Dog Grooming Training
dog training

Dog Grooming Training

Regularly grooming your dog is very important, even if you do not have a long-haired breed that requires extensive grooming. Grooming teaches the dog to feel safe when you handle it, not only when you pet it. If you start grooming your puppy as soon as you get it, e.g. by gently combing its fur, checking for signs of illness, cutting its nails when necessary and so on, it will eventually turn into a large dog that is easy to groom and feels secure in your hands. Trying to convince a huge, adult dog that getting its teeth checked is a good idea, is much harder than convincing a small puppy that it actually feels very nice to be brushed and cleaned.

Dog grooming training should always include a lot of situations that make the dog feel comfortable and secure. All dog owners must at some point do things to their dogs that might not be very pleasant for the dog, e.g. scraping its teeth or removing a tic. Starting dog grooming training by doing unpleasant things is however not a good idea. Start by gradually making your puppy accustomed to combs, brushes, scissors etcetera. Some puppies are shy and must learn that these things are not dangerous. Other puppies are very active and daring, and must learn that combs, brushes etcetera are no toys.

Never allow your dog to bite or chew items used for grooming and never use such items as playthings. In the dogs mind, grooming utensils should only be associated with being groomed and cared for. They are not dangerous or harmful, nor funny playthings. Letting the puppy chew on its comb might look cute, but it is not very nice when a large, adult dog thinks that the comb is a toy and constantly tries to snatch it from your hand and run away with it during the grooming sessions. 

Many dog owners like to place their dog on top of a table or workbench during the grooming sessions. This way, it is easy for the owner to reach around the dog. Dogs can however feel uncomfortable in this new situation and need some dog grooming training to stay at the table. If you have a large breed, you may wish to skip this stage and carry out dog grooming training on the floor instead. Few people place their St. Bernads on top of a table for grooming sessions. 

Many dogs dislike to stand directly on the smooth surface of a table, and you should therefore use an anti-slip mat or similar to make it more comfortable for the dog. Do not act nervous or angry around the dog during the dog grooming training. Dog grooming should be associated with positive feelings for the dog, and if you feel nervous or irritated the puppy will pick up on it. Be calm and talk a lot to the puppy while grooming it, making it feel happy and secure.

Some dogs are very nervous and need to be trained gently, while others like being groomed from the start. If you dog seem frightened, you can start the dog training by letting the dog stand on the table for just a few minutes during the first sessions. Talk to the puppy in a happy voice, praise it and give it a treat afterwards. Repeat this dog grooming training a few times a day and gradually increase the time. 

When the dog is no longer afraid of the table you can start brushing it. Use a soft brush and encourage your puppy throughout the entire process. Gradually introduce more and more grooming accessories, such as combs, scissors, nail clippers and so on.

Dog Grooming Articles

Dog Grooming and Health - An article about how dog grooming can affect the health of the dog.
Dog Grooming Kit - An introduction to dog grooming kits and what to look for in a good dog grooming kit.
Dog Grooming Schools - An introduction to dog grooming schools and what you can expect if you choose to attend one.
Dog Grooming Tips - A collection of dog grooming tips.