How to get your dog used to grooming
There are many benefits when it comes to dog grooming. It doesn’t only make them look great, but it also makes them clean and healthy! That’s why it’s important for every new dog owner to have your canine companion groomed regularly. Dogs should be groomed every 6 to 8 weeks, depending on your dog’s activity and coat length.
Keep in mind that not all dogs enjoy being groomed. When canines are introduced to a new activity, they tend to get nervous, and sometimes can become anxious. When this happens, grooming your dog can be a daunting task.
Whether you’re grooming your pooch yourself or you’re planning to bring them to a groomer, our tips below will make your dog feel at ease when it comes to grooming time.
Introduce grooming to your dog as soon as possible
The best way to get your dog accustomed to being groomed is to have them introduced to it as early as possible. Ideally, when a puppy is 12 weeks old – you should be able to begin small grooming procedures. This could be brushing their tail, or washing their feet. Remember that a puppy is full of energy and it’s unlikely they’ll be able to sit still for 1-2 hours during a full wash, dry, brush, and clip.
Grooming will also involve the handling of sensitive areas. Therefore, it’s essential to get your dog used to handling before making the trip to the grooming table. You can do this by gently touching different parts of their body. Engage in exercises such as pairing words like ‘ears’ or ‘paws’ with a gentle touch to the area.
How about older dogs? Well, the same principles apply there too. The difference is that it’ll take more time and effort until they understand and become comfortable with the process.
Engage in positive reinforcement training
You’ll have to associate grooming with something enjoyable. In other words, make it fun and reward them every time they show good behavior. The ultimate outcome of a good dog groom is that your dog responds positively, and isn’t fearful. Rewards such as their favorite treats, or letting them play with their favorite toys are some effective ways that will help your pooch enjoy the process.
According to a study by Erica Feuerbacher and Clive Wynne, food ranks first as a better motivator when engaging in positive reinforcement training.
Use the right grooming tools
It’s vital that the right tools are used, which will ensure that the grooming process goes smoothly. The smoother it is, the easier it’ll be for your dog and the groomer. Proper grooming equipment will also prevent potential harm to your dog.
If you’re bathing at home, be sure to only use dog shampoo, not human shampoo. Humans’ and dogs’ skin have different pH levels, meaning they will respond differently to the ingredients in either shampoo. If you use human shampoo on your dog’s fur, you may make them more susceptible to irritation, parasites, and bacteria.
Another tip – when brushing, be sure not to brush too much in a particular area for too long. Brushing can be aggressive on their skin and can hurt if your dog is not used to it. So go slowly and gently.
If you’re bringing your pooch to a groomer, make sure the groomer has the right tools available. Similarly, if you’ll be grooming your furry friend yourself, buy the best available tools. Ask the vet or your local pet retail store for some recommendations.
Seek professional assistance
If you still have trouble with training and preparing your dog to get used to grooming, you can always bring them to doggie daycare or training to be handled by a professional. They have experience in dealing with different kinds of dogs.
The Dog Stop’s groomers are well equipped to make your dog feel comfortable with the entire grooming process. Book in your pup today!