Puppy's First Groom: Essential Tips for a Stress-Free Experience
Paige from Adelaide Dog Co. teaches us how to train your oodle to be the perfect grooming client!
From the day you get your pup start the desensitisation process by doing DAILY checks on them. Check their teeth, play between their pads, take an obvious look at their nails, open their ears and look inside. This will become a normal thing in your dog’s life and they won’t grow up defensive when someone goes to touch them in these areas. The vet and groomers will thank you!
2. Sounds & vibrations
Just like above, we want your pup to grow up knowing this is a regular occurrence in their life. Clippers, shavers, nail clippers etc (This is exactly the same as desensitising them to the vacuum or hairdryer). Get them use to the sound from a distance and over time introduce them to the same room, each time getting a little closer until they can be right next to it without a fuss. We know it's cute to laugh at a puppy barking and jumping around like a loony, but think to yourself “Is this going to be funny every time I try to blow-dry my hair for the next 13 years?” No!
3. Start them young
If you're not getting professional groom soon after buying your pup, take them in the shower or wash them in the laundry sink (or for you bigger pups, outside) Make sure you make it fun! Loads of positivity!
4. Tether & crate
Think about real life situations. Where is your dog going to be while waiting for their turn in the parlour? Appropriate conditioning to a crate shouldn’t make the crate a scary place but a place your dog won’t mind going at all. If this is somewhere that is offered at home as a safe place, it should feel the same at the groomers. I am not saying you have to crate train completely (although I cannot recommend it highly enough) but show them at friend's houses or trial one while they are young. Also, think about how your dog will be held into position while getting a trim. No doubt it will be
tethered by a lead, do your part and start practicing tethering your dog. This will also be super helpful if you need to run into a shop and your dog won’t need to fret while it is waiting out the front for you.
5. Brush, brush, brush
Make it a regular thing but if your pup doesn’t love it, just do it a bit at a time. They do say “How do you eat an elephant? Bit by bit”. Like anything, don’t do something long enough for your dog to hate it. Start small and each time you do it add one extra stroke.
6. Make it positive!
I am BIG on praise! We all like being told we are good girls or boys, and so do your dogs! Let them know they are doing well with verbal praise. Use treats if you want to but make sure to wean them off expecting treats each time
Check out Adelaide Dog Co for more useful tips from Paige!