I'm a bit embarrassed to say this, but our dog has a persistent ringworm problem. Several times throughout the years, we'd apply Viaderm or something that can be bought from our local vet. Then, when she'd (it's a she) stop itching so much and we'd used up all her Viaderm, we'll stop treating her. Then her ringworm comes back. I guess through the years, her number of spots with infection has only increased.

What I'm thinking now is to treat her for good. We'd shave her bald then apply the Viaderm for weeks. We've tried shaving her last year (or was it 2 years ago??), but it was a tedious task -- it's a thick curly fur, and you could hardly call her bald. So I was thinking of using a sheep shear.

  • What is it that you're asking? Are you asking if it's safe or a good idea to use sheep shears? Are you asking if there is a better tool?
    – Dalton
    Commented May 2, 2016 at 19:30
  • I was asking if a sheep shear is better over a typical trimmer. We got a trimmer that was under $30 or so long ago, but it was lightweight and wasn't up for the job.
    – kozner
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 5:09
  • I would look into what groomers use.
    – paparazzo
    Commented Jun 2, 2016 at 21:39

4 Answers 4


If this is a one time deal it may be more cost effective to pay the dog groomer to shave your pet.

Inexpensive clippers can get hot enough to burn your pet before the shearing is complete. As you noted in your comments they may not even last long enough to finish the task.

Quality shears are expensive. More expensive than a single use will justify. Paying someone to shear your pet with their expensive shears may be most cost effective.

In either case consult with your vet about the plan prior to beginning the shearing or the treatment.


You might be able to buy a manual sheep trimmer, cheaper than a quality set of electric clippers, but it's going to be worth the extra money for the physical effort it will save you.

I think the sheep clipper will work, but they're super heavy duty, to go through all that wool again and again. I think you can buy a quality horse body clipper and do just as well. Probably come out cheaper as well. They're meant for going through thick winter hair, but don't need to be as heavy duty as sheep shears. They sell dog body clippers as well. You just have to look for that. None of these cheap ones you get from Walmart are going to do anything except for ears, feet, and maybe their butt.


Unless you are experienced at shearing sheep or grooming dogs, I would not try sheep shears. It is very easy to cut an animal with them. Electric clippers have safety features to minimise the chance of injury, but shears have none.

That's not to say that shears are unsafe; in the hands of a skilled person they are probably as safe or even safer than electric clippers.

Also consider that sheep's wool puffs out from the body, so you don't have to (and shouldn't) hold or pull it away from the skin. I would think that with a retriever's fur you might need a brush or comb to hold the fur off of the skin while you cut it with shears. It might be very awkward.

In this situation where you want the entire body shaved as soon as possible, I'd take the dog to a groomer. If in future you want to do all the grooming yourself, and you really want to try sheep shears, then try them on the broad flattish places like the back and sides. Take it slow. As you gain confidence and get to know your dog's anatomy well (i.e., you know exactly where the skin is under all that fur) then you can start doing the more difficult places like neck, "armpits" and groin.


Shaving a dog might be a good idea. Especially if they have a lot of hair and if they live in country that is mostly warm. You give them a bit of a haircut to make them feel better.

You could do it yourself with clippers for instance, or maybe take them to somebody to trim their hair.

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