How to get your dog used to being groomed
Owners who take the time to work on dog desensitisation will be rewarded with a happy and well-groomed companion.
Dog desensitisation is an essential technique for dog grooming. It is a process of gradually exposing dogs to grooming procedures to help them become comfortable and calm during grooming. Many dogs can become stressed, anxious, or fearful during grooming, and this can make the process challenging and even dangerous. Desensitisation is a process that can help dogs learn to relax and enjoy grooming. In this blog post, we will discuss how to desensitise dogs for grooming.
The first step in dog desensitisation is to start with basic handling. Dogs need to be comfortable with being handled before they can be groomed. You can start by gently touching your dog's body and paws and rewarding them with treats for staying calm. Gradually increase the duration of handling, and start introducing grooming tools like combs and brushes. Always use positive reinforcement techniques, and never force the dog to accept grooming.
The next step is to introduce the grooming tools gradually. Start with the least intrusive tools, such as soft brushes, and slowly progress to more invasive tools, such as clippers. Use treats to reward good behaviour, and always stop if the dog shows signs of stress or discomfort. It's essential to take things slowly, and each dog will have different levels of tolerance for grooming procedures.
At Underdog we recommend owners start with a Puppy Package to get your puppy used to sitting on the grooming table as an introductory service. This includes being carefully bathed and brushed and having their face, feet and bottom trimmed. No body hair is trimmed in this package. This gentle service last under an hour.
Another essential aspect of dog desensitisation is creating a positive grooming environment. This includes setting up a calm and quiet grooming area, using gentle and positive language, and creating a relaxing atmosphere. Many dogs respond well to calming music or aromatherapy, so consider using these tools to create a soothing environment.
It's important to remember that dog desensitisation is a gradual process, and it may take time for the dog to become comfortable with grooming. Be patient and consistent in your approach, and always reward good behaviour. If you are struggling, consider seeking the advice of a professional dog trainer.
Dog desensitisation is not just a groomer's issue. It's crucial for dog owners to work on dog desensitisation because it helps build a stronger bond between dogs and being handled by a professional groomer. When dogs feel comfortable and safe during grooming, they will associate positive feelings with the grooming process. This can lead to a deeper level of trust and cooperation between the owner and the dog, making it easier to handle the dog in grooming situations as well.
Additionally, working on dog desensitisation can help prevent behavioural issues that can arise from grooming-related stress and anxiety. Dogs who feel uncomfortable or fearful during grooming may become aggressive or avoidant, making grooming difficult or impossible. By desensitising the dog to grooming procedures, owners can prevent these behavioural issues from developing.
Lastly, grooming is an essential part of a dog's overall health and hygiene. Regular grooming can prevent skin irritations, matting, and other health issues. When dogs are comfortable with grooming procedures, it becomes easier for owners to maintain their dog's health and wellbeing.
In conclusion, dog desensitisation is not only important for the dog's comfort and wellbeing, but it also helps build a stronger bond between the owner and the dog, prevent behavioural issues, and maintain the dog's health and hygiene. Owners who take the time to work on dog desensitisation will be rewarded with a happy and well-groomed companion.
Download our FREE guide here for tips on how you can work on desensitisation for your dog