Most dogs that have been groomed regularly since they were young have no anxiety when the groomer begins to do their job, but there are always a few exceptions or younger pups that still get nervous. Not only is anxious behavior tough on your dog, but it can also lead to a scared dog lashing out at the groomer by biting or growling. The following tips can help calm your dog for a more comfortable and safer grooming visit.
Tip #1: Try in-home grooming
For some dogs the anxiety lies in visiting the groomer. Perhaps the grooming table reminds them of the vet, or maybe they just aren't comfortable in a strange place. Once way to avoid this form of anxiety and prevent nervousness is to hire a groomer that comes to your home to work. Getting brushed and trimmed in the comfort of their own bathroom may be enough to keep your dog calm.
Tip #2: Turn the focus to food
It's no secret that dogs are food driven. During a grooming session, it's best to dole out small treats, not a single large one. Provide a treat and praise for each good behavior. For example, if your dog is highly anxious about nail trimming , then give a treat for each nail trimmed. This way the memories of the feared activity quickly gets overridden with memories of delicious treats and praise.
Tip #3: Stay close by
Most groomers will allow owners to stay in the room to help keep the dog calm. Don't be afraid to pet and talk to your dog to soothe and distract them. Scratching behind the ears gives you control of your dog's head in a gentle manner when the groomer is using the clippers, for example, which can prevent them from fearfully nipping at the noise.
Tip #4: Practice at home
Don't put off all grooming until your next professional visit. Get dog brush and get into the habit of brushing your dog daily. Start slow and increase the time you brush, always providing a reward to your pup afterward. Opt for soft-bristled brushes if your dog has a lot of fear, since these are less likely to pull at the fur. This helps to get your dog used to grooming so they are less likely to be highly anxious at your next grooming appointment.
For more help, contact a professional groomer in your area, such as those at Rush Animal Care Clinic PC.