Teaching a dog to be groomed is not always an easy prospect and grooming can be a pleasure or a nightmare for the dog and its owner. It is much better to start off with a young puppy so it gets used to being groomed. Unfortunately, older dogs from shelters that are placed in adoptive homes are often not used to being groomed.
Many owners employ a groomer as they cannot control the dog.
A dog with a long or a double coat must be groomed regularly. A matted coat can block air from getting to the skin, causing hot spots. Furthermore, regular grooming stimulates the skin and keeps the dog healthier. A dog that is not groomed is unpleasant to be around-- it stinks or sheds off hair onto the furniture or clothes. This is one of the reasons dogs are banished outside the home!
Training a dog to be groomed becomes easy when the decision is made up to do it and the right equipment is available. Getting the equipment is not as expensive as taking the dog to a groomer.
The average pet owner needs the following basic equipment, which will be paid for only after two sessions at a professional groomer:
A pair of clippers is indispensable for a dog with a long coat - $80.00. A comb, with both wide spaced and close spaced teeth - $7.00 An undercoat rake - $5.00. A pin brush - $12.00. A slicker brush - $5.00. Nail clippers - $12.00
A grooming mitten or a slicker brush will suffice for dogs with short coats. Once the equipment is purchased, training on how to control the dog for grooming is necessary. Both long and short coated dogs should be trained to lie or sit quietly during the grooming process, how to roll over, expose their bellies and allow their feet and ears to be cleaned.
Put the dog into a down position and tell it to 'lie still', then simply start to brush the dog gently. Do not yank out big mats. Brush on the back and shoulders as these are the areas the dog enjoys being brushed. Gradually work into more tender places. Physically place the dog into the positions required, but be gentle, firm and speak to it. In touchy spots persuade the dog with a treat to distract it when brushing. The clippers come handy in areas where mats build up and the skin is tender. Clip out the mats between the hind legs and behind the ears-this works better than yanking out mats with a comb.
Grooming sessions should be short and gradually build up to longer sessions. Grooming several times a week, will get the dog used to being handled and combed. The objective is to have a dog that will love to lie down and get a nice grooming. Also, it is a great time to bond with the dog so the owner must make time for it.