Samoyed Maintenance Trim

Bread & Butter Grooming: Fast & Easy Pet Trims for the Salon

By Kathy Rose

samoyed beforeThe Samoyed is a double–coated breed that requires extensive coat care to keep them in good shape. This can prove to be a challenge for the average pet owner who may desire a tidier, cleaner appearing dog adorned by coat furnishings that are less likely to attract every sticker, twig and leaf in the yard. This heavy-duty maintenance places them on our Bread & Butter list.

Any profusely double–coated breed that is not being shown can be toned down to a smarter coif by following the same techniques. This complete “tidy all over” trim begins with thorough preparation followed by the use of snap on combs and completed with shorter blenders. These shears are also referred to as “chunkers”.

Preparing A Thick Double Coat

These profuse coats can really muck up the drying room! I recommend applying a few steps during the prep and bathing process to help speed up the procedure and cut down on the volume of coat blowing around the wet room.

Remove the excess, dead undercoat before beginning the bathing procedures. With one hand, gently grasp the loose skin to hold it in place and stretch out skin folds. With the other hand, use a course undercoat rake to remove excess dead undercoat. It is important to evaluate the skin condition before implementing this procedure and always follow the coat growth direction and secure loose skin.

Use a high–pressure nozzle for undercoat removal during the shampoo process. While holding the nozzle fairly close to the skin, work the shampoo and spray into the coat, pushing the dead undercoat out.

When the coat is fully lathered with shampoo, use a high velocity blower pointing downward to blow out dead undercoat into the tub. Don’t dry the dog; just use the air velocity to blow some of the excess coat out before the final rinse and application of conditioner. The wet hair is heavier and less likely to blow all over the salon. I recommend only doing this in an enclosed tub and not near the dog’s head so shampoo soaked hair can be contained and not blown into the dog’s face.


Fig.1) Use a long snap on comb over a #30 blade to clip the coat on the highest point of the rump. Continue to clip over the hips and back of upper thigh to the hock.

Fig.2) Skim the flanks beginning just above the spring of rib, falling off before reaching the undercarriage.

Fig.3) Starting at the shoulder, skim down over the point of shoulder and lower chest.


Fig.4) Use a #40 blade to trim the stray hairs around the foot. Use a scraping/skimming technique on the top of the foot or use thinning sheers or scissors to trim the excess coat between the toes.

Fig.5) Chunkers are used to tighten and tidy the furnishings on the back of the rear legs.

Fig.6) Continue up and over the rump and across the croup and rump to blend using chunkers.

Fig.7) Use chunkers to blend the flanks into the topline and underline.

Fig.8) Tidy the furnishings on the front legs.

Fig.9) Tidy the furnishings on the front of the rear legs.


Fig.10) Use chunkers to trim the underline, following the natural line of the undercarriage.

Fig.11) Trim the excess coat between the front legs and blend into the underline.

Fig.12) Blend the fore chest and shoulders into the legs.

Fig.13) Tighten the sides of the neck and blend into the shoulders using chunkers.

Fig.14) Blend the top skull onto the back of the neck.

Fig.15) Use thinning shears or chunkers to tidy the excess coat in front of the ears.

Fig.16) Tidy up the tail using chunkers.

Finish up with a coat polish or finishing spray, and then brush with a bristle brush. This will tame the static and fly–aways.

samoyed-afterKeep in mind that this trim style is for pet dogs and could spell disqualification for a breed currently showing. Conversation and a thorough evaluation of the pet will insure you are meeting your clients’ expectations and your Bread & Butter clients will thank you for assisting them in the reduction of hairballs throughout the house and presenting them a tidy family member! ✂


  1. Lori . Chapek-Carleton says:

    This is an appalling article and I cannot believe any professional groomer would recommend routinely grooming a pet Samoyed this way. I have worked as a professional groomer and also have owned Samoyeds since 1985. Samoyed coat care is NOT difficult. When this breed is shedding (Samoyeds do not shed all year round, just when the undercoat comes out), all that needs special attention is blowing and combing out the undercoat. The outer coat, with the harsh guard hairs, should not be shaved/trimmed all over, and naturally repels rain and dirt. Naturally, if owners do not routinely brush and comb their dogs out, they may develop mats, but I would think professional pride and proper knowledge of breed specific grooming needs would prompt a groomer to never follow the advice given in this article. As for “Bread and Butter”–I can guarantee that I could take just about any Samoyed that has been reasonably cared for and properly groom it in the same amount of time–or less–than it would take to mutilate the coat as this article describes, since the majority of effort is needed to remove and comb out the undercoat. And yes, the forced dry blower is the groomer’s best friend! I will admit that Samoyeds that have been neutered and who develop the dreaded soft excessively long fluffy coat as a result often will need to have their overall coats shortened and have sanitary trims to help keep them from dragging in leaves and twigs, etc., but that is because their code-sexing surgery. Do you recommend doing this sort of trim to other double-coated breeds such as Rough Collies or Shetland Sheepdogs? I would hope not! Honestly, except for during the relatively short amount of time my Samoyeds shed their undercoats, they do not shed–and they certainly do NOT shed all year round. Which is more than I can say about my Pit Bull, who sheds short hairs all year round, all over the house!

  2. Helen Corlew says:

    Hmmmmmmm this is NOT how I was taught to groom my Samoyeds, even the ones after they have been altered which tend to get big coats. If you remove the guard hairs, which is what you are doing in your process, the dog has NOTHING to guard the undercoat from snow, rain and the sun. There is a reason the breed has guard hairs. I can see trimming up the feet, the hocks and some around the rear end but only to remove “wild hairs” as I like to call them. Brushing and combing a Samoyed will keep it nice and neat and clean. Removing the guard hairs the undercoat will hold the dirt rather than it falling off the coat!! Double coated breeds should not have their guard hairs or coat trimmed to an extreme. And it is the undercoat that causes the problem with dust bunnies . And no pet Samoyed should be groomed this way. I suppose you are all for shaving double coated breeds? Sorry but this is so wrong.

  3. Lori . Chapek-Carleton says:

    Additionally, I just realized by looking at the “before” and “after” pictures that the dog before didn’t even have a long coat! Sheesh!

  4. Morgan says:

    This is not how you should groom a Samoyed! In fact, this is exactly what I tell Samoyed owners to avoid in a groomer.

  5. Stephanie says:

    I would agree with the other posts – I am quite shocked to find an article about trimming Sammy hair. I’ve had my Sammy for almost 4 years since she was a pup and have never once taken sheers to her hair, and have never needed to besides the occasional matte removal. Prior to having a Sammy, my online research had told me to never cut their hair because it ruins their coats. I’ve followed this and groom her myself and get endless compliments on her beautiful hair. I’ve seen someone in my city who has a male Sammy, and I always thought he looked weird. One day she told me she takes him to the groomer and I realized that was why his hair looked so awful. To anyone reading out there, don’t get your Sammy groomed. They only need to be brushed. Their hair is naturally beautiful and controlled. You can easily maintain them yourself at home, and if you don’t want to then DONT GET A SAMMY! If you’re not willing to care for your dog’s needs yourself, then you shouldn’t get any dog in fact.

  6. Raymond says:

    These are horrible instructions on grooming a Samoyed. You never shave a Samoyed. The hair returns coarse, looking matted and quite unattractive. Bath/shampoo, towel and blow dry and brush – period. I do recommend trimming around the paws so they don’t look shaggy and trimming around the anus for sanitary and cleanliness reasons. I stress trimming, not shaving.

Post a Comment