How to Groom a Large, Submissive Dog

15 - 30 Minute
1 Week


Having a submissive dog definitely has its advantages, especially when it comes to grooming time. In most cases, a submissive dog will simply stand there and let you groom them, bathe them, and do pretty much anything as long as you are not hurting him. 

While your passive pooch may not mind you doing most things to him, when it comes to bathing and grooming, he might still be a little skittish. Take your time, let him set the pace, and use lots of treats to make sure each grooming session goes smoothly. 

Dog's Perspective

Many dogs don't really like being groomed, submissive or not. Your pup probably thinks his tongue and teeth are all he needs to groom himself and look just fine. All it will really take is being willing to work with him until he finally gets used to being groomed on a regular basis. While you need to groom him once a week, be sure to check with your vet to see how often you should bathe him. Some breeds should not be bathed more than once or twice a month. 

Caution & Considerations

  • Be sure the shears and clippers you plan to use have sharp blades. Dull blades tend to snag hair not cut it, which can be very painful.
  • Be sure to oil the clippers before and during use to help keep the blade cool. A hot blade can burn skin.
  • Let your dog see all the tools you plan to use and hear the clippers run before you use them.
  • Give him lots of time to get used to everything before you use any tools.
  • If you are going to trim his nails, be sure you have some styptic powder or cornstarch on hand, just in case you cut into the quick.
  • Take your dog out for a nice long walk and let him go potty before grooming, this can help put him in the right mood.


Grooming a submissive dog should be a relatively simple process, they should hang out while you do the grooming and not fuss much. But you can always use treats and kind words to keep your pup in the mood and pay close attention when you are working around his sensitive areas to keep him from getting nervous. Make grooming fun and use it as a bonding time for both of you. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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