Preparing your puppy for grooming can help make the experience less stressful for both you, your groomer and your new puppy. Here are some tips on how to set your puppy up for their first grooming sessions.
1 – Get your puppy used to being touched
Start by handling your puppy all over their body regularly, concentrating on holding their face, inside ears and paws and holding their legs. This will help them feel more comfortable with being touched and handled during grooming.
2 – Introduce grooming tools from day one
Tools such as brushes, combs, and clippers (or an electric toothbrush) for the feel, not actually clipping. Let your puppy sniff and investigate each tool, have clippers, turned on, next to them and on the table next to them.
3 – Put them up high
Set them up on a table, washing machine, kitchen bench etc. Put a non-slip mat under them to give them a sense of security and for safety. This will give them table training manners and confidence when placed on groomers tables. It also differentiates play time and serious time. Grooming them on the floor, couch and bed, doesn’t show them difference between being calm and focused and free to play and do their own thing.
4 – Distract and redirect
It’s important to keep sessions ‘short and sweet’, do not push your puppy to the point of distress or put them in harm of hurting themselves or you. Guide and reassure them through times.
5 – Start with short grooming sessions
From the first day you get your puppy. 5 minutes daily when starting out is great to get them familiar and keep it positive and them interested. Consistent and positive is what you want to aim for.
6 – Treats and Licki mats
These are a great way to reward and distract your puppy when teaching them. A licki mat with peanut butter, yoghurt or mince will keep them focused and distracted, as well as rewarding them and associating positivity
Your puppy needs to be calm, comfortable and co-operative.
Remember, grooming should be a positive and enjoyable experience for your puppy. If you have concerns speak to your groomer and organise puppy grooming sessions and some hands-on demonstration.