› Trimming Dogs Ears

Ready To Trim Your Dogs Ears?

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It really isn't difficult grooming ears, but you do need a few tools:

Henry before being groomed...

Not looking too happy about it.

First, a small pair of thinning shears is best, but a pair of straight scissors can be substituted if necessary.

I like to use a small thinning shears:

untrimmed dogs ears

If you buy shears at the local pet store, I found a long time ago that they didn't cut as much as they just pushed the hair around.

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So, I ended up biting the bullet and going for the good stuff. But start at whatever level you feel comfortable. 

Second, a small slicker brush to get all the fine hair around those dogs ears combed in one direction. I have the Bass brush that works well for me.

Third, a spray bottle with plain water to mist the coat. That will keep the “fly-aways” down, allow you to position the hair where you want easily and minimize hair breakage.

If you have lots of mats behind the ears (and most shelties do), try a conditioner instead of plain water in order to reduce the knotting. The hair behind the ears is very fine and tends to mat easily. Here's a good one.

Lastly, a clean coat. Cutting a dirty coat can dull your scissors quicker than clean. Yes, you will have to have your shears sharpened from time to time.

Let's Begin Trimming Those Dogs Ears!

Step 1: Hold the ear out to the side Yoda style and brush the coat straight out.

brushing dog ears for trimming

Step 2: Once all this coat is nicely separated from the ruff of the neck, brush the coat on both the outside and inside of the ears towards the front.

canine ear getting groomed

Step 3: Gently flip the ear up so your thumb is on the inside.

Using your thumbnail, gently slide your thumb in the same direction until you feel the nail slip off the end of the ear leather.

Now you know how close you can get WITHOUT cutting your dogs ears.

This is a good thing.

do it yourself dog grooming

Step 4: Use your scissors or thinning shears, trimming off pretty close to the edge of the leather in a straight line.

The thinning shears will give it a softer look than straight shears, but either is better than the wacky untrimmed look.

Trimming from the head out to the tip prevents accidently snipping his head.

trimming ears on sheltie

If you end up with a few stray hairs, you can snip them with straight shears. 

Step 6: Take the slicker brush and brush the coat in the opposite direction. Again, use your thumbnail to feel for the end of the leather, trimming the other side, not quite as close as the first.

trimming ears

Step 7: Curl the ear around your index finger, holding on to the tip with your thumb. Brush the coat from the back to front, trimming any hair that is longer than the height of the ear.

brushing dogs ears

Step 8: Brush the coat on the back of the ear.

Gently press towards the center of the head using your thumb.

This gives an approximation of how things will look.

Time for trimming any obviously long, out of place hairs.

assessing groomed ear

(Notice the look I'm getting from Henry, LOL!)

If the hair in front of the ear is long that also can be trimmed, but Henry's is short enough as it is.

Step 9: Reward your pup for a good job and begin on ear #2. Repeat the process

Step 10: Reward yourself for a good job.

Stare at your dogs ears suspiciously for many days looking for where extra snips need to be done. ;)

A happier Henry, now that it's all over... or is it??

completed ear grooming

Trimming dogs ears isn’t difficult. The hard part is making them both look the same J

So how did you do? If it really isn't your cup of tea, I'd be happy to do the grooming for you including trimming those crazy dogs ears. Just give me a call.

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