Dog Hair Cut Styles

by Lauren Corona
Poodles often have continental or English saddle cuts.

Poodles often have continental or English saddle cuts.

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There are many reasons you might want to give your dog's hair a trim, whether to reduce shedding or to keep him cool. If you're thinking about giving your four-legged friend a haircut, you'll need to pick a style for his trim. There are a variety of cuts to choose from. Some are breed specific, but others look great on any dog.

Poodles Cuts

There are two traditional cuts for poodles, the English saddle and the continental. The continental leaves hair around the chest and rib cage, pom-poms over the hips, on the tail and on the ankle and knee joints, but completely shaves the rear end and legs. The English saddle is similar but leaves an inch or so of hair over the legs and rear end. This is seen as a fancy trim, but was originally given to poodles for practical reasons -- they were water retrievers and these cuts allowed them to move more easily through the water without getting too cold in the water or getting rheumatism.

Summer Cut

The summer cut is so called because it is a short cut. which will help to keep your dog cool while the weather is hot. This is an even cut all over the body, of around half an inch in length, including the leg, but excluding the head, feet and tail, which can either be left natural, trimmed slightly or clipped short, according to the owner's preference.

Puppy Cut

The puppy cut is another short style, although it's longer than a summer cut. The dog's hair is cut to the same length all over his body, including his face, legs, and tail. The length varies according to the owner's taste, but is usually between one and two inches long. This clip is called a puppy cut as it's similar to a long-haired dog's puppy coat, which is generally much shorter than its adult coat.

The Lion Cut

The lion cut is style where the dog's coat is trimmed to half an inch or less all over, apart from his head and neck, which are left completely natural. Most groomers also leave a pom-pom at the end of the dog's tail and above each of his paws. This cut originated Portugal during the 1800s, where it was meant to benefit water retrievers, so their long coats wouldn't get waterlogged and heavy. This cut is commonly seen on chows, Pomeranians and Portuguese water dogs, though it could work with any long-haired breed.

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About the Author

Lauren Corona has worked as a writer since 2010. She has penned articles for a range of websites and print publications, specializing in animal care, nature, music and vegan food. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and American literature, and a postgraduate diploma in print journalism.

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