Teaching your dog to accept being groomed

April 12, 2012

Learning how to properly groom the dog is very necessary not only to ensure the admirable appearance of the dog but also to ensure the good health of the furry friend. A clean and shiny looking coat is a sign that the dog is healthy. This also shows that the pet owner is a caring and a responsible person. There are some breeds of dogs that clean themselves like cats do. But most breeds unlike cats are not capable of keeping themselves clean. Dogs are naturally active and boisterous. They also have this unexplainable liking to roll in mud and in things with abhorrent and repulsive smells. And when they do, the dog would certainly need a bath.

Grooming is an opportunity to check the dog for abnormalities that can lead to serious health problems. It is also a chance to spend quality time and to bond with the pet. Grooming improves the health of the pet but aside from that it also gives the dog relaxation (if the dog is properly introduced to grooming).

Some owners can afford to have the pet groomed by professionals regularly. Professional groomers would naturally make a good job of it. Learning the proper way to groom is necessary as most pet owners can not afford the $80 to $100 per grooming session (some groomers charge more). And even if the pet owner can afford the grooming expenses, some minor grooming has to be done in between trips to the groomer.

Grooming the dog consist of more than just brushing the coat to remove burrs, ticks, fleas and mites. It is more than ensuring that the coat is shiny and free from mats. Grooming includes bathing, care for the eyes, ears, teeth, nails as well as the anal sacs of the dog. The grooming ritual however, can be a challenge to do especially on mature dogs that were not introduced to the grooming process. Dogs are naturally active, they easily get distracted and it would be quite impossible to expect them to hold still for a while.

The best time to introduce the grooming process is while the dog is still a puppy. Do not hesitate to touch the puppy’s face, ears, paws, tail and other parts of the body. This will get the puppy accustomed to being touched. Slowly but consistently introduce the grooming tools to the puppy. Let him smell the brush. Puppies are naturally inquisitive and would think of the brush as a toy. Once the brush is accepted you can lay the pup on your lap and start with one stroke. Offering a treat can distract him from what you are doing. Eventually he will love the soothing sensation of being brushed.

Introduce the dog to the bath tub gradually. Let the dog play with a toy in a tub without water. After several sessions you can add few inches of water. Allow the pup to get accustomed with the water. The pup would offer some kind of resistance when you increased the water level but since it was already accustomed to the bathing station, the puppy would settle eventually. The same method must be used in introducing the nail cutter, the toothbrush, the dryer and clipper.

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