How to Groom a Small, Fearful Dog

15 - 30 Minutes
1 Week


Even the most fearful of small dogs, like Lucy, need to be groomed on a weekly basis. Not only is this important to the health of her coat, but it is the perfect time to examine her all over for fleas, ticks, and signs of injury that might need to be attended to by her vet. 

There are many reasons why Lucy might be afraid of being groomed. Some dogs seem to be naturally fearful, for others, it might stem from a previous experience. Give her plenty of time to get used to the tools and to being handled. In time she will come to enjoy the personal touch of being groomed. 

Dog's Perspective

Trying to calm a fearful dog down enough for grooming can be a little like trying to chase down a chicken in the yard. Worse yet, if you try to force Lucy to be groomed, it can only make things worse instead of better. The best way to get her used to being groomed is to take your time, go gently and slowly. Plus, it never hurts to have plenty of her favorite treats on hand. 

Caution & Considerations

  • The earlier you start getting your dog used to being touched, the easier grooming will be when the time comes.
  • No matter whether your dog has short or long hair, she needs to be groomed weekly to help keep her clean.
  • Use this time to look her over for fleas, ticks, injuries, or skin problems.
  • Use sharp safety shears with rounded tips to cut out any mats in her hair you come across.
  • Be sure to take your dog to the vet if you find any serious injuries.
  • Take your time, let the dog set the pace, and keep working together. 


Lucy might struggle and fuss at first, but if you plan it right, by the time she is old enough to need grooming she will already be used to you touching her all over. Work with her at approximately the same time on the same day each week to get her used to the routine. It will help build her confidence and trust. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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