Tips and Tricks for Shaving a Finicky Dog

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It's that time again, time to attempt to shave your dog for the summer months or just to get some of those mats out that have been accumulating since the last time you did this dreaded chore. Shaving a finicky dog is no fun. Some dogs run and hide at the mere sight of the shaver, never mind if you turn it on! What can you do if your dog fits this description? Follow these tips and there will be no reason to put off this task when it's time to do it for your pal.

Ask Your Veterinarian

  • If your dog is extremely apprehensive about the grooming process and the presence of the grooming tools, talk to your veterinarian. Many doctors will prescribe a sedative for your dog to use while you groom him. According to JJ's Dog Grooming Experts, in many cases, your veterinarian will send you and your dog home with Acepromazine. This is an oral sedative which cannot be used on dogs that have suffered seizures in the past. Otherwise, the sedative is not harmful to your dog and could save you hours of struggle while trying to get your pup to sit still. The sedative will relax your dog and in some cases put him to sleep for the whole time. That way you will be able to do a better job with the shaving, without worrying about your dog being anxious or scared while working on him.

Use a Muzzle and Harness

  • Using a loose muzzle on your dog, during the grooming process, will alleviate the fear of your dog becoming so frightened that he might lash out and bite you. It will also keep him from barking and/or biting in a humane way. Another helpful tool is a harness, which all professional dog groomers use. A harness will hold your dog in a convenient and comfortable position, so he cannot move around too much and make it difficult for you to reach all of the areas you need to.

Set Your Dog at Ease

  • Before having a long, full session of shaving and grooming your dog, the Dog Obedience Training Review website suggests that you plan several shorter sessions with your dog, getting him used to the presence of the grooming tools. Spend five or so minutes with him, just with the shears in plain sight. Play with him and praise him, with the clippers in view but not in use. Next time, try rubbing the clippers along his body with just the smooth side and praise him for accepting them without a fuss. Each session should go a little bit longer, getting the dog more familiar with the tool each time. Finally, you should be able to turn on the clippers without your dog going into panic mode. Once he is comfortable with the clippers' presence and sound, and realizes there is no pain associated with them, your dog should not be frightened at the sight or sound of the shears.

Groom More Often

  • If you can put both yourself and your dog at ease with this much needed routine, it will not be such a dreaded task in the future. If your dog is used to being around the grooming tools without experiencing any discomfort or fear, he is not likely to associate the sight or sound of the clippers with an unsettling feeling the next time. That benefit can be two-fold. One, your dog will not panic when it comes time for his grooming session. As a result, you will not dread the task as much and can groom your dog more frequently in less time. After a while, each session will become more of a touch up, than a long, drawn-out, two-hour ordeal, which will be much better for both yourself and your dog. As a matter of fact, grooming can be a great bonding activity. He will learn to trust you, and the physical contact and undivided attention you give him will be a reward in itself. The dog might even start looking forward to the grooming sessions instead of dreading them.

References

  • Photo Credit wild eyed shitzu dog image by Jeff Dalton from Fotolia.com
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