Some dogs simply hate being groomed. They may find it uncomfortable or have negative associations from past experiences. Generally, if a dog is being difficult during grooming, it's due to anxiety; however, there are plenty of ways to help ease your dog's anxiety and change his response to grooming.
Dogs have more sensitive hearing than humans and the noise can cause them stress. Many groomers also use a high velocity dryer that blasts the water off the dog's coat without using heat. The pressure can be startling, and many dogs can be upset by it, especially as the groomer gets near their feet or head. Some dogs no matter what do not like to be groomed at all.They will fight to no end.
Not all dogs are afraid of the groomer, but many are. Their responses can vary from mild anxiety to full-blown panic attacks.
No matter how your dog’s fear manifests itself, it is important to take preventive measures to address his anxiety before it escalates into aggression. Here are my top tips for reducing the fear factor at the groomer.
Sit on the floor on a comfortable blanket or soft bedding with your dog and your grooming tools behind you. Introduce grooming tools to your dog one at a time. Bring out a set of clippers or a pair of scissors and set them in front of your dog and give him a treat.
Get your dog used to being handled. Grooming often includes handling of sensitive areas, including the muzzle, eyes, ears, paws, tail, rear and groin. Training can help your dog remain relaxed with different types of touching, even in sensitive spots. Work with your dog at home to get him used to being handled before you take him to the groomer. Pair a predictor word, like “ears,” with a gentle touch on that specific area; reward your dog with a treat during or immediately after giving the cue and handling the area. Go slowly: If your dog is sensitive in an area like the paws, start by touching him on an area where he is less sensitive, like his shoulder, and gradually move toward the paw. Continue training only while he is relaxed and receptive.
Use it if your dog gets nervous in the car and gets car sick. Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) – this is the most widely recognized herbal sedative. It's safe and gentle and calms the nerves. It also promotes physical relaxation.
Chamomile is a potent sedative used to reduce anxiety in stressed animals. It has the added advantages of calming your dog's belly and helping him sleep. Some pets enjoy chamomile tea as much as we humans do. Or you can soak a small treat in the tea and give it to them.
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