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 help get your dog used to grooming.


Getting your puppy used to grooming

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.


Getting your older dog used to grooming

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. Start with basic brushing and slowly introduce them to more comprehensive grooming practices. Older dogs might also have health issues like arthritis, so be mindful of their comfort during grooming. Tailoring your approach based on your dog’s age ensures a more effective and pleasant grooming experience for both you and your pet.


A long haired dog getting groomed at The Dog StopConsidering your dog’s breed

Different dog breeds have varying grooming requirements, largely influenced by their coat type and temperament. Breeds with longer hair, like Shih Tzus or Collies, require more frequent brushing to prevent matting and tangling. Short-haired breeds, such as Beagles, might need less frequent but still regular grooming sessions. Sensitive breeds may require extra patience and gentle handling during grooming. Understanding your dog’s breed-specific needs is super important in developing a grooming routine that keeps their coat healthy and them comfortable.

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.


The Dog Stop grooming productsUse 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.


Common dog grooming challenges

One common challenge in dog grooming is dealing with a dog’s fear of water or grooming tools like clippers and hairdryers. To overcome this, gradually introduce your dog to these in a non-threatening way. For instance, start by placing them in an empty bathtub and giving them treats, then slowly introduce a small amount of water in subsequent sessions. For noise-related fears, turn on the tools like hairdryers near your dog without using them directly, allowing your pet to get used to the sound. Always pair these introductions with positive reinforcement, such as treats and praise, to build a positive association with grooming activities.

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!