When grooming time comes around, do you find yourself dreading the day or looking in the medicine cabinet for some kind of tranquilizer? The simple fact is, that some dogs have never learned to relax while they are being groomed--some simply hate the whole process. In most cases, when a dog is behaving like this, it's far more likely due to anxiety than it is him trying to be aggressive. The important thing to remember is that you can teach your pup to relax when its time for grooming.
Take a moment to look at this situation from your pup's point of view. Suddenly, a person walks up with a stack of shiny tools and places them on the table or grooming stand you are being held on. If this isn't scary enough, one of them makes a loud buzzing noise. This would be enough to scare anyone. You must take the time to let your pup get used to the tools before you try to use them.
While grooming a difficult dog can be challenging, the most important thing to remember is that he is not the one running the show. Most dogs will defer to their alpha leader. But when your dog becomes anxious and agitated, you may need to restrain him or give him a sedative until he gets used to being groomed by you. Take your time, relax, and work with your pup until the two of you can both enjoy every grooming session.
Hi:) I’m having a very bad time with any sort of grooming that requires pressure or restraint (I.e. holding her paw to clip between her paw pads, or to cut her nails, or hold her face still for trimming, etc.). Whenever I don’t let her go if she tries to pull away, she FREAKS. OUT.
She starts jerking and tugging and throwing herself around and eventually gets so worked up that she’s hyperventilating. I’ve done ‘de-sensitizing’ work and given lots of rewards, but she gets so agitated that she’s not interested in any kind of food. She’s not a overall food motivated dog, really. She loves to play, and is not aggressive. But when she gets like this she does try to bite...I wouldn’t call the attitude aggressive so much as intensely agitated.
I just don’t know what to do. I’ve never had a dog act like this, and I can’t just NOT do this stuff because it will get out of hand and be even worse for both of us in the end....
Hi there and thank you for the inquiry. It sounds as though you are doing everything right so far and taking care to introduce grooming to Tonks. You are right, it sounds like she has a fear of grooming which causes agitation. Can you ask at the dog park for recommendations for a groomer who specializes in fearful dogs? The grooming sessions would start out short and easy, gradually building up in length and service as Tonks gets used to the groomer. Once she allows the groomer to clip the nails and cut the fur, she may then tolerate it at home. Good for you for starting the process when Tonks is young. I hope this helps!
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