How to Groom an Alert Dog

Easy
15 - 30 Minutes
1 Week

Introduction

Ol' Josh seems to be one of those dogs that knows everything that is going on around him, all the time. Nothing seems to get by him and that includes the brush in your hand as you get ready to try and groom him. While Josh may seem to have a problem sitting still, with a little hard work and patience on your side, he will eventually learn to relax and enjoy being groomed. The big things to remember are to remain consistent and groom at the same day of the week and the same time, be patient, and make it fun. 

Dog's Perspective

Truth be told, Josh probably doesn't think much about the fact he needs to be groomed. He licks himself constantly, isn't that good enough? In reality, this really isn't anywhere near good enough. Which is why you need to work with him until he accepts the fact you will be grooming him every week. 

The Slow and Steady Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Pin Brush
Nail Clipper
Dremel
Nail File
Step
1
Take it easy
Getting your dog to stand still for long enough to fully groom him can take some time. You should start with short sessions at first. Since it is in his nature to need to know what is going on around him, let him see the brush in your hand and sniff at it before you try to use it on him and then give him a treat. Try just grooming his head for a couple of sessions, then add a little more time to the sessions.
Step
2
The works
Lay out the brushes, combs, shears, clippers, and nail cutters you plan to use for a full grooming session and let your dog take his own sweet time getting to know them. Add in a new toy and give him a treat. Don't give him the toy quite yet, first, you need to groom his head, face, neck, and ears. Then you can give him the toy to distract him.
Step
3
Going down
Use the brush to groom his back, sides, rump, and tail. Be very gentle around his rectum as this area is a bit on the sensitive side. Using shears or clippers, trim the hair short in this area to help improve his overall hygiene.
Step
4
Over and under
Give your pup another treat and then have him lie down and roll over on his back. This will give you access to groom his belly, legs, and paws. Once groomed, trim back the hair between his toes and pads.
Step
5
Clip those claws
This is a great time to grab some nail clippers and trim back those claws. Don't forget to file or grind the tips so he doesn’t hurt himself or someone else with them. Have him stand up, a last going over with the brush, and then give him a treat and a whole lotta love.
Recommend grooming method?

The Squeaky Clean Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Shampoo
Scissors
Pin Brush
Nail Clipper
Clipper
Dremel
Nail File
Towel
Toothbrush
Step
1
Time to hit the tub
Start out by running a nice tepid bath. Grab a bottle of vet-approved shampoo and give him a good all-over scrubbing. Be sure to thoroughly rinse his coat at the end. You must remove all traces of the shampoo, as residue can lead to skin problems. It will also help rinse out the dead fleas, bugs, and deep-down grime.
Step
2
A window seat if you please
Choose a room in your home with a window to groom your dog in. This will give him something to keep his inquisitive mind active while you groom him. Bring him in, give him a treat and have a chew bone handy.
Step
3
Head first
Start from the top and brush his head, face, ears, and neck, then give him the bone.
Step
4
Body brushing
Go ahead and brush his back, sides, tail, and rump. Then have him lie down so you can brush the rest of him. Be sure you are very gentle around his genitals as the skin here is very thin. Take another break and give him a treat.
Step
5
The pedicure
Using the right nail cutters, trim his nails back to a point just in front of the quick. Be sure you have some cornstarch or styptic powder on hand, just in case you nick the quick and he starts to bleed.
Step
6
That Hollywood smile
Using a doggy toothbrush and toothpaste, lift your pup's lips and open his mouth so that you can brush all of his teeth and gums. Make sure you don't miss those molars way down in the back of his mouth. Give him a dental stick for a treat and you are all done, until next time.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Try taking your dog out for a long walk to help tire him out, this should help to settle him down for grooming.
  • Always brush his coat in the direction it is growing. This will be much easier and will help to spread natural oils throughout the coat more evenly.
  • Never use any product intended for human use. Most contain ingredients that are known to be toxic to dogs.
  • If you need to trim your dog's coat, be sure the shears or clippers you use are nice and sharp.
  • Take your time, make it fun for both of you. Let your dog set the pace, it will make everything easier.¬†

Conclusion

Grooming an alert dog like Josh can be a bit challenging because he can't seem to remain focused. Keep your training sessions short at first and let him set the pace. By the time you are done, he will have learned to thoroughly enjoy being groomed and see it as his personal time to bond with you. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd