Dog Grooming for Difficult Dogs
Dog Grooming for Difficult Dogs
It is always a cumbersome experience to groom an aggressive & difficult dog. Whether you are a pet parent or a groomer, you’ll always find yourself in such a difficult situation. However, it is possible to groom a difficult dog by taking some measures without harming him.
All dogs do not possess the same personality and temperaments. If dogs experience regular grooming sessions at a young age, they will be accustomed to it in the future. But what if you adopt an older dog who doesn’t like to be groomed at all?
Grooming an aggressive dog is not a smooth experience for him or the groomer. If you’re someone who is facing this issue, you’re not alone. Keep reading below to get a thorough insight on how to groom a difficult dog and get used to it.
Why Grooming is Unpleasant for Some Dogs?
A grooming session is always a stressful experience for some dogs. This is very common among the injured and rescued dogs. These dogs exhibit certain aggressive behaviors because of the negative experiences they had in the past.
It is very important to do grooming playfully and interactively. If the handler or groomer handles the dog harshly, it will make the dog traumatized and frightened. Such negative impacts are also created by the tools such as misuse of brushes and clippers.
Sickness always creates stress in dogs and cats, thus they are unable to comply during grooming. The dog, because of the underlying diseases, possesses irritated behavior and sees grooming as an unpleasant way of treating him.
Additionally, some dogs are not accustomed to grooming from a young age. Stray and homeless dogs are a prime example of this behavior. These dogs are alert but sensitive to noises of tools and can be scared easily during grooming sessions.
Apart from the acquired anti-grooming behaviors, some dogs have generally fearful personalities. These dogs don’t like being handled or groomed and can easily attack the groomer or the owner.
How to Know If My Dog is Scared of Grooming?
If a dog doesn’t like grooming, he will show some general signs of aggression when he is scared. Mostly dogs show aggression as a warning sign for the groomer to stop proceeding further. Some important signs a difficult-to-groom dog possesses include:
- Growling & snarling with baring teeth.
- Unable to obey the orders of the owner or the groomer altogether.
- Barking and trying to bite the groomer on approaching.
- Applying unnecessary force on the leash or grooming harness.
- Making swift bites after snarling leaving bruises and bite marks on the groomer’s hands.
- Aggressive head shaking and continuous biting.
A difficult-to-groom dog may show one or two of the above-mentioned signs or all of them in combination. In these circumstances, it is advised for the dog groomer to take necessary measures and console the dog before going again for grooming.
How to Do Grooming of Difficult Dogs?
The answer to doing grooming a difficult has two perspectives. You must always remember to take notes on the age of the dog and whether it is trained for grooming from a young age. The other one is to choose alternate ways to groom an aggressive adult dog.
Develop Grooming Habits in Young Dogs
One of the best ways to inculcate grooming habits in a dog is to do routine grooming at a very young age. Frequent groomer visits will eliminate the anxiety in young dogs and make them acclimatize to grooming sessions.
You can do this at your home but make sure to reward the dog afterwards. Young dogs, just like humans, don’t have bad experiences and it is easier to train them for grooming. Introducing puppies to the grooming tools and groomers helps them to interact socially and make grooming pleasant for them.
Make the Grooming Process Slow & Rewarding
Too frequent visits and long grooming sessions put stress on the dog’s mental state. You must always proceed step by step and use each grooming procedure separately. It is best to make the grooming process short so your dog can enjoy being handled gently and let you groom him.
Treats help a lot in learning and training during the grooming process. Reward your dog whenever he reacts normally to the sound of grooming tools. It is recommended to make the grooming area peaceful and introduce yourself to the dog by cuddling before doing the grooming.
Desensitization & Counter-Conditioning
Desensitization involves behavioral modification of the dog and eliminating the grooming anxiety. In this, you need to introduce every grooming process gradually and let the dog used to it. It will make a fearful and anxious dog peaceful and calm so he can let you groom himself.
Counter-conditioning is often used in combination with desensitization. If your dog doesn’t like the sound of grooming clippers, use counter-conditioning to make him used to the clippers. You can use treats in this process but it takes some time to see the visible results.
Restraining & Sedation Aids for Grooming
If, by chance, your dog is unable to comply with the behavioral modification & has an aggressive personality, restraining may help. You can use dog grooming harnesses and hammocks for this purpose. In case of biting dogs, a muzzle can minimize the injury and ensure the safety of the dog and the groomer.
However, if the dog is unable to be restrained or there is a risk of injury, sedation by drugs can make him calm. Sedation not only helps in safe grooming but also lowers anxiety in dogs. I will never recommend you search online for choosing a sedative drug.
Always consult your veterinarian first because sedatives do possess side effects on dogs with underlying health conditions. Such drugs are strictly dosed according to the body weight and the dog must stay in continuous monitoring during the sedation by a vet.
You also have the option to choose alternative remedies to sedative drugs. These include naturally formulated oils and edible treats. Such pet relief regimens have a calming effect on the dogs and these don’t have any serious side effects on the dog’s health.