Short Hair Cuts for Dogs

Many breeds benefit from an all-over trim during the summer.
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Dogs malt to regulate the amount of hair they have. It’s nature’s way of enabling dogs to have the right amount of coverage for the season. But often a short haircut is required to enable your dog to feel comfortable during the summer, especially if he’s got a thick, long coat. You can choose from a number of styles, depending on the length and texture of your dog’s hair. Let taste, practicality and maintenance inform your decision.

Lion Cut

Lion cut typically refers to any haircut where the fur around the head, or mane, is thicker than it is on the rest of the body. The contrast may vary, from subtle to arresting, depending on how much fun you want to have. There is little practical benefit to giving a lion cut instead of a standard short-all-over style, but there is certainly fun to be had with this style.

Puppy Clip

For dogs with thick, dense and curly hair such as poodles, the puppy clip is a fairly standard style that combines practicality with style. By shaving the feet, muzzle and base of the tail short and then cutting the rest of the body’s fur to a short length, before shaping it to complement your dog’s physique, you can create an attractive silhouette for your dog. Although in the show ring, the puppy clip is for dogs up to 1 year old, this clip can be given to a dog of any age. If there is sufficient length, style the hair around the head into a ponytail.

Summer Clip

Imaging walking the streets in the summer wearing your winter jacket. That’s how it can feel for thick-coated breeds. Suitable for any dog with a thick coat, the summer clip provides relief from carrying all that extra hair around in the heat. Your groomer will ask you how short you want it and it’s really a matter of taste and practicality. If your dog loves to explore in the woods and roll around in the mud, the shorter the better. If he’s a little more civilized, you may be able to get away with a slightly less drastic cut that leaves a little length around the muzzle and eyebrows for style.


The topknot isn’t a cut, but a grooming style. For dogs with long hair around the face, such as Yorkshire terriers and shih tzus, the topknot is handy for keeping the hair from getting in the face. All you need is a comb, elastic band and a bow. Gently comb the hair through to remove knots, gather the hair into a pleat and then fix in place with a bow or elastic band.