Whether it’s for nail trimming, cutting their fur, or bathing a puppy, if you’re a dog groomer then you will see nervous dogs every day. Alternatively, if you have an anxious dog then you will know exactly what I am talking about. How do you Groom An Anxious Dog if you have one?
No matter how experienced you are and how much effort you put into keeping a dog calm, some dogs just don’t like being groomed. They will try to bite you, scratch you, and run away. Maybe they had a bad experience or don’t like the noise of a dog clipper. Fortunately, there are some simple ways to help calm nervous dogs. We have written about the best 4 Tips To Groom An Anxious Dog below.
To Groom An Anxious Dog,
- A little bribe never hurts – Have lots of treats!
When it comes to dogs, a little bribery often gets you what you want. Many dogs are highly motivated by food and it provides an excellent distraction. Knowing a dog’s favorite treat is often the solution to an easy grooming.
If you are grooming a dog who is only a little anxious then you can often help him overcome his nervousness by giving him a treat reward for being a good boy (or girl). This is a great way to help a puppy when he is starting to get his first “big boy” haircut or to have his fingernails trimmed. Feeding your dog his favorite treat is a great way to get him acclimated to regular grooming.
If he’s never had a bad experience and he’s just a little anxious, you can make the whole grooming process easier for him by giving him a treat every step of the way. Clip a nail – give a treat. Brush a paw – give a treat. Many puppies cannot wait to jump on the grooming table if you practice this method and get them properly trained.
- Use the Right Equipment
If you’re an at-home groomer, we highly recommend a cordless dog trimmer that is low in vibration and noise levels. Some dogs are scared of a corded dog clipper wrapping around them and touching them. In addition, dogs are extremely sensitive to noise and vibration levels. The quietest dog trimmer that you can find will be the best for an anxious dog.
- Try a little music
Music softens the wild. If you bathe or groom a seriously scared or dog, soft music can help ease their tensions. Playing music in the grooming salon or at your home is oftentimes very relaxing for dogs. Some professional groomers find that dogs even enjoy having a television with music on while they groom them.
Music won’t take all of their anxiety away, but it will certainly help ease the situation. It can also help to comfort an upset dog with naturally soothing scents like lavender. You might want to try something like lavender and music. The pure essential oil will help soothe your dog.
- An all-natural herbal solutions
For dogs that are really anxious, it may be worthwhile to try a herbal solution for relaxation and anxiety. Valerian and skullcap are two herbs that have been used for centuries in Europe to promote relaxation and sleep. If you are using it for a dog you are going to groom you can put a few drops on a treat or place a few drops directly into the dog’s mouth.
For certain dogs, grooming can be very stressful and natural herbal supplements will help calm them. You will be able to cut the dog’s nails, clean his ears, bathe him, and finish his grooming without causing them the kind of anger that bothers some dogs. You should always consult a veterinarian before using a herbal supplement though.
- Positive Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement such as “Good boy” or “Good Girl” will let your dog know they are doing a good job. Dogs love to receive praise and know they are doing something correctly when they receive a treat with reinforcement. This also helps your dog relax which will make grooming even easier.
In addition, always remember to have a positive attitude. Anxious dogs can sense when a groomer is stressed or frustrated. Grooming should be a positive experience with a dog that allows you to bond together. Try to always remain happy and positively reinforce everytime the dog does something good.
Conclusion for 4 Tips To Groom An Anxious Dog
Grooming an anxious dog is an extremely hard job. We hope that our 4 tips helped you the next time you groom an anxious dog. Remember to try to start the grooming session with several treats and let the dog relax a little bit before you force them into a grooming. Finish with more treats and lots of petting. Don’t forget to tell your client dog what a good boy he has been and how great he looks. He will be happy to see you next time. For more information about dogs, you can also visit Care Of My Dog.
Lastly, always remember that some dogs simply won’t let you groom them. Never for an anxious dog into a grooming session because it will ultimately cause them to hate grooming even more. Always remember to introduce your equipment to the dog and reward them in small increments such as clipping one toe nail. Treats and positive reinforcement goes a long way when calming an anxious dog.