How do we get our puppy’s used to grooming?
The first time a puppy enters a grooming salon is a very important moment. They don’t understand why they are there and what is going to happen to them and the initial experiences they have can set the stage for how they respond to being groomed for the rest of their life. It is therefore essential to make the experience as pleasant as possible.
It is important to start the grooming experience as soon as possible, we recommend as soon as they have completed their vaccinations, as the younger they are the quicker they will get used to it which will be beneficial to their longer term grooming experience. At this time they are still trusting and will acclimatise to strange noises and sensations relatively easily.
So what can we do to help? We recommend an initial three visits spaced 2-4 weeks apart so we can slowly get them used to being handled, washed and to all the different equipment we use. The first visit should be a familiarisation visit, slowly introducing myself to them, petting, cuddling and playing with them then letting them explore the unfamiliar surroundings. They will be introduced to some of the tools like clippers and driers, to get them accustomed to the noises. The goal is to make it a fun experience.
During the second visit the puppy will be introduced to the grooming experience itself. They will have a gentle bath, fluff dry and comb and we may clip their nails and clean their ears if they allow it. We will get them used to the sound of clippers again but will likely just neaten the coat with scissors, particularly around the face and feet.
By the third visit the puppy should be starting to get used to the grooming procedure and we can focus on teaching it how to stand still and how to behave as this is essential for a safe groom. We can also try some clipper work.
You can help too by getting the puppy used to some of the noises and activities at home. Try brushing with a gentle brush and comb, playing with and massaging the feet and face, and using a hand-held blow dryer (no warmer than medium heat! and keep the dryer moving, not pointed at one spot until it is dry) to blow the puppy dry after a bath, or just gently tap their nails. Don’t forget their back paws! Doing this at least once a day will help your new puppy get used to being handled. Of course, have lots of yummy small treats handy too.
If you are going to maintain the dog at home at all, it is wise to get him accustomed to standing on a raised surface, quietly and calmly. This lessens any potential fear when he does meet his groomer, since the off-the-floor experience is familiar and normal. Another good tip is to practice lifting up your puppy from the floor. Have a special word you use like “up” or “here we go” when you’re picking up your puppy. This will help them to anticipate what is about to happen. It can be scary for a small young puppy to all of a sudden have two hand around them and picking them up.
Most dogs will need to be groomed professionally at leat 5-6 times a year so a positive initial experience will make them regard the Groomers as a loving place and one they are happy to visit.
At Clippity Snip we offer a one to one service in a caring environment with no other pets present and are happy to offer a free familiarisation visit for your puppy.
“The initial experience they have can set the stage for how they respond to being groomed for the rest of their life”
For further advice and information or to make an appointment please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07590 053758.