How to Shave a Bichon

Written by marguerite lance
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How to Shave a Bichon
To shave your Bichon, use only animal grooming clippers. (woman and bichon dog image by Pierrette Guertin from

A Bichon Frise is a small dog covered with medium-length fluffy, cottony, white hair. Because of the quality of Bichon Frise hair, it is inevitable that the coat will get matted and unmanageable if not groomed on a regular basis. This is particularly true for Bichons who live in moist climates. Some groomers recommend shaving Bichons every three to five weeks, but such regular professional grooming can be expensive. Though shaving and grooming your Bichon Frise takes time, if you have the right tools, you can do the job yourself and save some cash.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Waist-flat surface, preferably a folding grooming table
  • Dog Clippers with a range of clipper blade sizes, especially #4, #7 and #10
  • Collar
  • Leash
  • Overhead leash attachment or assistant

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  1. 1

    Put the collar and leash on your Bichon. Place your Bichon on the waist-high flat grooming surface. Attach the leash to the overhead leash holder or have a friend hold your Bichon's leash and help steady him while you shave him.

  2. 2

    Attach the #10 clipper blade to your clippers. Turn on your clippers and carefully trim your Bichon's face. Stay at least 1 inch away from your Bichon's eyes and at least one-half inch from her mouth to avoid injury.

  3. 3

    Raise your Bichon up by placing your off hand under his breast bone and lifting. Keep his hind legs placed on the table. Clippers in your dominant hand, shave your Bichon's genital area.

  4. 4

    Shave your Bichon's entire stomach area with the #10 clipper blade. Stop shaving around the point where your Bichon's nipples begin so that her chest and breast area are not shaved with the #10 clipper blade.

  5. 5

    Lower your Bichon back to the table so he is standing on four legs again. Turn off the clippers. Replace the #10 clipper blade with a #7 clipper blade, unless you want your Bichon's hair very short. If you do want the hair short, replace the #10 clipper blade with a #4 clipper blade.

  6. 6

    Turn on your clippers. Starting at the back of the head, shave your Bichon's head, back and sides. Shave in the direction the hair grows, not against it.

  7. 7

    Lift your Bichon up once more as you did in Step 3. Shave her chest and breast area.

  8. 8

    Turn off your clippers and release your Bichon from the leash and lift him down from the table. Make sure you praise him for a job well done.

Tips and warnings

  • For the best look, do not shave your Bichon's head, ears, legs or tail. Use scissors to trim those areas.
  • Consider having a professional groomer shave and trim your Bichon's coat the first time. After that, you can follow the shape of the original, professional cut.
  • Continually talk to your Bichon and pet her during the shaving process, reassuring her that all will be fine.
  • Consider giving your Bichon a treat when you're done shaving her.
  • Use extra caution when shaving the genital and face areas.
  • Shave the face and genital area first, before the clippers heat up.
  • Never use human clippers to shave a dog.

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