Soothing Your Dog for Grooming

dogGrooming and taking physical care of your dog’s coat is of the utmost importance to the animal’s well being. Dog grooming in the Houston area is simple, too, as many places offer a variety of convenient services. With a healthy coat, a dog will look and act it’s best, leave less hair strewn about the house, and avoid the dreadlocks and mats that so-often accompany our furry friends.

Daily brushings are essential to any good grooming schedule. A key area is around the ears where mats of fur can form and clump. The ears of a dog need to stay dry and bacteria-free in order to remain uninfected. by brushing the hair around the ears regularly, it will keep the hair straight and smooth.

If your dog is not a fan of the brush, there are several things an owner can try to ease the process. first, have the dog sit and perform a few relaxing tricks. These tricks can be the common one’s you use before treating a dog for anything (sit, shake, backflip etc…) This will ease the dog and give them confidence in the next tasks.

Next, have the dog sit and the lie down. Before treating, present the brush and allow the animal to smell it. Then, after the dog is calm with the brush, they can be treated. This process can help associate positive emotions with the grooming experience.

From personal experience, a dog will always behave better on their side, although this option isn’t always possible. If a dog refuses to lay down and relax naturally, do not force them to. Training will never stick if a dog is physically forced to do anything (from sit to roll-over), so this should be avoided. Also, physical contact can spark aggression in a dog, and should never done if one is unsure of their skills.

If the dog is okay with the brush, proceed to make a few light strokes in similar areas that you would normally pet the dog. Do not brush hard immediately as this can cause surprise, and associate negative reactions in the animal. A confident “leave it”, “no”, or similar word can be used if the dog is grabbing at the brush with paws or the mouth. Relax as the animal does and continue the process. Your confidence will inspire confidence in the dog.

Generally, if this behavior is playful, the animal is associating this grooming with play time, which is not the worst thing. It is easily managed by a calm, patient (yet stern) repetition of the “no” command. Halt each time you say it until the dog stops. Then start slow, and repeat as necessary. As with any training, it will take time for the behavior to sink in.

If your dog is resisting and becoming aggressive, it is best to consult a behaviorist about how to proceed. A behaviorist is a specialist with a large amount of training in dog psychology and veterinary medicine, and always carries a degree granting this distinction.

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