How to Calm a Tosa Inu Before Grooming

Medium
10 - 60 Minutes
1 Week

Introduction

The Tosa Inu is a Japanese fighting dog by origin, one that is often used today as a guard dog. They can be great family dogs, but will always be suspicious of strange people and strange dogs. They can be aggressive to intruders, but for the most part are relatively calm and relaxed by nature. They have a dense short coat in a range of colors and tend to mature more slowly than many breeds, not reaching full adulthood until they are four years of age. They are a large, powerful breed that requires an owner who can maintain control of them and let them know who the Alpha in the pack is.

Dog's Perspective

Like most dogs, the Tosa Inu is likely to have reservations about being groomed. For the most part, these are the result of not liking to be touched on certain parts of his body. These include his paws, his private areas, his face/head, and his tail. The tools used to groom him such as brushes, shears, clippers, and nail trimmer are also going to make him nervous.

The Tired Pup Method

Effective
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Step
1
One worn out pup
Your Tosa Inu has plenty of strength, even as a young pup, but if you don’t train him to be calm at a young age, fighting him when he is full grown can be overwhelming. To tire your pooch out, take him for a nice long age-appropriate walk. Let him sniff, pee, poop, and get all of his wiggles out.
Step
2
A room to groom
Create a grooming room, one that you will use each time you groom him. Add a radio or a place to plug your cell phone in and find some nice calming music to play while you are grooming him.
Step
3
Smells so good
Make the room smell so good by putting a small amount of lavender essential oil in a diffuser and giving it a few minutes so that the scent has fully filled the room.
Step
4
Grooming chat
When you go to the barbershop or salon, your stylist talks to you the whole time they are working on your hair. You can do the same thing for your pup; a calm soothing voice will help further calm him down.
Step
5
Take your time
There is no reason to be in a hurry working on training him to be calm, let him set the pace as this will make the whole process go far more smoothly.
Recommend grooming method?

The Day with Friends Method

Effective
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Slicker Brush
Step
1
Find a place to play
Most towns today have at least one dog park. This is the perfect place to take your pooch and let him burn off some of his energy while at the same time helping him to socialize with other dogs. Start when he is a pup, this will help him overcome any antisocial behavior. It will also help to tire him out.
Step
2
Personal playtime
When you get home, go ahead and spend a little extra time playing with your dog. Try gently touching his head, his tail, and rubbing him all over while he's relaxed any enjoying playtime.
Step
3
The deep
Work your hands down deep into his fur and give him a great overall body rub, paying close attention to his sensitive areas. You want him to reach the point at which he actually enjoys and looks forward to being handled.
Step
4
Meet your brush
You only need one brush (a slicker brush) to give your pup his weekly grooming, so lay it on your hand and hold the brush up where your pup can see and smell it. Give him plenty of time to get used to the brush before you try to use it. This will help him to remain nice and calm during the grooming process.
Step
5
Work it
The rest is all about repeating this until your pup is calm any time you decide to groom him.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Start training your pup to be calm for grooming from the moment you bring him home. While he probably doesn't need groomed as a young puppy, this will put him in the right place for when he truly needs grooming.
  • Groom your Tosa Inu at least once a week to remove dust, dirt, and parasites.
  • While you are grooming him check for fleas, ticks, and injuries.
  • Take your time and let your pup set the pace, it will make things much easier. 

Conclusion

The Tosa Inu is a large powerful dog, yet if you work with him from the moment you bring him home, you should have no problem getting him to remain calm so that you can groom him. Never be in hurry, let him set the pace and he will soon learn to relax and enjoy being fussed over and groomed. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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