Dumb Question? Why can't you shave a dogs legs? Or can you?

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#1
I have tried google-ing the answer to this but can not seem to find the answer. The reason being is that I hate brushing/scissoring my dogs "furnishings" and when I more times than not I butcher it. I think I would like to keep their furnishings shorter anyway just for ease. like 1/2"-3/" maybe? So still longer than the #10 blade I use on their body.

So is there a reason that I am missing as to why I can't find hot to shave a dog's legs? Especially miniature schnauzer legs?

Are they really easy to cut/make bleed? Does it not look good/butcher it?

Also, what is the purpose of a guard? Is it to prevent cutting the dogs skin? or?

Sorry if these are really dumb questions, I just can't find the answers and have always wondered. I feel like if I could shave their sides/legs that grooming would go a lot faster..
 

milos_mommy

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#3
You can definitely shave a dog's legs! My recommendation would be to have a professional groomer do it and watch them or ask them to show you how to do it (your vet might also be able to show you).

Most grooming books, especially breed-specific, should show you which # blades to use on particular body parts.

A guard will help prevent them getting cut to some extent, but really it's purpose is to guard the hair from being cut too short (if you're using it right). Really all they do is make it so it's much faster to cut the hair. It won't look as neat/perfected as hand scissoring, but for a pet, it should look just fine to most eyes.
 

*blackrose

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#4
You can shave a dog's legs! You can use a comb (or guard, I guess) if you want, but I bet a #7 or #4 blade would also work. I used a #7 on my Yorkie and didn't have any issues. I shaved his entire body (legs included!) with a #7, then would use a #10 on his face save for some Schnauzer eyebrows and a short beard. I don't like hairy dogs. LOL

I attempt to shave my Collie/Aussie mix's legs when I groom her, but since she has feathers its a bit different and her legs always look butchered. (I use a #4 on her.) So I just trim the feathers short with scissors. Works better that way.
 

Saintgirl

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#5
Of course you can! Nearly all of my schnauzer clients get shorter legs in the winter time, or we remove the furnishings all together. The snow is a pain on those hairy legs! As was already said, you could do it yourself or best bet is just to go to a groomer all together. Not many groomers will show you how to do the legs on your own for a couple of reasons. 1. the obvious, we want people to come back to us! 2. Unless you are paying me for my time, I can clean up legs in minutes and trying to show someone what I am doing is going to increase my groom time a lot and most of all 3. I refuse to work on dogs when the owner is present. I need the dog to be focused on me 100%, not trying to get to their own owner and have their owner reinforcing bad behaviors while I have blades on their dog!!! The only time someone is concerned about furnishings is when you are showing a schnauzer, but then they should be stripped, not clipped anyway!
 

*blackrose

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#7
Oh yay! What blades would you suggest? and what is the proper way to shave a dogs legs? with the hair or against it?
I was taught to shave with the grain. (So, with the hair.)

As for blades, depends on how short you want. I've used a #7, a #4, and a #10 with a comb attachment. Whatever floats your boat!
 

MericoX

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#8
I just use the blade (I think it's a 10?), guards are a pain the ass. You want to shave with the grain, going against you're going to get to close a shave and give them a touch of razor burn. I use the same for their body too and scissor the face.
 
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#9
Yes I prefer shaving with the grain.

I am thinking 1" skirt/legs might look nice and still make her look like she has the traditional standard cut? I think this means I want a #3 or #3 3/4 blade to achieve this length?

Do I want a skip tooth or finishing blade?

I am really nervous about cutting or hurting her so I think a guard/comb wood be good unless it is as difficult to cut them as the body (difficult to harm them)

I've never used a guard/comb before am I looking for a specific sized one? Or what? I tried figuring it out on my own but for the comb that was 1" length hair it said to use a #30-50 blade. So I am confused.. What size blade and what size comb/guard should I get if I want 1" left going with the grain?
 

Saintgirl

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#10
DO NOT USE A SKIP TOOTH!!!!!! Especially if you do not know how to groom. Many professionals opt not to use them because of the danger factor. One wrong move and you could have a serious emergency trip on your hands.
 

MericoX

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#11
I honestly just grab a little bit of long leg fur, and hack at it with the clippers. It takes off just enough and leaves that scruffy look. If my guys were longer I'd take a video to show you.
 
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#12
Ok, so I want the finishing blade. Does the comb attachment for any length of blade?

OR

Is it where I am supposed to get a #30-50 blade with a 1" comb attachment like I read somewhere?
 

Doberluv

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#13
http://www.chazhound.com/forums/showthread.php?t=274946&highlight=Matisse

If you scroll down to Matisse, the white Poodle with a Continental clip, you will see how his legs were shaved in that picture. Before shows I would take him to a master Groomer who fixed him up. In between, I would go over him and use a #30 blade VERY carefully in certain areas where the skin is very thin...like on the edge in front of his thigh where it goes around to the inside of the leg. I nicked him once there and learned to be more careful in that area. Anyhow, a # 30 gets a nice, close shave. It's what I use on their faces, feet and sanitary area. (sani) Your dog has to learn to hold perfectly still.
 

*blackrose

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#14
Ok, so I want the finishing blade. Does the comb attachment for any length of blade?

OR

Is it where I am supposed to get a #30-50 blade with a 1" comb attachment like I read somewhere?
You should be able to order comb sets from a place like Pet Edge. Typically, you can use them with a #10, #30, or #40 blade. Whichever.
 
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#15
You should be able to order comb sets from a place like Pet Edge. Typically, you can use them with a #10, #30, or #40 blade. Whichever.
Oh great! I would rather just get the comb attachment then. Is the length sizing the same as it is with blades? (1/4" means 1/4" if you go against the grain but 1/2" if you go with) or is it actually 1/4" if you go with the grain?
 

Saintgirl

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#16
Typically you put a comb on a ten blade. If you are not experienced with grooming always go in the direction of the fur. Also, if you are using a comb you need to make sure 100% that their are NO mats, because with a comb you will snag them and risk cutting the dog. I personally like a #7 on the body and a 3/4 blade for the legs and fringe for winter weather. Schnauzers are not suppose to have a skirt only a fringe on the belly! If you do opt for a a comb a #11mm or even a #14 (but this is probably longer than you want) works well. I do not recommend a 30 blade or anything higher than a 10 for someone who does not know how to groom, you increase the likelyhood of razor burn X1000! and if ever you hit resistance on the coat do not push...it will only cause problems. Long swipes will leave the best finish so try to remember that! Be super careful with armpits and the skin from the belly to the leg, it is so easy to cut and often requires stitches when cut. Always better to leave these areas a little bit less focused on until the clippers are comfortable in your hand. For the best effect wash and blowdry your schnauzer before you start the groom. Hope this helps!!!
 

Doberluv

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#17
Be sure to get the stainless steel combs. The plastic are not good. They tend to drag through the hair or fur. With dogs whose hair or fur grows downward, then you swipe down ward. But for instance, a Poodle can be done in any direction. If you don't dig with the clippers you should be okay with one of the higher # blades such as a 30. That's all I've ever used with my Poodles. I got the Wahl Mini Arco and that's what it came with. lol. I haven't had any trouble with it. Just be careful, that's all. I was very new to grooming...never had a dog with long hair. And I practiced and watched videos and now while I certainly don't give a fantastic hair cut, I have gotten better and more confident. I just got the Wahl Chromado. It will be much better for doing their bodies. The mini is more meant for trim work. I have retired Matisse from showing and cut his hair and I will groom him myself now.

Here are some really good videos. It's about clipping a Poodle though. But she's a really good groomer and teacher. You might get some good tips.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46f3P31FTnE&feature=youtu.be
http://youtu.be/ZYa7QQqwIy8
http://youtu.be/W-BtCXYu4pg
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#18
Typically you put a comb on a ten blade. If you are not experienced with grooming always go in the direction of the fur.

Schnauzers are not suppose to have a skirt only a fringe on the belly! If you do opt for a a comb a #11mm or even a #14 (but this is probably longer than you want) works well. Be super careful with armpits and the skin from the belly to the leg, it is so easy to cut and often requires stitches when cut. Always better to leave these areas a little bit less focused on until the clippers are comfortable in your hand. For the best effect wash and blowdry your schnauzer before you start the groom. Hope this helps!!!
Oh that is great, as #10 blades is what I have ever only used so I am used to them! I don't know what you mean by schnauzers are not supposed to have a skirt, I am talking about how they have longer hair from the front leg to the back leg instead of just long hair on the legs.. I am not a professional groomer so maybe I misuse the terminology.

I just scissored Chloe's leg/belly and I feel like an 11mm would be way to short! I measured her hair and it ranges from about 3/4" to 1" on her legs and is shorter in the middle of her belly.

So I have ordered 1/2", 3/4" and 1" Comb attachments, no one answered my question, and I couldn't find the answer online, about if this measurement is for going with or against the grain. So I am hoping, unlike blades, it means with the grain.

Be sure to get the stainless steel combs. The plastic are not good. They tend to drag through the hair or fur.

With dogs whose hair or fur grows downward, then you swipe down ward. But for instance, a Poodle can be done in any direction.

Here are some really good videos. It's about clipping a Poodle though. But she's a really good groomer and teacher. You might get some good tips.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46f3P31FTnE&feature=youtu.be
http://youtu.be/ZYa7QQqwIy8
http://youtu.be/W-BtCXYu4pg
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Yes, the combs I ordered are stainless steel, I read about how the plastic ones aren't that great and can pop off of the clipper and that the stainless steel ones attach better!

I watched the videos, I wish I could find more videos of how to use a comb attachment to do the legs instead of all the videos about scissoring the legs.. I realize most professionals will scissor. But I am too lazy for that, and if I do scissor it looks really bad and choppy.

Today I groomed Chloe since the weather is getting warmer out and I scissored her to the best of my abilities (see photos). I wanted to make her leg hair shorter to help me decide which comb attachments I wanted to order.








I measured her leg hair and it seemed to range around 3/4" to 1" some was over that... it kind of just was a big range. But I think the average would be 1" maybe 3/4". The inside of her belly hair I like to make shorter. So I ordered a 1/2", 3/4" and 1" comb attachment!
 

Doberluv

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#19
I think you did a great job. Chloe looks comfortable and pretty. I am very much the amateur. But I find it to be pretty fun and a good bonding experience for my dogs and me. It saves a bunch of money too! :) I bet the more we practice and with some good equipment, our pooches will look better and better as we go along. Nice job!
 
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