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How Long Does A Dog Grooming Take? What To Expect At A Parlor

how long does a dog grooming take

If you’re wondering, “how long does a dog grooming take?” you’re not alone. Good pet parents always factor in a dog’s grooming needs before getting a dog.

Professional grooming is part of good doggy maintenance. No matter your dog’s coat, a groomer can always provide valuable services and extra health assessment to keep our dogs in peak condition.

Even if we have the best aloe & oatmeal shampoo for dogs at home, experienced dog groomers are worth their weight in gold. Even so, a grooming appointment can be a hassle, and they do seem to take longer than human haircuts! So how much time should we allow for an appointment at the dog salon?

How Long Does A Dog Grooming Take?

The average time it takes for your dog to be groomed is 2 to 4 hours. However, the real answer is far more complicated, and it depends on your dog’s coat & temperament, the cut and services they need, how busy the parlor is, your groomer’s experience, and more.

Factors that affect the length of your grooming session

Although you should allow 2 to 4 hours as the industry standard, some factors can shorten or lengthen the average time to groom your dog. Some parlors can have your dog in and out within an hour, but this is not the norm. On the other hand, if your dog is at the groomer for longer than 6 hours without a valid explanation, you may need to consider another parlor.

Some factors that influence how long it takes to groom your dog:

  1. How difficult or easy your dog is to groom. Dogs that get extremely aggravated will take much longer, and a groomer may refuse to groom a dog that bites.
  2. Your dog’s length, type of coat, and the cut you want are primary factors. Fancy cuts and tricky coats will cost more.
  3. How busy the salon is on the day, and if they have other dogs that are very difficult to groom. It’s not fair, but one badly behaved dog can throw other clients behind schedule.
  4. How experienced your groomer is. Some highly trained groomers can wield trimmers with lightning speed.
  5. The number of services your groomer provides. This could include a nail trim, ear cleaning, parasite treatment, expressing anal glands, and teeth cleaning.

Given all this, don’t forget to tip your groomer if they did a good job. You can see our article on how much to tip your groomer if you are unsure about how much.

A Rough Estimate Of The Time For Different Coats, Cuts, And Grooming Services

To give a rough idea of the time it takes per service from an experienced groomer, let’s go over some average times for different cuts and coats:

Your dog’s behavior during grooming

Always allow 30 minutes to an hour for a fearful and aggressive dog during grooming.

The size of the dog and the type of trim

Consider the size of the dog and the type of cut. If you want a Miami clip for a Poodle, it can take 1 1/2 hours for a Miniature Poodle and 3 hours for a Standard Poodle.

A Town & Country clip may take a further two hours. Other clips, such as the lion cut, the powder puff cut of the Bichon Frise, or teddy bear cuts common in Labradoodles, can all vary in time.

Dense Double Coats

A normal bath and drying may only take an hour for most dogs. But dogs with dense, double, and water-resistant coats, such as Huskies, Akitas, and Newfoundlands, may take up to three hours to dry and longer to de-shed. Dogs with thicker coats, such as Samoyeds or Malamutes, may take longer.

Heavy shedders

Dogs who are shedding will take longer; depending on the level of shedding, this can add another 10 mins to an hour in severe cases with large breeds. See this video to get an idea of the effort and time it can take to remove a shedding undercoat from sizeable long-haired dog breeds:

The method of trimming

Shaving a dog with trimmers can usually be done quickly, typically within 45 minutes for a small or medium-sized dog. If you are wondering long it takes for a dog’s coat to grow back, see “how long does it take for a dog’s shaved hair to grow back?

Of course, people with double-coated dogs are warned not to clip the coat because it may damage the coat permanently and interfere with the dog’s natural insulation from heat and cold.

Meanwhile, dogs like Shih Tzu must be trimmed with hand scissors, and shears typically take 2 hours.

Hand-stripping wire-haired dogs are arguably the best way to preserve their coats, but it also takes extremely long. Hand stripping will take at least two hours. A large breed like Giant Schnauzer may take significantly longer to hand strip.

Long, silky-haired dogs

Dogs with long, silky hair, such as the Maltese, Afghan Hound, Yorkshire Terrier, or Lhaso Apso, can take 1 to 2 hours to trim, depending on whether they have any matting. A perfect, show-quality look for these dogs can take longer.

Dogs with Dreds

Finally, exotic breeds like the Puli and Komondor need special treatment. Their cords need to be separated by hand before they are bathed. Rinsing and drying the cords takes much longer than other breeds, as they can take 24 hours to dry. This means grooming a Hungarian Puli or Komondor can take up to two days. So, this may be better as a home project.

Time for other services

You can factor in time for other services in the typical groom. Some examples include:

  1. 5 to 10 minutes to clip a dog’s nails
  2. 10 minutes to brush teeth
  3. 5 minutes to express anal glands
  4. 5 to 10 minutes to clean ears, depending on cleanliness.

How long should it take to have your puppy groomed?

Puppy grooming should preferably be as short as possible. A negative and overwhelming experience can teach your puppy to hate baths and grooming.

Speak to your groomer about arranging special, much shorter grooming sessions, preferably no more than 15 mins to start. The aim should be to make it a fun and positive experience for your puppy rather than a forced and overwhelming one.

Teaching them to accept grooming during the socialization window will make full grooming sessions easier and shorter when they are adults.

How long does it take to groom a large dog?

It may take an hour to groom a large, short-haired breed such as Doberman Pinscher or even a Great Dane. However, the thicker or longer a large dog’s coat is, the longer it will take to groom. If you have a large dog with a double coat or long hair, set aside at least 3 to 4 hours.

How long does it take to groom a small dog?

If a small dog is well-behaved and has short hair, like a Pug, it can be completely groomed in 45 minutes or less. However, small dogs with elaborate or special coats that need to be hand cut, hand stripped, or have special cuts, usually take 2 to 3 hours.

Remember, if a tiny dog is frantic, they risk injury because of its tiny bones and fragile throat. This extends grooming time significantly.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long does it take to groom a Labrador?

It can take about an hour to wash, dry, and brush your Labrador yourself. But a professional groomer may take around 2 hours, especially when they shed. Labradors can be deceptively hard to groom, as they are heavy seasonal shedders and have dense, waterproof coats that make washing harder.

How long does dog grooming take at Petco or Petsmart?

Dog grooming typically takes 3 to 4 hours at Petco or Petsmart during the weekdays when it is quiet, although it can be as low as 2 hours. But it may be closer to 4 to 5 hours on weekends when it is busier. It can also take longer if your dog is difficult to handle, defecates or urinates on itself, or needs special services.

How long does it take to groom a Shih Tzu?

The average Shih Tzu is usually groomed within two hours and trimmed with hand scissors. A Shih Tzu trimmed with electric clippers to make the coat more manageable can be done within an hour. However, if you want a more elaborate hairstyle, allow 2 to 3 hours.

How long does it take to groom a Cockapoo?

Like most doodles, you should spend about 15 minutes brushing your Cockapoo daily if they have a long coat or about twice a week for a shorter coat. At the doggy parlor, expect your Cockapoo to need at least 2 to 3 hours. Classic doodle cuts like the teddy bear cut can take quite a while.

Final Thoughts

The length of time a professional groomer takes to groom your dog depends on various factors, from your dog’s temperament to their coat and specific grooming needs.

On average, you can set aside 2 to 4 hours to have your dog groomed by a professional. This may seem excessive, but given the number of services they provide, it’s well worth the time.


Tamsin De La Harpe


Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions.

Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.

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