8 Top Dog Grooming Styles for 2023

Whether you have a gorgeous show dog who needs a stylish cut before the next event or a rambunctious pet who’s prone to getting cockleburs and sandspurs stuck in their fur, keeping up with the most popular dog grooming styles is important. 

Of course, there are different styles for the various dog breeds, but knowing the current choices can help you determine your furry friend’s dog haircut style.

There are many factors that go into choosing the best dog haircut style for your pet. The dog’s size, breed, fur type, and activity level are all included in this list. Whether you’re cleaning up a new rescue dog or getting your princess ready for her big show, this list will hopefully include dog haircut styles that interest you!

1. The Adorable Teddy Bear Cut

The teddy bear cut is perhaps one of the cutest, most well-known dog haircut styles in the world for curly-haired or small dogs, although it works well for larger dogs, too. The goal is to make your furbaby look like a cute and adorable teddy bear cub!

To create the teddy bear cut, you will need to first trim the hair all over the dog’s body, leaving the head for last. Make sure that the trim for a teddy bear cut is not too close to the dog’s skin but short enough so that the fur left on the dog’s head can be longer than the fur on the rest of the dog’s body.

The teddy bear cut works best on furry dogs with a curly coat. Like most grooming styles, the teddy bear cut would be a harder look to pull off on a short-haired breed. Since this requires longer fur to be left on the dog’s head than the entire body, it isn’t as easy to create the look in dogs whose fur is very short.

The teddy bear cut is much easier for dog owners to manage than some other cuts, which makes it popular among poodle owners and owners of other curly-haired dogs. 

While most people who have dogs with this cute cut get them trimmed every month, it is possible to wait as long as 6 to 8 weeks between grooming salon visits.

2. The Puppy Cut – One of the Most Common Dog Haircuts

Of the different grooming styles in dog grooming salons today, the puppy cut is perhaps one of the most common dog haircut styles. While the name may seem to suggest that puppy cuts are reserved for small dogs and puppies, this clean-cut look will work for any medium to a long-haired dog.

The puppy cut is a simple grooming style in which professional groomers trim the dog’s fur the same length all over the dog’s body, usually about an inch or two. It is one of the most popular dog grooming styles for the summer months and helps your pet to stay cool. 

This style doesn’t require regular grooming and can be allowed to grow out during the winter months.

If you have a dog prone to running through long grass, getting stickers in its coat, or getting too hot outside, this summer cut may be a great choice. 

Since there is no specific ruling about how a puppy cut should be done, it is important that you show your professional groomers exactly how you’d like your dog to look when the haircut is done.

3. The Top Knot Dog Haircut Style

The top knot is one dog haircut style that is usually the most popular among small dogs and puppies. This style is often chosen by owners of cute, longhaired breeds such as the Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apsos, Yorkshire Terriers, and Maltese.

Aside from the cuteness factor, the top knot is also functional as it involves gathering the dog’s long, flowing mane and tying it into a ponytail at the top of the head. Then the groomer will secure the ponytail on top of the head of the Shih Tzu or other dog with a stylish bow or barrette.

The haircut on rest of the dog’s body can be trimmed to any length. Some owners may choose to keep the hair short on the legs, tail, and around the ears, while other pet owners may opt for a longer coat of fur on the body.

Breeds such as the Maltese, Shih Tzu, and other small dogs are prone to moisture in the corners of their eyes, which can cause irritation. They can also get food, thorns, or dirt in the long fur around their face, which can lead to debris in their eyes.

By keeping this hair on top of the head, groomers can help protect the eyes of pets from these issues. This style also makes it possible for the owner to keep their dog’s fur long and beautiful while still maintaining a trim, clean-cut look.

4. Kennel Cuts – Easy to Maintain

Like the puppy cut, kennel cuts are simple to do and easy to maintain. If you live in a hotter climate, where a puppy cut still leaves your pet’s fur a bit too long, a kennel cut could be the answer.

Kennel cuts are usually done in much the same manner as a puppy cut, except the coat is trimmed much closer. The difference in these cuts can help expand how much time you can wait between visits to the groomer.

When a dog’s hair is left long, more frequent haircuts will be needed to maintain it. Having your groomer do a shorter cut, such as the kennel cut, can help dogs stay cool without needing a haircut as often.

For the common kennel cut, your groomer will simply trim the hair as short as possible all over the dog’s body. The dog’s owner can decide the exact length that they want the coat to be but will usually leave it to the groomer’s discretion.

Kennel cuts are great for dogs with thick, long coats like the Golden Doodle, a breed that was created by mixing poodles with Golden Retrievers. These dogs typically have more fur and need a closer cut when the weather heats up.

5. The Mohawk Cut – Head Mohawk Or Full Body

Like the top knot, the mohawk cut can be a great way to keep your dog’s fur away from their eyes and face while giving them a super-stylish look! This haircut for dogs has very easy upkeep and can give your pet a bold look that not just any dog can pull off.

The head mohawk cut is exactly as it sounds; a mohawk that only goes as far as the dog’s head. The very middle strip of hair on top of your dog’s head will be left from 2 to 4 inches in length while the rest of its fur is cut down to about an inch long.

With the full-body mohawk, the long strip of fur extends all the way past the dog’s neck and the full length of its body. From the top of its head to the tip of its tail, the dog’s fur will be longer than the rest of the fur on its body.

Unlike the Rhodesian Ridgeback, whose mohawk comes naturally, frequent trips to the groomer will be required to keep the mohawk on a dog with this cut. 

For this reason, it is a style best chosen by owners who don’t mind the expense and time of taking their dog to the salon or by those who are confident enough to style their own pets’ fur.

6. Adorable Lamb Cut Dog Grooming Style

This is another style that works well for Golden Doodle summer cuts. While the lamb cut began as a poodle style, it was quickly adapted for the Poodle/Retriever mix breed known as the Golden Doodle.

The lamb cut is actually a mix of the teddy bear style and the puppy cut. The groomer will leave the hair on the dog’s head and face as they would with a teddy bear cut, except that the hair on the top of the head will be left longer. 

It is great for both puppies and adult dogs.

With its coat cut back to about an inch long on its face, torso, and neck and the fur on its head left at about 2 to 4 inches long, the pet is left looking more like a sheep than a teddy bear. 

This varies from dog to dog; you could just as easily end up with an adorable Sonic the Hedgehog look!

7. The Lion Cut – Great for Larger Dogs

The lion cut is a great choice for breeds such as the Chow Chow, Large Golden Doodles, Standard Poodles, and even some Retrievers, but it works well for some small dogs, too. 

The gist of this haircut is for the groomer to trim the dog’s coat very short on the rear half of the body while leaving the hair long, like a lion’s mane on the chest, tail, feet, chin, etc.

For the groomer to pull off a successful lion cut, the dog should, of course, look like a lion, complete with a flowing mane, furry feet, and a puffy ball at the end of its tail. While the cut began as a way to help dogs mimic the stealth of a large cat in the water, it has evolved into a stylish and easy-to-maintain way to cut your pet’s hair.

8. The Poodle Cut – It’s All in the Name

Of course, it goes without saying which cut this one is – the common cut for poodles with the balls on their feet and tails. It is, perhaps, the most commonly requested cut for poodles of all sizes, from tiny teacups to giant standards.

Poodles aren’t the only ones who can sport this style, however. It works well for Golden Doodles, Labradoodles, and several other breeds. This is one of those haircuts that can be a bit more difficult to maintain since the length of the dogs’ coats must stay closely trimmed to keep their shape and avoid tangles.

Poodle Cut, Lamb Cut, Lion Cut – Where Did These Crazy Cuts Come From?

While the poodle cut can be adorable among owners of the breed, the owner of a bulldog or German shepherd may look at the poodle style and wonder how that could possibly be considered a dog’s hairstyle.

According to the American Kennel Club, it all started in the 1600s with Rembrandt. Yes, Rembrandt – the famous artist! In a self-portrait, this painting superstar showed off his pet – a poodle with the rear half of its fur shaved off while the front half was still boasting a longer coat.

By the 1880s, this style had become more standard, moving on to other breeds such as the Irish Water Spaniel, Portuguese Water Dog, and Curly Coated Retriever. An etching by German artist Heinrich Sperling portrayed a black poodle with this haircut during this time period.

It is said that this haircut made it easier for water dogs to swim in colder water since their lungs and heart were protected by the thick fur in front, while the legs were freed to swim freely with their short hair in the back. Over time, groomers began to leave patches of hair over the joints at the ankles, etc.

By the 1940s and 50s, the poodle had become quite popular. It was the number one breed registered with the American Kennel Club up until 1983 when Cocker Spaniels took the role for a bit. The haircut has varied from year to year but still has its roots in the styles that made them super swimmers during those early years.

Now, the poodle cut has branched off into many other cuts, including the lion cut, lamb cut, and others. 

While the length of the hair around the face, head, joints, and chest varies with each style, they all have their base of shortly-trimmed hair in the back and longer locks in the front.


There are many other styles for grooming your pet, and while some of them may be perfect, others will be better suited for other breeds. We hope you’ve enjoyed this post about dog haircuts and will browse over our site for more informative articles about your furbaby!

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