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The Long and Short of it: Breaking Down the Most Popular Dog Grooming Styles

At A Glance

There are several benefits to dog grooming that go beyond simple aesthetics. A well-groomed dog is better equipped to deal with temperature changes, less likely to be infested with fleas, and generally feels more comfortable.

So how do you choose which style suits your dog best? In this article we look through various popular haircuts depending on:

  • The part of the body that you want to groom.
  • A dog’s breed and coat length.

Based on these factors, you can approach a professional groomer with more specific requirements, and make it easier for you to maintain your dog’s coat.

Last Updated on: Oct 03, 2023

If your dog is prone to shedding, chances are you know how much hair they actually have – going just by how much of it you will find lying around the house. Given that dogs are also very likely to run in puddles of water, dig up dirt, and sniff areas where their snouts have no business being, this hair often becomes a tangled mess.

This begs the question: Why do so many pet owners assume that only pageant dogs need regular haircuts? This is far from the case. Regular grooming can help keep a dog’s ears clean, cool them down, and make them healthier and happier.

Not sure which style suits your dog best? Take a look at our dog grooming styles guide.

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Benefits of Regular Dog Grooming

The first thing we need to address is that all dog breeds – regardless of size and breed – require regular grooming. Depending on your dog’s breed, and the amount of hair it has, there are several dog grooming styles that you could consider.

Apart from helping them stay cool in the summer, the benefits include:

  • Making them feel more comfortable. Regular grooming helps keep hair out of a dog’s eyes, prevents painful lumping, and clears up any matts that may form, especially around the paws.
  • Helping you keep your dog clean at all times, by getting rid of dirt, mites, or any pollen its fur might collect.
  • Removing damaged skin and hair cells, giving your dog a shinier coat. Regular grooming also helps in the distribution of natural oils.
  • Getting rid of excess hair, which not only puts your dog at the risk of overheating during the summer months, but also weighs your dog down.


Grooming Styles for Different Parts of the Body

dog grooming styles guide - grooming styles for different parts of the body

Dogs, as you may have noticed, have hair everywhere. This is why trims must be carried out all over their bodies – from the tip of the tail, to the bottom of their paws, and the top of their heads.

Depending on the body part in question, here are some popular dog grooming styles:

Dog Grooming Face Styles

If you’re looking for a cut that highlights a dog’s face, consider some of these options:

  • The Teddy Bear Cut: With this hairstyle, a professional groomer will leave more hair around a dog’s face than its body – making your dog resemble a cute teddy bear.
  • Clean Face: A popular choice for dogs who love to sniff everything – it involves leaving some fur on top of the head, to keep your dog warm, while still maintaining the hair around the mouth and nose.
  • The Topknot: A good choice for very furry dogs who have a tendency to get hair in their eyes – the topknot either involves tying your dog’s hair into a ponytail, or leaving a furry poof on top of the head while cleaning out the sides.
  • Summer Cut: Perfect for warmer seasons, the summer cut involves uniformly trimming hair across a dog’s body to a minimum – keeping them cool, and helping you clean their coats more efficiently.

Dog Grooming Tail Styles

If you’re looking to maintain a dog’s tail, consider some of these options:

  • Plume Tail: Often seen in smaller, furrier dog breeds, such as Pomeranians, this style retains the natural fluff of the tail, while trimming it slightly to ensure it attracts less dirt and debris.
  • Pom Pom Tail: Most often associated with breeds like Poodles, a pom pom tail involves leaving a tuft of fur at the top of the tail, while trimming the fur below.
  • Carrot Tails: One of the most popular dog grooming styles for Terriers, a carrot tail is wider at the base, and tapers to a point at the top.
  • Flag Tail: Most often seen in breeds like Golden Retrievers and Labradors – a flag tail involves leaving a tuft of hair on the underside of the tail. This hair is longer at the base and shorter at the tip, resembling a triangular flag.
  • Natural Tail: Involves trimming the hair around the tail to retain as much of the natural shape as possible, while contributing to general coat hygiene.

Dog Grooming Foot Styles

A dog’s paws collect a lot of dirt, turning them into a hotbed for mites and harmful insects. Here are some popular styles for grooming your pet’s paws:

  • Natural Style: Smooth coated dogs, such as Labradors or Alsatians, don’t require much grooming around the paws. With just a little trim, you could maintain a natural style around the paws that is both hygienic and appealing.
  • Rounded Style: This style often results in a well-rounded shape, with longer hair on the front of the leg, and neatly trimmed hair at the back – giving it the impression that the dog’s paws are facing forward.
  • Beveled Style: This cut involves shaping the paws to have a sloping edge rather than a squared one. When done right, it should give the impression that your dog is “floating” just above the surface.
  • Clean Foot Style: While similar to the natural style, this method involves not just naturally shaping a dog’s paws, but ensuring that the feet are completely clipped clean. This allows you to see a dog’s natural foot shape, including bone structure.

Dog Ear Grooming Styles

When grooming a dog, don’t forget to neglect its ears! Apart from making your dog look well-maintained, it can also help prevent tangling, and keep fleas at bay. Here are some popular styles:

  • Beveled Ear: This style involves creating a soft curve to the base of a dog’s ear. It’s most commonly seen on dogs with droopy ears, such as a Shih Tzu or Poodle.
  • Natural Ear: In this style, the hair around the ear is trimmed uniformly in a way that retains the shape, while also maintaining basic hygiene.
  • Short Ear: This style works best on dogs with round heads. It involves trimming the hair around the ear completely to accentuate the shape of the head.
  • Tasseled Ear: Involves shearing the hair on the upper part of the dog’s ear, while leaving the lower third long and fluffy. It’s most commonly seen in dog breeds like poodles and terriers.

Dog Grooming Styles by Coat Type

dog grooming styles chart - dog grooming styles by coat type

As you may have noticed, selecting a specific type of grooming depends heavily on the breed of dog. Some factors that come into play include how long their coats are, whether they have frizzy or curly hair, and the length and shape of a dog’s body.

Some breeds – such as saint Bernards or Yorkshire Terriers – have high grooming needs, while others like Huskies or Cocker Spaniels have moderate grooming needs. The easiest to maintain include breeds like Great Danes, Mastiffs, and German Shepherds.

Here are some tips for grooming dogs depending on their coats:

Small Dogs

If you’re looking for Shih Tzu dog grooming styles, or Maltese dog grooming styles, look for cuts that suit small furry dogs. A puppy cut is the standard choice for such dogs.

It involves trimming the fur to one or two inches evenly across the body. A topknot is another popular option for such breeds.

Curly-haired Dogs

Dogs like Poodles, or Labradoodles need regular grooming as their hair is more prone to tangling. A popular choice for these breeds is the teddy bear cut, an easy to maintain style similar to the puppy cut, but more suited for curly hair.

Double Coat Dogs

Certain breeds like German Shepherds, Pomeranians, or Sheepdogs have double coats, with a top coat that keeps dirt and moisture at bay, and a lower coat that aids in temperature regulation. These dogs should never be shaved as both layers are essential.

At most, they require light trimming around the feet, or torso, with a deshedding tool.

These are, of course, just some examples in the vast and complicated world of dog grooming. While this blog should hopefully have given you a general outline of the most popular styles, and what haircuts will best suit your breed of dog, there is always room to explore more options.

We recommend checking out a few dog grooming styles charts, or consulting with a professional groomer before deciding on your dog’s haircuts.

If you live in and around San Antonio in Texas, for instance, Southern Styles Dog Grooming offers great advice on the best hair styles for dogs. Similarly, there should be a salon near you that will help maintain your dog’s coat at reasonable prices. Trust us – the health benefits are worth seeking a professional opinion.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the New Trend in Dog Grooming?

Over the last few years, pet spas have increased in both numbers and popularity. These centers offer a complete package: They don’t just focus on giving your dog the perfect look, but also on styles that improve overall health.

Similar to human spas, this involves enriching a dog’s coat with a series of treatments, like massages, facials, or deep conditioning.

What Kind of Haircut Does My Dog Need?

It’s hard to settle on a style for your dog, considering there are hundreds of cuts to choose between. Some factors that will help you make the decision, however, include the breed of your dog, the length of their coat, or the general aesthetic that you want to go for.

Another important factor is the weather conditions where you live.

What Is a Kennel Cut?

A kennel cut is similar to the puppy cut and teddy bear cut, in that the length of the hair is maintained uniformly across the body. However, the difference is that kennel cuts tend to be shorter than the other two. Because of this, the cut lasts longer, and makes it easier for the owners to maintain.


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Meet Paul, a devoted dog dad to the delightful French Bulldog, Cofi. With a flair for humor and a deep understanding of Frenchie quirks, Paul brings a lighthearted touch to his writings. His relatable stories and practical insights are a blend of laughter and valuable advice and resonate with fellow dog owners.

Through his words, Paul aims to celebrate the joys and challenges of being a dedicated pet parent, reminding you that life is simply better with a four-legged, snorting sidekick by your side.