Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Prepare your Puppy for a Lifetime of Grooming

To prepare your puppy for a lifetime of grooming, you must first get your puppy used to being handled.

Playing and handling your puppy are two different things.
Playing is a fun thing for your puppy to do.
Handling your puppy is a necessary thing for you puppy.

There will come times in your puppies life when he/she has to have things done to him/her that they may not want done.

Shots at the Veterinarian.
A bath.
A hair cut.
Being brushed.
Being medicated are just a few.

The sooner you get your puppy used to being handled, the happier your puppy will be.

No matter whether your puppy is a short hair breed or a long hair breed, you should start getting your puppy used to being handled  as soon as you bring him/her home.

Pick up and hold your puppy often:

Even if your dog is going to grow fairly large, pick him/her up as often as you can, as long as you can.

This helps your pet get used to being picked up and held, so that when he/she has to be picked up by a Veterinarian or a Professional Groomer, they will be more accepting of it and won't fight.

This will also help you, the owner, whenever you need to lift your pet into a car or onto the Vets table.

Touch and Rub your Puppies Paws :

Your dogs nails will have to be clipping many times during it's lifetime.

Some dogs nails have to be clipped more often than others.

Some dogs don't mine nail clipping at all.

For other dogs it can be traumatic for them no matter how well you prepare them.

Help your puppy feel more comfortable about having their paws worked with.

While holding your puppy, gently take their paw in our hand.

Do not hold the paw tightly.

If your puppy pulls the paw out of your hand, that is okay, just gently hold the paw again until they stop yanking it away.
Reassure them in a gentle voice, that everything is okay, while your holding their paw.

It will eventually click in their little head, that it does not hurt to have someone touch their paws. 

Do this with all four of his/her paws.

Once your puppy is used to having his/her paws held, start to gently massage the paw and between the toes.

 Spread the toes gently with your fingers.  

Gently rub all around the toes and pads.

By massaging the pads and toes, you are preparing your puppy for years of having their nails clipped and their paws scissored if they are a long haired breed.

Remember, this may take some time with some puppies, but don't give up.

Do not stop if your puppy fights you when you try to rub his/her paws.
They will quickly learn that fighting or nibbling gets you to stop what you are doing.

Remember not to hold the paw and toes tightly. 

When I groom a dog, I do not hold their paws tightly.
If they yank their paw out of my hand, I just keep picking the paw back up until the dog gives up and let me do what I need to do.
The dogs will eventually realize that you are not hurting them.

If your puppy fights to get away, keep gently massaging the paw while telling them that everything okay.
As soon as they stop fighting, if only for a few seconds, praise them and let go of the paw.

Try again later.
You must keep calm and praise your puppy often.
Keep trying until your puppy stays calm while you massage his/her paws.

Your Groomer or your Vet will have to hold the paw and each individual toe in order to clip the nails.

Getting your puppy used to having their paws worked with will help make grooming and clipping the paws more comfortable for your pet.

 Pick up and Rub your Puppies Ears:

Over your puppies lifetime there will be times that his/her ears will have to be worked with.

If your puppy is a long hair breed, their ears will have to be brushed and combed, the hair on the ears may have to be clipped, and they may also have to have the hair inside the ears plucked out.

If your puppy is a short hair breed, their ears will occasionally need to be cleaned out with an ear cleaner.

Most important of all, whether your puppy is a long or short hair breed, there will be times that you may have to medicate your dogs ears do to ear infections.

 Most dogs love to have their ears rubbed.

Start by rubbing your puppies ears.

Rub them from the outside.

Hold the ear in your hand and use your fingers to gently rub all over the ear.

Pick up and hold the ear leather up for a 30 seconds or so.

Fold the ear back.

This lets the puppy get used to feeling air in the ear canal.

If you have a breed of puppy who's ears already stand up, gently fold the ear leather back to the puppies head.

This will help when you have to fold the ears back to clean them or put ear medicine in the ears.

Also take the knuckle of one of your fingers and very gently massage the inside of the ear.

You want to do this with a very soft pressure.

This will help your puppy get used to having someone work with the inside of their ears.

 I have groomed many dogs over the years that freak out the second I touch their ears to do anything to them.
I have to spend time teaching them that touching and holding their ears is okay.

Your pets grooming will be much more pleasant if they have learned, at an early age, to except having their ears held and touched.  

It will help your pet a great deal, if you as an owner, handles your pet regularly over their lifetime, not just when they are a puppy.

A Note From Your Friendly Groomer, MFF

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