Dogs just wanna have fun !!
Dogs just wanna have fun !!

Your New Puppy & The Grooming Salon

If you have chosen a breed of dog that requires a trip to a professional grooming

salon condition or if you will have to wash and brush your dog on a regular basis

to keep its coat good condition, you should take some step to ensure that your dog

does not develop a phobia about being handled.


I have encountered many older dogs who become very aggressive when brushed,

bathed or simply just dried after a walk. One dog, I discovered, had had what I

would call a panic attack the very first time he went to a grooming salon as a

puppy. The issue was never resolved and now this dog requires muzzling in order

to be handled. Even the act of putting on the muzzle makes him immediately anxious.

This is not a healthy situation for the dog or the owner.

Sedating or any other form of tranquilising a dog prior to going to be groomed is not a

solution.It is impossible to read the dog’s body language and reactions correctly and

potentially makes matters worse. Most groomers will not take a sedated dog for this reason

and they are quite right. Many groomers don't handle behaviour problems very well. It is not

their job. It is the owners job to ensure that their dog can be handled. If cannot handle the

dog themsleves, why do they expect others to do so ? Many people in general don't handle

behaviour problems well. 


Let us not set up our dogs and ourselves to fail when training your dog to accept proper

handling is really very easy. The best way to ensure that your dog is comfortable with

handling is to do it from day one, as soon as your new dog arrives.


  1. 1.    Brush, comb and towel dry your dog even if it does not need it to

get them used to the feeling. Make sure you choose the right

equipment for your dog’s coat type or you may end up being

too harsh.

2.   Teach your dog to handle being restrained on its lead by tying it

up close to you while you sit and watch TV and the dog plays with

a favourite toy or chew.

3.   Teach your dog to accept, without wriggling, to be held by the

collar while it keeps still and holds eye contact with you.

A food treat is good for this, giving the treat when the dog is

quiet and is looking at you.

4.   MOST IMPORTANT: Just as you would with a Vet visit, take your

puppy to a groomers, expose your puppy to all the sights and sounds at a

grooming salon and give him the chance to learn about and  get used

to the surroundings without any grooming taking place. Sit in the

waiting area, play a game with your dog and then go home. Feed your

dog at the groomers and then go home. Ask that the puppy can stand

up on a grooming table and in the washing area. Use your imagination.


Doing small exercises for few minutes each day, paired with a game to play afterwards or

a simple treat, like its own dog food, should pave the way for a relaxed and happy dog and

owner. Remember dogs love social contact and learn a lot through touch and physical

contact so let’s make all those lessons good ones !


If your normally happy dog comes back from a groomers and starts to act out when handled

at a later date, there may have been an issue at the groomers. The groomer may be handling

your dog poorly. Some Groomers could unknowingly be reinforcing bad behaviour with

praise and coddling, and making it worse by being harsh with the dog. It's tricky to handle a

dog that misbehaves while being groomed. You don't have a lot of time to properly modify

the behaviour and restraint simply puts a band-aid on the problem. 

Being in the room might make things worse, but try to watch your dog being groomed,

Possibly through a window from another room or from outside. After observing the

groomer (some have cameras, I'm told, on which you can watch the groom, or windows

to look through) but I would REALLY have to see what the groomer is doing before

moving forward. Talking to the groomer and a trainer about exactly what's taking place

and what measures are being taken and recommended to fix the problem, see what you

can do at home and work on it there.




Did you know...

I can only accept dogs for walking that have had a Kennel Cough Vaccination.

I can provide dog treats that are gluten free for dogs with sensitive tummies.

I accept entire male dogs, bitches in season on group walks (subject to assessment)

My poo bags are biodegradeable.

All dogs, by law, should wear a collar and a tag bearing the name and address of its owner.


To Be Sure Your Dog  Has Great Craic

Contact Miriam

077 847 01952


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