How to Groom a Destructive Dog

Hard
15 - 30 Minutes
1 Week

Introduction

There are several problems you are likely to encounter when you have a destructive dog. These range from tearing up your furniture to chewing on just about anything they can get their teeth on. If this sounds like your favorite furball, then you have a destructive dog. Destructuve behavior is a problem that can make grooming him more than a little challenging. You can, of course, muzzle him or get the vet to give you a tranquilizer, but what you really need to do is teach your dog to remain calm and relaxed before and during grooming time. 

Dog's Perspective

Your dog has developed his destructive behavior for a reason. Boredom is one of the most common reasons for this type of behavior, but he could be teething (for puppies) or have sore gums (for older dogs). Once you have a better understanding of why he is being so destructive, you can work to put an end to it. In the meantime, let's take a look at ways to calm your pooch down enough to continue on with grooming him.

The Positive Focus Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Scissors
Pin Brush
Nail Clipper
Deshedder
Dematter
Comb
Clipper
Nail File
Towel
Step
1
The right space
Find a spot in your home that you will use every time you groom your dog. Using the same room every time builds consistency and expectancy in the dog's mind. Choose one with a window he can look outside from, add a radio playing some relaxing music, or better yet a TV tuned to the new Dog TV station. The idea is to keep his mind focused on anything but the fact you will be grooming him.
Step
2
Potty break before you get started
Before you get started grooming, go ahead and take your pup for a good long walk. This gives him time to go potty, stretch his legs, and most importantly of all, tire him out.
Step
3
Have a nice chat
Start out the process by engaging your dog in a conversation. To be sure, he won't be able to answer you in a way you can understand, but this doesn't really matter. The idea is to use a nice soothing voice and talk to him as you get ready to groom him and during the entire process. You can even give him a few treats along the way to reward him for remaining calm.
Step
4
I see what you are doing
If you happen to catch his attention start to focus on what you are doing and starting to get stressed, stop and use a toy or change the channel to refocus his attention on something besides your grooming him.
Step
5
Make it fun
The whole grooming process should be fun for both of you. However, it may take a few weeks for your dog to get the idea he can relax and let you do your job. Keep the initial sessions short and slowly work your way up to full grooming sessions. In time, you will both look forward to this time of the week.
Recommend grooming method?

The Know the Tools Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Scissors
Pin Brush
Nail Clipper
Deshedder
Dematter
Comb
Clipper
Nail File
Step
1
Lay out the tools
Lay out all the tools you plan to use during the grooming session. This might include clippers, various brushes, combs, shears, nail clippers, nail files, and more. Bring your dog in the room so that he can see them. Pick each tool up and show it to him, let him sniff at it and get used to its presence. Leave them on the table or floor, give your dog a treat, and walk away. Give him all the time he needs, it will only make things easier.
Step
2
Go slow
Have your dog come over and stand in front of you and give him one or two of his favorite treats. Then give him time to calm down. Bring each tool up to his face as you need them and let him get used to them before actually using them. If he looks like he is uncomfortable and considering acting up, back off a little and give him more time to get used to the tool.
Step
3
Heads up
Take a brush and start by gently brushing your dog's head before working your way down his neck and across his back. Take it slow and give him a treat or two along the way. Keep talking to him in a soothing voice to help keep him calm.
Step
4
Along the ridge
Keep working your way along the back, down his sides, and then his belly. Go slow and easy, keep talking to him. Give him another treat before moving on.
Step
5
And in the end
Finally, it's time to groom the rear end and tail. Go very slow in these sensitive areas, be gentle, and if you have to trim any hair, be careful not to nick or cut your dog in this area. Keep working at it and before you know it he will start enjoying the grooming sessions.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Since your dog is a bit on the wound up and destructive side, you need to remain extra calm. This will help your dog relax, as he will pick up your calm vibes.
  • There could be several reasons why your dog is destructive, but by redirecting his attention to something more constructive and working to keep him calm from start to finish, grooming should be much easier.
  • Keep the walks to a length appropriate for your dog's age, size, and breed. You want to tire him out, not injure him.
  • Give your dog plenty of time to get used to the grooming room and tools.
  • No matter what breed your pup is, weekly grooming will help keep his coat clean and shiny.
  • Regular grooming also gives you a chance to inspect him for signs of injury, parasite infestation, or matted fur.¬†

Conclusion

Even destructive dogs need to be groomed, it is up to you to teach your pooch to remain calm during the grooming sessions. You can redirect his destructive nature towards toys or bones, giving him something to chew on and keep his attention focused on the toy/bone while you do your job. In time, he will outgrow his destructive behavior and will already be an expert at being chill while he is being groomed. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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