Behavior Tip of the Month
My dog went to the groomer to have hair shaved. Now he tries to bite the scissors out of our hand when we try to cut his hair or groom him. What can we do so that we can still groom him?
Grooming can be traumatic for our pets. It is important to make the experience as enjoyable a possible. Try to pick a groomer who is kind, gentle, and sensitive to your animal.
Because your dog may have been frightened, you'll need to do some grooming repair work. Your goal is to make your pet love being groomed.
1. Pick a room of the house that your dog does not associate with scary or painful events.
2. Take him to the room periodically and play, feed treats, pet him and give him massages.
3. Leave grooming tools on the floor with super delicious treats on them. Try small pieces of chicken or liver. Do this periodically for a few weeks with various grooming tools.
4. When your pet is not afraid to approach the tools, pick one up. Briefly touch your dog with it while feeding him a treat. Then immediately put the tool down. Praise your pet. Do this periodically for about 2 weeks.
5. When your dog doesn't mind your touching him with a grooming tool, begin using it for a few seconds. Accompany this with praise and a treat. Every day, see if you can continue for a few more seconds. Always use praise and treats until you feel he begins to like being groomed. Go slowly.
Hint: When I have a pet who needs a lot of grooming, I use his meals. I hand feed him breakfast or dinner while I'm grooming him. It's easy and my dogs never mind being groomed. Food doesn't need to be fed only from a bowl. I believe in using meals to prevent and/or treat behavior problems.
Carole Schatz, the Pet Counselor
Best Friend Behavior Counseling and Training
San Diego, Ca.
"Positively teaching pets and their people since 1977"
Do you have a question for Carole? You can reach her at this email address - firstname.lastname@example.org Perhaps she will use it in an upcoming article on this Web site.
The information contained on this site is in no way intended to replace that of proper veterinary advice, diagnosis or treatment.
It is meant to provide resource, so that we can better understand canine health related issues.