How To Cut Dog Hair With Scissors

Dog grooming can be an overwhelming task, but a quality set of scissors will get things done easily right at home. However, many people don’t know how to cut dog hair with scissors. 

Like a painting brush to an artist, scissors are useful tools to a groomer. Scissors are quiet, easy to use, and will not cost you a fortune. Also, they will cut your dog’s hair like clippers and give it a fun and furry look.

If you want to give your dog a quick trim, and lack grooming tools such as clippers, opt for scissors as they’ll do wonders. In the end, your dog will be clean and attain a natural look. 

Here’s everything you need to know about cutting your dog’s hair with scissors.

Scroll down to learn more!

Pomeranian spitz during haircut

Where Can You Learn to Groom Dogs

Grooming dogs is not as easy as you think. It involves a lot of processes. Since many people don’t know how to cut dog hair with scissors, they need special training. But where can they get the training sessions? Well, groomers have come up with dog grooming associations.

Also, you can take an online course if you are busy enough to attend a physical class.

Learning to groom your dog will teach you about different grooming tools. You’ll also learn about the safety and health of your dog, as well as the importance of dog grooming at home.

Before proceeding with the cut, you need to know the different types of dog scissors. Knowing will help you to use the right scissor on the right coat.

Types of Scissors for Dog Hair

There are many types of scissors for cutting dog hair. These scissors come in different styles and sizes. Talking of scissors, it does not mean that you can trim the hair using normal ones. A regular pair of scissors is designed to cut normal human hair.

And because the dog’s hair is thick, it requires special grooming scissors. To achieve a good finish, check out the main types of dog grooming scissors:

Straight Grooming Scissors

These types of scissors are commonly found on the market. They are straight, affordable, and readily available. Straight scissors come in a range of options. You will find different sizes and weights for your dog’s hair cut too. They also have various blade lengths to suit every dog’s needs.

In terms of length, you will find that they’re about 7 inches (17.8 centimeters) and 8 inches (20.32 centimeters). With straight scissors, you can cut the hair around your dog’s feet by holding the scissors at a 35-degree angle as you go round the part you are working on. 

Straight scissors will allow you to achieve dog grooming DIY styles, set angulation on the hind leg, or form a nice round head. The better part about this scissor is that you can cut straight and curved lines. If you want to own one pair of grooming scissors, opt for straight scissors.

This type of dog grooming scissors is suitable for dogs with drop coats. Such breeds include the Maltese and Yorkshire terrier, among others. Unfortunately, it leaves uneven finish marks after the shave. When this happens, use a thinning scissor to blend the lines.

For perfect dog hair cuts finish, comb the fur down, trim the edges and ensure it is aligned with the required length. Apart from mixed breeds, it is also suitable for Bichons and Poodles.

Thinning Scissors

Thinning scissors are special tools used by experts. They have two types of blades, where one is toothed, and the other one is a cutting blade. They are also used to remove a portion of hair and mix different lengths to thin a thick coat.

Thinning scissors come in two types; double-sided and single-sided. Single-sided thinning scissors exhibit teeth on one side and a straight bar on the other. On the other hand, the double-sided thinning scissors have teeth on both sides. However, one side is shaped and has a cut.

Instead of cutting the fur, these scissors remove a bit of another coat. They are also suitable for bulky thick coats and make lines more natural. Thinning scissors are ideal for dogs with wiry coats. 

After cutting this type of coat, you will end up with scissor marks, but you don’t have to worry. This scissor will thin it down. The breeds that require these scissors are poodles, mixed breeds, and Bichons. Also, these scissors are suitable for woolen or blended coats and blend into a nice look.

Curved Scissors

The third type of scissors is curved ones. They are slightly coved towards the tip of the blade. So, you can use it to groom the dog and trim any body shape. They are mainly used to shape the fur around the contour of the head and body.

Curved scissors come in 7 inches (17.8 centimeters) and 8 inches (20.32 centimeters). You can have two pairs to move oppositely. But you can still turn a single curved scissor going the opposite way. A curved scissor is suitable for blended and woolen coats for Poodles, Bichons, and mixed breeds.

Rounded Tips Safety Scissors

Closing the list of the types of scissors are rounded tips safety scissors. These scissors are used to cut sensitive parts such as the face, ears, and paws. While many people fear cutting hair in these areas, you will be confident since they are safe.

Benefits of Cutting Your Dog Using Scissors

Most of the time, dog groomers and owners use clippers to cut dogs’ hair. However, this is not applicable in all circumstances. Sometimes you might want to use scissors. Scissors are essential because:

They are Quiet

Generally, most dog shaving tools are known to produce a lot of noise. The noise makes dogs uncomfortable since they become frightened. However, unlike clippers, scissors don’t produce a lot of noise.

Best for Puppy Coat

There are different types of shaving tools for cutting dog hair. But not all of them suit every dog’s coat. For example, unlike adult dog coats, you cannot use clippers on puppy coats. This is because the coat is still developing, thus weak. 

So, you need to give it time until they develop a full adult coat. Since clipping may make the coat thick and coarse, use scissors.

Suitable for a Sport Coat

Some dogs have spoiled coats for several reasons, maintenance being one of them. Using a grooming tool such as a clipper can spoil the coat. Using this tool can make the coat thicker, thus prone to matting.

Scissors are more advantageous because they are gentle and cut the fur without damaging the coat. 

Maltipoo dog sitting at the table while being haircut

How to Hold Dog Grooming Scissors

Cutting your dog’s hair does not involve taking the scissors then starting the DIY dog grooming process. Instead, it goes down to holding the scissors in the right way. Holding in the proper manner will enhance maximum control and prevent the straightening of the thumb. To hold the scissors:

  • Place your hand through the top hole and the ring finger through the bottom hole.
  • While you open and close, your middle and index fingers will support the scissor. While doing this, your little finger will be resting at a curved bar at the back of the handle.
  • Keep your fingers steady, and make sure that only the thumb moves up and down.
  • To become a pro, practice in the air or get a piece of rug, comb out the fleece on the sheepskin rug. 
  • Start scissoring a few inches (a few centimeters) away and make the finish smooth and clean. Do it regularly to see any improvements.

How to Cut Dog Hair With Scissors

Cutting a dog’s hair with scissors is not an easy task. It requires a lot of things to complete the process. First, you need to know the coat type. Your dog’s coat type is essential since there are different coats.

What’s best for your pup may not be perfect for another dog. Other things to consider are the dog’s lifestyle, its patience, the type of scissors, and most of all, available time. If you have all these aspects in place.

So, check out these steps on how to cut a dog’s hair with scissors:

Step 1

The first step to cutting your dog’s hair with scissors is putting it on a high surface such as the table. This is essential since you will get to have a good view. However, sometimes things can go south.

When dealing with a stubborn dog that is always on the move, use a grooming arm to position your canine friend properly. Alternatively, get help from someone else to assist throughout the whole process.

Step 2

The second step is to brush the coat thoroughly. Thorough brushing is vital since you will get to remove matted and tangled hair. Besides that, you will see any underlying issues such as skin diseases or bugs.

Step 3

The third step is to select the right scissors. This act is essential since there are different types of scissors. Each of these scissors is designed to suit the needs of varying dog coats. Make sure that your scissors exhibit a rubber grip for a comfortable grip. 

Step 4

Start the process of clipping your dog. Do it from the back and be gentle not to hurt the dog.

Step 5

Cut the sensitive areas like the ear, face, eyes, and paws. While doing this, don’t apply force to avoid hurting your dog.

Step 6

Maintain the previous position of cutting from the back, and maintain the single direction. Do not start to cut too deep as it will not give an even cut.

Step 7

Cut a little while combing the area. This will be a proper and easy way to check if you are doing it correctly. It is also an easy way to inspect if there are skin issues.

Step 8

For a better finish, repeat trimming in the same spot. Use a smaller scissor to comb sensitive areas. Trim the tail at the tip. Next, cut the head and then the ears again.

Step 9

Finish trimming the paws and the legs carefully.

Step 10

Check your dog carefully to ensure an even cut. If there are strays of hair, be sure to cut. Then, reward your dog with treats and cuddles for patience.

By now, you have all the required steps to complete your dog’s cut. But you need further tips to help you achieve a perfect look. For a nice cut, check out these tips to aid when trimming your dog at the comfort of your home.

Tips on How to Groom The Dog at Home

Utilize the Right Tools

Before you kickstart the grooming process, ensure that you have the right tools at hand. These tools will help you speed up the entire process and achieve a nice cut. Such tools include scissors, teeth cleaning tools, brushes, combs, and blow dryers. If you don’t have an assistant to help, purchase a dog grooming arm that will hold your pup.

Get a full set of grooming scissors. To trim the hair in a comfortable way for your dog and look right, you’ll need more than a standard pair of scissors. Go to a pet supply store and look for a complete set of grooming scissors.

Arrangement of Tools

  • Arrange comb: Clean and comb your dog before proceeding with the grooming process. A comb will help you remove knots and tangles. 
  • Arange carpets/rugs: Arrange rugs to cut your dog. They are essential since they enhance easy cleaning after the shave.
  • Arrange a dog grooming table: A grooming table is essential since you will have a place to keep your dog. A table will also enable you to cut fur in an elevated position. On top of that, you will trim your dog easily because you will not have to trim your four-legged friend on the floor.

Brush Your Dog’s Coat 

The second expert tip is to brush your dog’s coat. Do it while taking care of the sensitive areas. Brushing will help remove matted and tangled fur. Don’t forget to get the best brush that will not hurt your dog or remove excess fur. 

Bathe Your Dog

After brushing your dog’s coat, bathe your dog. Regular baths are essential since you will keep the coat clean. Also, bathing will help remove pests and prevent skin issues. One thing to note is the presence of knots. Don’t bathe your dog when it has knots. Instead, brush the knots to prevent further matting.

Clean the Eyes 

Your dog’s eyes are among the sensitive parts of the body. Moreover, the eyes are also the most ignored areas. Many dog areas assume or forget the eyes when grooming. Like the body, they are important to trim and wash.

Check for the buildup of discharge around the eyes. Use tiny moist clothes or cotton to clean the eyes. Start from the corner going downwards. This act will prevent the accumulation of dirt and eye infection.

Clip the Nails

Another most ignored part of a dog’s body is the claws. Dog’s nails should be cut every six to three weeks. However, it depends on your dog’s growth pattern. Put your dog in a standing position to see if they are long. If they touch the ground, prepare for a clip.

Check the claws regularly and clip. If you are not confident, leave the work to a professional groomer.

Reward Your Dog

After a successful session, reward your dog with treats, praises, and cuddles. This way, you will create a strong bond.

Importance of Grooming Your Dog

Grooming your dog is essential because of the following reasons.

Removes, Dandruff, Dead Hair, and Dirt

Every dog breed is prone to dirt and dead hair. Regular brushing will help remove knotted fur that will be a breeding ground for pests and diseases. Also, brushing will help in the distribution of natural oils.

Natural oils spread all over the pet’s fur as you brush, giving it a healthy look. However, bathing can often remove the natural skin leaving them dry and patched. For better results, create a bathing schedule.

Again in brushing, brush your teeth regularly to reduce periodontal disease. If your pet has bad breath, it is a sign of dental issues. Seek medical attention and get special pet toothpaste and toothbrushes.

Reduces Infections

Infections are a concern for many dog breeds. Mostly, the ears are more susceptible to infections and parasites. Grooming will help clean and remove odor. If you notice lumps, redness, or pus, go to a vet for an examination.

Reduces Injury

Dogs are known to provide security, but they can get injuries. Dogs can have sharp nails, which can injure them. They can scratch their skin, get caught in the carpet, and form ingrown nails. Nail trimming will help reduce all these sorts of injuries.

Inspect for Abnormalities

Regular grooming is essential since you will inspect for underlying issues such as skin infections. You can also find problems with nails. When found, seek treatment immediately from a veterinarian.

Maintaining Appearance

Grooming is not all about health but also maintaining your dog’s look. A perfect bath and shave will keep your dog decent, clean, and smart. Besides that, your pet will be happy.

Haircut for Dog Breed Yorkshire Terrier

Cautions and Considerations to Take

Here are the cautions and considerations to take before and while grooming:

  • Use scissors for easy and quick trimming.
  • Brush your dog’s fur before trimming. It is essential because you will get to remove matted and tangled hair.
  • Cut knots and tangles while brushing.
  • Apply the blend style; cut scissor lines in an opposite direction and come through once done.
  • Blend shorter areas filled with mats and tangles that need a cut-out using a comb and scissors.
  • Be careful on sensitive parts such as the tip of the ears, skin around the paws, and the tailbone.
  • Keep the scissors parallel to your dog’s skin and point away from his face.
  • Familiarize yourself with different types of scissors. Typically, shorter blades are best for the face and paw pads, while curves are suitable for the body. If your dog has long fur, purchase scissors with long lengths to reach inside the coat easily.


Grooming is vital in every dog’s life. It not only involves bathing and brushing but also giving your dog a nice haircut. There are many tools used to cut dogs’ hair, and among them are scissors. 

On the contrary, many pet owners don’t know how to trim dog hair using scissors. Since clippers are the most used grooming tool. You don’t need them to trim your dog’s fur since scissors will do the work for you. 

While cutting dogs’ hair, be careful with the scissors and protect your canine friend from any injuries. Don’t forget to shave the most sensitive areas like the face, tail, and ears. Use scissors in the right way to make your pup beautiful. 

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