How to Calm a Dalmatian Before Grooming

Hard
10 - 60 Minutes
3 Months

Introduction

For those who have never owned a Dalmatian, you might be in for a bit of a shock. These beautiful dogs are extremely energetic and are not likely to be able to calm down unless you take the steps needed to get there. Your Dalmatian starts learning from the moment they are born. When you first bring your pup home, is the perfect time to get started training him to remain calm not only when he is being groomed, but during many other situations. 

Dog's Perspective

Let's face it. "Fireball" doesn't really understand why he can't be a little nervous or anxious when the time comes to groom him. The idea of being touched all over makes him uncomfortable and the tools you use flat out scare him. The good news is that with a little hard work, time, and patience, you can teach your Dalmatian to be calm and relaxed for grooming. 

The Too Tired to Fuss Method

Effective
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Step
1
The right path
Choose a nice quiet path or trail to take your pup out for a nice long walk. The idea is to take him far enough that by the time you get home, he is too tired to fuss or get too excited.
Step
2
Playtime
Even though he is tired, you need to spend a little time playing with him when you first get home.
Step
3
Feel me, touch me
The idea with play at this time, is that you should use this time to touch your furball all over. This will help him get over his fear of being touched.
Step
4
Be sure to get those sensitive areas
Like humans, dogs have certain areas of their body that are far more sensitive to being touched than others. This includes their paws, their ears, face, tail, genitals, and belly. Be sure to pay particular attention to these areas.
Step
5
Introduce the tools of the trade
Finally, lay the tools you plan to use on the floor. Give your pup plenty of time to sniff them, look at them, and just get used to them. Then pick them up one at a time and show them to him before you start to slowly start using them.
Recommend grooming method?

The Perfect Time Method

Effective
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Step
1
Every dog has his time
Every dog, from the youngest pup to the oldest senior citizen has at least one time of the day when their energy levels are at their lowest. When this happens, most will go take a nap. Start by noting this time every day, you will be making use of it in a few steps.
Step
2
Create a groom room
Like most breeds, your pup will learn faster with consistent training methods. Choose a space in your home and create a nice relaxing environment. Leave the tools laid out, turn on some relaxing music, and keep some treats handy.
Step
3
Off we go
Put your pup on his leash and take him for a nice long walk. Give him plenty of time to go potty and burn off a good portion of that high energy. If you do this each time you need to groom your pooch, he will come to associate the grooming with getting to go for a nice long walk.
Step
4
Meet the tools
When you bring your pup into the grooming space, give him plenty of time to get used to the tools lying on the floor. This will make it easier for you when the time comes to start grooming him.
Step
5
Lots of time
The rest is all about giving your Dalmatian plenty of time to get used to being groomed and following the steps to calm him down. The great thing is while you are working on this training is a great time to bond with your pup.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Dalmatians are very high energy dogs, you need to tire your pup out if you want him to work with you on being calm.
  • You will need to extend the length of your walks as your pooch gets older, but with a little luck, he will have stopped fussing before you end up at the 5-mile point.
  • You can always use treats to reward Fireball for being nice and calm or simply to keep him settled during the grooming sessions.
  • Stick to grooming in the same place every time. This helps build familiarity and consistency, which in turn will help your pup get used to relaxing for grooming time.
  • Always go slow and gently during the training phase, being rough will only make your pup more anxious and grooming much harder than it needs to be.
  • The more you work with your pup, even though he really doesn't need to be¬†groomed more than once every 2 to 3 months, the faster he will figure it all out and learn to be chill for grooming sessions.¬†

Conclusion

Dealing with a high energy pup that never seems to slow down can be challenging enough. But, when the dog is wound up like an eight-day clock, getting him to settle down for grooming can be especially difficult. Remember to remain calm and keep working with your pooch until he finally learns what is expected of him.  

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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