Introducing Your Puppy to grooming is one of the most important aspects to raising your dog. Grooming is something they will have to deal with their entire life and because this is a learnt behaviour, setting them up for success at a young age is very important.
The earlier you can introduce your dog to grooming the better, younger dogs are more open to new experiences. By the time most people bring their puppy in for their first groom they usually require a haircut. This can be a long a tiring process for your pup and can be over whelming being introduced to different types of equipment and process at the one time.
So what should your dog’s first experience be?
Starting at home. Getting puppy use to being handled in a positive way will help in all aspects of life. whether that is for vet visits, grooming or being able to check your dog when needed. If you are finding this a challenge, speak a dog trainer or ask your groomer for techniques that can work at home.
Puppy’s first booking should only involve a bath and tidy up, This stage alone introduces a lot of new experiences to your dog which sometimes can be scary and take a while to get used to. Your dog can get used to all the sounds, sights and smells of a grooming salon and get a positive experience (I often give a treat and lots of pats and play at this stage). Here equipment that will be used on your dog later down the track is turned on or introduced slowly. We only move at the pace your dog is comfortable with. This may mean that multiple sessions close together may be necessary to build confidents. After the first visit your groomer will know enough to set a plan of action for your pup. This can mean visits every two weeks for shy or pups that need more time or moving straight to a full groom for pups that are more confident.
First full clip. If all steps are taken above, by the time your pup gets to this stage they should feel very comfortable with the process and find it easier to deal with. Doing things that puppy loves straight after the grooming process will also make the experience positive, so a long walk or a good play will help extend a positive outcome.
Remember that dogs go through to periods where they can become unsure about new and old experiences. Regular positive grooming will ensure dogs will be successful for life long grooming.
While brining your dog in as early as possible is important, making sure your pup is protected is also crucial in keeping your pet safe. While it’s good to have all three vaccinations done, puppy should be ok after two weeks from their second vaccination ( consult your vet for more advice). If your puppy visits a grooming salon without having his vaccinations, it puts him at risk for all of the potential infections.
It’s still important for you to do some regular grooming by yourself at home, primarily brushing. Not only is brushing your puppy's coat a good way for you to bond with him, it can help set the stage for his later grooming appointments. Speak to your groomer on proper techniques and equipment thats right for you and your pup
Bianca is the owner and groomer at Funky Fur dog grooming and always looking for ways to help you care for your pet.