Why Dog Groomers (Sometimes) Cut More Fur Than You Expected

July 02, 2024 Rebekah Sparks, Jocelyn Michaud, and Nicole VanNienwenhove
Pet Paradise Grooming

Have you ever picked up your pet from the groomer with shorter hair than you expected? Don't worry, there's a reason for it! Dog groomers use a variety of expert techniques & professional tools to get the look you want. Our groomers will be assessing how much hair to trim to make sure your best friend looks and feels their absolute best, so please be prepared to take some time to get to know your groomer and don’t be afraid to bring some photo examples along with you!

In this article, we’ll dig into why dog groomers sometimes need to give your pup a shorter trim, and what that means for your best friend’s health and happiness. We’ll talk about the importance of regular grooming and debunk some common misconceptions. Plus, we'll discuss how you can maintain your dog's coat between grooming sessions and how to address any concerns you have with your groomer.


Decoding Dog Grooming Techniques

Dog groomers are like artists with their scissors and brushes, using all sorts of styles and techniques to make your pet look and feel their absolute best. Here’s a closer look at the factors that may influence the amount of hair cut, as well as common styles and handy tips on how to chat with your groomer to ensure your pup gets the perfect look every time.


1. Factors that may influence the amount of hair cut:

  • Your dog's breed and coat type might play a role in how much hair needs to be cut as well as how often. Breeds with long, thick coats may need a bit more trimming to maintain a manageable length. Based on your pet’s lifestyle we can help you book a set of reoccurring routine scheduled grooms to keep the style you want your pup to sport. Good questions to ask yourself when considering a style could be.
  1. Does my pet swim often?
  2. How often do I want to manage at-home maintenance?
  3. How long is my pet comfortable standing on a table?
  4. Does my pet have any underlying health issues that can make grooming hard on my pet?
  • The condition of your dog's coat might also affect how much hair needs to be cut. If your dog has tangled or matted fur, the groomer may need to remove more hair to prevent discomfort or skin issues. When coat damage is present due to matting, a de-mat can often further worsen the condition of the coat and may be creating a potential for skin irritation from the matt itself and/or shredded coat that will continuously mat. Sometimes it is best for the hair to be clipped and start over.


  • We do recognize the concerns around shaving the double coat and do our best to avoid this situation unless specifically requested. Regular routine grooming can prevent these drastic circumstances and allow your natural styled breeds to stay rustic yet well-maintained and healthy.


2. Shorter grooming styles and their purposes:

  • Pet Version Puppy Cut/Teddy Bear: This adorable style keeps the medium to longer lengths and even all over the body. Many owners like a round head or a square-shaped head with varied length preferences on the ears and tails. It's a medium-maintenance option for breeds like Yorkies, Shih Tzus, and doodle varieties. To keep this style mat-free, it is recommended to groom your pet every 4-6 weeks and, in some cases, based on your pet’s lifestyle and activity, we may recommend a mini-groom or ultimate bath in-between sessions to help you prevent matting.


  • Summer Cut/Kennel Cuts: Similar to a puppy cut, but with the hair kept even shorter for hot weather and low maintenance. It’s the ultimate practical choice for the pet who stays busy in the yard, swims often, or isn’t on a regular schedule of less than 8 weeks. Here’s the best part: our groomers are experts at making every grooming appointment a paws-itive experience. With plenty of praise and rewards along the way, every dog feels like a superstar at Pet Paradise.


  • 'Lion' Cut: Popular in breeds like the Pomeranian. It involves shaving the body and leaving a full “lion’s” mane around the head, neck, and can stop at the shoulders or the mid-back so that the front leg feathering is left as well. This is style is preference-based, but you may sometimes hear a groomer refer to it as a “fox” trim if left in front of the shoulders.


3. How to effectively communicate your preferences to the groomer:

  • Before your pup’s grooming session, be sure to discuss what you’re envisioning with the groomer and let them know what your expectations and preferences are. If you’ve got something specific in mind, it’s a good idea to bring reference photos or written instructions from a prior groomer if you’re changing your groomer.


  • Be open to your groomer's professional advice. They’re experts in their craft and have the knowledge and experience about what will work best for your dog's breed and coat type.


Keep in mind that grooming styles can vary, and it's important to find a groomer who understands your preferences. At Pet Paradise, our experienced groomers are skilled in a variety of grooming techniques and will work closely with you to ensure your pet looks and feels their best.


The Importance of Regular Grooming

Regular grooming isn’t just about making your pup look cute (although that’s a bonus)! Grooming is critical for your dog’s overall well-being. It helps keep their coat in top condition, prevents tangles and mats, and keeps their skin clean and irritation-free. Let's explore why grooming is a must for your furry friend.

One major perk of regular grooming is the prevention of matting and skin issues. Dogs with long hair are especially prone to matting, which happens when their fur becomes tangled and knotted. These mats can be a real pain – literally! They tug on the skin, causing discomfort, and if you live in a humid climate, it can create trapped moisture and cause skin disease, fungal infections, or hotspots. By scheduling regular grooming appointments, professional groomers can catch and address any matting issues before they become more severe.

Plus, grooming helps keep your pup squeaky clean! During the grooming process, groomers thoroughly wash your dog's coat, removing dirt, debris, and any unpleasant odors. Along with a brushed and trimmed coat, this can not only improve their appearance but also reduces the risk of skin infections and other health issues.


Debunking Common Misconceptions about Grooming

It’s important to remember that when groomers cut your dog's hair, they consider factors such as matting, tangles, and overall hair health. They want your pet to be as comfortable and healthy as possible. Sometimes, a shorter haircut is necessary to keep your dog's coat and skin in a healthy condition.

Now, let's “detangle” some myths about shorter haircuts.

  1. One common misconception is that groomers purposely cut more hair to make your dog visit the salon more frequently. That is far from the truth. Groomers are all about keeping your dog healthy and happy, and only trim what's needed to keep them comfy and clean. A shorter haircut usually means your pet can go longer between grooms which is why for anything under ½’’ of hair left on your pet, we typically recommend a groom each 6-8 weeks, while the longer trims will need a groom each2-4 weeks for most and possibly 4-6 weeks if you are a very diligent brusher with occasionally a bath in between.

  2. Another myth is that a shorter haircut can harm your dog's skin or coat. This is not entirely true, but it isn’t wrong, either! Professional groomers are experienced in handling all kinds of fur and hair and know just the right lengths to maintain based on your grooming schedule habits as well as lifestyle of your pet. They take great care to avoid any potential damage to your dog's skin or coat during the grooming process which is why a groomer will sometimes tell you not to shave your double-coated breeds. Hair not growing back correctly may have a correlation to an underlying health concern that may need a vet’s attention and treatment. However, you’re more likely to see issues like overheating or dermatitis issues in dogs that have fur-bearing coats instead of hair-bearing coats when shaved.


Hair-bearing coats continuously grow and require regular clipping to prevent pelting and overgrowth issues. Fur-bearing breeds have undercoats and topcoats. While the longer topcoat or fringe may need neatening, the undercoat should be thinned, not fully removed, during warm seasons to help dogs thermoregulate. Their fur acts as natural air conditioning, keeping them cool in heat. Removing this protection can lead to overheating and can affect fur texture.

So, the next time you’re a bit surprised by your groomer wanting to do a shorter ‘do, remember that Pet Paradise’s groomers always have your dog's best interests in mind. They work diligently to ensure your furry friend looks and feels their best.


Maintaining Your Dog's Coat Between Grooming Sessions

Proper coat maintenance at home is the key to keeping your dog looking and feeling their best between grooming sessions. Regular brushing helps prevent matting and tangles, which can be uncomfortable for your pet. It also helps distribute natural oils, keeping their coat shiny and healthy. Regular brushing allows you to check for any signs of skin issues, ticks, or fleas, ensuring your dog's overall well-being.

Depending on your dog's breed and coat type, you may need to brush them daily or a few times a week. When in doubt, your groomer can help you decide on a brushing schedule! We recommend that you establish a routine at home and start with short brushing sessions with plenty of praise and rewards, gradually increasing the amount of brushing your dog is comfortable with.

When it comes to brushing techniques, it's important to use the right tools and be gentle. For dogs with long or curly hair, a slicker brush or comb can help remove tangles and prevent matting. Start by brushing from the ends of the hair and work your way in sections up to the roots, being careful not to pull or tug on any knots. If you encounter stubborn tangles, you can use a detangling spray or conditioner to make the process easier.

While regular brushing can help maintain your dog's coat between grooming sessions, it's important to schedule follow-up grooming appointments. You can pre-book these sessions in advance to secure your spot and add them to your calendar, ensuring you and your family avoid last-minute stress.


Addressing Concerns with Your Dog's Groomer

At Pet Paradise, we understand that sometimes pet parents might have questions or not be 100% satisfied with their pup's haircut. We're all about open communication with our clients, and we're here to address any concerns or issues.

If you feel that your dog's haircut didn't turn out as you hoped, we encourage you to chat openly with our groomers. They're experts who truly love what they do and are passionate about your pet’s well-being. By sharing your concerns, our groomers can work with you to give you a better understanding of why certain decisions need to be made during the grooming session.

Misunderstandings about haircuts can happen for a few reasons. Sometimes, groomers might need to trim more hair than you expected to keep your pup comfortable and healthy. When there's a lot of matting or tangles, it can be uncomfortable for your dog and may lead to skin issues like irritation or infection. In those cases, our groomers put your dog's well-being first and adjust to ensure their safety and comfort.

To help avoid any future mix-ups, it's important to set clear expectations for grooming sessions. When you check in for your grooming appointment, chat with your groomer about what you're looking for in terms of style and cut. Giving them detailed instructions, like how long you’d like your pet’s hair to be and the exact style, helps to make sure everyone's on the same page.

At Pet Paradise, your happiness and your dog's well-being mean the world to us. Our goal is to create a positive grooming experience for both you and your pet. By working together to set clear goals, openly address your concerns, and clear up misunderstandings, we can help to make sure your dog looks and feels their best after every single grooming appointment.

To schedule your pet's grooming appointment, please log in to your account via our login page or the Pet Paradise app and book today!


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