Should I Shave My Dog’s Tail

Should I Shave My Dogs Tail?

Last Updated: August 18, 2023
correct answerThe Short Answer is:

The majority of dogs are okay with having their coats and tails shaved, but some breeds are sensitive to this.

In this article you will know the answer to the query “Should I Shave My Dog’s Tail?“.

Many times your dogs tail will become matted tangled or covered in brambles or other irritants. 

Should I Shave My Dog’s Tail

Trying to figure out how to resolve these issues can be challenging and many of you may wonder if its time to shave your dogs tail instead of trying other alternatives. 

We’ll discuss when you should shave your dogs tail and when you should not. 

Furthermore we’ll discuss various issues that your dog might encounter with its tail including matting entanglement and irritation and how to deal with them. 

Following is a list of best practices to properly care for your dogs tail so keep reading to learn how to handle any issues your dog might encounter. 

How to Keep Your Dog’s Tail Tidy

If not properly maintained a dogs tail may become tangled dirty or even matted. 

There is typically only a problem for dogs with long lush tails such as bichon fries or golden retrievers. 

The majority of matting in a dogs tail is easily preventable but it can still happen even with preventative practices in place. 

It is necessary to remove the mats if this occurs. 

When it comes to getting rid of matts you must use a good conditioner. 

Additionally using a spray detangler can help loosen the matt and moisten the dogs hair. 

Additionally cornstarch powder is also known to help loosen tangled or matted fur so you can sprinkle some on your dogs tail as well.

Using peanut butter that contains natural oils can also help with de-matting if you prefer to do so. 

Whatever detangler you choose make sure you work it into the fur and let it sit for a few minutes to achieve the best results. 

The next step is to brush out matts and tangles. 

Start by gently separating the matts one by one with your fingers starting at the end of the tail and working your way to the rump. 

When you have finished this step hold the dogs tail up and brush the fur straight down and away from the direction of hair growth. 

It will not only help detangle any matts but it will also remove any debris caught in your dogs fur. 

Make sure to be careful of your dog’s sensitive anal area while completing this step. 

Using a metal-tooth comb comb through your hair once you have finished brushing it to remove matts. 

You’ll need to hold the hair up and away from the tail and gently work the comb through it. 

The best way to ensure your dog is not in any pain or discomfort is to make short strokes with the comb. 

How to keep your dog’s tail in good condition? Should I Shave My Dogs Tail?

If you are able to successfully untangle your dogs tail and remove any debris and matts from its fur you should follow strict prevention practices to prevent this issue from recurring in the future. 

You should give your dog a weekly bath using a detangler or conditioner on your dogs tail to keep the fur loose and untangled. 

Also brush the dogs tail in circular motions to stimulate natural oil production and remove any debris that may have gotten caught underneath. 

Some dogs however may develop severe matting in the fur on their tails necessitating more drastic measures. 

Tips for Shaving or Trimming Your Dog’s Tail

If your dogs tail is matted enough you may have to trim or shave its tail to remove the matts. 

There will usually only be a problem with breeds with long hair covering their tails as short-haired tails will not tangle and matt nearly as easily. 

When a dogs tail is severely matted it can quickly become uncomfortable so you’ll need to act quickly to fix the problem. 

When you are removing mats from your dogs tail use a metal-tooth comb to separate the matt from the rest of the fur and pull it away from the skin.

You do not want to cut your dogs skin and cause them more pain than they already have. 

Once the matt is separated from the rest of the fur carefully cut it away with hair scissors. 

Make sure you comb your dogs whole tail to find every single matt. 

After the matts have been safely removed trim the fur with a pair of hair scissors to an even length. 

Variations in fur length can cause mating and tangling when the fur grows out again. 

Make sure you know where your dogs tail ends so you would not accidentally cut into its skin or tailbone. 

If you decide to shave your dogs whole tail because of the mats use a razor that is specifically designed for dog grooming as this will be the safest option for your dog. 

If you want to avoid ingrown hairs on your dog shave against the grain of his or her hair. 

While shaving you may also want to use a dog-safe shaving solution to soothe the area. 

Make sure to be gentle and considerate of your dogs skin to reduce the risk of injury. 

In addition to trimming or shaving your dogs tail it can also be a good idea to shorten the fur around your dogs anus. 

Keeping the area clean over time will be easier with this method as it prevents debris and bacteria from building up. 

Also it makes bathing and grooming your dog a whole lot easier. 

When Not to Shave a Dog’s Tail?

Dogs may actually suffer more problems if their tails are shaved. 

Many dogs do not even need to shave their tails depending on the breed. 

A dogs tail can sometimes develop razor burn bumps or ingrown hairs if its tail is shaved unnecessarily. 

When you decide to shave your dogs tail make sure you know what you’re doing. This will cause discomfort and pain for your dog. 

You can also have it groomed by a professional. 

They will know how best to handle your dogs tail and will be able to shave it without causing any harm to it. 

The barber may also cause the dogs fur to grow back in an unnatural way if he shaves his tail incorrectly. 

The result is further matted and tangled hair which becomes a vicious cycle. 

We recommend taking your dog to a groomer to get its tail shaved or at least consulting one beforehand. 

Depending on the type of tail your breed has they can provide you with instructions on dealing with it. 

What Breeds of Dog Should Not Be Shaved?

Ascertain breeds are better suited to shaving than others you can easily determine whether or not you should shave your dogs coat. 

While most dogs’ coats and tails can be shaved without harm certain breeds cannot have their coats or tails shaved. 

It is generally recommended not to shave dogs with double coats. 

Huskies and Collies as well as other herding breeds such as Retrievers and Bernese Mountain dogs have double coats. 

When a dog has a double coat the top coat serves as insulation protecting it from heat and cold after the undercoat is shed. 

Once the cold months have passed this undercoat can be brushed out since the dog will no longer need it. 

The dog can become sensitive to burns and more likely to get skin cancer without the outer layer of hair. 

It is possible to shave a single-coated dog since its fur is constantly growing. 

Everything will be fine after the hair grows back after a certain amount of time. 

As the guard hairs in the topcoat take a long time to grow in dogs with double coats are subjected to harsh weather and excessive sunlight. 


Keeping track of everything you need to know about grooming your dog can be a challenge. 

The temptation to shave all of your dogs tail fur can be strong if it is experiencing problems with its tail such as matting or severe tangling. 

Its important to consider the breed of your dog before doing this however as we mentioned above. You may need to resort to other methods to help relieve the matting on some breeds that cannot be shaved. 

If your dogs tail is matted and tangled we hope we have provided you with useful information. For the best results follow the tips and tricks outlined above. Make sure you handle your dog safely and responsibly; its the health of your dog thats most important. 

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

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