How to Calm a Chow Chow Before Grooming

Hard
10 - 60 Minutes
1 Week

Introduction

Chow Chows come with either a rough coat or a smooth one. Those with the shorter, smoother coat take far less time to groom. As a breed, Chows tend to be quite independent and bond with one special person, but will protect their "pack" fearlessly. However, if you are looking for a cuddly dog for the kids, the Chow is probably not your best choice. They tend to be challenging to train and are not big fans of being groomed at first. 

Dog's Perspective

From Fluffy's point of view, the last thing he cares about is being groomed. Fluffy has no idea what being touched all over by his owner is like and that he is not supposed to become anxious and hard to handle when you try to groom him. Chow Chows do need an owner with a strong will and desire to be the "Alpha" in the pack. When you attain this coveted position in Fluffy's mind, grooming him will be much easier. 

The Grooming Should Be a Pleasure Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Wear him out first
You should only plan to groom your pooch when he is tired and calm. Spend some time playing with him and perhaps take a walk.
Step
2
Keep it short
Keep your first grooming sessions relatively short (no more than 5 to 10 minutes). This will help your pup get used to being groomed.
Step
3
Increase the time
Slowly, over the course of several grooming sessions, increase the duration of the sessions until they are long enough to give you the necessary time to groom your pup from one end to the other.
Step
4
Pet him all over
Another way to help keep him calm before and during grooming is to start out from the moment you bring him home gently touching and petting his body all over. Be sure to include sensitive areas like his paws, tail, ears, and stomach.
Step
5
Praise never goes awry
The whole time you are grooming your pup, be sure to praise him in a nice calm voice. You can also give your pup a few of his favorite treats along the way to emphasize he is being good. This will help him to see that calming down and letting himself be groomed earns him plenty of praise and a few of his favorite tasty treats. Before long he will be begging you to groom him.
Recommend grooming method?

The Learn to Like My Touch Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Step
1
Get your pup in the right state
In this particular case, it's with your pup nice and tired after a long walk or playtime. When he is tired, the last thing on his mind is likely to be feeling anxious about being touched or groomed. This, in turn, makes now a good time to introduce your pup to being groomed.
Step
2
Play with your pup
You need to spend as much time as you can with your pup, playing with him, petting him, touching him in places like his paws, his tail, and his belly. The more time you spend doing this, the less your furry friend is likely to be freaked out when the time comes to groom him.
Step
3
Just a little bit deeper
Now would also be a good time to give your pup regular massages. This is another good way to get your pup used to being touched all over. It may also help with overall health later in life so once you start with the massages, you should continue them for the long-term.
Step
4
The perfect grooming atmosphere
Take a few moments to create the perfect grooming room for your pup. Put on some of your favorite relaxing tunes, add a few drops of lavender essential oil to your diffuser and give it a few minutes to fill the air.
Step
5
Now you can bring out the brush
Now that Fluffy is nice and relaxed, you can slowly introduce him to the brush by working on his coat in short gentle strokes. Keep the initial sessions to no longer than 5 to 10 minutes at first and then slowly work your way up until you can fully groom him without any fuss or bother.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Given that Chows tend to be a bit on the aggressive side, you may want to consider using a muzzle if you think your fuzzball is likely to bite at you.
  • When grooming the rough coat Chow, go very slowly in case there are mats that need to be removed. If you go too fast, you may rip the hairs out of your pup's skin.
  • The more time you spend touching, holding, and petting your pup from the moment you bring him home, the faster he will learn to relax when it's time to be groomed.
  • You can start working on grooming your pup as early as six weeks old. At this point, it is more about getting him used to going through the motions than it would be about actually grooming him.
  • When going for walks, try to choose a path or trail that is not too busy, this will help cut down on things that might get him excited instead of helping to calm him down. 

Conclusion

One of the most important things you can do to make grooming easier for both you and Fluffy is to start right from the beginning establishing yourself as Alpha. This will help make your fuzzball more likely to obey and submit, which will make the actual grooming sessions go far more smoothly for both of you. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

Grooming Questions & Answers

Question
Koda
Chow Chow
8 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Koda
Chow Chow
8 Years

Koda is 8 1/2 years old. When he was 12 weeks old he was traumatized at a Pet Smart shop. (we bought a package for grooming and vet service for a puppy) while being groomed After that experience he was resistant to going to the vet too. We eventually went back to our former groom shop (the owner had chows herself & we have had other chows in the past) and she worked with Koda and he had a consistent groomer that worked with him for years. We took him every 6 weeks to this groomer for years. Unfortunately, the owner sold this shop a couple of months ago, and the guy who groomed moved after the new owner bought the shop. I am looking for a new shop and having a difficult time finding one. He gets aggressive and will not let them groom him. He also has a difficult time with vets too. Our vet has given us anxiety meds to help him. Yesterday we gave him meds 2 hours before his vet exam and shot. He resisted but they did the exam & gave him his shot. Following the vet's instructions, we gave him meds at 6 pm and 12 am and this morning before we dropped him off at the new groomer today. It did not work. We got a call after we left telling us Koda took off the muzzle. So we came back to put it on. My husband got the muzzle on Koda without a fight. However, this shop had a ramp to go into the tub. He would NOT cooperate and growled and was aggressive. We knew he wouldn't go up the ramp or go in the tub. So we took him home. We are at a loss as to what to do. We now know we need to look for a groomer with a walk-in tub. The anxiety meds didn't seem to help or maybe we need to increase the dosage. Do you think CBD drops or treats would help? Is it possible for an 8 1/2-year-old Chow to be trained to go in the tub and be groomed? Any suggestions for us?

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