How to Prepare Your Dog For a Groomer?

How to Prepare Your Dog For a Groomer?

Author WDF Staff


Visiting a groomer can be a stressful thing for a dog. Still, with proper preparation, you can prepare your dog for a groomer visit and even make them enjoy their time there. Most new dog owners don’t think that much about dog grooming, but it should play a significant role in their dog’s life. Grooming is essential for the dog’s health as much as their looks. Here is how to prepare your dog for a groomer.

Get your puppy used to being handled

Dogs find some things normal, like cuddling and expressing affection. However, getting handled might feel weird for your puppy. You must get them used to being handled. Help your puppy associate hands with nice, pleasant things like pats, treats, and toys. Start touching your dog’s whole body.


Some parts will feel completely normal, and your dog will love getting scratches on their chest, back, head, and above their tail. However, getting your dog used to handling their paws, tail, ears, and around eyes could be problematic. Take it slow and give your dog time to adjust. Each day take it a bit further. Start by lightly touching their paw, and take it all the way to keeping your dog’s paw in your hand and touching their nails and pads. This will make the groomer’s job a lot easier.

Make sure your puppy can be hold

Another crucial thing groomers will really appreciate is if you trained your puppy to be held. Some puppies hate the feeling and will do anything to squirm out of the position that is making them uncomfortable. However, if you plan on visiting a grooming salon often, your puppy will have to be used to being held, moved, or lifted.

holding a dog

You can start by placing hands on both sides of your puppy or dog, right next to their ribs. Loosely touch their body and hold your hands in that position for a few seconds. If you notice your puppy is moving, let them go and try again a bit later. Eventually, your puppy will completely relax, and you can take it to the next stage. You must take things slow, especially if your puppy is uncomfortable. Make sure you use a lot of dog treats and work your way up until you can safely lift the puppy in your arms.

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When a dog is getting groomed, they will most likely be restrained on top of a grooming table. They will have to spend time in dog bathtubs and even in dog cage dryers, and remaining calm is important for everyone’s safety. If you want to prepare your dog for a groomer, you should start getting your puppy used to being restrained. Your puppy will initially be against being restrained, but they will get used to it with time.

Start with some exercises and make sure you use plenty of dog treats. Dog treats will allow you to reinforce the behavior you want to see from your puppy. You can start by sitting next to your puppy and holding them still for a couple of seconds. They might squirm a bit, so make sure you reward them. Never force them or cause them too much stress. Slowly increase the time you restrain your puppy, and make sure you release them as soon as they are relaxed while being restrained. You can know they are relaxed if your puppy yawns or sighs.

Get your puppy used to grooming tools

One thing that can cause stress to dogs while being groomed is the tools. Clippers, brushes, weird smells, and noises can cause your dog stress, so the sooner you introduce them to different grooming tools, the better.

Like every other step, this one should be taken slowly and patiently. Start by showing your dog some clippers. If they are interested and go in to sniff them, make sure to praise and reward your dog with a treat. If they are not sure about them and seem stressed out, move the clippers away and try again.

dog grooming

One of the most important aspects of grooming is brushing. To successfully introduce your dog to a brush, you will have to use your strongest ally - dog treats. Start by showing your dog the brush, then moving it behind your back and give them a treat. Do it a couple of times, and start moving it closer to your dog. Work your way up to brushing a stroke or two, moving the brush away, and giving a treat. Your dog will start associating the brush with rewards, which means they will be calmer and safer at a grooming salon.

You should repeat the whole cycle with nail clippers, blow dryers, shampoo, or anything else that can come up in a grooming salon. Make sure you take your time because this process cannot be done a few days before the grooming appointment. If you do the whole process of preparing your dog for the groomer, your groomer will be very pleased, safe, and your dog will become one of their best customers. Plus, your dog will be safer because calm dogs are less likely to get injured.

World Dog Finder team

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