How to Shave a Dog that Won't Sit Still

Hard
30 - 60 Minutes
6 Months

Introduction

Shaving a dog can be challenging enough for an experienced groomer. But when you are trying to take care of the task yourself and Jody won't sit still for a second, it takes the challenge to a whole new level. Let's face it, you can't groom her if she keeps moving, it just isn't possible! Or is it? Maybe not in quite the sense you are thinking. The only way to successfully and safely shave a dog that won't sit still is to teach her to sit still. Sounds simple enough. But the road to this goal is paved with many bumps and traps along the way. You must be ready to work with your pup to gain her trust and to give her a good reason to sit still while you give her a good shave with proper grooming techniques.

Dog's Perspective

An excited pup like Jody has no interest in sitting still for much of anything, let alone for long enough to be shaved. But with time, patience, and the right forms of encouragement, you should be able to get her calmed down enough to let you shave her. Keep in mind, you may need to take 'wiggle breaks' throughout the process to help Jody stay still the rest of the time. 

The Tired Dog Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Scissors
Pin Brush
Comb
Clipper
Step
1
Time for some serious exercise
There is a simple fact that even the wiggliest dog will reach a point where they are tired enough to relax. The best way to do this is by taking Jody on a nice, long walk. Give her plenty of time to go potty, sniff at everything, and burn off all of that crazy energy, especially if she is a high-energy breed that requires lots of stimulation.
Step
2
To the grooming room
Bring Jody into the room you have chosen for grooming and give her a few minutes to get used to the area and the tools you are going to be using on her. Turn on the clippers and let her hear them run. Turn them off, give her a treat, and giver her a moment to settle back down.
Step
3
Get in position
If Jody is a small dog, use a grooming table that has a restraint system. Many offer both a collar restraint and one that can be placed around the dog's waist to help hold her still. Alternatively, you can use an assistant on the table or on the floor. Once you're set up, give her a treat and a moment to settle down.
Step
4
One section at a time
Start by shaving her head, neck, chest, chin, and shoulders following the direction her hair grows in. Take a treat break and give Jody time to settle again. Then shave her back, sides, hips, and rear end.
Step
5
Over and done
Have Jody lay down. This will allow you access to shaving the rest of her chest and belly. Then shave her legs and use a pair of shears to trim between her pads and toes. Have her stand up, brush off any remaining hair, and give her lots of love and treats.
Recommend grooming method?

The Work Your Way Up Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Scissors
Pin Brush
Comb
Clipper
Step
1
Choose the right grooming table
Choose a grooming table that puts Jody at the right working height and has a built-in 'grooming noose' to help hold Jody still. Be sure to follow all assembly and usage instructions to avoid any accidents, as grooming tables can be a bit high off of the floor.
Step
2
Place her on the table
Put Jody on the table and connect the grooming noose. It is designed to help hold her still, but has a quick-disconnect just in case she falls or jumps off the table. Make sure to read all instructions for use.
Step
3
Use positive reinforcement
Teach Jody to be still when she is on the table. Tell her to be still and when she has been still for thirty seconds, give her a treat. Continue doing this, extending the time until she continues to remain still until you are ready to give her a treat.
Step
4
Add in being touched
Start adding touch into the game by handling sensitive areas while she remains still. If she remains still, praise her and give her a treat. Continue doing this until you can handle her and brush her while she stays still. Be patient, as this is going to take some time. You have to retrain Jody's brain to understand that she has to be still on the grooming table.
Step
5
Time to cut
Show Jody the clippers and let her hear them run. Give her time to settle back down. When she does, give her a treat. Slowly start to shave her, working from her neck down. Work along her back, sides, and her rump. Then have her lay down so you can shave the rest of her. Take breaks and give her treats along the way. This will help her get her wiggles out as well. Once you are done, brush her off and give her plenty of love and treats.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Always use a blade guard on the clippers to help keep you from nicking or cutting Jody's skin. Be sure that the clippers have a sharp blade and are lubricated properly. This can help prevent any injuries, burns, or cuts that may occur with the improper tools.
  • Be sure to check the blade using a fingertip for temperature frequently. You will also want to clear out any hair to keep the blades working properly as you go along.
  • Brush out Jody's coat first to remove any tangles, mats, and debris that may be in her fur. Take your time to go over her coat entirely to ensure that you don't miss anything that could cause issues with shaving later. 
  • Treats are a great way to reward Jody and help her learn to relax for grooming. 
  • Taking breaks may help a higher-energy dog handle grooming in a much more manageable way. Try not to expect her to hold still for too long before getting a break. 

Conclusion

Shaving a dog that seems to be constantly in motion present its very own set of unique challenges. The good news is that the more you work with your pup to get him or her to settle down for grooming and shaving, the stronger the bond between the two of you will grow. Take your time and be patient with your wiggly pup and it'll certainly pay off in the long run. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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