How to Use Dog Clippers For the First Time| DIY Dog Grooming

how to use dog clippers
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Do you spend more than you can afford to get your canine companions professionally groomed every month? Professional grooming can flatten your wallet depending on which dog breeds you have. Instead of spending a fortune on professional dog grooming, many dog owners will give their furry friends a trim themselves.

Dog grooming your canines at home helps them feel more comfortable around you and keeps them feeling healthy and clean at home. Of course, it is easier said than done especially if this is your first time grooming your dogs at home.

If you’re planning to groom your dogs in the months ahead, you’ll be glad to hear that dog grooming for beginners at home isn’t as scary as you think. Learning to use the dog clippers is easier than you think. Below, we provide six simple steps to successfully use the dog clippers. We’ve also included helpful tips to help make the dog grooming process easier for you.  

What Breed Is My Dog?

Before buying the dog clippers and attempting to groom your dog yourself, learn more about your dog’s breed. Find out how your dog should look after trimming by contacting your dog’s breeder, veterinarian, or professional dog groomer. You may say, “Well, duh, I know what my dog looks like!” but you may be surprised at how certain breeds are supposed to look after a dog grooming.

Dog owners should keep in mind what the final outcome is supposed to look like while cutting their dog’s hair. Thus, it may be a good idea to pay a visit to a professional dog groomer first and have her walk you through the grooming process. Allow him or her to show you the best way to clip the coat of your specific breed and which comb attachment to use.

Take note of hair lengths in certain parts of your dog’s body. All of this information will guide you along when grooming your dog. When dog clipping, try not to get too close to the skin, otherwise you risk accidentally cutting your dog’s skin.

Use the Right Tools

Similar to choosing the right dog nail grinders to trim your dog’s nails, you’ll want to use the right tools to trim your dog’s coat. It is important to note that not all dog hair is the same which is why there are so many different types of dog clippers out there. We understand that the variety of dog clippers in the market leaves many dog owners confused and overwhelmed as to which ones are best for their dogs.

When choosing the dog clippers, it is crucial to choose the right size and blade. Choosing the wrong one could traumatize your pups, be painful, and leave them with a messy trim.

Find the appropriate clipper, clipper blades, comb, and slicker brush for your dogs. If you plan to groom your dogs at home for many years to come, choose a kit that is made of stainless steel. We recommend stainless steel clippers because they will last longer, won’t rust, and provide your canine companions with a clean and strong cut.

How to Choose Dog Clippers

To help you decide on the best dog clippers for your furry friend, we’ve provided 3 tips below.

  1. Choose clippers that are specifically designed for your dog’s breed and coat type
  2. Select clippers that have quiet precision motors
  3. Go with clippers that have a firm, waterproof grip

Best Dog Grooming Clippers For Home Use

Instead of buying the clippers individually, we recommend that you purchase a professional clipper kit because it comes with all the tools you need in one place for the best cut. Below we’ve included three clipper kits that we stand by. We’ve provided specific information on these clipper kits, including customer reviews at the bottom of this page.

Quietest Hair Clippers are Best

You may be aware that some dogs can get anxious or nervous when hearing loud noises. If your dogs are not ready, then loud noises can surprise or even distress them. Therefore, it is best to go with quiet hair clippers or silent hair clippers. These make the least noise. Both you and your dog will also have a better grooming experience.

Make Sure Clippers Don’t Get Hot

Clippers that get hot during use is a no-no. You can burn your dog’s skin with them. Remember to turn them off when not in use and regularly test the temperature. There are several options you can try when the clippers get too hot. Before you try any of the items below, make sure to turn it off first.

  • Spray the clipper with blade coolant or lubricant. Make sure to face it away from your dog when you’re spraying the blades
  • If you have a spare clipper, switch to another clipper
  • Replace the blades for cooler ones
  • Place the hot blade on a metal surface to cool down the heat or baking sheets to absorb the heat fast

How to Use Dog Clippers

Whether this is your first time grooming your dog or your fifth, we have provided a few tips below that will help you use your dog clippers like one of the professionals.

If this is your first time or you are a beginner, take the time to watch and study up on professional dog grooming techniques. If you missed a step from your professional dog groomer, no worries. Watch a few professional grooming videos like the one above. You can pause the video and jot notes down.

Search for dog grooming videos that deal with your dog’s breed. This will help you remember or learn the best techniques to keep you and your dog safe during grooming.

How Do Dog Clippers Work?

Similar to the clippers used at your local hair salon, dog clippers are electric tools with sharp blades that cut through heavy and thin dog hair. After using the clipper, your dog should have a clean trim.

The dog clipper kit should come with different shape and size blades. Depending on the job at hand, you can switch the blades accordingly. If you have dogs with thin and soft coats, then you would use fine tooth blades. This should give your furry friends a smooth trim. However, if you have dogs with heavy and thick coats, then a skip tooth blade would be best.

Start Early

quietest hair clippers yellow lab

It is recommended that you start grooming your pups early. This way, they will get used to the dog clippers and do not have any previous bad associations with them. Grooming your pups early also teaches them proper behavior from an early age. If your dogs are older and have never been groomed before, it is understandable that they’ll likely be a bit nervous.

Getting your furry friends comfortable with the dog clippers is crucial because this will help prevent accidental cuts or mistakes. When your dogs are comfortable with the clippers, they will be more relaxed. When they’re relaxed, you’re also more relaxed.

Make sure to take the time to learn about your dogs’ coat, how to keep their coats properly groomed, and which blades will work best.

Prep Your Clipping Area In Advance

Choose a room or space in your house to groom your dog. It’s important to find a quiet space that’s free from distraction. If you have children or other animals in the house, have them play in another room while you groom your dog so she won’t get distracted.

A space in the house we highly recommend is the bathroom. After grooming your dog, it will be easier to clean. Place a few large towels within reach to dry your dog after grooming or catch any stray hair that falls.

It’s important to properly prepare the clipping area before you start trimming your dog. Conveniently place all the tools you’ll need for this grooming at arms reach before you turn on the clippers. Tools include the right blades, brushes, trimming scissors, and hairdryer.

If you know that your dog may move or fidget a lot, grab a dog leash and have her wear it to help keep her from running off during your grooming.

Select the Right Blade

Choosing the right blades is important because different dog coats require their specific type of blades. Depending on the type of blades, it will create different effects on your dog’s coat. Be aware that if you have long-haired dogs, it may take several blades and comb attachments to get the cut you want for your dog. If you have dogs with shorter hair, using only one blade should do the trick in most cases. If you’re unsure of which blade to use for your dog, try the snap-on guide combs.

Avoid Pulling Hair

To avoid pulling your dog’s hair, keep your dog clippers sharp. After each grooming, make sure to keep the blades sharp so that next time it can continue to trim through the hair easily without any tugging or discomfort. The blades should also be kept sharp because in some hard to reach places such as around the head and ears, you may only be able to cut the hair with the top of the dog clippers.

Go Slow and Steady

Slow and steady is the best way to trim your dog’s coat so that the trim is uniformed and consistent. Trimming your dog’s hair too fast by quickly pushing the clipper could leave deep and inconsistent lines.

When you’re cutting your dog’s nails, make sure to also go slow and steady. Clipping your dog’s nail too fast could cause your dog distress and put distress on her nails as well. Clipping her nails in a slow and steady manner helps you stay in control and avoid any discomfort, squirming, or barking.

Clip in the Direction of Hair Growth

Always clip in the direction of your dog’s hair growth. This allows for a smooth, even, and natural-looking coat. Because dog hair growth can change directions at specific parts of their body, be aware that trimming in the right direction can take some time.

Work With Your Dog

Use a dog leash or hold your dog still to minimize sudden movements. First, start from the neck and shave down to the back leg. Then, shave the other side of the dog’s body. Many professional groomers recommend that you cut in an organized fashion. This way, you will not miss any part of your dog’s coat.

Take A Few Breaks In-Between

Be aware that the dog clipper blade will naturally heat up to hot temperatures especially if you use it for extended periods of time. Don’t fret and don’t feel like you need to rush through the trimming.

Instead, take a few breaks in-between trimming. This way, you can award your furry friend, allow the blades to cool down, and avoid any potential injury. Your dog can also take a break, stay calm, and get accustomed to the clippers. It is recommended to take breaks in-between grooming even if your furry friend seems to be taking to the clippers very well.

Lay the blades down on a metal surface or baking pan to cool as mentioned above. If you prefer to cool the blades down with blade coolant, that’s fine too. Or you could also purchase additional blades to switch out when the ones you’re using gets too hot.

End On A Good Note

As you near the end of the trim, it is recommended that you switch out the blade with finer teeth. A blade with finer teeth will leave a smoother look on your dog’s coat and it will safely trim the sensitive areas of the body as you’re finishing up.

6 Simple Steps to Using Dog Clippers

You’ve done your research and have purchased the appropriate clippers for your dog’s grooming. Now, you’re ready to trim your furry friend. Below, we’ve provided six steps that will help you successfully groom your dog.


Before you bathe your dog, it’s important to brush your dog’s coat first. Brushing will help undo any tangles or clumps of hair that would otherwise make grooming difficult and painful. Using an appropriate grooming brush, gently and slowly comb through your dog’s coat. Doing this will smooth out the coat, remove any shedding hair, and get it ready for a wash.

When you’re brushing your dog’s hair, take note of the natural direction of hair growth on her body. Then when it’s time to trim, you’ll know which way to run the clippers.


golden poodle grooming

After brushing your dog’s coat and getting rid of shedding hair or dirt, you can start bathing your furry friend. Bathing your dog will remove additional dirt or grime from your dog’s coat. This step is crucial because if the dirt or grime isn’t removed, it may clog up your clippers. Also, clipping a clean dog is way easier than clipping a dog with dirt, tangles, and grime in the coat.

You’ll want to get the appropriate dog shampoo for your canine. For example, if your dog has parasitic, fungal, or bacterial infections leading to skin scaling, using a medicated dog shampoo is the perfect solution.

Before you bathe your dog, lay down a few towels on the floor so that your bathroom doesn’t get slippery wet. If your dog does not like bathing, lead her into the bathtub with her favorite treats. Once inside, use warm water and apply the dog shampoo. Make sure to lather the shampoo into her fur. Then rinse entirely. When your dog has been thoroughly rinsed through, pat her dry with a towel.


To help your dog become familiar with the clippers, turn it on and let her get used to the sound and movement of the clippers. This way, when you’re trimming her coat, she’s familiar with it and won’t get startled by the sound and movement of the clippers. Then, wait for a few minutes. After, pick a spot on her body that you’d like to start trimming.

During the first few cuts, it’s normal for your dogs to get jumpy. Stay calm and gently hold her down. If this is the first few times you’re grooming your dog, we recommend that you have one other person around to help keep your dog calm and still during grooming.


We recommend that you start trimming from the top of your dog’s neck and slowly work your way down to her shoulder area, back, and down the side of her body. When you’re trimming, go in the natural direction of her body’s hair growth. When it’s time to trim the legs, start with the front legs. Pick up one of her front legs and hold it straight out and run the clipper down it. Once the front legs are done, do the same on the hind legs.


diy dog grooming

We recommend trimming the sensitive spots last, such as her face or near the tail. It’s common for dogs to freak out when the clippers get close to their sensitive spots. To reduce moving or wiggling around a lot, try to clip the sensitive areas last.

When you’re clipping the sensitive areas, make sure the clippers don’t get too close to your dog’s skin. Try to keep your dog calm because if dogs panic, they will try to break free and you may accidentally cut them.


During and after grooming, make sure to give your dogs plenty of praise as grooming can be a traumatizing event for them. Remember to take breaks in-between clipping and reward them with praise or treats. Praise and treats will keep your dogs calm so that the next time you groom them, they will associate grooming with positive memories.

If you aren’t able to trim the full coat off the first time, it’s ok. The most important thing is that your dogs get used to being groomed. This way, you’ll be able to progressively make your way to trimming the full coat off as you continue to groom them.

The WAHL Pet Pro Complete Pet Clipper Kit is a quiet and gentle dog hair clipper that won’t startle your canine companion during your grooming sessions. It comes with four colored guide combs that help you identify and control the coat length you want to trim.

With 30% more torque, it will easily power through thick coats quickly and comfortably. The precision high-carbon blades ensure snag-free cutting and will stay sharp for smooth grooming. Made in the USA, the Wahl grooming kit is known to be a high-quality, long-lasting pet grooming electric clipping and trimming machine.

WAHL Pet Pro Complete Pet Clipper Kit Key Features:

  • Low-noise for stress-free grooming
  • Self-sharpening high-carbon precision blades
  • 30% more torque that easily and quickly powers through thick coats
  • 4 identifiable colored guide combs to easily identify the coat length
  • Kit includes a storage case
  • Made in the USA

What customers are saying:


✅ Many owners loved that the clipper is quiet and smoothly cuts the fur well. They were happy to see that the clipper kit comes with a carrying case, oil, and brush to keep the blades sharp, which was a bonus.

✅ A lot of owners mentioned that the kit was cheaper than going to an expensive groomer and it was a time to bond with their furry friend. They were also proud to show off their work with a before and after photo of their dog.

✅ Many reviews said the cleaning and blade replacement was easy. They recommend that you clean the blades after every use.

✅ Owners of this product said they wish they had bought the clipper kit long ago because using it was a breeze and they look forward to trimming and using the clippers again and again.


❌ A few customers said they wished the clipper was a bit lighter, but understand that the clipper is pretty powerful which is why it was a bit heavy.

The Ceenwes Dog Clippers is another low-noise stress-free grooming kit. The kit comes with 10 tools to help make grooming easier. The lightweight and cordless clippers can conveniently sustain 70 minutes of use so you don’t have to worry about charging it after a short period of use.

Best of all, the low vibration and ultra-quiet hair clippers have a titanium acute-angle blade combining with the ceramic movable blade for smooth and efficient cutting. Your dog will feel calm and at ease during the grooming.

Ceenwes Dog Clippers Key Features:

  • The dog grooming clipper kit comes with 10 tools: Pet clipper with battery included, AC power adapter, cleaning brush, 4 comb attachments, stainless steel scissor, stainless steel comb, nail clipper kit, nail file, and dog shears
  • Powerful motor with the spindle made of fine copper so it doesn’t clamp or hurt your dog’s hair
  • Low vibration and ultra-quiet design
  • Takes only 5 hours to charge and can sustain 70 minutes of uses
  • Lightweight, cordless, and quiet hair clippers
  • Available in gold, red, and silver colors

What customers are saying:


✅ Many owners loved this clipper kit and noted that the quiet hair clippers were so quiet that either their dogs fell asleep during the grooming or didn’t flinch the entire time they were being groomed. They said the blades were warm, but not hot at all.

✅ A lot of owners mentioned that the high-quality clipper kit is perfect for home grooming. The price is great and their dogs were comfortable with it during grooming.

✅ Many reviews said their dogs usually flinch during grooming, but when they used the Ceenwes clippers, their skittish dogs didn’t flinch at all. The razor is quiet and extremely gentle.


❌ A few customers that were dissatisfied mentioned the scissor in the kit. They said it is dull and not aligned correctly. Other than the scissor, the clippers itself and the other tools in the kit are amazing and did the job.

The rechargeable, cordless PetTech Professional Dog Grooming Kit is also a low-noise, low-vibration, and stress-free grooming kit that helps any anxious dog to feel calm and at ease during grooming. One of the best features of this quiet hair clipper is the ergonomic design. Groomers are able to trim hard-to-reach areas.

The precision-cut titanium blades and comfortable grooming combs ensure that there’s no uncomfortable hair pulling so both you and your dog will have a comfortable grooming experience.

PetTech Professional Dog Grooming Kit Key Features:

  • Grooming kit comes with 2 scissors, 4 guide combs, a styling comb, nail clippers, hair scissors, thinning shears, and a small oil container
  • Low-vibration quiet hair clipper with powerful tug-free blades
  • Ultra-quiet hair clipper has an ergonomic design
  • Grooming combs are contoured
  • Cordless and rechargeable

What customers are saying:


✅ Many owners loved that the quiet hair clipper is silent, lightweight, yet sturdy so their dogs were not affected by the noise. The dog owners were able to easily use the clippers and have calm grooming experiences with their furry friends.

✅ A lot of owners loved that the silent hair clipper is cordless. They advised that you clean out the silent dog clipper often and put clipper oil on the blades for optimal use.

✅ Many reviews said they prefer to groom their dogs at home because getting professional grooming can be expensive and the PetTech professional dog grooming kit already paid itself after one use.

✅ Some dog owners said they have never used a quiet hair clipper before and this is their first time grooming their dog. They said that the silent hair clipper is very easy to use even for their first time. The quiet hair clipper is comfortable to hold and use from different angles. Best of all, it has quiet motors.


❌ A few customers said they wish there were more guide combs available that allow them to trim their dog’s fur just a little bit shorter because they’re nervous to use the clippers without the guide comb.

❌ One customer said the direction that came with the kit may not be very clear or hard to understand for some.

The WAHL Blade Ice is the go-to product for blade maintenance so that your clipper blades stay cool and lubricated during grooming and clean after grooming your dog. The quick-drying coolant reduces friction and heat on your clipper blades and helps to maintain a long life for your blades.

WAHL Blade Ice Key Features:

  • Quick-drying
  • Effective lubricant for blade maintenance
  • Provides instant cooling, lubricating, and cleaning for your clipper blades
  • Helps to reduce friction and heat on your blades
  • Helps keep your blades long-lasting

What customers are saying:


  • Many dog owners loved that the WAHL Blade Ice lubricates and cools the clipper blades as they groom their dogs.
  • The high pressure of the spray stream easily dislodge freshly cut hair, dirt, and grime.
  • A lot of owners use this spray every time they groom their pups.


  • A few customers said the coolant didn’t cool down the blades as instant as they had expected.

The CONAIR Dog Brush is great for dogs with short and curly coats. It contains 50% natural boar and 50% synthetic bristles that allow for easy brushing and helps distribute oils in your dog’s coat. After brushing your dog’s coat, it will be easier for you to trim or wash.

CONAIR Dog Brush Key Features:

  • The brush contains 50% natural boar and 50% synthetic bristles allowing easy brushing through short and curly coats
  • Fits perfectly in the palm of your hand
  • Durable and great for at-home grooming

What customers are saying:  


  • Many owners happily noted that the brush does a wonderful job of pulling away loose hair and dry skin from their dogs.
  • Dogs love it whenever their owners brush them with this CONAIR Dog Brush.
  • Pet owners noted that this brush is perfect. It’s neither hard nor too soft. It is coarse enough to brush the dogs’ coat without causing any discomfort to their skin.
  • A lot of owners said the design of this brush fits perfectly in their hand. It rests securely in the palm of their hand for control and it feels like they’re stroking their dogs.


  • A few customers said this CONAIR Dog Brush is smaller than expected.

You’ll want to get the WAHL Dog Shampoo if you’re looking for a pH balanced, alcohol-free, paraben-free, PEG-80 free shampoo and conditioner that cleans, conditions, detangles, and moisturizes the dog’s coat.

The WAHL four in one dog shampoo contains a high concentrate of the coconut-derived sodding agent so even a little bit of shampoo will provide a rich lather. The calming formula in the WAHL dog shampoo will give your dog a smooth and soft coat so they look and smell clean after bathing.

WAHL Dog Shampoo Key Features:

  • PH balanced shampoo and conditioner
  • Free from alcohol, paraben, and PEG-80
  • Cleans, conditions, detangles and moisturizes your dog’s coats
  • Small drop of shampoo will provide a rich lather due to a higher concentrate of coconut-derived sodding agent
  • Made in the USA
  • For all life stages and used by professional vets and groomers for over 50 years

WAHL Dog Shampoo Reviews:


  • Many dog owners were extremely satisfied with the WAHL dog shampoo because the scent lasted for days and it’s not overpowering.
  • If you have a pup that loves to roll in the dirt or jump in lakes, pet owners said the WAHL four in one dog shampoo works wonders.
  • Canine owners noted that this shampoo is great for dogs with long hair and undercoat.
  • The WAHL 4 in 1 dog shampoo rinses off easily. The conditioner provides the dog with a soft, shiny, and smooth coat.
  • Many dogs stayed unexpectedly calm during the bath. The conditioner detangles the coat so it’s easier to comb.


  • A few customers said the WAHL dog shampoo didn’t bubble up enough as they had expected.

If your dog has parasitic, fungal, or bacterial infections leading to skin scaling, the Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiparasitic & Antiseborrheic Medicated Dog Shampoo is the perfect solution.

The veterinary-grade ingredients in this shampoo work fast to help relieve itchy inflamed scalp, waxy skin, skin rashes, and flaky skin caused by seborrhea, parasitic, and bacterial infections.

The Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiparasitic & Antiseborrheic shampoo also contains colloidal oatmeal and allantoin which hydrates your dog’s skin and promotes healing.

Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiparasitic & Antiseborrheic Medicated Dog Shampoo Key Features:

  • Medicated antiparasitic and antiseborrheic shampoo for dogs over 12 weeks of age
  • Paraben-free, dye-free, and soap-free
  • Shampoo safely treats the following:
    • Fungal and bacterial skin infections
    • Skin scaling caused by seborrhea
    • Parasitic infections like mange
  • pH-balanced antiparasitic shampoo for dogs
  • Great for dogs with sensitive, allergic, and yeasty skin

What customers are saying:  


  • Many owners were happy with the antiparasitic shampoo for dogs. They used this shampoo for dogs with scabies, dandruff, and skin issues.
  • After using the Veterinary Formula clinical care antiparasitic & antiseborrheic shampoo, owners notice their dog’s skin looks healthier.
  • A lot of owners said the Veterinary Formula Clinical Care antiparasitic & antiseborrheic shampoo saved them from a trip to the vet.
  • The shampoo is a lifesaver because it provided their dogs with relief and healing from itchy skin. Overall, their dogs were happier after using it.
  • A few owners said if your dog has mange, then this is the shampoo you need.


  • A few customers complained about the strong smell of the shampoo. It has a medicine-like smell.