dog training, dog behavior, dog health

Dog Training – Groom Your Dog for Health and Beauty

Dog grooming is too often treated as an occasional brushing or bath, but regular grooming should be a part of the care of your new pet.  Both the comfort and the health of your pet are great reasons for regular sessions of brushing, nail trimming and ear cleaning.

To the pet owner, the grooming process is just business as usual - but to a pet unused to this type of activity it an be a very big deal.  No matter if your new canine companion is a puppy or a full grown shelter adoptee, from the day he enters your home you should make it a practice to "groom" him.  Even if he doesn't nees to be bathed or brushed at the moment, he does need to become accustomed to your right as his "person" to examine him closely.

A dog not used to such attention may be frightened and may growl or shy away from you.  This is a sign of fear and can happen with dogs who are timid by nature but also with dogs that have had harsh treatment or little socialization.

If your dog is highly resistant to having you examine his paws, tail and ears, don't force the issue.  Reassure him and then put him on a leash and lead him into a corner or small area.  Talk to him, pet or massage him and again look at his paws and look in his ears and mouth.  With his back to the wall, the dog is much more likely to quietly submit to you.  Once he realizes no harm will come from this handling procedure, his behavior will improve.

Make it a habit daily to just look at his ears and feet so that he accepts your right to do so whenever you want.  That will also help greatly in his health checkups and your veterinarian will have a much easier time.  In addition,  your regular inspection of your dog will often reveal health problems such as cuts, infections, ingrown nails or lumps before they become major health issues.

Tools needed for this activity are minimal.  A good quality nail trimmer is a good investment as it will make nail trimming fast and easy for you and your pet.  One of the best brushes I've found is one with nylon bristles and a base that slides up and off the bristles for easy cleaning and clearing out the fur.  For long hair, double coated or rough coat breeds a steel serrated shedding tool is useful as it quickly removes lose hair from the coat.  Ears are the most often ignored part of the grooming process and this can result in painful bacterial and yeast infections, particularly in animals with ears that cover the opening.  A mild cleaning solution made for the purpose, q-tips and cotton balls make cleaning the ear a simple task.

Make this process a pleasure for your dog and he will come running whenever he sees you getting out the dog grooming tools.