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5 Dog Training Tips of Grooming For Beginners

This article is on the topic of teaching your dog to be comfortable with grooming, handling and nail trimming. Now, most likely you’re reading this because you’ve already noticed that your dog has a dislike or perhaps even a fear of being groomed, handled or having his nails trimmed. Don’t beat yourself up too much as this is a very common problem with dogs. In this article, I’m going to give you 5 tips for changing your dog’s emotional response to being handled and groomed.

5 Dog Training Tips of Grooming For Beginners
Dog Grooming
  1. The first tip is called Changing the picture: Now if your dog is already having a negative emotional response to being groomed or handled, it’s really hard to kind of undo the experiences of the past. It’s much easier to build a new picture a new grooming or handling or nail trimming routine from scratch than trying to undo negative emotions. So what I like to do is begin in such a small way that the dog doesn’t even know that the training and the conditioning is about the same behavior of being groomed handled or having his nails trimmed one way you can do this is also switched the way that you groom your dog. So for example, if you were trimming your dog’s nails while he’s standing up, maybe the way that you’re going to be gradually training him to enjoy nail trimming is that he lays on his back and has his nails dremeled instead of being clipped. Another thing that you can do is change the environment that the grooming or handling is going to happen. So maybe you always groom your dog in the living room. But now you’re going to begin the training outside in a way that the dog doesn’t even know that you’re going to start training behaviors that are related to grooming or handling. It’s also a good idea to change the antecedents to grooming or handling. Or in other words change the picture of what predicts that you’re going to groom or handle your dog. So most likely, you keep your nail clippers or the brush in a drawer. You go to that drawer you take it out and the dog is already possibly leaving the room and saying no no, no, not that. Not that. There’s not that. So if you tried to start there, and you get out your treats and you’re going to try and change the picture, the dog is already remembering the past experiences and and might not even be interested in treats at that point. So you can move the location of the tools that you’re going to be using. Maybe you keep them in the cupboard, where you keep the dog treats and you keep them in a crinkly pocket. That sounds like the chip packet that you might feed your dog snacks from. So by changing the picture like that the dog isn’t going to have that negative response of running away from you first, and then you can bring the tools outside in the crinkly packet and begin training outside.
dog nail grooming tips
dog nail grooming


2.Tip number two, set your training up for success train and groom your dog when he’s the most comfortable and receptive to the training: Now it depends on your dog when this might be some dogs will do best when they’ve just had a walk and they’re relaxing where other dogs won’t want to be messed with after their walk. So you need to find out more about your dog as to when is the best time to groom and when are times to avoid I find very frequently when a dog is very warm. They have less pain and sensitivity when being groomed. For example here you can see a video of my little terrier tag. He can be very sensitive to having his feet touched if he’s cold. But if he’s nice and warm from the sun he finds it really easy to be handled and rude. So with him I always avoid grooming and training him when it’s super cold. And I’ll either have him lay in the sun and then groom his nails 20 minutes later or I use a heated dog bed or blankets make sure he’s warm before I do any grooming or nail trimming with him. So that might be a great tip for your dog. Or perhaps that will have no effect on your dog’s behavior, but it’s worth a try.


3. Tip number three, break the steps up into small approximations. The smaller you go the easier it’s going to be for the dog: So if the dog is doing really well, they will go through the steps fast and if your dog isn’t doing so well, you’ll be able to pick out what is what exactly is the dog having an issue with. So instead of just reaching and trying to clip your dog’s nail and seeing that the dog withdraws and finds it aversive, if you break the steps up small enough and you’re just reaching and touching the pot and your dog has an issue with just that. You can work on that separately before then adding all the things together that your dog might just be too much for your dog to find it a positive experience, or even want to work for food in order for you to do all that lumped together.


4. Tip number four train more frequently in short, fun sessions: Now most of us are only human and we see our dogs starting to have an issue so we start to work on it, but then we forget about it. And then time passes and then we realize that we need to work on it again. So I suggest creating a chart or creating a daily habit where you work on the behaviors to teach your dog to be comfortable with grooming and nail trimming every day. Rather than trying to do it every few days or once a week. But there’s it might just not add up enough to where your dog is going to change and start having a positive emotional response to it. So I really suggest that you put it in the time right now. If your dog is having an issue and work on the issue every day until you start to see your dog change. Otherwise the issue can just go on and on and on your dog can always have an aversion to being groomed or having his nails done. So one thing you can do is use breakfast and learn to work on handling and grooming exercises. Daily. Until you get to the point where you’re seeing your dog change his emotions and start to get comfortable with it. Otherwise, if time if there’s time between training, something that can happen is the dog can request to disliking or grooming and not enough conditioning has done done in between training to move on to the next step. So you’re always kind of rehearsing the first step every time you get to a treatment session where if you do more frequent training sessions, it’s easier to raise criteria in opinion. And I got into training a few years back, I was assisting another trainer. And it taught me the amazing concept that you don’t have to do all of a dog’s nails in one training session. And I just being a human, I Natalie and I cut my own nails I want to just feel robbed in my mouth.

When I was working with my own puppy and my clients dogs, just doing a tiny bit of one nail at a time can really turn it into a short fun and positive experience. Rather than going I’m just going to do one more just one more. And then the dog is starting to find that it’s not so fun anymore. So short, frequent, fun experiences and you don’t have to do all your dog’s nails at the same time. And you don’t have to get all your dog’s mats in their coat at the same time. Short and fun is really an extremely important concept when it comes to grooming and teaching your dog to find it a pleasant experience.

Dog Grooming
Dog Hair Grooming

5. Tip number five, train your dog behaviors that can help with and handling: There’s a lot of awesome free information out there and clever tips from other trainers specifically on training behaviors for grooming and animal husbandry. Two of my favorites are Ciaran Patel and Laura Minako  If your dog is in severe need of being groomed or having his nails trimmed because of discomfort and pain. Yet you think that the event will be traumatic for him. It’s a good idea to talk to your vet about the possibilities of sedating your dog for the procedures so you can then begin from scratch without having to have a traumatic event. Begin your relationship with your dog with grooming and nail trimming. It’s important to seek the help from a veterinary behaviorist or a professional dog trainer that doesn’t use any forms of physical or psychological intimidation to help you with this training. Thank you very much for reading the full article

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