Dog grooming clippers can be an intimidating tool for our dogs. They look weird, smell strange and make a scary noise. It's important to understand how to help a dog get used to clippers the right way. Forcing your pooch to adapt to this grooming method could be traumatic and make the dog hate even the sight of clippers in the future.
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As with any new experience, teaching your dog to feel comfortable around clippers needs to be a gradual process. It's different for every dog. While some dogs may not have any problem adjusting to be clipped, others may be terrified of this grooming tool.
Therefore, if after trying some of my tips, your dog is still refuses to be groomed with regular dog clippers, you have two alternatives: (1) silent clippers that produce less noise, or (2) cordless clippers which, while just as noisy, are less threatening-looking to pets due to lack of cord.
If you want to learn how to help a dog get used to clippers, you're going to have to be patient. The process moves along faster with young puppies, while older dogs tend to be more cautious and anxious. Whether you've adopted a pup or a senior dog, it's best to get them used to dog clippers shortly after you bring them home.
How to Help a Dog Get Used to Clippers
1. Introduce the Clippers to Your Dog
Some dog owners assume that it's only the noise of the clippers alone is what's going to bother their dog, but there's actually more than that, depending on the dog. You will need to get your dog used to new stimulating aspects of the clippers such as:
All this is new to your dog, and any of them could make the dog uncomfortable. To get him used to the sight and smell of pet clippers, all you have to do is introduce them to your pup and leave them out (while off) where he can explore them in his own time.
Hold the clippers up for the dog to sniff, but if he doesn't show an interest, don't force him to. As long as your dog is not a chewer, leave the pet clipper out on the floor where your pet can sniff the tool and check it out on his own.
Once your dog has had time to adjust to the sight and smell of dog clippers, just sit with him and bring the pet clippers close to the dog, but do NOT turn them on just yet.
During this time, you're simply getting your pooch used to the sight and smell of pet clippers. It's important not to rush this part.
2. Slowly Get the Friendship Started
Now that your pet is used to the way dog clippers look and smell, and he's comfortable having them close to him, it's time to get him used to the sound that dog clippers make.
Remember that this is a gradual process, so you'll want to begin by turning on the pet clippers a few feet away from the dog. If your pup wants to come closer and explore where the noise is coming from, it will be the dog's own choice. If he doesn't, that's okay too.
You're going to have to be the judge here. You know your dog, so you'll know when he's ready for the next step. When your dog is ready, you can move the dog clippers closer to your pooch, and begin getting him used to hearing the noise very close to his body.
You'll soon be able to tell when your Fido is comfortable. But if he continues to be timid and afraid of the pet clippers, it may be time to think about other grooming options. Forcing a dog to be groomed with pet clippers when he's afraid of them is a very bad idea, and you should never do that because it will only work against you and your pet.
By forcing clippers onto a dog you will only cause them future anxiety. He will begin to be anxious about any type of grooming task, and he could even become aggressive. It's dangerous and even inhumane to force your dog to do something that scares them when alternative options are available.
Note: You can also buy silent dog grooming clippers (high quality ones) that are made to specifically run more quietly so as not to scare the dog. These quiet pet clippers may be a bit more expensive, but they are well worth it if you have a timid pooch. Alternatively, most professional pet clippers will have a quieter, less scary sounding motor, and your final choice could be trying a set of grooming scissors.
3. Begin Grooming Your Dog
At this point, you're going to know if you'll be able to get a dog get used to clippers effectively and with success. If your dog is uncomfortable no matter how gradual the training and how long you try, it's time to give up and try silent clippers or grooming scissors instead. Yes, grooming scissors will take longer, but it will not traumatize the dog.
If your pet seems to be getting more comfortable with you using dog hair clippers, you have a pass to move on. Now, you'll also need to get your dog used to the feeling of pet clippers. Remember that all clippers vibrate, which will feel weird for your dog at first.
Begin by first clipping just a small area of your dog's coat. If the dog is comfortable, you can continue. If this jumps him or he seems nervous, do a small area and then take a break before clipping another small area. Don't rush the clipping process.
Taking it step by step is vital. Eventually, you'll be able to groom larger areas at a time and move much quicker, to the point where you can finally clip your dog's entire coat without stopping for a break. Until then, keep it quiet and slow.