What is a Puppy Cut?

Puppy Cut

“I want a ‘puppy cut’.” Words I hear every day in my shop. But do you, the dog owner, even know what that means? Have you ever asked for a “puppy cut” and been given back your dog not how you imagined? Where did pet parents even get that term from and run with it? Asking your groomer for a “puppy cut” is almost like telling an Italian chef you want pasta; it doesn’t leave us with a whole lot of information.

So what actually IS a “puppy cut”? The only true “puppy cut” is for poodles, in a trim for poodle puppies in the show ring. Its purpose is for the owners to grow out their coat in preparation for a continental cut in order for the judges to still see the dog’s structure. This trim is only acceptable for the puppies first twelve months. As seen in our featured photo.

Not the puppy cut you were looking for?

How can you avoid a disastrous ‘do at the groomers? A “puppy cut” isn’t something you can just ask for, it is an in depth conversation between you and your groomer. Somehow the term has entered the pet grooming world without a standard definition, so you must be very clear in your instructions. Pictures are always helpful, but please be reasonable! Most groomers interpret the “puppy cut” to suggest one length all over on the body, but it does not necessarily specify how long the length should be left. What would you like done with your dog’s head? The ears? The tail?

Your dog could be as short as shaved to the skin with a #7 or long and fluffy, one inch a/o with an E W/C. There are many options (given your dog is combed out and not matted) and much room for miscommunication. My clients may come into their appointment and say “same as last time!”, but they know we go over their file in great detail to avoid any confusion and write down all their requests. Whether they show me with their fingers how much to leave, or I look at the length I used last time and adjust accordingly.

I think the biggest confusion I have to clarify with clients is whether they are telling me it is the amount of hair they want taken off or the amount they are wanting left on. We are not mind readers, so more information is always best!

My clients know my famous line is, “I can always take more off but I can’t put it back on!” Don’t leave until you are completely satisfied and please, never rush us. Often a negative grooming experience stems from poor communication, or not keeping up with grooming at home. If we can’t get a comb through the coat like butter, our clippers cannot go through the coat to do those cute, fluffy, “puppy cuts” you might request. Humanity before vanity should always be practiced.


Making the fur fly,

Danielle & Riggs,

Pet Professional, Canine Nutritionist

2 Replies to “What is a Puppy Cut?”

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