Preparing Your Puppy for Grooming

If you’ve just brought home a new puppy and you believe that you’ll be needing to have him professionally groomed as he grows, the sooner you introduce him to this process the better.  Once they’ve completed their vaccinations, usually around twelve weeks, is a perfect time.

As soon as you bring him home you can begin this.  Gently brush his coat when you can and play with his feet and ears.  Get him used to being touched all over.  This may seem obvious but taking a little extra time to do this will go a long way in helping him stay relaxed when the big day comes. 

Touch your new puppy’s feet and rub your fingers between its toes several times a day. This will make nail clipping easier. I promise, your groomer and your vet, will love you for this. It is a natural instinct for dogs to pull their feet back when being touched. This is a great way to get them used to it when very young. Most pets are fine with being groomed and only stress out during the nail trimming process. This can be avoided by taking the time to help train them to enjoy it. 

Miniature golden labradoodle


Show your puppy his brush & comb. Let them sniff and play with it for a few seconds. Brush their coat a few times, then reward your puppy with a small treat and verbal praise. Do the same with the comb. Each day increase the number of brush and comb strokes. After the first week, you should be able to do the brushing AND combing in a short period of time. 

Play with your puppy’s ears, by touching them on the inside & outside. Afterward, reward them with lots of praise and a small treat. This is important because it will make it easier when groomers need to remove the hair from their ears. 

A pups first trip to the groomer can be compared to a kid’s first visit to the dentist.  If they have a good experience it will never be a big deal to go and many dogs’s even look forward to it (my dog, Bailey, LOVES to go see his groomer, Keeley).  But, if he has a bad experience it could set the stage for all future trips being stressful for all involved…the pup, you, & the poor groomer!

by Joey Buchan

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