Our puppies had their first grooming
session at about 5 1/2 to 6 weeks old. At this age, they're too
amazed by the process to be afraid. But the next grooming, at
7 1/2 to 8 weeks of age can be a MUCH bigger challenge. It helps
to have a good "holder" to steady the puppy and help
it feel secure. It's also nice to have sleepy puppies :-)
We start with the toenails and feet. Have
your partner cradle the puppy comfortably while you use a small
"people"-style clipper on the toenails.
Clip the nail at a right angle to the ground, just below the quick.
A small, sharp pair of scissors will make cleaning out the hair
between the pads easy. You also may find that your pup is just
as comfortable cradled between your knees on the floor or on your
We use Oster A-5 clippers and a #10 blade. Any good quality clipper
with a sharp #10 blade will do. Position
the puppy on the grooming table and give him a chance to get comfortable.
Let him sniff the clippers a little while they are still off.
Then, turn them on for a second and let him listen. Some puppies
will be entirely calm, and some may be frightened and try to leave.
Either way, when you feel ready to start, have your holder grip
the puppy's two front legs in one hand and and support the pup's
rear firmly and comfortably.
NECK or THROAT
Begin working on the pup's neck. This is the part that many puppies dislike, and
it's wise to get it out of the way before they have time to think
about it. Start clipping about two finger widths above the puppy's
breast bone. Move your clippers against the grain, up the neck
to the point of the chin. Most pups have cowlicks on their necks;
just clip opposite the way the hair grows. It will take several
passes with the clippers to get this area trimmed. The starting
point will curve around the front of the shoulders, forming a
U, rather like a necklace. Clean up to the jaw on each side.