Any new dog owner will know the challenges that puppies can bring. As well as the common issues of house training your new dog and ensuring they’re comfortable in their new environment, as your dog grows older you will continue to face new and exciting challenges.
One of the big challenges arises when it comes to grooming your new pet. Naturally, puppies are a bit wary and nervous of grooming as it is a new experience they’re not used to. Thankfully, with the right training, this is easy to overcome.
Here are four grooming tips for making the grooming experience far more pleasant for both you and your puppy:
1. Don’t Rush
As with anything new, your puppy is likely to be hesitant and nervous first time being groomed. If you head to a professional groomer the new environment may unnerve them slightly, as well as the sounds and crowds they may come in to contact with along the way.
A great way to calm your puppy down is to introduce them to new places frequently, allowing them to settle around strangers and to become comfortable even when they aren’t in familiar surroundings.
The same can be done for the introduction of loud noises, by bringing your puppy into contact with weird and wonderful sounds at an early age they will be a lot more relaxed when they finally come to having their coat trimmed with shavers or nails clipped.
This tip also applies to bath time as well, some young dogs can become nervous around water so it is important to allow to them to go at their own pace. You can do this by running a very shallow bath and seeing how your dog reacts, slowly increasing the water level until you can bathe them properly with confidence they will remain calm and even enjoy the experience.
2. Introduce Treats
Any new pet owner will know only too well the power of treats when it comes to training a young dog. The use of treats and positive association to mold your dog’s behavior cannot be understated and it can also have its benefits when it comes to grooming as well.
Although at first, your young puppy will be wary of being groomed you can ease them into sessions by letting them know they will be rewarded for their good behavior. Though it may take a bit of time and patience, your puppy will learn to sit still and let you groom them which is rewarding for you and will make your grooming sessions much shorter.
3. Try Improving Your Puppy’s Attention Span
This tip is a lot easier said than done but leads directly on from the advice above. Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of owning or looking after a puppy will know just how easily they can become distracted.
Any new visitor to your home and just about anything that moves will see them dashing off and chasing this new attention spectacle, however, this doesn’t combine well with trying to groom your puppy.
The fact they can’t sit still for longer than 30 seconds will mean you soon become irritated and most probably give up altogether on trying to brush their coat or clip their nails. However, patience is key and working to improve your puppy’s attention span will deliver countless benefits further down the line.
You can attempt this by teaching commands from an early age and if mastered you will notice the difference in your pet’s behavior not just when it comes to bath time but also out on long walks and when heading off to new places as well.
4. Use Dummy Objects to Practice
This is another tip that will familiarize your puppy with the process of being groomed and relates to foreign objects coming into close contact with their face and skin. It is quite simple and can be carried out easily by holding your puppy still and running something that isn’t sharp through their coat and close to their skin and face.
This should be done in a non-threatening manner and once you’re confident that your puppy will not respond negatively to the real thing you can take the step up to clippers and thin tipped brushes to see how they react.
Grooming equipment can come in many shapes and sizes so it is important to attempt to keep your puppy as calm as possible and by applying practice objects first you can ensure your dog won’t even flinch when it comes to being groomed.
So there you have four tips to get you on your way with grooming your new puppy. Patience really is key and allowing your young dog to go at their own pace is the name of the game. Let them set the pace at first and by easing any anxiety they may have you will calm them enough to make grooming sessions almost second nature.
About The Author:
Jenny Nolan loves to spend her time looking after excitable young puppy Roxy as well as contributing to her family run pet blog Cleaner Paws with Mom Sue.