How to Groom a Small, Destructive Dog

Medium
15 - 30 Minutes
1 Week

Introduction

When you have a destructive dog like little Percy, life can be a matter of following him from chewed table leg, to shredded armchair cushions, and more destroyed items in your home than you can count. It can also make him challenging to groom as he will continually be trying to bite and chew the tools, the toys, the grooming stand, and anything else he can get his teeth on. Of course, you could always try a muzzle, but this a lot like using a band-aid on a cut that needs stitches. Your best shot is to work with Percy until he understands his behavior is not acceptable. 

Dog's Perspective

Most dogs develop a destructive tendency because they are bored or because they are still teething and don't have the right things to chew on. Older dogs may also become destructive because their gums are sore, and chewing helps to ease the pain. Once you discover the cause of his destructive behavior, you can start working on finding a way to stop it. In the meantime, here are a couple of grooming methods you can try. 

The Focus on This Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Pin Brush
Nail Clipper
Dremel
Nail File
Step
1
Set up your grooming station
Choose a room or location in your home, you will be able to use for grooming every time. Consistency will help with getting him to accept the whole grooming process. The room should have a window for him to look out of, a radio to play some relaxing music, and if possible, a TV you can tune to something your pup likes. Lay out the tools you plan to use.
Step
2
Walkies and potty break
Start out with a nice long walk, one that is going to tire your dog out. Make sure you give him time to go potty.
Step
3
A long talk
Bring your dog in and put him on the grooming table, talk to him about anything that comes to mind in a soothing voice. Make sure you use the restraints to keep him from falling off the table. Show him the tools and let him get in a good look and sniff. Turn on the TV or radio to help keep his mind focused on something besides grooming. Give him a treat and off we go.
Step
4
Head and shoulders
Continue talking to him as you brush his head, face, and shoulders. If his attention starts to wander, you can give him a treat or a chew bone to help keep his mind off being groomed. Brush his back, sides, rump, tail, and the outside of his legs. If he starts to fuss, give him another treat and then have him lie down so you can finish grooming the rest of him.
Step
5
A nice set of nails
Take this time to trim the hair between his toes and pads. Then, use nail clippers to trim back his nails and a nail file or grinder to smooth off the sharp edges. Est Voila, you are done. Repeat weekly and before long the two of you will be having a blast on grooming day.
Recommend grooming method?

The Meet the Tools Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Pin Brush
Nail Clipper
Dremel
Nail File
Toothbrush
Step
1
Set up the tools and work area
Set up your workstation by laying out the grooming tools you plan to use on the grooming stand where your dog will be able to see them when you put him on the table. Bring your dog into the room, put him on the stand and secure him using the restraints provided. Go ahead and give him a treat along with plenty of time to get used to everything on the table.
Step
2
Make it a slow ride
Take it easy, there is no reason to rush, the more time you take, the less likely your dog is to try and be destructive. If he really starts fussing, give him a chew bone to work on and some relaxing music listen to.
Step
3
Start a conversation
Conversation in a calm voice is the perfect way to help keep your dog's mind occupied as you start gently brushing his head and face. The more you talk and the more time you take at first, the less he is likely to fuss. Work your way down his shoulders and chest to his back. Be sure to follow the direction in which his hair grows to help spread out the natural oils in his coat.
Step
4
Keep it going
Keep up the dialog and the brushing, working your way to his rump and tail. Finally, finish up by having him lay down so you can finish brushing his chest, belly, and legs.
Step
5
Nails and teeth
This is a good time to trim his nails and using a canine toothbrush and toothpaste, brush those teeth that have been trying to destroy everything in your home. Now that you are done, be sure to praise your pup and give him a treat.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Since your dog is wound up enough for both of you, your main job is to remain calm throughout.
  • Getting excited will only make things worse.
  • Find ways to keep Percy's attention focused such as chew bones, chew toys, or the TV.
  • Keep the walks you take a length that is appropriate for your dog, you want to tire him out not exhaust him, this can be bad for his health.
  • Give Percy all the time he needs to get used the tools before you start to use them.
  • Be sure to keep his grooming sessions to the same day of the week and if possible the same time.
  • Use this time to check your pup over for fleas, ticks, and any signs of injury. 

Conclusion

Just because Percy is a little on the destructive side, doesn't mean he shouldn't still be groomed on a weekly basis. Remember, it's more for his good health than his good looks. Keep redirecting his attention each time he starts to lose focus. Given enough time and patience, your pup will eventually get past his destructive behavior and start relaxing and enjoying the weekly sessions. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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