The best time to start their first professional grooming introduction is after they have had all their puppy shots. This is typically around 16 weeks of age. The longer you wait, the harder it is to get them trained and to get over the fear of all the noises of clippers, dryers etc. The sooner you familiarize them with being groomed, the happier your puppy will be, and the cuter your puppy’s cut will look!
I will spend some time introducing myself and my tools to your puppy; letting them know they are safe and comfortable with me. I will then carefully introduce them to the grooming process: Puppy Bath, Drying, Ear Cleaning, Pad Shaving, Sanitary Area Trim, Nail trim, Haircut, etc.
It will take about 1.5 to 2 hours depending on how your pup adapts to the process. It is very much a training process during the first few sessions for puppies. We do what we can without forcing or traumatizing the puppy, and usually within that 2 hour or less timeframe, we are able to succeed in most, if not all, aspects of the grooming process. If there is a high-value treat your pup loves, it always helps tremendously if that is provided for me to use during their session. The higher value, the better.
You will then get a Pup Report emailed to you sharing your puppy’s experience during the session; likes, dislikes, and what we can do to help the process!
While it is important to frequent visits to me, it is even more important to conduct frequent short sessions at home leading up to your Puppy’s 1st Groom, and thereafter:
Daily At-Home Sessions: From the moment you get your puppy, show patience, LOTS of verbal praise, and treats…. the higher value the treat, the better.
Touch your new puppy’s feet and rub your fingers between it’s toes a couple times a day. This will make nail clipping easier. I promise, in the long run, your groomer, your vet, and your pup will love you for this. It is a natural instinct for dogs to pull their feet back when being touched. This is a great idea to start when very young. For many pups, the nail trimming aspect of grooming is their least favorite. This can ease that by taking the time to help condition them at home.
Show your puppy his brush & comb. Let them sniff and check it out. Do not let him play with it, as you do not want your puppy confusing the brush with a toy. That could make brush time more difficult. Brush it’s 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. If you stick to this repetitive and rewarding process, after the first week or so, you should be able to brush and comb successfully. This is crucial, as it not only makes grooming a smoother process, but also is a preventative to matted coats. Brush! Brush! Brush!
Play with your puppies ears, by touching them on the inside & outside. Not only will this help your pup get used to and enjoy ear cleaning, but they get a little message while doing so! Did you know that ears have so many nerves that rubbing them releases endorphins that make your dog feel great?!
The tail/bum area is also an area dogs may be funny about. Pet around the tail/bum area to desensitize that area to being touched and handled, so it is easier for your groomer to focus on that area during groom sessions.
Again, throughout all of these, reward and praise!
If introduced correctly and consistently, your pet will associate this experience with pleasure, and will look forward to this special time between you and him/her. As a result, they will enjoy their time with me and our grooming experience together as well 🙂