No matter what age your dog is, you can get him used to being
groomed. The earlier the better. Even short haired dogs need to
be kept looking and feeling their best. Grooming includes
brushing, hair cutting, nail trimming, ear cleaning and teeth
brushing. If your dog is uncomfortable with any of this being done
to him, you need to do it more often. A few times per week, (or
more for long haired dogs), bring out the brush and treats. Take 5
minutes and brush him while giving him treats (have someone
help you if needed). If he is not used to being brushed or handled
at all, only try for a few seconds at first and work up the time slowly.
A common problem is that people only brush the top of a long
haired coat. Make sure you have the right tool for the job. This may
be a metal rake for thick, double coated dogs. This category
includes breeds such as German Shepard Dogs, Golden
Retrievers, Shetland Sheepdogs and northern breeds. A metal
comb is good for long haired dogs like Shiht zus, Yorkshire terriers,
and Schnauzers. Brush or comb down to the skin, of course be
careful not to scratch or cut the dog.
Many dogs need regular haircuts as well. Make sure you know how
often to get your dog groomed to keep him healthy. Severe matting
can break the hair and worse, be uncomfortable for your dog. In this
case it is best to get your dog shaved close and start over with your
brushing regimen. It is painful to brush out mats and knots all the
time. Go to a professional groomer. They can tell you how often is
appropriate for your dog. Some will take the time to teach you
certain tricks for the in-between time.
Unless your dog walks often on concrete of another hard surface,
their nails grow unchecked. Dogs' toenails grow fast like ours, but
unlike ours, there is a vein called the 'quick' that grows with the nail.
If the nails are not cut often enough, the quick continues to grow. If
this happens, you can never get a dog's nails, "short enough". To
fix this problem, the dog must have his/her nails trimmed very often
to make the quick recede or take a trip to the vet where they put
them to sleep to cauterize the nail.
So how often is often enough?
Best case scenario is once a week. This is advantageous twofold.
One it will keep your dog's nails nice and short and two, your dog
will get used to being handled. At the very least, you should get
Fido's nails trimmed once a month. Being vigilant about your dog's
toes not only makes them look nice, it prevents painful splaying of
the toes and other injuries.
So how should you teach you dog to accept having his/her nails
1. Take some really good treats (chicken or hot dogs are good cut
into pea-sized pieces), and start feeding your dog.
2. Pick up a foot and squeeze the nail. Put the foot down and stop
3 Do the same with each foot and end the session
4. At the next session, start feeding and touch each nail with the
clippers. End the session.
5. At the next session start feeding and trim the nails on one foot.
End the session.
6. At the next session, feed and do another foot.
Continue on in this fashion. Don't go too fast for your dog and don't
Ask your groomer to teach you if you need to.