Need a few grooming tips for your seemingly ungroomable dog? Don’t worry, I have you covered! Grooming is one of the necessary evils for many dogs and dog owners. Some pups have hair that will become so unruly and matted when not groomed that there really is no choice. So what do you do when you have a pooch who hates being groomed and her fur is getting out of hand? One of our readers is in this exact situation. She shared that hers “is a long-haired dog and her hair is getting out of control. She hates it brushed and hates it being scissor cut even worse. She has become unmanageable. Just a super-brat running away and acting like a Tasmanian devil any time I get anything out any tools that she suspects might come her way to groom her.”
Are you nodding? Does that sound like a dog you know and love? Read on for a few grooming tips for stubborn pups!
How do I groom a stubborn dog?
Grooming a dog that just plain doesn’t like it isn’t an easy feat. Instead of wasting time and money on tools trying to do it yourself, you’re better off going to a professional. If you do still want to do it at home, keep reading for tips on making that go a little easier too.
Seek professional help
If you have been trying to groom your dog yourself, you may want to give it a go with a professional groomer. Many dogs will behave differently for you than they will at the groomer (if you have kids you’re probably familiar with this act – they are completely different at school than they are at home!). Do a little bit of research online or ask friends from the dog park or pet store who they trust. If you have a finicky dog, you are probably better off looking for a specialty grooming service, as big-box pet stores such as Petco and PetSmart don’t always have groomers with a lot of experience.
Mimic the pros
If finances are a concern or there are other reasons you’d prefer not to go the route of a groomer, there are other options that exist. Our reader, for example, also shared that they recently moved to the area, and she is uncomfortable taking her dog to an unfamiliar groomer. I have found mimicking the set-up used by groomers has helped with my Golden Retriever who is a terrible bath-taker (and honestly, keeping 75 pounds of wet dog in the tub is quite a feat). What has worked for us is attaching her leash to her collar and, with very little play in the leash, tying most of it around the spigot of the tub. Her head movements are restricted and she is held in place so I can get her clean.
Create a soothing atmosphere
Creating a calming environment may help, too. Lavender is a scent that is known for its calming properties; try lighting a candle or melting essential oils. Let the fragrance fill the room for a few minutes while you softly talk to and pet your dog. Slowly pull out the brush or scissors and see how your dog reacts. If they are immediately on-guard, just leave the brush out for a few minutes, then try again. The goal is to desensitize your dog to the grooming implements, and this may take a few sessions of doing nothing but having the tools out so your dog can see them.
In extreme cases, give your vet a call. He or she may prescribe medication for anxiety that you can give before you groom. Don’t give your dog any over-the-counter medications without your vet’s advice – natural supplements may not seem like a big deal, but it’s important to confirm they are safe and the dosage is appropriate for your dog.
Give these grooming tips a try and hopefully, before long, your dog’s fur will be neat and tidy again, and you’ll be less anxious about grooming too!