All pawrents are well aware of the fact that it is difficult to leave our furbabies at the groomers. If it is hard for us, then it is a lot harder for our babies to face the grooming session. For sure, being at a foreign environment with unfamiliar faces where they have to undergo a traumatic grooming process can be torturous for them. That is why it is understandable that dogs are anxious about being groomed.
To help minimize the grooming anxiety of your dog, here are some of the things that you can do:
- Train your dog to be handled.
The main reason why grooming is traumatic for dogs is because they are not used to being touched and handled. Lucky for you, you can solve this through behavior modification. Get your dog used to being touched, especially in the sensitive areas like the ears, groin, paw, tail and the muzzle. To do that, you can simply say to your dog what part of his body you will touch, then touch it. Give him a treat right after you touch a part of his body. Test to see how he will react. If he does not react violently, you can continue with the training.
- Give your dog a treat after the visit.
Once the grooming session is done (thank God!), the best thing that you can do is to reward your dog with a treat. We all know how important and effective positive reinforcement can be for dogs. Just simply give your dogs some treats after the visit. You should also not forget to pat him on the head and you can also sing him praises. Doing this might change the way your dog sees grooming. Or at the very least, he will have something to look forward to at the end of a traumatic event.
- Change his experience when visiting the groomers.
It is also a must that you get your dog used to visiting the groomers. Ask the groomer if you can visit his place, even if you will not get your dog groomed. If the groomers are not that busy during your visit, you can ask them to join in the training. Ask them to touch the different body parts of your dog. Do not forget to give your dog the reward after every touch.
- Groom your dog at home.
The best way to get your dog used to all the touching involved in the grooming session is to personally groom your dog at home. Since you already have the trust of your dog, he will be more open to your touch and he will be more open to the entire grooming experience. That is one great way to ease him into the grooming process.
No matter what we do, our dogs will always be anxious about grooming. That is why you should not expect that you can completely get rid of your dog’s grooming anxiety. The least that you can do is to minimize it using the tips mentioned above.