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How To Groom a Dog (A Quick
Step by Step Guide)

Making sure your dog is regularly groomed is an important part of dog ownership. Not only does it leave your dog feeling their best, but it’s an opportunity for you or a professional Dog Groomer to get a close look at your dog’s coat, teeth, eyes, ears and nails and be the first to notice any signs of health or hygiene problems. 

Every dogs coat is different and knowing how to groom your dog can depend on their size, dog breed and type of coat.

Our Professional Dog Groomers here at Bruce’s have put together a quick step by step guide on “How to Groom a Dog” based on how they would conduct a 2 hour Cockapoo maintenance groom. 


1: Dog Health & Coat Check

Poodle in the grooming salon being groomed

1: Dog Health & Coat Check

The first step to take when considering how to groom a dog is to conduct a thorough health and coat check. This should include:

  • Checking the dog over for any visible health concerns and record any findings.
  • Checking with the dog owner to see if there are any known health conditions and allergies to be aware of before starting the groom.
  • Check over the condition of the dogs coat, this includes checking to see if the dog is matted.
  • Discuss expectations with the owner and talk them through their dog’s groom, making them aware of any reasons you may initially have as to why you might not be able to do something.

2: Dog Bath

Healthy dog in the bath

2: Dog Bath

Once you’ve checked over the dog’s coat it’s time to move onto the next step, Bathing.

Depending on the size of the dog, either lift them into the bath or lower it using steps so the dog can climb in easily and safely.

Ensure the water is at a suitable temperature and your dog shampoo dilution rates are correct.

It’s time to start bathing! Try to avoid contact with their eyes, rinsing with clean warm water if necessary and don’t forget to focus on areas which hold a lot of dirt and grease such as the ears, feet, bottom and the under belly.

Once the dog is clean, blot them dry with a towel and follow on with a dog grooming blaster of your choice to remove excess water from the fur before moving the dog to a suitable dog grooming table and using the appropriate restraints to ensure their safety.

It’s important to know that if a dog is matted, it’s better to rough clip them before, removing any matts or tangles before bathing. Bathing severe matts will only make them worse and will save you drying time.


3: Drying your dog & Prep work

How to groom a dog a step by step guide

3: Drying your dog & Prep work

With the dog safely moved to your grooming table, it’s time to move onto step 3 of how to groom a dog and it’s time to prep for the all important doggy haircut!

Continue to use your dog grooming blaster if necessary and then proceed to use a standing/finishing dryer with the correct slicker brush and comb.

Ensure the dog is completely fluff dried paying attention to all areas of their coat including the armpits, feet, behind the ears and their tail. Using the stand dryer will allow you to separate the coat on the chosen section you’re working on to ensure you are getting every part dry and tangle free.

Once the dog is thoroughly combed through, make sure their nails are trimmed, their ears are cleaned (at Bruce’s we use Wahl Easy Ear) and the dogs pads and hygiene areas are all clipped (we recommend using a 10 blade).


4: Dog Clipping, Scissoring & Styling


4: Dog Clipping, Scissoring & Styling

Once the dog is completely fluff dried, you can move onto step, Clipping, Scissoring & Styling.

First, choose your desired blade and comb attachment.

Proceed to clip the dog in the direction in which their coat grows to avoid leaving clipper lines and to achieve an even look all over. If you would like the fur on their head to be longer we advise using a comb attachment 2 or 3 lengths longer than the one you use on the body and leaving the tail unclipped as this can be tidied with scissors.

When clipping your dog’s body you want to start from the back of the head (occiput) and move all the way down to the croup/tail set. After clipping the chosen area, we would recommend having a brush or comb handy so that you can brush the coat up and clip the dog’s coat for a second time to remove any bits of hair which may have been missed. This will be a lot easier providing you have followed each of the previous steps and completed your prep work efficiently.

If you have chosen to use scissors on parts of the dog for their groom, make sure you choose ones which have been sharpened and that you are comfortable using in order to safely achieve a neat, tidy and professional dog groom.

Complete the cut by giving the dog a nice round foot and ensure their muzzle is tidy and their eyes are clear so that they are able to see.

Finish off the dog groom with a spritz of dog friendly cologne to leave them smelling and feeling FURbulous!


Dog Grooming at Bruce’s

Dog groomer in surrey giving a cockapoo a full groom

Dog Grooming at Bruce’s

At Bruce’s Dog Grooming Salon’s, we treat every dog as individual, taking time one-on-one to get to know them, their likes, and dislikes to ensure we make having a groom a positive experience.

So, whether your dog is a day care regular who already feels happy and safe at Bruce’s or whether they’re new to us, our aim is the same: to create a welcoming, relaxed, and open dog grooming salon environment, where they’ll love to spend an hour or two, and you’ll feel comfortable leaving them in our care.

Learn more about our professional dog grooming services and prices here at Bruce’s.

Dog grooming is a skill that is learnt from years of experience and training. Keeping your dog safe and happy is our priority so we recommend only grooming your dog if you have experience using dog grooming clippers and salon equipment. If in doubt contact our dog grooming professionals. 

Read more about Dog Grooming including popular dog grooming questions.