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Best ways to make grooming a pleasant experience

Best ways to make groomingBe Prepared: Preparation is not just for Boy Scouts. Neither you nor your dog will be able to relax and enjoy your time together if you are constantly getting up and down looking for one thing or another. Keep all of your grooming equipment in one place between uses, so that they are always on hand and so that you and your dog can focus on grooming.

Being prepared can also make grooming more pleasant for you, too. If you already know where everything is and can focus on the task of grooming, it can seem like less of a dreaded chore for you.

Playtime: Pet dog grooming does not always need to be as serious as grooming your dog for show. Playtime and grooming can easily be combined for many dogs. Puppies, especially, will like bath time more if a squeaky toy is part of the equation. Take a moment or two to reinforce good behavior by allowing your dog to play with a favorite toy at some point during the process or by tossing a favorite ball between grooming steps. Playtime should always be used as a reward, not a bribe.

Treats: If your dog is like many dogs, he will do most things when offered a treat. Puppies, especially, can more easily make connections when food treats are offered as reinforcement. Food is what is known as a "primary reinforcer", something that is pleasing on its own because of its own nature. Primary reinforcers differ from those things that are pleasing because of an associated factor, called secondary reinforcers. Because of this intrinsic pleasing effect, primary reinforcers can easily be used to make grooming more pleasant.

For puppies and dogs just being trained, treats should be offered frequently. In addition to using treats as a reward, it is also possible to use treats to induce a desired behavior from your dog. When, over time, the pleasant association of the treat and the behavior becomes fixed, resulting in fewer treats being offered. After training has been accomplished, treats can be used to reinforce good behavior.

Take Your Time: You should never try to rush your way through the grooming process. Your dog needs to be able to relax while being groomed, especially during the more difficult tasks that he might be asked to endure. Grooming consists of frequent, repetitive motions. You and your dog can either relax during these repetitive motions, or you can try to hurry through them. Rushing, however, may cause you to pull your dog's hair when brushing, or more cause you to quick your dog more frequently when cutting nails. Take your time and relax. Your dog will enjoy grooming more than if you rush through it and so will you.

Be Gentle: It should go without saying, but you should be gentle when grooming your dog. Harshly correcting your for any real or perceived poor behavior during grooming will find you chasing your dog down to be groomed, rather than having her greet you enthusiastically when you approach her carrying grooming tools. Several areas are particularly sensitive, just as they are in human beings. The areas behind her ears, in her armpits, and in her groin are all particularly sensitive if the hair there is pulled.

Work Within Your Ability: Unless you really are a professional groomer, you should not expect to work on the level of a professional groomer. Your Standard Poodle's trim will not look the same as that of the Poodle in the televised dog show, if you are the one doing the trimming. There is no fault in admitting that a particular hairdo is beyond your skills and relying on a professional to create that look, if that is what you desire. Working beyond your ability can create frustration and stress for both you and your dog.

Introduce Grooming while Young: Grooming should be introduced early in your dog's life. Even if all you do when your dog is a pup is brush her coat when it is necessary and cut her nails when you hear them clicking on the floor when she walks, you are creating a foundation for more advanced grooming later. However, the more grooming tasks that you introduce when your dog is a puppy, the more she will be able to relax and enjoy grooming process.

Introduce Unfamiliar Items Gradually: Unfamiliar things are scary things, especially to a very young dog. Introduce these scary things gradually, perhaps by placing the new grooming tool in the environment when you are working with familiar tools and moving them closer to your dog during subsequent grooming sessions. Gradually introducing these unfamiliar tools will prevent her from becoming alarmed by them and may prevent her from associating her alarm over a new grooming task with the now-familiar tool being used to perform it.

There is no reason why grooming your dog needs to be a chore. Take a few minutes to prepare, to relax, to take your time, and to reward your dog with play or treats and the grooming process will be more enjoyable for both you and your dog.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you are a business owner get listed at Best Dog Care Site, part of Localwin Network.

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