How to Groom a Puppy with Behavioral Problems

Medium
15 - 30 Minutes
1 Week

Introduction

Dealing with a puppy who has behavioral problems can be challenging enough on a day to day basis. When it comes to getting such a pooch to behave well enough for you to be able to groom them, that's a completely different problem. While some dogs may never reach the point where they are fully relaxed and ready to behave while being groomed, in most cases, with a little hard work and patience, you should be able to work with your dog to complete the job with a minimal amount of fuss. 

Dog's Perspective

If you stop for a moment and look at the situation from your puppy's point of view--the tools, the noise, the being touched all over and being restrained in place-it becomes easier to see why she gets a little nervous. If you were new to this type of situation, you would probably be a little freaked out too.

The Grooming Table Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Pin Brush
Step
1
It starts with a grooming table
If your puppy is a small breed, you will need a grooming table with restraints to help keep her safely in place during the grooming process. Choose one that has restraints with a quick-release catch for safety reasons. Choose one that puts her at a comfortable working height.
Step
2
Add one puppy to the mix
Bring your pup in, place her on the table and secure her in the safety restraints. The average dog will remain relatively still once they are placed in a restraint. Give her a treat and time to get used to being on the table before you start.
Step
3
Let her see the tools
Give your dog time to see the tools you plan to use, give her a treat and time to get used to them. This will help to remain calm during the grooming process.
Step
4
Begin grooming
Using the right style of brush for her coat, begin to brush your dog, starting at her head and neck. Work your way down her back and sides, following the direction in which her hair is growing to make things easier. Gently brush around her rump, paying very close attention to her private parts as they are extremely sensitive.
Step
5
Roll me over
Roll your pup over on her back so that you can access her belly, legs, and, of course, her paws. Be careful here as she probably won't like you touching or brushing her paws. Finish up with a treat, lots of praise and the willingness to repeat this process every week. In time, your puppy may even come to love being groomed.
Recommend grooming method?

The Vet-Approved Sedative Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Pin Brush
Nail Clipper
Dremel
Nail File
Step
1
A word with your vet
If after trying your best, your puppy simply refuses to behave, you might want to pay a visit to her vet. He may be able to recommend a canine sedative for her that will help calm her down without knocking her out.
Step
2
Understand the effects
Before using the sedative for grooming purposes, you need to let your dog "test drive" it first. By doing this, you can see how effective it is and how long the effects last. You should also be able to determine how long it takes to adequately sedate your dog.
Step
3
Off to an early start
In most cases, it's ideal to give the sedative about half an hour before you wish to groom your dog. This gives it plenty of time to go into full-effect.
Step
4
The grooming room
Now that your puppy is nice and relaxed, go ahead and place her on the grooming table and secure her using the included restraints.
Step
5
The rest is all about being normal
Now that your dog is sedated, you should be able to groom her like any other dog. Start at her head and brush the top-half following the grain of her hair. Give her a treat, have her roll over, and then brush her legs, belly, and paws. Trim any long hair between her pads and toes, and if necessary, trim her nails using the right size nail cutter.
Step
6
And in the end
The last step is to give her lots of praise and then a treat or two. In time she should no longer need the sedatives and will come to enjoy being groomed.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Always give your dog plenty of time to get used to the brushes, combs, clippers, shears, and anything else you plan to use. This will make grooming her much easier.
  • Be sure to use the grooming table restraints. Not only will this help keep your dog safe, but it will help calm her down.
  • Be sure you are using the right brush; a pin brush for medium to long coats and a slicker brush for short to medium coats.
  • Be sure your grooming table has a quick release just in case your puppy gets out of hand and tries to jump off the table.
  • Never use any type of grooming product intended for use on humans, as they may contain ingredients known to be toxic to dogs. 

Conclusion

Grooming a dog who has a hard time behaving can be very challenging, but if you maintain your place and attitude as that of the Alpha leader in your "pack" this should make things easier. If all else fails, talk to your vet about a sedative for the first few grooming sessions. The big thing is to make the whole process as much fun for both of you as you can. Make this a personal bonding time for the two of you, you won't regret it. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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