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What is a Puppy Cut or Teddy Bear trim?

Whether you call it a puppy clip, puppy cut, puppy trim, or teddy bear trim, this is one of the most popular yet most misunderstood styles in grooming. To add to the confusion, some also call this style a 'kennel clip' or 'summer cut'. What it means to one groomer could be very different to another, so a puppy trim can result in very different looks when you pick up your dog! 

Why is a puppy trim so confusing?

A puppy trim was traditionally a type of Poodle clip for young Poodles for the show-ring, but these days it is used to describe a 'long all over' fluffier length, similar to that cute look many puppies have before they get their adult coat.

The problem is 'long and fluffy' is not an official style or length. A teddy bear trim or teddy bear head usually describes a rounded, fluffy shape to the top of the head or entire face, so tends to be less confusing, although that also varies in style and length to suit the dog's size, head shape and coat, and how you want the ears to be.

You might like a rounded head, super long ears, and to keep the tail much longer than the body, or the same length all over, or fuller fluffier legs and a shorter body, or a different combination all together! They could all describe a puppy trim. 

Plus not every type of coat can be 'long and fluffy'. Consider the drop coat of a Maltese or Yorkie, versus the 'puffy cloud' wool coat of the Bichon or Poodle for example. 'Long' and 'fluffy' could mean 5cm to you but 2cm to your groomer. You'd both be right!

Ways to achieve a puppy trim

A common length for a puppy cut is between 1 to 2 inches, that's 2.5 to 5 cms. For that 'long fluffy' look, you would typically choose a longer length of comb attachment and use it on a short #10 or #30 blade. 

Comb attachments give you coat lengths right up to 3cm or longer, depending on the brand and type of comb. Blades however only go up to around 19mm when used by themselves. 

To keep the head in proportion to the body, you would typically clip the head up to twice as long as the coat length on the body, then blend the different lengths smoothly together using trimmers, your clipper, or blending scissors. Legs can be the same length as the body or more typically are kept rounder and longer, so legs normally need to be blended into the body also at the end. 

For very long coat lengths like 4cm, 5cm or longer, you'll need to allow extra time for a lot of scissoring instead. With any longer cut - whether using a blade by itself or a comb attachment - you'll likely want to tidy up the cut for a smoother more even finish, and get rid of those clipper, scissor or blade marks, by using thinning scissors at the end.  

Puppy clip photos

Some puppy clip inspiration for you below...

3 examples of puppy clips finished grooms

Left: Santana groomed by Tess @best.in.show using her cordless Andis Pulse Li5 with a 1/2 inch comb attachment. Middle: Miss Abby before and after her very first trip to the groomer. Groomed by Danielle @swagcuts Right: Shih Tzu groomed by Danielle at @swagcuts (follow these groomers on Instagram for more inspiration)

3 puppy clip photos

Left: Nova groomed by Danielle @swagcuts using her Andis Pulse ZR II clippers. Middle: Ruger groomed by @mayceesgrooming using her Andis Pulse Li5. Right: Shih Tzu groomed by Ivan from @ivangroomsdogs - and it's well worth following these talented groomers on Instagram to see more of their beautiful work.