How to Groom a Dog with Separation Anxiety

15 - 60 Minutes
1 Week


Now that you have mastered grooming your own pup, your neighbor Jill has asked in you would try your hand at her "Little" Bobby, a 100 lb. Alaskan Malamute. Knowing the Malamutes tend to be calm dogs who tend to take things in stride you agree. So, the neighbor drops Bobby off and goes shopping. There is a sudden change in his behavior the minute his human walked out the door. Instead of calm and relaxed Bobby, now you have 100 lbs. of howling, crying, and running-all-over-the-house Bobby.

Known as separation anxiety, it affects a much larger percentage of dogs than you might think, no matter the breed. It can make grooming an incredibly challenging task, but not one that is impossible. The most important part of the whole plan is to remain calm and work with a worried dog to calm him down before you start grooming him. Once you have gone through this process with him a few times, you will find he looks forward to his weekly grooming visits. 

Dog's Perspective

Dogs like Bobby are very much a pack animal. They will live with their pack for their entire life and any time they are taken away from it, they can become very anxious. Separation anxiety is something almost any dog can be trained to get past, with a little help from his new groomer friend. 

Caution & Considerations

  • Always work with the dog's owner to ensure they are okay with your methods.
  • Never punish or yell at the dog because of his anxiety, this will only make it worse.
  • Take your time preparing the dog for grooming.
  • The more time you spend making "friends" with the pooch, the less anxious he is likely to be.
  • The longer (in terms of total number of grooming sessions) you work with him, the less he is likely to be anxious.
  • Never force the pup to do anything using physical power.
  • Take your time grooming him, use short sessions at first and lots of treats. The more you make friends the less worried he will be when his human leaves.


Grooming a dog with separation anxiety can be challenging. It is up to you to divert his attention away from the fact his human has left him with you. The more time you invest in this at first, the easier grooming him will be and the more times you groom him, the more he is going to trust you. Take your time, be patient, and you will gain a new furry buddy. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

Book me a walkiee?
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd