Tips for Making a Puppy Topknot

A puppy topknot might be just what your long haired puppy needs so you can see his beautiful   eyes and he can see the world.  Some breeds have long coats that continue to grow throughout the lifespan. 

Dogs such as Maltese, Yorkshire Terriers and Shih Tzu can gorgeous long coats as adults, but they don’t start out that way.  Growing out a coat is not easy and requires much time, effort and work.  Most people opt for a short cut unless they have their eye on the show ring.  Others just love the look of a long silky coat.

Perhaps you can’t decide whether to have your puppy grow out his hair to floor length or keep it clipped neatly in a short hairstyle.  In the meantime, the hair continues to grow, and it is more noticeable around the face with hair seemingly growing in all directions.  A small puppy topknot will help keep stray hairs out of his face and keep him looking neat and clean.  You can even compromise and keep the dog in an overall shorter style while still preserving the topknot. 

We will assume that you have been working with your puppy and training him to enjoy the grooming experience.  It’s very hard to put a topknot in properly if your little one is fidgeting everywhere.  This is probably the number one complaint of owners wishing to groom.


If you don’t think you can put a pony tail on a moving object, stop and work on some grooming training first. Remember, all puppies are different, but none of them are born knowing how to enjoy the grooming experience.  We have to teach them. Training a puppy for grooming.

This will be a tiny topknot because the puppy just doesn’t have enough hair yet.  We will start with just one centered topknot.

Tools and Supplies

  • Small elastic bands
  • Rattail comb
  • Fine tooth comb
  • Small puppy brush
  • Bows, optional

Steps for Making a Puppy Topknot

  1. Start by dividing or parting the hair just above the top back of the nose.  A rattail comb works well but you can also use a fine toothed comb if you’re afraid the puppy might move.  Make the part just between the eyes. 

  2. Next gather up the hair in a V shape above the nose between the eyes. The wider part of the V is closest to the nose.

  3. Place a tiny elastic band. You can purchase elastic bands that don’t pull or rip hair at any beauty store.  

  4. Comb the whiskers down and away from the eyes.  To train them to lie properly, a dab of Petroleum Jelly can be placed on them.  (You will need to clean around the eyes every day.)  A soft puppy brush (bristle or pin) can be used to help train these hairs to lay flatter on the face.  Be careful not to get too close to the eyes.

  5. Add a small bow to finish it off.

You will need to do this daily to keep it looking good.

As the hair grows, you will be able to take in more hair to make larger topknots.  To do this, make a longer part at the top back of his nose and again, gather the hair into an inverted V shape.  Once the puppy has reached maturity, more elaborate topknots can be done. In the meantime, enjoy that cute face.

Return from Puppy Topknot to Grooming Your Small Dog

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