Our Top Tips On How To Make Your Dog More Comfortable With Grooming
January 11, 2022
So many of our customers complain that their dogs hate being brushed or having their nails clipped and who wouldn’t hate having a whole bunch of unfamiliar tools on sensitive parts or strangers pulling and tugging on your hair when you are in a weird smelling unfamiliar place.
It’s really important that your dog sees grooming as a fun and positive experience. If your dog is stressed or anxious at the groomers it can become a negative cycle. The more stressed your dog is, the more difficult the groom is for them, compounding the fear and anxiety.
There’s no reason that your dog can’t learn to love the grooming process and we have put together our top tips to introduce positive associations for your dog to grooming
You can start your puppy out on the right track from the very beginning by helping them to become accustomed to being handled. You can help your puppy by regularly touching and patting the sensitive areas such as their muzzle, ears, paws and tail.
If they are particularly sensitive you can try gradually working towards the area and rewarding them with a treat.
A good tip before introducing the brush is to let them make friends with it first. You can start by placing the brush on the ground and putting treats on it. Once they are comfortable, you can then touch them with the brush in the sensitive areas without brushing while being positive and encouraging (treats always helps too).
Brushing your pup regularly will help them become more accustomed to the process, but it will also ensure that the grooming process is a more positive experience. Your groomer won’t have as many painful knots and matts to brush out that hurt your pooch.
Just like with the brush, you can help your dog get used to the nail clippers too first by placing treats on the clippers and allowing your dog to check them out first. You can then continue the process by tapping your dog’s feet with the nail clippers and providing positive words or treats when they don’t react
Pups can be frightened of different environments, particularly a grooming trailer with all the different sights, noises and smells. Regular visits will ensure that your pup is familiar with the environment to help make it a positive experience.
Try to keep on top of regular grooming appointments so that your dog doesn’t get to a point where they have knots and matts that are painful to remove.
Dogs that aren’t groomed regularly will need more than the normal maintenance groom, which can be painful, uncomfortable and stressful, creating a cycle of negative associations.
If you have an older pup that is reacting fearfully at the groomer, it’s not too late! You can work with your groomer to try to make it a more positive experience. Regular brushing, regular visits to the groomer will help them get used to being handled in places where they are most sensitive (treats can help).
The tone of your voice when you discuss grooming is also important. If your dog is reacting in a nervous way, try to refrain from apologising and show enthusiasm and excitement, they will feed off your behaviour. Confidence is contagious and you are doing something wonderful for your pup and helping them to stay clean and healthy.
It’s very important to never scold or discipline your dog for not behaving when they are being groomed. If your pup is frightened and misbehaving, being scolded by their favourite person will create more negative associations.
A positive and encouraging approach along with a regular grooming schedule will help your pup to be less anxious and stressed when it comes time for grooming.