How to Groom a Small, Anxious Dog

10 - 20 Minutes
2 Days


If you have struggled with your small and anxious dog each time he needs to be groomed, it might be time to think about how to make him more comfortable so your grooming sessions are easier. Does your small dog often whine, cry, bark, or nip at your fingers or the tools you are using while grooming, or even pee all over your grooming table when it's time to be brushed or have his haircut? If your little guy does this, he's an anxious pup and grooming is not his favorite task. Remain calm and set him up for better grooming sessions to come.

Dog's Perspective

It doesn't matter why your little guy is anxious and scared each time you bring out of brush or a pair of scissors. The reality for him is this is not his favorite thing, and he would rather do just about anything else than to be groomed. Do not underestimate the power of treats, a calm voice, and tons of patience.

Caution & Considerations

  • There are tricks you can use to coax your dog through each grooming task.
  • Treats throughout grooming instead of only at the end of each session might help keep your pup focused or even distracted long enough to get your task done.
  • Your little guy will pick up on your lack of patience. So, for his sake and yours, watch your tone when you're talking to him, and try to remain calm, quiet, and patient.
  • As with humans, dogs can find healing and comfort through music. Whether you choose to play soft classical music, sounds of nature, or just sing to your little guy, you might be surprised at how calm he can be with soft music playing in the background.
  • Your small dog might have built up anxiety from past grooming sessions. Every time you groom your little guy introduce him to your grooming tools one at a time. Do not overwhelm him with a lot of tools and reward him as he explores each one.
  • Build up your small dog's tolerance to grooming by doing small sessions one at a time.


His bite can be as big as his bark if he's nervous and scared, so calm your anxious small dog with slow and short grooming sessions. A soft gentle voice will let him know he is safe. Don't worry about pampering your pooch just yet, focus more on making him comfortable first.

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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