How to Calm a Dogo Argentino Before Grooming

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Medium
10 - 60 Minutes
1 Week

Introduction

The Dogo Argentino was originally developed in Argentina to hunt big game in what can only be described as some very arduous terrain. But, today, if you were to ask the AKC to describe them, you would hear terms like "highly intelligent", "friendly", and "easy to train". Unfortunately, they are also very much the choice of dog fighters, giving them a bad reputation. Because the Dogo is a large, very powerful dog who is very high-energy, he may need to be calmed down before you attempt to groom him. 

Dog's Perspective

While your pooch really doesn't care if you groom him or not, the tools you plan to use are likely to make him more than a little nervous at first. It is going to take some time for him to get used to the whole idea of being brushed every week. The good news is that as you build a bond with your pup, he will learn to trust you, making things like grooming much easier. 

The Calm State of Mind Method

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Step
1
Set the stage
Since a nice calm atmosphere is always more conducive to a relaxing grooming session, the best place to get started is to set the stage in the room you plan to groom your pooch in. Start with making the room smell nice and relaxing, we recommend a diffuser with lavender essential oil.
Step
2
Add a little background music
Find a station that plays some nice relaxing music. Just like humans, your pup's mood can be affected by the type of music you have playing in the background.
Step
3
Stretch his legs
Now that you have the grooming room all set to go, it's time to start working on getting your pooch ready. Take him out for a nice long walk or play with him in the yard. The idea is for him to have plenty of exercise that will tire him out and a chance to go potty.
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4
It's all about that touch
Most pups don't seem to mind being touched and cuddled, it's quite natural as their mothers do this from day one. But, many do not like being touched on their paws, head, tail, genitals, and ears. The best way to get your pup used to this is to start touching and rubbing every inch of his body from the moment you bring him home, especially those areas where he doesn't like being touched. This will help desensitize him to being touched, making him more relaxed for grooming.
Step
5
Meet the enemy
To your pup, the tools you plan to use for grooming are the enemy and should be avoided at all costs. To get him used to the tools and teach him to be relaxed around them, lay them on the floor and let him take his time getting used to them. Give him time to look at them, sniff them, even lick them if he feels the need. The more time you spend getting him ready for grooming, the less trouble you are likely to have.
Recommend grooming method?

The Relaxing Massage Method

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Step
1
A tuckered-out pup
If it seems like most training methods start out with a nice long walk, there is a reason for that. This is one of the easiest ways to tire a dog out, let him go potty, and stretch his legs. Often, this is enough to calm your pup down, but read on for the complete plan.
Step
2
A familiar touch
Not all pups like to be touched excessively, in fact, most don't like having their feet, tail, head, and private areas touched at all. It is up to you to desensitize these areas. Which means playing with your pooch and touching him all over as often as you can. I know-- heartbreaking isn't it, having to spend time playing with your pup.
Step
3
A little to the left
If you think touching your pup all over is a good way to calm him down, wait 'till you see how he reacts to being massaged. Yup, that's right, give him a nice all over body massage, hit those muscles and tight spots. If you do this often enough, you may find you end up putting him to sleep. Now, that's what we call relaxed.
Step
4
Put something groovy on the stereo
Create a nice calm environment to groom your pup in, by adding some soft music and maybe a little lavender essential oil in the diffuser. This will help keep your pup a little calmer throughout the grooming process.
Step
5
Introduce the brush
Now that your pooch is like a rag doll in your hands, it's time to introduce him to the brush you plan to use. Hold it up in front of him so that he can see it and sniff at it. Be sure to give him plenty of time to get used to the brush and any other tools you plan to use before moving on to actually grooming him.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • While your Dogo Argentino may be quite gentle, especially if you start when he is a pup, if you think there is any chance he might try to nip at you, you may want to use a muzzle. These guys have incredibly powerful jaws.
  • Use the same room each time and continue to use music and a diffuser to help keep everyone nice and calm.
  • While a nice walk is good for you and your pup, don't go so far that he is over-tired or becomes injured. You just want to tire him out a bit.
  • Take your time, this is a great time for the two of you to spend bonding.
  • Give your pooch lots of time to get used to the tools you plan to use, this will eliminate any nervousness he might feel towards them.
  • You should brush your Dogo Argentino once a week to remove dust, dirt, and parasites from his coat. 

Conclusion

The Dogo Argentino has a mixed reputation, but when trained properly can be the consummate family dog and protector. They can be a little on the stubborn side, but you can always use a few well-placed treats to keep things moving along. Once you get your pooch used to being groomed it should take you no more than 20 minutes from start to finish, if you have taught your pup to remain calm properly. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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