How to Groom a Small, Dominant Dog

Medium
15 - 30 Minutes
1 Week

Introduction

Xena is a tough little pup; she wants everyone to realize she might be small, but she is mighty (at least in her own mind). If she was living in the wild, she would be the Alpha male's partner and would rule the pack in his absence. Xena doesn't really care to be groomed and makes no bones about letting you know it when grooming time comes around each week. If you are not careful, she might even become a little on the aggressive side. Rather than letting her get away with this behavior or sedating her, with a little hard work you can teach her to enjoy being groomed. 

Dog's Perspective

While Xena might have a dominant personality, bad behavior is not something you can let her get away with. There are many reasons why she might not like being groomed, including having had a bad previous experience at the groomers. Take your time, work with her, and in time, she will come to enjoy the experience. 

The Meet & Greet Method

Effective
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Slicker Brush
Pin Brush
Step
1
Dog, meet brush
Each time, before you get ready to groom your dominant little pooch, lay out all tools you plan to use in the room where you will be working.
Step
2
Come on in
Bring her in and give her plenty of time to get used to the tools. Let her look at them, sniff them, even lick them if she so desires. Try picking up a brush and holding it at eye level for your dog. If she doesn't flinch, give her a treat. If she does, back off and reintroduce the brush more slowly. When she stops flinching, give her the treat.
Step
3
From the top
Brush your dog's head, face, muzzle, and throat. Give her a treat. Then move down her neck and chest. Take a break, give her another treat. You might also consider talking to her during grooming. Talk about anything, just keep your tone of voice soft and soothing.
Step
4
Down the back
Brush her back and sides, following the flow of her hair. Brush her tail and rump, being very careful around her genitals and rectum as the skin here is thin and sensitive. Another break, another treat.
Step
5
The final countdown
Have your dog lie on her back so you can groom her belly and legs. Be sure to brush her paws and trim the hair between her pads and toes. And there you have it folks, one beautiful and happy pooch, ready to go out on the town.
Recommend grooming method?

The Make Grooming Fun Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Pin Brush
Step
1
Create the perfect grooming zone
While your dog might have a dominant personality, you still need to create a grooming room fit for a queen. Add a radio to play her favorite music or a TV so she can watch her favorite shows. Even a few toys to keep her busy.
Step
2
Around the block and back
Take your pup out for a nice walk around the block, let her take care of "business" and generally get in plenty of exercise. The idea is to tire her out and slow down her dominant tendencies.
Step
3
Into the groomer's den
Bring her into the room you have created for her and let her see the brushes you have laid out. Give her plenty of time to get used to them and then give her a treat before putting her on the grooming table and securing her in place.
Step
4
Face first
Start out by brushing her face, head, and ears. Brush the neck, chest, and back. Always brush her coat in the direction in which it is growing. This makes grooming easier and helps her coat to lay flat. Give her a break and a treat.
Step
5
Bringing up the rear
Finish by brushing her sides, rump, and tail. Then have her roll over so you can brush her belly, legs, and paws. This is a good time to examine her pads for damage and to trim any hair between her pads or toes. Stand her up, make a quick pass over her coat with the brush one more time and voila, you are done.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Never let your dog think she is in charge or you will have a very hard time getting her to allow you to groom her.
  • Use a nice long walk to tire her out before grooming, this should help calm her down.
  • If you plan to trim her coat, be sure to use shears and clippers that have sharp blades.
  • Use plenty of treats during each grooming session to encourage and reward your pup.
  • Go nice and slow, looking her over for fleas, ticks, scratches, cuts, or other injuries.
  • Always use products such as shampoos, conditioners, and toothpaste made for dogs and vet-approved. 

Conclusion

While Xena might have been the Alpha female in her pack, she must learn her place in your pack. Take time to show your dominant little dog that you're the protector and provider so she can relax. When it comes time for grooming, take your time, working with her until she learns to chill and just enjoy the process. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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