How long does it take to groom a dog?


How long does it take to groom a dog?

Is your pooch in need of a thorough bath, brush and groom? You may want to get started but are unsure how long it will take to get your pup back into tip-top shape.

The quick answer is: It will take an average of 1 hour to groom your dog. If he has a short and low-maintenance coat you may be done in as little as 20 minutes. If you own a breed with a more difficult coat or a large breed, it may take up to 2 hours to groom your dog. Grooming your dog before an AKC conformation show may take as long as 4 hours!

Let’s take a look at how you can get started with grooming at home, and what to plan for.

Table of Contents

Why does grooming a dog take so long?

Grooming can take while if your dog’s fur is long and thick, requires a certain cut or you are preparing for a dog show.

How long exactly it takes to groom your dog will depend on his size, coat type, age and also on how well you have been keeping up with the grooming in general.

The longer you do not groom a dog, the harder it gets to catch up on it. Once mats and tangles form, the time needed to brush these out, bathe your dog and blow-dry him will be much longer than if you groom him regularly.

grooming how long

How long will it take to brush my dog?

If your dog’s coat is free of dreadlocks or mats you should be able to brush him within 15 minutes. Small dogs may be done much faster – giving your long-coated Chihuahua a quick brush may be done within 2 minutes. Some especially large and heavy-coated breeds may take a bit longer.

If your dog already has matted areas and dreadlocks, expect the grooming to take much longer. If you want to save the coat and not shave your dog, you have to brush him out very carefully. For a dog like a Goldendoodle this could take up to 1.5 hours. It is important to not be rough and hurt your dog – it is not his fault that his hair got tangled!

Bathing and shampooing

Giving your dog a bath with shampoo and conditioner shouldn’t take too long. Once he is wet down to the skin, lather his body generously with shampoo and rinse it out.

For some dogs with a tick double coat you will need to really make sure that the water and shampoo reached their skin. A King Shepherd‘s coat for example can be so thick that a quick rinse will not go all the way to the root of the hairs.


Blow-drying your dog after a bath is especially important for breeds that shed heavily such as Huskies. A powerful blow dryer will remove loose hair easily. For a small dog, blow-drying will take only 5-10 minutes. A very large and heavy-coated dog such as a Bernedoodle may take 30-45 minutes to completely dry.

Even if it seems like a boring chore, do not skip the blow-drying. It is by far the best way to deal with dead undercoat quickly. You should never leave the loose hair on your dog as it is prone to become matted very quickly. 

Many professional groomers put the dogs in a kennel and carefully position a blow-drier in front of it, which will dry the dog all on its own.

brush dog

Brushing and clipping

After bathing and blow-drying it is time to really make your dog shine! Give him a thorough brush all over. If you are planning on giving your dog a haircut, now is the time. Use grooming clippers to style your pup’s fur. For Poodles, the teddy bear cut is very popular.

If you have never used clippers before, you can ask a local groomer to help you out or watch some instruction videos on YouTube. Once you get the hang of it it’s not difficult, but getting started can be tricky at times.

Clipping your pup will take 5-20 minutes, depending on his size and how short you want to have his coat.

Make sure to grind your dog’s nails before finishing up!

How many dogs can you groom in a day?

A professional groomer will be able to groom 6-8 dogs per day. Note that they are set up for efficient and fast work – plus they have a lot of expertise! If you are just grooming your own dogs at home, you maybe only be able to groom 3 or 4 of them in a day.

You shouldn’t underestimate the strain grooming can take on your back as well. If you have not groomed your dogs before, start out with just doing one a day. This way you can slowly ease in without risking back pain the next day.

Do you groom or bathe dogs first?

If your dog has a lot of dreadlock or mats you want to brush or clip those first. Otherwise the bath will “felt” your pup’s fur and make it even more dense and tangled.

If your dog’s coat is in good shape you can bathe him first, then blow-dry, clip and brush. Using clippers on clean fur will also let them stay sharp much longer.


How can I groom my dog fast?

The most important aspect when it comes to fast grooming is to groom your dog regularly. If you brush your dog every couple days his coat will always be in good shape. The longer you wait to groom your dog, the longer it will take to do the job.

You should never be rough with your dog during grooming because you want to do it quickly. Pulling on hair will hurt him and needs to be avoided at all costs!

dog done brooming

The Bottom Line

Grooming your dog will probably take 1-2 hours. This time may be much shorter for a small dog with a short coat and much longer for a large dog with a thick and heavy coat. The best way to make your grooming sessions fast is to keep on top of your pup’s grooming regime.

The longer you do not take care of his coat, the worse it will get. Some breeds such as Goldendoodles will need daily brushing in order to prevent matting of the coat.

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