How to Groom Pets Using Clipper Guards

Use clipper guards to give your pet an even groom all over its body.
Use clipper guards to give your pet an even groom all over its body. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

Pet grooming requires a steady hand and special equipment to achieve a professional look, and without the right tools most grooms would end in disaster. One crucial item that groomers use is a clipper guard, also known as a guard comb. A clipper guard is a metal attachment placed at the end of the clipper to elevate the blade away from the pet's body at certain lengths, allowing the hair to easily be cut to one uniform shape all over. Using these guards, you can give your pet a good-looking haircut and with similar results every time.

Things You'll Need

  • Pet shampoo
  • Pet brush
  • Clipper set with blades
  • Guard comb set with length chart

Determine the type of haircut you will be doing and at what length you want to keep the hair on the pet's body, legs, neck, tail, ears and head.

Bathe, dry and brush the pet thoroughly to remove dirt, foreign objects and tangles from the pet's hair. The clipper and clipper guards will cut more easily through clean, brushed hair.

Select the correct guard comb according to what length you want to leave the hair. Guard combs usually come in sets of eight and include a chart detailing each guard and the length it creates when grooming. For example, if you want to leave the hair on the body at 1 inch long, you would choose the comb that corresponds to that length.

Attach the selected guard comb to the blade end of your clippers while the clippers are turned off.

Turn the clippers on, and run the clipper and guard comb combination along the pet's body, making contact with the pet's skin and going with the grain of the hair, not against it.

Keep the guard comb flush against the pet's body, especially when going over contoured areas such as hips, shoulders, knees, elbows and feet.

Go over the section you are grooming several times slowly with the guard comb until all the hair in that section appears uniform.

Remove the guard comb and change to a different length as needed for each specific area. Some types of dog grooms have the body hair shorter and the leg hair longer, among other variations. Use the corresponding combs to achieve the look you want, following the length chart that was included with your guard combs.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you use two or more different combs on one groom, you may need to use grooming scissors to blend the areas of different length together to keep the hair from appearing choppy.
  • Always disinfect your clipper blades and guard combs between each animal you groom to reduce transmitting germs and bacteria.

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