For many pet owners, grooming is a complete nightmare. Some dogs go absolutely crazy when they are being strpped in for a bath and the idea of a toothbrush or nail trimming is just impossible.
If this sounds like your dog then hopefully this will help you better understand the behavioural issues that come along with grooming. Dogs only do what they have learned to do. Any behavioural issue is learned – even if it was learned subconsciously.
Grooming is not a natural thing for dogs but so it most of what a domestic animal does. It is all learned behaviour and when it comes to grooming your dog you want to establish good habits early on.
Grooming is essential to your dog’s health and wellbeing. If a bath becomes a drama we tend to put it off but eventually your dog’s health and well being will be affected.
The Importance of Regular Grooming
Ideally you want to start your dog on a regular grooming routine while they are still little. If you can establish good behaviour when they are little it will save you a lot of time and effort in the future.
Dogs are creatures of habit. Whatever you do consistently will become their “normal”. If your dog gets dragged into the bathroom every now and again when they start smelling bad it ends up being a shock to them.
This usually leads to a corresponding reaction where they start acting out because they don’t know what’s happening to them.
If you have a regular grooming routine your dog will not only become more comfortable with it but they will come to expect it and consequently be much more at ease.
Some dogs are so good with having they coat brushed, their nails clipped and their ears cleaned that they even fall asleep during the grooming session.
Regular grooming will ensure that your dog becomes used to the process because doing it every week at a set time will cause them to become more calm because it is not something unknown and something they fear.
New and unusual experiences tend to put fear into dogs. The familiar makes them feel at ease. If your dog is not calm and relaxed during grooming then they are simply not used to it.
The smell of the shampoo, the sound and sensation of the running water on them, the sensation of a toothbrush in their mouth, the intrusion of their ears being cleaned.
These are all very strange and scary experiences for a dog that is not used to it.
If your dog does not get a regular brush and bath or if their ears become infected or if their nails become too long then grooming can become painful.
Trying to brush knots out of their hair can “teach” them that grooming equals pain and they will end up acting out whenever it is grooming time.
Grooming And The Bonding Experience
Dogs can bond with people fairly quickly. Unlike humans, dogs do not judge. They simply respond to the way you are. Dogs can sense of someone has fear or anxiety.
If you are stressed or anxious about grooming your dog then they can sense it. Professional groomers often seem to do magic with “unruly” dogs. The secret to this is that they are so used to dogs that they can remain calm. This calmness is sensed by your dog and they respond accordingly.
Grooming your dog can be a very nice bonding experience. When your dog start to understand that you are actually doing something nice for them they will just love it.
Grooming is a very good one-on-one bonding experience between you and your dog. If you have children you can involve them and bathing and brushing the dog can become a fun family activity.
Your dog will love this as much as your kids would.
Gaining Confidence as a Groomer
Grooming your own dog takes time, patience and experience. If you don’t know what you are doing and you are afraid and uncertain then this will rub off on your dog.
A professional groomer who is confident and who acts decisively and with certainty commands respect and obedience from the dog. This is wht groomers are so effective and efficient at what they do.
Every breed of dog is also slightly different and you may have to adjust your tools and equipment based on the breed of dog you have.
As you gain experience and build your own confidence you and your dog will get better with the whole grooming experience.
If you live in the Hobart area and you are looking for a professional groomer then Dog Grooming Hobart’s mobile service will come to you and help with all your grooming needs without you or your dog having to leave your home.