Dogster is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

What Is a Summer Cut for Dogs? Vet-Verified Guide

Written by: Chantelle Fowler

Last Updated on April 11, 2024 by Dogster Team

Airedale Terrier enjoying in professional grooming or shaving and doing hair care

What Is a Summer Cut for Dogs? Vet-Verified Guide


Dr. Ashley Darby Photo


Dr. Ashley Darby

BVSc (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

Most dog owners will have to take their pups to a professional groomer at some point in their lives. Something to consider when getting your dog groomed professionally is that styles vary from groomer to groomer. For example, you can ask two groomers for a ‘summer cut’ and receive two totally different styles.

Traditional summer cuts involved taking the length off the body, legs, and skirt. The head will be styled shorter to stay in proportion with the rest of the body length. This cut is generally used in preparation for summer to help relieve dogs with heavy coats of some of the burden of their fur. Read on to learn more about summer cuts and whether this style will be appropriate for your dog.

What Exactly Is a Summer Cut?

A traditional summer cut requires removing much of your dog’s fur. It is meant to lighten the coat and remove excess layers. The exact length will be determined by the blades your groomer uses. The most common for a summer cut is 4F to 7F, which will leave approximately 3-9mm of hair. Sometimes a 10 blade will be used for the shortest possible length of 1.5mm.

Summer cuts generally require less maintenance than other styles, but you’ll still need to brush your dog’s coat at home regularly.

What Is a Puppy Cut?

“Puppy cuts” and “summer cuts” are sometimes confused because they’re very similar, and to make it even more confusing, some groomers use the terms interchangeably. The difference between the two is that a puppy cut isn’t quite as short, but the hair is still cut evenly all over. It leaves the pup with a fluffier-looking coat and a more teddy bear-like appearance. Groomers will generally leave one to two inches of fur all over the body, tail, head, and legs and achieve this look with a clipper fitted with a long guard comb.

Can’t I Shave My Dog’s Hair?

While humans will sometimes shave their heads during the warmer months of the year to find some reprieve from the heat, the same cannot be said for our dogs. Fully shaving is almost never recommended unless there’s extreme matting involved, or for a medical procedure. For these circumstances, a 40 blade is used. There are several reasons you shouldn’t shave your pup.

Their Coat Is Their Sun Protection

A dog’s coat acts as a natural barrier against UV exposure which can lead to sunburns and skin cancers. Shaving too short leaves their skin vulnerable to damage, particularly if the skin is unpigmented.

Shaving Can Cause Permanent Damage

Shaving a dog with a double coat can cause long-term damage. When these coats are shaved to the skin, the undercoat grows faster causing coat texture and color changes. Over time this may resolve if the guard hairs grow well, but it can also be permanent if the guard hairs are crowded out.

Dogster_Website dividers_v1_Jan 18 2024-03

Final Thoughts

Summer cuts are popular hot-weather clips for dogs with heavy coats. It’s important to remember that not every groomer uses the same terms for their styles, though. So, if you have a very particular look in mind, you’re better off giving your groomer a picture of what you’d like your dog to look like after their groom than asking for a style by name.

Featured Image Credit: DuxX, Shutterstock

Get Dogster in your inbox!

Stay informed! Get tips and exclusive deals.
Dogster Editors Choice Badge
Shopping Cart


© Pangolia Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved.