If you learn how to train a dog to enjoy grooming it will benefit both of you. The happier your pet, the happier you are, right? Your dog won’t have to deal with the anxiety brought on by grooming, and you won’t have to deal with a stressed out pet that won’t sit still.
If your dog has severe anxiety around the time of grooming, there are several ways to deal with it: you can try dog anxiety medications or using a dog anxiety vest. However, neither one of these options is ideal for every grooming situation.
In certain cases, for pets with serious anxiety issues you’ll need to work with a professional dog trainer or dog groomer. If he tries to bite you or becomes aggressive during grooming, you don’t want to take any chances. Dog anxiety is very common and must be addressed and dealt with in a serious manner to avoid bigger problems.
For home groomers who are prepared to take the matters in their own hands, there’s a way to deal with a scared dog safely. So if your canine is fidgety, pants excessively, or is just generally uneasy when you groom him, my video and below tips will help.
Learning how to train a dog to enjoy grooming isn’t as difficult as it sounds. With some praise and motivating dog treats your pet will soon learn that he has nothing to fear.
One quick tip I’d like to give you right off the bat is this: always keep a positive attitude when working with your dogs. This applies not only to dog grooming, but also training dogs or whenever else your working with pets.
Why? Because studies have shown that dogs not only pick up on your emotions and attitude, but they also prefer praise over dog treats. Isn’t that crazy? Your dog would rather you pet him and praise for good behavior than receive something tasty. It’s important to remember this and stay patient, no matter what your pooch does.
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How To Train A Dog To Enjoy Grooming, Calm Down and Love the Process
Like all dog training, it is best to start grooming your dog when he’s as young as possible. When dogs get older they develop bad habits without the proper training. When you try to train an older dog, it can be difficult to get him to give up these habits.
If you begin when your dog is still a puppy, he’ll learn to enjoy grooming from the very beginning. Working with a dog that has already learned to fear grooming will be a bit more challenging for most pet parents.
The key to learning how to train a dog to enjoy grooming is getting him used to all the variables and steps of the grooming process. Put yourself in his shoes (or paws, in this case). Whether you groom in a dog grooming tub in your bathroom at home, in the basement or at the grooming salon, grooming always takes place in a separate area.
There are lots of different dog grooming supplies and tools being used on your pet (listed below). Think of all the different smells! How is your dog supposed to be comfortable in an environment like that, especially if he’s only there occasionally for brief periods of time?
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No matter where your dog will being groomed, you need to get him used to that environment. Allow him to freely explore your bathroom or other grooming area. Bring him to the salon multiple times before his first appointment.
The more comfortable your dog is in the environment, the less likely he is to be afraid of the whole process.
It’s also best to work with your dog when he is tired, especially if he’s energetic. Play with him or take him for a walk just before grooming. This will allow your dog to expend all the extra energy that he would normally have to pace, pant or jump around.
You’ll need to take things very slowly when learning how to train a dog to enjoy grooming. Over stimulating him is what causes the stress and anxiety in pets in the first place. You’re not in a rush (or you shouldn’t be), so begin slowly and do one task at a time.
- nail clipping/paw hair trimming
- teeth cleaning
- ear cleaning
If you need more help with above dog grooming tasks, we have plenty of pet grooming help here on Top Dog Tips website.
For most pet owners who’d like to groom their dogs at home, it’s essential to learn about every part of the grooming process – from bathing to drying to cutting nails, and so on. With that in mind, we’ve created many different video guides for you to learn all about dog grooming at home. You can check them out below, or browse dog grooming section.
Five essential Top Dog Tips video guides to learn how to groom dogs at home:
- How To Use Dog Clippers
- How To Clean Dog’s Ears
- How To Brush A Dog’s Teeth
- How To Bathe A Dog
- How To Cut Dog’s Nails
Whichever task you choose first, begin by getting your dog used to the environment and start with the dog grooming tools that will be used.
Give your pet plenty of time to see and smell the grooming equipment that will be used, and reward him with tasty dog treats and praise for being calm while he’s investigating the tools. Allow your pooch enough time to get comfortable and calm down.
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As you’ll see in my video guide above on calming dog a dog before grooming, once your Fido has the chance to get used to the grooming tools, you need to let him experience what will be happening when those tools are used. For example, when you’re getting him use to a pair of nail clippers you’ll also want to handle his paws, toes and nails.
As I’ve mentioned, you need to give your dog the time to get used to every aspect of the grooming process so there will be as few new variables as possible. If you’re using one of the pet towels for dogs, then you must continue doing this regularly so that your Fido gets used to this. That way he won’t get overstimulated and he will stay calm.
Just begin with one task at a time and work your way up gradually as your dog begins to enjoy the previous grooming experience. Once he’s comfortable being washed and dried, you can move on to brushing. Continue until your dog is comfortable with all the grooming procedures that he will need on a regular basis.
The more fearful that your pet is, the longer it will take to learn how to train a dog to enjoy grooming. If he’s older and has been afraid of grooming for many years, it’s going to be a long and difficult process. You may not be able to ever help your canine companion be 100% comfortable with grooming, but you can certainly teach him that there is nothing to fear.
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