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Grooming Tips from a Dog Trainer

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Maybe I’m not the best resource for instructions on how to deal with matted fur. I’ve never had to deal with tear stains. Here’s what I can help you with: GOOD ASSOCIATIONS. If you find that grooming sessions with your dog are stressful or intensely coercive, try focusing less on the finished product and more on the process for a while. Eventually you can get back to your goals of reaching those back teeth during brushings, or getting those ears really clean, but for now, let’s focus on the associations with the event and the tools.

If you use tools, get your dog comfortable with them by bringing them out of the closet with treats. So for nail trimmings, show your dog the clipper, then treat. Place the clipper on the floor near the paw, then treat.  Touch the paw with the clipper, then treat. Now put the tool away. Do that a few random times during the week.

When you are ready for a grooming session, keep it short and positive.  For baths, at first, I am more concerned about treats for accepting the leash. Then I bring out the towels and shampoos. More treats and a quick, low shampoo bath means next time, she will be more accepting of the process. Little by little, I can focus more on really getting to the dirt. Grooming should be a calm experience for you and your dog.


Written by dawnhanna

July 31, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Posted in Dog Training

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