How to Groom a Responsive Dog

Easy
15 - 30 Minute
1 Week

Introduction

Grooming a big dog is not without its share of challenges. But if you are lucky enough to have one like Jericho who responds quickly to your commands, it can definitely make grooming him much easier. Most dogs are not particularly fond of being bathed, brushed, or any other part of the grooming process. But, since Jericho tends to respond to new training relatively quickly, it shouldn't take him too long to get over the anxiety of being groomed and instead learn to love it. 

Dog's Perspective

While Jericho might be the kind of dog who picks things up quickly and never hesitates when you give him a command, grooming can be a different issue. It involves things like clippers, brushes, combs, shears, and, of course, the occasional bath. All of which tend to be a bit nerve-wracking at first. But given time, and patience on your part, Jericho will soon figure it all out. 

The Busy Grooming Room Method

Effective
0 Votes
Pin Brush
Step
1
Set up grooming station
If yours s is a good sized dog, your best choice is a room with a non-carpeted floor for ease of clean up. You need a toy to keep your pooch busy, maybe a radio for some soft music, or a TV tuned to the latest show on Dog TV, and plenty of treats. Lay out the grooming tools you plan to use, where your dog can see them and sniff at them.
Step
2
Time to get some exercise
Time to put your dog on his leash and head out for a nice long walk. Let him pee, stretch his legs and exercise his sniffer. You need to tire him out, this will help keep him calm and more relaxed when you start grooming him.
Step
3
Enter the grooming station
Bring your dog into the room. Give him plenty of time to get used to them, this will help relieve any anxiety. Be sure to give him a treat or two to help him "get over" his fear of the tools you will be using.
Step
4
Starting on top
Start by gently brushing the head, face, muzzle, neck, and chest. Take your time and be sure to give him a treat while you take a break. Following the direction in which his hair is growing, brush along his back and down his sides. Following the the grain of his coat will make it easier to brush, help spread the oils in his fur, and make then hair lie flat.
Step
5
Finishing up underneath
Continue brushing by gently grooming the rump and tail. Be sure to brush the hair around his rectum thoroughly and trim the hair if needed to help him stay cleaner there. Give him a treat and then have him lie down and roll over onto his back. This will let you brush the rest of his chest, his belly, and around his genitals (be very gentle here). Finally, brush his legs and paws, completing the job and ending up with one handsome pooch.
Recommend grooming method?

The Play Time Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Scissors
Pin Brush
Step
1
Hit the store first
Start out by going to your pup's favorite pet supply store and picking out a few new toys for him, along with a bag of his favorite treats. Keep the new toys separate from the rest of his toys. They should only be used during grooming sessions.
Step
2
Hit the backyard
Grab a tug rope, a ball, or one of your dog's other favorite outdoor toys and take him outside. This is a good time to engage in some serious play time. The more energetic the better. Use his responsiveness to your advantage, as a tired pup is usually easier to manage.
Step
3
Build your grooming station
Set out one or two of the new toys and the tools you plan to use on the floor of the room you plan to use for grooming. Bring your dog in and give him a treat followed by plenty of time to get used to the tools. Once he seems to be ignoring the tools in favor of the toys, give him another treat.
Step
4
Dive in head first
The best way to groom a dog is to simply dive in head first and brush his face, muzzle, and head. Working with the "grain" of his hair, continue gently brushing down his chest and neck. If you happen to come across any bad tangles and mats, don't try to pull them out, use a pair of sharp shears to cut them out.
Step
5
The middle section
Again, brushing will the flow of his hair, brush his back, his rump, and then his sides. If your dog has medium to long hair, start at the bottom of his sides and work your way up. This will give you much better results. Brush the outside of his legs to remove any burrs, mats, and anything else he might pick up.
Step
6
Good boy, roll over
One final trick for your pup. Give him the "lie down" command and then the "roll over" command. This will give you access to his belly, the rest of his chest, and the insides of his legs. Be very gentle around his privates as the skin here is very thin and sensitive. Have him stand back up and give him a treat along with plenty of praise.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Keep in mind that a tired dog is much easier to work with. A nice long walk is good for both of you anyway.
  • Take your time and brush slowly, this way if you do find any mats or tangles, you aren't immediately trying to rip them out, which can be very painful.
  • Also, keep in mind that yelling at your dog or punishing him will only make him harder to handle, not easier.
  • Use new toys as they are more likely to keep your dog distracted.
  • The sooner you start working with your pup and grooming him, the easier it will be for both of you. 

Conclusion

Having a dog like Jericho who willingly responds to you can make being a dog owner far more enjoyable. But, even the most responsive of dogs may need a little extra help learning to relax during grooming. Take your time, be patient, and make it a fun bonding experience for both of you. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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