How To Groom Your Dog At Home

When Bear was a puppy, I used to take him to get groomed every month. Sometimes I liked how he looked afterwards, and sometimes he didn’t look like my dog at all.

I finally found a groomer who I loved, only to have her move to a new location farther away, and then to another location even farther away.

I think she moved three times before I decided that going out of my way to groom my dog, dropping him off for 2-3 hours (which he hated), and paying $50-$80 every month was getting a little ridiculous.

I decided then to try it myself and after doing some research and getting the right tools, I definitely saw that it was something I could manage. Since then, I have been grooming him at home and he loves it!

While my results don’t totally resemble something fresh out of the dog salon, it works for us and he still looks pretty darn cute. Plus, think about all of the money I’ve saved over the past 14 years.

Please know that grooming a dog is a skill that takes time to learn. You can seriously injure your pup if you do things the wrong way (even brushing them the wrong way can hurt them).

If you don’t feel comfortable grooming your own dog, or they won’t stay still for you, please don’t attempt to groom your dog at home.

I am lucky because Bear is a good good boy and stays very still for me the whole time. He fully trusts me and we have a bond that is strong.

How to groom your dog at home

I filmed the whole process for you so that you could see how I do it and try it yourself if you like. I will list the tools I use below. Click here to watch or press play below:

This post contains affiliate links for product recommendations. Any purchases made through these links help support the blog with a small commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Andis AGC Professional Dog Clipper Kit
Andis 4FC 9.5mm blade
Wide tooth comb
Grooming Thinning Shears

Step One: Give Him a Bath

Your dog needs to be nice and clean before cutting his hair. The clippers can become worn out and get caught on his fur if you don’t start with a fresh, clean base.

Step Two: Blowdry

You can also air dry, but I like to blowdry so the process goes quicker. I usually brush him as I blowdry to try to flatten out some of his curls. You’ll also want to make sure the blowdryer is on cool/warm setting and not hot!

Step Three: Clippers

Brush him then using dog clippers (not human ones) shave his body. I use a blade that allows his fur to remain just under an inch long because I don’t like him to be totally naked.

Step Four: Scissors

I use scissors on his head and to finish the rest of his body. I use thinning shears to avoid any blunt edges from the scissors, plus they make him look a little fluffier. Cut the fur around his paw pads carefully as well.

All of these steps are shown in the video above. Remember to subscribe! I hope you enjoyed!

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By Dana Fox

Founder of the Wonder Forest blog and brand and bestselling author of the Watercolor With Me book series.


  1. Leonberger is part of a group of dogs that most groomers know never to shave. If they are they should have had you sign a waiver saying that you were informed that the hair may never grow back properly. Other breeds are husky/spitz type dogs, and corgi’s.

  2. Most dogs are good with the dremel – I use it on my client dogs more than clippers. I do have one or two dogs that could not get used to grinding. There are many websites on how to introduce your dog to grinding.

  3. Bear is very cute. You did an awesome job. As a groomer I only cringed once. He is also a very good dog to groom, well done. Some tips; you can use that #10 blade to skim the hair off the bottom of the pads. Safer than scissors (for dogs who are less cooperative). Same for the corner of the eyes – make sure they are clean and if a lot of goop in the eyes use a flea comb in the bath combing away from the corner of the eye to remove debris. Soften then remove. For a final touch you can use that 10 blade again to scoop the corners of the eyes away from the eye to remove hair that is stained or collects the eye goop. For your ear length, comb out both ears. Remove the hair from under (which you did) so they lie flat as possible to the head. Then while the ears are relaxed look straight at him and trim to length (do not lift them up). Once you have “set” the ear length – then you can lift them as you did and round them off (or square depending on your preference). Then comb and look again to check the length.
    Good for you!!

  4. OMG! I have a sweet little Maltese boy named Bear, too. 🙂

    I’ve wanted to learn to groom him myself for a while, and this definitely helped boost my confidence to give it a try sometime soon. Thanks for posting!

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