There are some things you can never unsee and some things you can never undo. Hair definitely tops the list as one of the most regrettable decisions you can make. I think we can all agree that mullets should stay in the 80s where they belong.

Unfortunately for dog groomers, clients may come to you with their adorable pets and ask you to create cuts for their dogs that are similarly unappealing and just as cringe-worthy. Here is a list of some of the worst dog grooming trends we hope you never come across during your career as a dog groomer.

Circle head dog grooming trend

Square Heads, Circle Heads

Originating in Taiwan, this trend consists of grooming the hair around your dog’s face into a perfectly symmetrical square or circle. This unusual look came about when pup owners requested something that would stand out on social media.

The cut is usually for smaller dogs and especially for pups with fur fluffy enough to pull off the look. It can be very cute in an unconventional way. However, the simple fact that this trend has spurred competitions over whose dog has the roundest head is enough to say this trend must go!

Dyed fur dog grooming trend

Dyed Fur

Dying your pet’s fur can cause stress and lead to allergic reactions that endanger the animal’s health. Colors like pink and purple have been popular for dog makeovers in the past, but in this case, keeping up with trends really isn’t worth it.

Many end up harming their beloved pups when they choose to use human hair dye on their fur. The chemicals in these products are toxic and a dog’s instinct to lick it off can cause serious problems. Not to mention that the pH level of your pet’s skin is very different from your own.

Some other options are food coloring and temporary fur chalk. However, these alternatives do not eliminate the unnecessary stress placed on the animal. Your fur buddy doesn’t know what’s going on and can have a hard time adjusting to its new color. Our dogs love us regardless of how we look and we should extend the same kindness to them!

Lion's mane dog grooming trend

Lion’s Mane

A lion’s mane haircut for your dog is like the mullet of human hair – never good! You can achieve this Lion King-inspired look by shaving the dog’s body while leaving its hair overgrown around the face, neck, and shoulders. Some also leave their hair overgrown on the end of the tail to complete the style.

This cut works best with golden retrievers and other similarly shaggy and golden colored dogs. While this look is definitely different, the shaved body can make the dog more vulnerable to sunburns and other elements, whereas the overgrown hair around their heads can get matted or get in the dog’s eyes. The uneven amount of fur can also cause your dog to be uncomfortable in different temperatures. So, unless you’re planning for your dog to go as Simba this Halloween, we suggest ditching this doggy do!

Corded fur dog grooming trend

Doggy Dreads

Several dog breeds are actually born with doggy dreadlocks! While doggy dreads can be a very catchy and cute way to refer to this look, the proper terms for coats like these are cords, flocks, and mats.

A coat like this consists of long rope-like strands where the top coat is actually entwined with the undercoat. Breeds like the Komondor, Puli, and Bergamesco are born naturally with these thick luxurious coats. Other breeds, like the poodle, Spanish water dog, and Havanese can achieve this look only with human help.

By no means are we suggesting that these fabulous locks are ugly. The only reason this look makes the list as one of the worst grooming trends is because those who ask for this look don’t always understand what they’re in for. These types of corded coats require a lot of time and effort to prevent painful matting.

The cords repel water, making it difficult to completely rinse out shampoo. They’re also really thick, making it extremely difficult to thoroughly dry the full coat. For these reasons, regular bathing and grooming are not a viable option. To make matters worse, the dense coats can hide skin conditions, so owners must be very careful to avoid fleas and must check regularly for irregularities!

While we fully support any owner willing to commit the time, effort, and money to maintain these coats (and are honestly in love with these gorgeous locks!), we highly recommend you make a realistic evaluation on how much time you have to care for these coats!

Hair accessories dog grooming trend

Mohawks, Comb Overs, Braids

Mohawks, comb overs, and braids are human hairstyles that have all been doggy-adopted at one point or another. But, if the hair around your dog’s face is so long that you have to pin to the side with a clip, or you’re able to braid it into two matching braids, it means it’s time to get your dog groomed! (And not time to try out your hairstyling skills on your dog!) Using clips or braids can be uncomfortable for your dog and the long hairs that hang around their eyes can make it hard for them to see.

The mohawk carries the same high regard as frosted tips and perms – absolutely none! While your dog will definitely be making a statement at the doggy park, it can also be terribly uncomfortable, often hotter in places with more hair!

Tattoo dog grooming trend

Tattoos

We’re not talking about needles and ink! Doggy tattoos, or pooch patches, refers to shaving down parts of the fur shorter in some areas to create images or patterns. While this trend is virtually harmless and pain-free, it can go wrong in so many ways. Like human tattoos, they can also be poorly done or just plain tacky!

Some images like paw prints or hearts can be cute (or not) and others are truly awful – like full body overalls drawn into your dog’s fur! While we admit that in some cases pooch patches are done well, this style makes the list of worst dog grooming trends simply because dogs get no say in what gets drawn on their bodies. What if your pup doesn’t share the same love for Nickleback after all?

Save your pet from these awful trends! Check out our courses and learn how to properly groom your dog!

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Casey Bechard of Off The Leash Pet Grooming is a QC Pet Studies graduate. Read all about her favorite breeds and pet haircuts as a certified groomer!