such a style. Other breeds have unique cuts such as the Afghan, the silky terrier, or even a spaniel. Yorkies usually get a different cut from a terrier. You can check online or with your groomer to see which cut suits your breed the most. Some long hair breeds have unique styles to show off the thickness of their tail or the depths of their coloring.
Choosing a Groomer
With a better idea of the right haircut for your dog, now you ask yourself where to go and get the job done and done right? There are many places. Look online and find dozens near you. There are groomers who come to your house. There are groomers in pet salons. There are groomers in pet stores.
Talk to the groomer. Express your desires and get a good feel for them. If you don’t feel comfortable, choose a different groomer. You need to feel secure in who is grooming your dog. Look for reviews and get recommendations from other dog owners. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to find anyone in the service industry. A good reputation is worth the money.
Speaking of money, how much does it cost? That can vary on the groomer, the breed, and the cut you choose. Ask the groomer what their prices are. Comparison shop. The more intricate the cut, the more expensive. A simple cut can be as low as $30 dollars depending on where you live. Groomers who work out of their own homes usually cost a little less. Large pet stores have specials due to so many groomers in training. Go where you feel comfortable and where you can afford the best cut for your pet.
Give the Dog Pride
When you consider giving your dog a haircut, make sure they aren’t ashamed of it. Make them want to parade with such a nice doo. Keeping with the breed cuts is the safest way to go. You don’t want to give your little silky a poodle doo. People will get confused when they look at the poor fellow.
Choose a cut that is comfortable for your dog, helps keep them healthy, and looks good on them. It’s about being practical, but it can be about style. You want your dog looking good when they go out for their walks. You can also strut knowing you are the one behind your pet looking so good. Nothing says a good pet owner like a well looking dog.
If your dog has hair that needs to be groomed, don’t let the hair get too long. Get the best haircut for your dog that will keep them looking good and feeling comfortable. Talk with your groomer. Build a relationship where you, the groomer, and the dog are all trusting each other. Research your dog. Talk with the experts. Shop around and find the best haircut for your little pet. They are so worth it.