A groomer’s top priority is to make your dog feel safe, comfortable, and loved, so trying to pamper a scared, stressed-out dog is utterly heartbreaking. If your fur baby is less than willing to participate in a professional hair cut or nail trim, try these tips to make the groomer a more pleasant experience (for everyone).
1. Ask if you can schedule a “training visit” with the groomer. Without having a procedure done, use the visit to introduce your dog to all the sights and sounds of the groomer, including being lifted on and off the groomer’s table. Be sure to provide lots of treats and love throughout the visit to help your dog create a positive association with the groomer.
2. Make it a habit to play with your dog’s ears and paws. It will make a big difference if your dog is comfortable with the human touch on these highly sensitive grooming areas. When your dog is sleeping or relaxed, gently caress the top and bottom of his/her paws. Pulling away is normal, so keep at it. During cuddle time or daily belly rubs, incorporate a loving ear massage that includes rubbing the tip of the ears softly.
3. Take a team approach with your groomer. Sit down with your groomer to identify which aspect of the experience makes your dog most uncomfortable and work together to seek a solution. For example, if your dog is primarily agitated with the grooming table, perhaps a towel or mat can be used to create a more comfortable and stable surface. Is a symphony of noises the problem? Perhaps your pup would benefit from a specialty product designed to block out loud sounds.
Your dog doesn’t really understand why he/she is being subjected to the grooming process. Behavior training can make a difference with hard work and persistence. If your pooch doesn’t seem to be making any progress, have a heart to heart with your vet for his or her suggestions.