3 Ways To Train Your Dog To Be Groomed

  • 04/02/2019

It’s so common to hear ‘my dog hates being groomed’.

Whether their teeth are being cleaned, nails are being clipped, or it’s an all-out wash, brush and coat trim, there are plenty of dogs out there who downright dislike the whole process.

Unfortunately for our furry friends though, grooming is a necessary part of their lives. So why not help your dog appreciate the grooming process?

1.    Get your dog used to being handled

Dog grooming involves your pup being handled closely, and for some dogs that can be very uncomfortable. So it’s important to ensure your dog is okay with being handled from a young age.

Start by letting your dog smell your hand. Once they’re happy doing that, touch their chin, collar - wherever you can. Every time they let you do this, reward them with a treat, a reassuring command, a cuddle and a pat.

Once your dog’s comfortable with this, gently pick them up for a few seconds. The short time frame is to get your dog slowly used to people holding them.

Following this, you can begin to softly restrain your dog. Dogs will wriggle and twist initially - this is normal. As soon as your dog’s comfortable being held and restrained, move their limbs around. Remember though, if your dog starts to nip or recoil, you’re going too fast.

2.    Introduce positive associations

Whether it’s a grooming dog brush, toothbrush, the bath, or nail clippers, it’s important to ensure your dog has a positive association with grooming tools.

Set the grooming tools on the ground and pop some treats around them. Encourage your dog to investigate the tools, and let them have a sniff or touch.

When it comes to the bath, let your pup be around while you’re organising everything. Always use a calm and encouraging voice and introduce the bath-related things you’re going to be using prior to putting them in the water for the first time. Use some tasty food treats to encourage your dog to follow you to where their bath will be.

3.    Be patient and have a strategy in place

Training isn’t a quick process – but it’s certainly worth getting right. After all, as well as keeping your pet’s fur clean, grooming also helps spot fleas and ticks which could cause health problems for your pet.

This is why it’s important to be patient and have a strategy in place. Remember, as the groomer, you need to be in the right frame of mind. Make sure you’re not in a rush to go anywhere, and that you have a calm and positive attitude.

In summary, it’s never too late to train your dog to love (or at least tolerate) grooming. Follow these three steps, and who knows, the next time you call out ‘bathtime’ to your dog, they may come running!

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