How to Calm a Saint Bernard Before Grooming

10 - 25 Minutes
1 Day


Your Saint Bernard is indeed a saint. He is a gentle, kind, loving giant beast who is eager to please and just wants to be near you. However, if your Saint Bernard is not used to being handled on a regular basis, he might be a little wild, anxious, and apprehensive before grooming sessions. 

If you need to calm your Saint Bernard before grooming you need to make him comfortable and relaxed. Allow him to sniff all the grooming tools. If you're using something like clippers, let him listen to what they sound like and feel the vibration of them on his skin before you clip him, and reward him during your grooming session, not only at the very end. Keeping your Saint Bernard’s attention isn't hard to do with a good belly rub and a tasty piece of cheese.

Dog's Perspective

If your Saint Bernard is anxious before grooming sessions, it's possibly because your Saint is not used to being poked and prodded very often. To get your big guy used to grooming, poke and prod during times outside of grooming sessions. Practice with conditioning behaviors will help him to relax.

Caution & Considerations

  • If you have the opportunity to own your Saint Bernard as a young puppy, handle him a lot early on. This will set expectations for grooming sessions for his entire life.
  • Your Saint Bernard is bred to be calm and patient. However, if your Saint hasn't been handled a lot early on he may be hesitant to allow grooming.
  • Check his teeth, lift up his ears, stick your fingers gently inside his ears, feel his gums, brush his teeth, rub his belly, pull apart his toes, tug on the hairs between his paw pads, and always give him a treat when you're done.
  • Once your Saint Bernard is used to general poking and prodding, a grooming session may very well be a breeze.
  • Don't let the giant size of your Saint Bernard fool you. Your large Saint will work incredibly hard for the tiniest bit of food.
  • Never hesitate to use treats to encourage your Saint Bernard to calm down.
  • Spend some time alone with your Saint Bernard finding his pleasure points. Rubbing the top of his nose, his muzzle, or his belly might be calming for your big guy.
  • If your Saint Bernard is going to be professionally groomed, let your groomer know of his anxieties so your groomer does not do anything to aggravate them.


Your Saint Bernard is a big fluffy teddy bear. He is going to shed a lot and he will be dirty from food, drool, and anything he can get into. He will need to be groomed often. Calming his anxieties early on in life or in the grooming session will make grooming tolerable and even rewarding for you both.

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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