3 Training Techniques to Ease Your Dog into Being Groomed
Train your dog to like being groomed, I know… you’re thinking it probably can’t be done! We get it, some dogs, no matter how hard you try just thoroughly dislike being groomed.
Whether you take your pooch to a professional dog groomer or you attempt do it yourself at home, your dog’s resistance probably makes you reluctant to force them into the whole procedure of being groomed.
By far the most common piece of advice heard is to simply start grooming your dog while they're a puppy. Simple right? At first they might not enjoy it so much but soon they will come round to the idea and eventually they will love it.
However this isn’t always possible, what about if you have only recently adopted your pet? Or despite the advice of everyone to start grooming at an early age… your pup despises being groomed.
If either of these scenarios sound familiar then this post might be able to offer some help on training you. We don't for a second claim to have the answers to all of your grooming worries.
However, we do have three tips to train your dog to like being groomed that might just make the whole grooming process more enjoyable for both you and your dog.
Improving Your Pet’s Attention Span
I know you are probably thinking that this is far easier said than done. Especially when your boisterous pup won’t sit still for more than 30 seconds at a time.
At this stage in their development, dogs are easily distracted and as we all know too well it doesn’t take a lot for them to be attracted to virtually anything that moves.
This is obviously a dog groomer’s worst nightmare and will lead to problems whether you decide to professionally groom your pet or if you carry out the process at home yourself.
The tricky thing with this tip is that it can take time to see results but when your pet does start to learn this new behavior, boy will you see an improvement!
The best way to improve your dog’s attention span is to work on commands on a regular basis, once they have a good understanding of these and what it is you want them to do you can then start introducing distractions while still commanding, and then rewarding them for sitting still.
This should hopefully improve their concentration and by getting them to focus on just one thing you should find it easier to train them in other areas as well, meaning you will not only see benefits when it comes to grooming your dog but other areas as well.
Introduce Your Dog to Crowds Slowly
Our second tip relates specifically to having your dog professionally groomed. It is quite common for grooming salon’s to be crowded and noisy. Therefore, ensuring your pet is comfortable in this type of environment will have a huge impact on their overall enjoyment of the grooming process.
By introducing them to these types of environments slowly you will ensure they avoid experiences that will leave a negative impression and lead to them thinking of these surroundings unfavorably, especially if you introduce treats as rewards for good behavior at this stage.
Although great for grooming, just like tip number one this technique will also help to make your dog more sociable around large groups and show your pet that they have nothing to be afraid of when meeting strangers.
Familiarizing your canine with unfamiliar surroundings and introducing them to large crowds, should help when taking them to be groomed. Therefore, try introducing your dog slowly to shops and busy environments, and you will likely be met with far less resistance on your next visit.
How Practice Objects Can Help
This might sound a little strange at first but this is actually our favorite tip to give to pet owners when they ask what they can do to calm their pet’s nerves around grooming objects.
In many ways, it works along the same lines of familiarizing your pet with a routine or surroundings they aren’t too sure about. Grooming your pet thoroughly requires a number of different tools… from nail clippers to brushes. These come in variety of different shapes and sizes and some even make loud or unnerving noises.
Not only can these objects scare your pet if they aren’t used to them, but the very nature of grooming and the fact these objects come into very close contact with our pets coat, face and eyes means they can be quite unnerving.
A great way to train your dog to become used to these objects is through the use of practice items first. These items are safer than the regular grooming tools as they can be soft and blunt and won’t make any noise. To choose a practice object you can find any item that you have at home that fits the description above.
Once you have the practice object you can begin running it around your pet’s face and close to their paws to see how they react. If you get no response at all you can progress to the real thing knowing your pet will calm.
Hopefully by implementing at least one of the tips you can begin to effectively train your dog to like being groomed. Training your dog should be an ongoing process and we always advise pet owners we come into contact with to invest their time in learning about the subject if possible.
This can be done online by browsing your favorite blogs or through purchasing one of the many excellent dog training books available, how you choose to stay on top of your dog’s behavior is really up to you.
The same can be said for grooming, it is an extremely important aspect of looking after your dog. If your pet does react nervously to the experience you should do all you can to make the process as calming and hassle free as you can.
About the Author
Jenny Nolan spends her time contributing to family run blog Cleaner Paws with Mom Sue and a little bit too much time online shopping! With over 40 years combined experience of professional pet grooming, Cleaner Paws is a great place to check out the last grooming tips and product reviews.