Getting Your Puppy Ready For Their First Groom

12Dec09

When you get a new puppy most people think of potty training, and basic obedience as the only things to teach a new dog, but what about grooming? Grooming can be a very strange and stressful experience for a new puppy if they are not first conditioned to understand what is happening, and what you want them to do. Here are several easy steps to help your puppy’s first groom be a relaxing and enjoyable one:

1. Bring your puppy to the Groomer tired! This is often over looked, but a tired dog is a happy dog, and it will make it much easier for your puppy (not to mention your Groomer) to enjoy the experience if they are tired. A good walk or some rigorous play should do the trick.

2. Teach your puppy to “Stand” and “Stay”. Young puppies don’t always understand depth and this can be difficult for your pup when on the grooming table. By teaching them to “Stand” and “Stay” you are letting them know that sometimes you want them to just stay still where they are, and this will help greatly on the table. Make sure that you use good, smelly treats for this activity and lots of praise.

3. Get your puppy used to their feet/head/ears being handled. When relaxing on the couch, rub the inside of your puppy’s ears, hold their head in your hand gently, or stroke their paws. It’s important to do this when your puppy is relaxed. Accompany this with lots of praise and yummy treats! If your puppy struggles, barks, bites or generally acts out do not stop what you are doing. Stopping will only teach your puppy that these negative behaviors work. Simply hold on gently until your puppy calms down and then praise them profusely. Your puppy will quickly learn that going along with what you’re doing will give them the best results.

4. Get your puppy used to clippers by taking an electric razor, or something that makes similar sound and vibration, and rub it over your puppy’s face and back. Once more lots of praise and treats go a long way into making this a comfortable activity.

5. Get your puppy used to the blow dryer by blow-drying them with a dry that has a “Cool” or “Cold” setting on it. Do not use heat on your puppy has it can damage their coat and possibly cause health issues.

It may sound overwhelming at first, but with persistence and patience your puppy will be ready to enjoy their day at the spa!

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Audrey is the Groomer/Owner of D’tails Dog Grooming, a home salon in Wausau, Wisconsin. She owns a miniature poodle named Zeke, and loves being able to work at home so she can spend more time with her dog.

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