New puppy owners should get their pets used to being touched all over, including on the feet, face, tail and other sensitive areas. The more you make this part of a daily routine, the less sensitive the dog will be to the groomer working on them for the first time.
While many pet owners will do their desensitizing while the dog is laying down, it's important to run through the routine when the dog is in a standing (grooming position), too.
This will help the dog relax when it is standing on a grooming table in your shop, or when it's on an exam table at the veterinarian's office.
2. Some Grooming Procedures are Necessary
One of the big misconceptions that groomers face is that grooming dogs is simply a cosmetic affair.
While dogs certainly look their best when they come out of the grooming shop, some procedures are just as important to the dog's health as they are to the dog's appearance.
For example, keeping the hair trimmed around the eyes will help to improve the dog's vision. Cutting the nails will allow the dog to walk more comfortably, and reduce the risk of a joint injury. Plucking the ears may look unpleasant, but it helps to reduce the risk of ear infections.
3. It's Smart to Start Slow
For a puppy, the first trip to the grooming shop can be an overwhelming—and potentially traumatic—experience.
Not only are there lots of new sights, smells, and people, but there are also lots of other dogs.
In shops where pets are kept in cages, the puppy cannot interact with other dogs as it normally would and thus cannot show the submissive behavior it normally displays to bigger, older dogs. This adds to the tension of the first visit and makes it doubly important that the groomer have time to let the puppy adjust to its new surroundings.
Rather than bringing the dog in for a full groom on a short timetable, pet owners would be better off bringing their puppies in for a relaxed, low pressure visit where the groomer can spend time getting the dog used to the grooming shop environment.
The best bet may be to start with just a bath and a nail trim the first time around.
While visiting the shop, the puppy can get used to the sounds of the clippers and dryers.
It can grow accustomed to being in a busy place with other dogs and strange people.
And it will learn that a visit to the grooming shop is not so bad after all.
Why It Matters
In the long run, a dog that is calm and comfortable in the grooming shop will be a plus for the groomer and the pet owner.
For the groomer, it means a dog that is easier to work with and more pleasant to be around. The owner will appreciate knowing that their dog is comfortable being groomed.
Plus, not having to pay extra for a difficult or aggressive dog is better for their budget.
What do you wish your customers knew before bringing a puppy into your shop for the first time? Let us know by posting a comment on the blog or on our Facebook page.
Thanks and happy grooming :)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
PetEdge, Inc. is a leading supplier of discount dog grooming supplies and wholesale pet products. Choose from over 20,0000 products in our catalog and online at PetEdge.com. We are your exclusive source for Master Grooming Tools Shears, Top Performance Grooming Shampoos, Master Equipment Grooming Tables, Tubs, Dryers and lots more!