When you’re a pet owner, grooming your dog is just one of those responsibilities that comes along as part of the deal. We know it can be hard to find time to brush and bathe your pet — that’s what keeps us employed as professional groomers. But if your pet is so aggressive that you don’t want to groom him – because he snaps, growls, or bites – then some extra work is going to be needed.
Whether you have your dog groomed by professionals or handle the grooming yourself, it’s best to start that process when they are puppies. Activities introduced during puppyhood just become part of “the way things are.” With a little kindness and a gentle touch, your pup will grow accustomed to brushing, washing, drying, clipping and nail trimming and be much less likely to develop aggression associated with grooming activities in the future. Here is an introduction to dog grooming that will get you off to a great start.
However, if you’ve adopted an adult or senior pet (which is a wonderful thing to do), you may find yourself dealing with behavior issues associated with trauma from your dog’s previous life. Many dogs become afraid or even aggressive when someone tries to groom them, particularly if they’ve had bad experiences with grooming, or simply been mistreated by humans in their past. However, that doesn’t mean that you can just forget the whole grooming thing. On the contrary, it means you need to work at it more, so that your dog becomes less fearful, more relaxed and eventually can even enjoy the grooming experience.
If your dog is in desperate need of grooming, you won’t have time to do the ongoing work needed over time to gradually ease their fear. The best thing you can do in an urgent circumstance is to have the grooming done either by a mobile groomer or by a vet. Dogs that are so fearful (or in so much pain) that they have become aggressive enough to be a danger to themselves or others are best seen by a vet for sedation during grooming. But the good news is that, if there are no medical conditions causing pain, and you get help from a professional dog trainer and/or groomer who’s willing to work with you on reintroducing a fearful dog to grooming, you can often gradually calm your pet’s fears and eliminate the need for sedation when grooming. And that’s a success for everyone: you, your pet, and the groomer as well!
With a mobile groomer your pet will experience significantly less stress (and therefore is likely to behave much better) than when taken into a traditional groom shop. A mobile groomer works on one dog at a time, so your pet will be the only one in the room, and that’s a big relief, compared to being left in a room full of strangers! Less stress generally translates to better behavior, so a mobile groomer can often get a groom done relatively easily on a “difficult” dog that has been banned from local groom shops.
At Awesome Doggies mobile grooming, we care for a lot of rescued pets. Fortunately, for most pets that have trauma in their past, the extra attention and peacefulness of one-on-one service of a mobile salon is all they need to feel better about the grooming process. So if your pet has been banned from the local groom shop due to bad behavior, the next logical thing to try is a mobile grooming service. Decreasing the stress on your pet generally results in better behavior. It’s often as simple as that!
If your breed of pet doesn’t have a coat that requires a lot of upkeep, your duties in this area of pet care are relatively light. But if your new furry beloved is a high-maintenance kind of girl (or guy) and fear and/or aggression are an issue, you are likely going to need some kind of professional help over a period of time to work through the situation. Groomers, trainers and vets will help you with the challenge – and you and your pet will be much happier in the end!