Dogs certainly are wonderful beings and a gift to humanity but even so, some of them don’t really know how to behave in certain situations. Whether they’re scared or nervous or just grumpy, they can react a bit negatively sometimes which in all honesty can be bothersome. Especially when they’re being groomed.
If your dog starts fidgeting around and refuses to cooperate during his grooming, not only will the entire process become a lot less efficient but it may also become a bit dangerous actually. The dog could flinch at the wrong time, causing the groomer to cut him or her accidentally or even worse, stab them with the scissors.
In order to avoid such a scenario, you should teach your dog how to act when it’s grooming time. Put a little effort into prevention so that you can avoid having to do an intervention.
What exactly can you do to help your dog get used to being groomed, either by you or a professional? Well stick around for a while and find out with the help of these following tips we have prepared for you.
First tip: Start grooming at young age
Dogs are easier to teach when they’re little, because you don’t have to deal with raw power if they resist and because they aren’t very stubborn at young age, no matter which breed they belong to.
So start introducing them to grooming related objects and areas while they’re puppies. Show them a pair of scissors, a comb, a brush, let them sniff the objects and prove them that all of those tools aren’t designed for harming them.
Take them to your bathroom and wash them in the tub. Use shampoo and a shower head so that they can get accustomed to both. Your tub won’t be the same as the one at the groomer because those are usually made of metal, but it will be close enough so that the dog can consider it familiar. Dry your doggo’s hair with a hairdryer (just don’t use yours!). Dog’s skin is sensitive and cannot stand the same level of heat that we use on our heads. Instead, opt for an efficient dog blow dryer that is appropriate for the size of your four-legged furball. Most dogs hate the hairdryer at first, just like vacuum cleaners, due to all the noise it makes but after a while they should get used to it, at least to a certain degree.
Second tip: Reward them
Whenever your dog does something right or in this case behaves well, don’t forget to reward them with a treat. That way, they’ll remember what to do next time so that they can get their treat and will behave well again. Never ever punish bad manners. Point out their mistakes but avoid punishments because they are counter productive.
Third tip: Tire them out
Sometimes, dogs misbehave just because they have a lot of energy and they don’t know what to do with it. So, they go crazy and jump around without listening to reason.
That’s why you should always try to tire them out before an activity that requires them to be calm, like grooming. Go out for running, play fetch in the park, play tug of war, and if you can’t do anything else, put them on a treadmill and let them walk for a while.
The bottom line is, you need to force them to spend any excess energy they have stored and they will be cooperative at the groomer.
Fourth tip: Be a role model
Dogs look up to their owners, there’s no denying it. They also have a highly developed feeling of empathy. Which means that your insecurities or uneasiness, as well as stress and agitation will reflect on your dog, causing them to feel the same.
We’re humans after all so you can’t be an emotional rock at all times but try to be composed at least when it’s grooming time. Tell your dog that it will be alright, without using words or gestures.
That’s about it. From now on, your dog should get used to being groomed relatively quickly, as long as you follow our tips. Now go and play with your dog, enough distractions!