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Training your Dog for Grooming

Training Dog for GroomingEven though every dog should be groomed, not every dog is ready to be groomed. A lot of preparation goes into getting your dog ready even to learn to be groomed.

Not every dog is going to like being groomed. You will discover some things your dog will like in the process and other things she will hate. But because grooming is so important to your dog's well-being, training your dog for grooming can take remove the hassle for you both.

What is Involved in Training for Grooming?

There are four primary areas to grooming any breed of dog: teeth, ears, coat, and nails. Some breeds and individual dogs have specialized requirements, perhaps due to health or physical concerns. Paying attention to these four basic areas, however, will enable you and your dog to live a happier life together.

You might be tempted to teach your dog to tolerate all of these grooming areas at once. Some dogs are extremely adaptable and do precisely what their owners tell them to do. Some, however, may be fearful of or sensitive to one aspect of grooming or another. You must be careful to move slowly and teach one element of grooming at a time.

What do I need to Start Training?

For most dogs you will need a dog-specific toothbrush and toothpaste, a soft brush, cotton balls, and a good set of nail clippers. Long-coated dogs will require a steel comb and a slicker brush. But the things you need in the largest quantity are patience and rewards. Before you start to train your dog for grooming, she should be trained to sit and to stay reasonably well.

Training for Teeth

Some dogs have a hard time having their mouths handled. They might clamp their dogs shut and refuse to open them or open their mouths wide and shake their heads from side to side trying to avoid whatever foreign object is trying to get in. But it doesn't have to be like that.

Most dogs like to have a human pet them. Put your hand down into your dog's general vicinity and she will probably nuzzle it begging for attention. That kind of nuzzling behavior puts handling on your dog;s schedule, not on your schedule. If your dog submits to petting but not to having her mouth touch, try handling her face as part of play or pet time. For every action she allows give effusive praise or a treat, immediately reinforcing the good behavior. Start by touching your dog's muzzle. If your dog doesn't object, then try to lift her lip just a little. Even a slightly raised lip is enough to start familiarizing her with the toothbrush. Let your dog sniff it or lick it. Touch the toothbrush to her nose and then to her mouth, praising as you go. If your dog does not resist, raise one of her lips and try to brush her teeth with a dry brush. Praise and reward as you go and gradually your dog will allow you to brush all of her teeth.

Training for Ears

If your dog is used to having you play with her head while you pet her, she should not resist your touching her ears. If she does, use the same gradual process of touching her head, gradually working your way into touching her ear and lifting her ear flap.

Training for Coat

When brushing your dog's teeth or cleaning your dog's ears, it is best that she is in a sitting position. For brushing, however, it is best if your dog remains in a standing position or is lying down.

Your dog can be able to be taught to stand or lie down for grooming by using a brush when both of you are relaxed, such as when you are watching television together. Begin training using a soft brush to groom your dog's head, where she can see you. Gradually move toward her rear, gently removing tangles as you go. If your dog seems uncomfortable, don't proceed any farther; stay for a time in her comfort zone. It may take a few days to reach her rear in this way, but patience, praise, and rewards will make grooming a pleasant experience for both of you.

Training for Feet

Whether you groom your dog while she is standing up or lying down, she will need her feet touched. Periodically pick them up or separate her toes. Lightly press down on your dog's toes to extend the nails. Familiarize your dog with whatever style toenail clippers you will be using by letting her sniff them, as you did the toothbrush.

Take Your Time!

It can not be over-emphasized: go slowly, take your time. You are teaching your dog to relax and training her for grooming. Stop often and praise and reward her a lot and soon she will be ready.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you are a business owner get listed at Best Dog Care Site, part of Localwin Network.
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