How to Groom a Hyper Dog

Hard
30 - 45 Minutes
1 Month

Introduction

Lisa has a 1-year-old Golden Retriever, Stella, who has long beautiful fur that needs lots of grooming every day, especially since she likes to run outside, jump in the dugout on their farm, and run through the bush where she picks up burs, twigs and other debris in her coat. Unfortunately, the same energy that makes this dog get so dirty and messy also makes it very hard to keep her still for bathing and brushing! However, if she doesn't brush her dog daily and bathe her weekly, Lisa’s dog rapidly becomes a mess with mats and moisture trapped at the skin that causes sores and skin infections. 

The whole situation has become quite the challenge, as Stella becomes hyper, jumpy and wiggly during grooming due to impatience. She knocks things over with her tail and steps on or knocks over her owner who is trying to groom her. Lisa gets frustrated that grooming takes longer than it needs to as she constantly has to reposition and correct her dog and retrieve grooming tools that Stella has sent flying!

Dog's Perspective

Some dogs do not want to stay still.  If you have a young puppy who wants to wiggle, play and run, standing still for any length of time will be a challenge for him. You do not want to create a negative association with grooming by forcing him to stay still for long periods of time, so making several short grooming sessions instead of one may be key.  Some hyper behavior can also be due to a dog’s individual personality or breed. High energy dogs, like Border Collies, Jack Russell Terriers, or Retrievers need lots of exercise every day. If they do not receive it, stored up energy makes it very difficult for your dog to stay still for any activity--including grooming.

The Tools for Hyper Dogs Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Use an appropriate space
Have a dedicated space set aside for grooming where tools and products are easily accessible, and where your dog can not be distracted easily or escape.
Step
2
Use a table
Use a grooming table or elevated surface that allows better access to your dog and train your dog to be calm on the table by providing positive reinforcement for calm behavior. A professional table is an investment but may be well worth it in saved time.
Step
3
Use restraints
Use a neck restraint from an overhead L shaped bar on the table. Make sure the noose is secure, but not too tight. Use a back end restraint that goes under the belly in front of your dog's back legs. This keeps your dogs back end in position and prevents her from moving around.
Step
4
Use non-slip footing
Use non slip surfaces so that you are not constantly struggling with a hyper dog that is slipping and could become injured.
Step
5
Consider a sedative
If necessary, talk to a veterinarian about using a mild sedative when long grooming sessions are required, especially with sharp implements like scissors or clippers, or when bathing, to prevent injury to your dog or yourself.
Recommend grooming method?

The Techniques for Hyper Dogs Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Teach obedience
Work on obedience commands such as 'stay', 'sit-stay' and 'down-stay' when not grooming so that your dog learns self control. Use positive reinforcement and practice often to establish.
Step
2
Exercise before grooming
Exercise your hyper dog before grooming to burn off excess energy, a tired dog is more likely to stay still for a grooming session.
Step
3
Dont punish
Be gentle and firm, but do not yell at or punish a hyper dog as this only increases excitement and makes the behavior worse.
Step
4
Many short sessions
Conduct multiple short sessions rather than one long one, if necessary.
Step
5
Distract
Brush your dog while she is eating, or provide a chew toy or rawhide bone while grooming.
Step
6
Reinforce calm behavior
Use positive reinforcement when the dog is calm and holds still, provide treats and praise.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Make sure when using a grooming table that it is adequate for your dog's weight, especially if you have a dog that is prone to move around a lot.
  • Ensure your dog has good footing and use properly fitting restraints when on a grooming table to prevent a hyper dog from slipping or falling in bathtubs or on tables.
  • Make sure you establish control through sedation, or have established a calm state before using cutting implements like nail cutters, scissors or clippers so as not to injure your dog.
  • Do not groom a hyper dog when you are rushed for time or impatient, as a negative cycle can be created by rushing or punishing a dog for hyper behavior. Avoid punishment, excitement or yelling at a hyper dog, which increases rather than diminishes the behavior.

Conclusion

Your hyper, high-energy dog sure can be lots of fun, out in the dog park, going for a run and playing fetch or frisbee. Remember he or she is what she is, a high energy dog, and as such, standing or sitting still for grooming can be a challenge. Make sure you have the right tools for the job and take steps to reduce energy before grooming, such as finding a quiet dedicated spot with the right tools, exercising beforehand, adjusting by providing multiple shorter sessions, and not using punishment to correct hyper behavior. As your hyper dog gets more and more used to being groomed, her energy levels will usually adjust to the task at hand, just be patient.

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd