According to Matt Davies Harmony Communities, your dog gets aggressive, restless, and panics a lot when you try to groom it. However, they are surprisingly calm when it’s at the professional groomer. Professionals use a few techniques to keep your pet calm during a grooming session. Let’s take a page from their book and check out how to keep your dog calm while you are grooming him.
- Put the tool in front of your dog – Grooming tools like brushes look harmless while nail clippers look sharp, shiny, and dangerous. Your dog’s instincts put it at a high alert level when it sees those tools. The best way to make them feel safe around those tools is to just put the tools in front of them to allow exploration. Allow your dog to sniff, bite and come in contact with the tools so that they know those objects aren’t a threat.
- Familiarize your dog with the tools – Sometimes exploring the tools isn’t enough. Some tools behave in a different way when they are used. For instance, grooming scissors make a slicing noise while electric shavers make a buzzing noise and add a vibrating sensation. These unknown behaviors may spook your dog.–
To avoid that, make sure you familiarize your dog with the grooming tools. Turn on the clippers and allow your dog to get used to the sound and the motion, use the scissors from a distance and use other such tools to make your dog feel at ease when you’re actually using them.
- Use treats – If you have a dog that still doesn’t stay calm after the previous two steps, you need to use the power of bribery. When your dog stands or sits still and behaves well, reward them with a treat. Think of this exercise as an extension of your regular training session. As they start associating food with being calm and still, they would show more obedient behavior during your grooming sessions.
- Don’t force it – It’s all about positivity when it comes to grooming your dog. It’s a gradual process that can’t be rushed, especially if your dog has a nervous disposition. Take a break if your dog shows signs of resistance. Your dog needs to know that the grooming will stop when it’s not comfortable.
Groom little and often to get your dog used to the process and extend those sessions when your pup is completely relaxed. You can also add music and positive familiar sounds to make the experience more soothing. It’s also important to completely stop when your dog pulls away. Acknowledge its body language. If you try to force the grooming session, it’s going to become a traumatic experience.
Matt Davies Harmony Communities suggests that you use the tips mentioned above to keep your dog calm while getting rid of excess fur or cutting their nails. Make them familiar with the tools, use treats, and make sure you don’t use force. Otherwise, the trauma would make them more restless during the next grooming session.