How to Clean an Aggressive Puppy

30 - 60 Minutes
1 Month


Whether or not they fully appreciate it, puppies do occasionally need cleaning and grooming just like any other dog, especially if puppy antics get them into messes here and there. Of course, not every puppy is ready to be groomed. Your puppy may be scared or nervous about being given a bath or a brushing and this can lead to some aggressive tendencies like biting or growling. Cleaning these types of puppies isn’t easy, but with some work, patience, and a little bit of management, you can make bath time much easier without risking injury to either yourself or your puppy.

Dog's Perspective

Bath time and everything involved can be scary for your puppy, especially if it’s an event he’s never experienced before. Bathrooms can make things echo and water can be intimidating. A growl or a bite can be your puppy’s way of telling you that he’s too stressed out and wants everything to stop.

Caution & Considerations

  • Puppies are mostly in the learning stages and training your puppy out of his fear of bath time or grooming can happen with time. Try to be patient throughout this process, as rushing him may only yield negative results.
  • Keep baths and grooming routines as infrequent as possible and only clean your puppy when he needs it. Too many baths can get rid of the oils in his skin and fur and do more damage than good. 
  • If you are considering using medication or some sort of sedation to get your puppy through his grooming procedures, always consult a veterinarian first to determine what is safe to give to your puppy. Never medicate your dog without first consulting a professional.
  • Professional groomers may know how to calm down aggressive or violent puppies in a much safer fashion than you can at home. Ask your groomer if there are methods to ensure a safe environment for both the groomer and the puppy during his cleaning.
  • If possible, try to take small breaks throughout the cleaning to allow your puppy to calm down and de-stress. This can help make the cleaning more manageable. 


Your puppy will get dirty, as all dogs do. But if he’s more likely to nip or bite rather than let you calmly bathe him, there are still ways to get him through the process without too much stress. Maintain a routine if possible and remember that your puppy is still growing, learning, and experiencing many things for the first time. A little bit of patience and resolve will go a long way in ensuring that he does not develop a lifelong fear of being groomed.

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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