Dogs experience a variety of handling in their lifetimes. Most dogs will be hugged, have a child tug their tail, be restrained by a veterinarian, or have someone clip their nails. You can make all these situations less stressful by preparing your dog to be handled so it reacts calmly rather than with fear or aggression.
Practice in Advance
Don’t wait until the day you are going to take your pup to the groomer to start preparing them for handling. Instead, begin practicing long before your dog encounters a groomer, the vet, or a child who wants to give them a hug. The more time you can give your dog to get used to handling, the more likely it will be comfortable, and possibly even enjoy, these experiences.
Introduce Your Pup To Being Picked Up, Leaned Over, And Restrained
These activities are common procedures that may arise during a vet visit. Practice them at home to familiarize your dog with being handled and reduce their stress during grooming visits.
Practice Handling Your Pup
Pups need to be taught to accept being touched. Incorporate rewards with touching your dog like a groomer would into everyday games and activities. Make items like brushes and combs associated with rewards, as well as the noise of blow dryers or clippers if you know your pup will be groomed with these items.
Work on Basic Obedience
Teaching your dog basic obedience will allow those trying to handle them the ability to control your dog’s movements and in turn make grooming visits smoother, faster, and less stressful for your pup.
Introduce Your Pup To Extended Time In A Crate
Getting your pup used to a crate will help reduce anxiety for them during travel to and from the groomers as well as during their time in the open air dryer, or while they await your return in the grooming spa area. Do this by placing treats and toys in your pup’s crate to make this area one of positive experiences and rewards. Extend the time that your pup spends in the crate in longer intervals until your pup shows confidence and calmness while being in there.