Preparing for Grooming
Full credit to Miranda Wyeth of Panda’s Pet Grooming for this informative video.
Preparing for Grooming – To teach your dog to stay still and get used to being handled, have some favourite treats in one hand. Hold them in front of his nose. With the other hand, rub along his back and tail. Then run your hand down each leg. Give a treat often to keep him interested.
Start again, running your hand down the back and tail, down each leg and this time pick up each paw in turn. Be careful not to hurt him, affect his balance or cause discomfort. You want to maintain his trust during this process. If he tries to wriggle or pull his paw free, don’t pull against him but don’t let go either. Gently keep hold of each paw, go with his movements and maintain a gentle grip. He’ll learn to relax while you’re holding his paws.
If he’s struggling and trying to get free of your handling, don’t let go. Hold him with relaxed arms, look away to show you’re not registering his protest and wait until he relaxes again. When he stops trying to wriggle free, give another treat to reward this behaviour.
The next steps are to get him used to being handled under his tail and around his anus and genitals. Most dogs instinctively protect themselves when approached here and it will probably need slow, patient attempts.
Practice running your fingers gently around his eyes and ears. If you haven’t already started, get your dog used to having his teeth cleaned twice a week. Finger toothbrushes are usually more acceptable to dogs than regular brushes.
At all times, stay patient and considerate and show your delight when he goes along with the handling without objection. He may feel unsure and any impatience or shouting from you will only compound this. Preparing for grooming