Dog Grooming Tips For First Time Puppy Owners
If you’ve got a little fur baby that needs regular, costly grooming , read on to know what you can do to ensure your first puppy has the best experience!
As a golden doodle puppy parent, I probably spend more money on my dog’s grooming than on my own! Grooming can get costlier if you have a dog with longer hair like my puppy Daisy (Mini Golden Doodle). Moreover, longer-haired breeds are high-maintenance and require grooming more often than other breeds. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself at the grooming center every 6-8 weeks!
Typically, grooming charges for your dog vary depending on different aspects such as:
- Size of the dog
- Quality of the dog’s coat
- Frequency of grooming sessions
- Dog’s temperament during grooming
When all of these aspects are put together, the grooming costs may actually add up to a lot more than you would expect. If you’re paying a small fortune to get your dog groomed, you might as well ensure that your dog has have an amazing experience while they are at the groomers.
So what do we do as pet parents? We need to do everything possible to prepare our pups so that they have the best possible experience at the groomers’. Every puppy is different- while some might love grooming, others may even be able stand the sight of the grooming center! We need to get our dog to at least tolerate the groomer, if not absolutely love and adore them. Here are some tips to get your pup ready before an elaborate dog grooming session:
Start Preparing as Early as Possible
Let’s compare prepping your dog for grooming to preparing for the Olympics. It’s a process; and the Olympics is the time for the sportspersons to show off all the hard work and effort they have been putting in for four long years. The grooming appointment is similar; you have to prepare your dog way before the grooming appointment. The grooming center isn’t the place for practice- it is the time to show off all the work both the dog and you have been putting in all this while. The earlier you begin prepping, the better it would be for your dog.
Sensitize Your Dog
The entire grooming process includes tasks such as bathing and drying and will involve trimmers, scissors, nail clippers, the grooming table, and a lot of body handling. To prepare your dog for the entire process, you’d have to work on sensitizing your dog. How can you do this? By associating the tools with something positive (yes, positive reinforcement!). Introduce them to the grooming tools along with their favorite treat. It is important to take the sensitization process slow and easy, as rushing it up isn’t going to help at all. This is also why starting as early as possible (point 1) is important.
Process of Sensitization
Step 1: Introduce the Tools With Positive Reinforcement
Show your dog a trimmer in the off position and then offer it a treat with the other hand. Once you show them both trimmer and treat, place both hands behind your back so that your pup cannot see either of them.
Make sure you stick to this sequence; showing the treat first may backfire and your dog would begin associating the food with something scary. Using the best kinds of treats will help your dog get over their fear of all the scary tools and any previous bad experiences they’ve had.
Step 2: Slowly Introduce the Sound of the Tools
As the sound of trimmers may terrify dogs, it’s best to begin with the sound of an electric toothbrush. You don’t have to use the tool on the dog, but just get started with acquainting them to the sound of it. Simultaneously, you have to offer them treats, so that your dog knows that this sound isn’t that terrifying after all!
Step 3: Move Closer to the Dog as it Gets Comfortable With the Sound
As you notice your dog getting comfortable with the sound, you can slowly take the tool near their body and ultimately touch it. Start with touching the tool on the tail, move to the body, and then hover around their heads. Starting with the head will scare the dogs, as the loud sound can overwhelm them.
By now, your dog has got used to the sounds, so it wouldn’t show any signs of stress at all. Instead, your pet will be excited about the whole process. You need to follow the same process with other tools, such as trimmers, dryers, and clippers.
How to Find a Great Groomer?
You don’t want your dog to be stressed out during a session that’s supposed to be relaxing for them. A good groomer would understand immediately how stressed a dog is from their body language. Any groomer who ignores stress signals is- to put it simply- not a good groomer for your dog.
Find a groomer who takes the time to work through the training techniques you’ve got your dog accustomed to at home. A good groomer would go at your pup’s pace and would also give them breaks when required. Groomers need to prioritize humanity over vanity. They should be totally okay if the job doesn’t get done all at once.
How Can You Help to Make the Grooming Process Easier?
Start with Victory Visits
Victory visits are nothing but visits to scary places such as the vet or the groomers. While a victory visit wouldn’t be to get any procedures done, its purpose is to just get the pet acquainted with the environment. It goes without saying that you need to seek prior permission from your vet or the groomer before showing up for a victory visit.
A couple of victory visits would work wonders. The first visit can be probably just sitting inside the car in the parking lot of your groomers or the vet. The second visit can progress to sniffing around the parking lot and, if possible, a quick visit inside to get a cookie or a treat. These visits would help make your dog a lot more comfortable, and these places will no longer seem scary to them. If victory visits aren’t an option, you can always schedule a simple introduction to the equipment on the first visit and then take an actual appointment for the grooming session on the second visit.
At home, brush your doodle or furry haired dog as much as you can! That will make your dog's grooming experience a lot smoother. If your dog is too nervous when you touch their body, you can slap our Healing Cone on them, so that they feel calmer and relaxed with all that’s going on around them. Here are our Healing cone collections you can shop for.