How to Prepare Your Dog for the Groomer
New puppies are a lot of fun, and they’re always learning! Just like a baby in any species, they’re experiencing everything for the first time. Watching them grow like this is fascinating.
But this also means that they might be scared when they experience new things. One of these new events is visiting the puppy groomer for the first time.
As they get older, they’ll get used to the dog groomer, but when they haven’t been there before they may be uncomfortable with a stranger touching them, especially if you can’t stay in the room.
We want to help you get your puppy ready for their first groomer visit (and the visits for years to come). Keep reading for our top tips and get your puppy groomer-ready.
Socialize Your Puppy As Soon As Possible
One of the best things that you can do for your puppy is socializing them. This isn’t only good for visits to the puppy groomer, it will help you out when you’re walking them, visiting dog parks, and having friends and family over.
You can start by socializing them with other humans. Have them meet as many people as possible by bringing them out in public and having them encounter your friends in your home. This will show them that people aren’t scary (which means that the groomer won’t be scary either).
Make sure you let people pet the puppy and give it treats so the puppy associates humans with nice things.
You should also socialize the puppy with other dogs. At the grooming salon, it’s likely that there will be other pets present either in the waiting room or in the grooming room itself. Your puppy should encounter as many kinds of dogs as possible when they’re young so they don’t feel threatened.
Pet grooming is still scary, but when the fear of people and other dogs is gone, it’s going to be an easier experience.
Groom Your Puppy At Home
It might seem counterintuitive, but you should have your first puppy grooming sessions at home before they ever step foot (or paw) into the grooming salon.
It’s normal for your puppy to be afraid of grooming, but when someone they trust is doing it, they won’t be as nervous. Give your puppy frequent baths so they’re used to water and soap. Dry them off so they’re used to a hairdryer.
Clip their nails (though this is often the hardest part of grooming, starting young can help) and even cut their fur to the best of your ability.
When you’re done with your at-home grooming session, make sure to reward them with treats or playtime. This shows them that grooming is a good thing that ends in the fun.
Get Your Puppy Used To Groom “Movements”
It’s a good idea to train your puppy to accept all of the movements associated with going to the groomer.
The first thing that you should teach them is how to stay. Not only does this help with the groomer, but it also helps keep your puppy safe when you go outside.
Next, train them to offer their paws. Your groomer will need to trim their nails and the fur on their paws, so if your puppy knows how to present them, it will make both of their lives easier.
It’s a good idea to get your puppy used to being restrained. Many groomers use restraints for their clients so they’re not at risk of running away or hurting themselves. Dogs don’t like restraints, but when you acclimate them early it’s not as threatening.
Finally, get the puppy used to being on top of high places. Your groomer will likely use a table or counter so they’re able to reach the dog comfortably. Stand your dog on top of several boxes so they don’t think that they can go on the kitchen counters.
Get Your Puppy Used to Grooming Sounds
There are so many scary sounds associated with the groomers, but getting your puppy used to them ahead of time can take the shock away.
Get a set of clippers or an electric razor and turn it on when you’re near your dog. While they might be scared at first, after enough time they’ll get used to that buzzing noise. They feel safe near you.
Then, go for nail clippers. Many dogs don’t like clippers because of the noise, not because they cause them pain. The click of the clippers can be a familiar sound by the time they get to the groomers.
Crate Train Your Puppy
Crate training is important for any puppy. Many people don’t like to crate train because they think crates are cruel, but this isn’t true.
A crate provides a safe and private space for your dog. It’s a good place for a puppy to sleep while they’re still learning to be alone at night. Crates are also necessary when you’re moving long distances, or when your puppy is visiting the vet or groomer.
Getting your dog used to a crate isn’t easy, but there’s a simple step-by-step process that will make sure neither you nor your dog goes through a lot of stress in the process.
Is Your Puppy Ready for The Puppy Groomer?
Your puppy may never be excited to go to the puppy groomer, but they should learn how to tolerate it without fear. Even the best dog groomer may make your puppy uncomfortable.
By using these tips, both you and your new dog will have an easier time at the groomers. Start training them today!
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