There are several reasons why a dog needs to be groomed. A well-groomed pooch does not only look their very best, but they also feel good, and that makes them happy and more confident.
A clean dog also makes it easier to keep the house clean and smelling fresh. A dog that gets regular grooming sessions will feel loved and pampered, just as humans do when they visit the hair and nail salon, and it’s a great way to bond.
But grooming has other benefits as well. Dogs, especially dogs with long, thick hair, need to have their furry coats maintained, or there can be problems.
So, any tips on how to restrain a dog while grooming (even a large dog)?
To restrain a dog while grooming, you can use a harness or a special holding technique (standard or lateral).
During a grooming session is a great time to inspect a dog to see if there are any unusual growths or other abnormalities that are normally invisible to the eye.
Dog grooming is essential because it can prevent fleas and ticks, which can be very unpleasant for both the dog and owner. They are also very difficult to get rid of once they arrive.
Regular grooming also helps keep a dog’s coat healthy and free from dirt and grease, which can mat down fur and cause the skin underneath to become itchy and uncomfortable.
Dogs with double coats and very long fur are more prone to developing ear and eye infections. If their fur has too much dirt and shampoo residue they can even have permanent hearing loss, so these long-haired dogs especially need regular grooming.
Why Some Dogs Struggle With Getting Groomed
Large dogs are amazing, majestic creatures, but when it comes time to groom them and they decide that it’s not for them, it can be a bit of a challenge to get them to comply.
Since grooming is not only necessary for keeping a dog looking great but also comes with many crucial health benefits, there is no way to avoid it.
Whether a dog gets professionally groomed or an owner does it at home, it is helpful to have a few tricks up the sleeve to make a grooming session as enjoyable as possible.
It is a good idea to let the dog chew on its favorite rawhide or toy while getting groomed so that they are distracted and keep from getting bored.
Some dogs may enjoy having a television program on or may find some soothing music to be calming. It is important to understand that a resistant dog is not trying to be difficult or irritate everyone around them.
Keeping this in mind is the first step to creating a relaxing environment for the pooch to be groomed.
Dog’s can sense the emotions of people around them, so it will help to approach them with an understanding and calm persona to help set their dog at ease.
Dogs who show dislike for a grooming session are often nervous and may even have anxiety. In fact, many dogs suffer from at least some form of anxiety.
This is especially likely if they have never been groomed before, which is why it is a good idea to get dogs accustomed to getting groomed while they are young.
Every dog comes with a different set of personality traits as well as varying levels of stubbornness so there is no universal formula for getting a dog to behave for their grooming session.
However, since an owner typically has a strong bond with their canine, they will know best how to calm their dog and handle them when they are upset.
Ideally, it is best not to restrain a dog while they are being groomed, but if they put up a good fight, it is better to restraint them rather than have them get nicked by the shears. If the dog gets aggressive, it’s time to stop.
How to Get Prepared to Make the Grooming Process Easier
It is always best to have everything ready and within reach before beginning grooming. That way, there will not be any wasted time looking for brushes, combs, trimmers, or anything necessary to groom a furry canine properly.
It is important to place the dog to be groomed on a surface that isn’t slippery or uncomfortable to stand or sit on for a duration of time.
A non-slip mat or surface is a great option and will prevent slipping or splaying, which can be unpleasant for a dog.
It is also a smart idea to have a dog on a table or elevated somehow to make it easier to move around them and reach them easily without hunching over them.
This is especially important when grooming smaller breeds who are lower to the ground. Since grooming a dog can take some time, it is important for both the dog and groomer to be comfortable throughout the process.
Invest in a Good-Quality Harness
Since it is necessary to have two hands-free to brush, wash, and groom a dog from head to toe, a harness is a wonderful way to keep a dog from bolting once the grooming process begins.
It also keeps the dog from sitting down and limits its mobility, so it is much easier to groom the dog thoroughly from head to toe.
A harness is better than a leash because it will not choke a dog if they are trying to pull away but will still keep them in place so that they can be groomed.
There are a number of different harness designs to choose from to accommodate different sized-dogs. Which one to choose will depend on where they will be groomed, the size of the dog, and whether or not it will be permanently mounted or removable.
Some harnesses are designed to be set up in the bath or shower and are equipped with a suction cup that attaches to the shower wall.
More professional designs can be installed with hardware, and others can be mounted to a table with a clamp. A good harness should be adjustable and strong enough to hold a large breed of dog.
A suction cup design will probably not be the best choice for a large dog since they will likely be powerful enough to pull it off the wall, so a hardware-mounted style would be better.
Restraining Without a Harness
How to Restrain a Dog While Grooming will vary from dog to dog and depends on what the owner is most comfortable with but it is possible to restrain a dog without using a harness.
This method may be preferred if the dog so being groomed by someone else other than the owner. A dog will likely find it more comforting to have their owner talk to them and hold them while they are being groomed.
Especially if they are being groomed by a pet stylist they are unfamiliar with. Grooming appointments with a professional pet groomer should always be made with the same groomer if possible to keep grooming sessions familiar and less stressful.
The Standard Hold
The standard hold will work with any size of the dog and is a simple yet effective technique. It takes two people, though, to hold the grooming tool and hold the dog.
It begins by getting the dog to sit, whether with a command or by gentle force on the rump until the sitting position is achieved. Then the person restraining the dog will need to wrap an arm around the dog’s neck firmly yet gently. The other arm needs to be wrapped around the armpit of the dog, directly in front of the hips and pressing the body of the dog towards oneself.
The Lateral Hold
This method also needs to involve two people and begins by having the dog lie on their side with their back facing towards the person holding them.
The arm closest to their head should be placed over their neck while both hands hold the dog’s paws. The other arm needs to be placed on the back of the dog near the belly and should be holding the dog’s legs.
If a dog suffers from very high anxiety and grooming them is just too stressful, there are a few natural remedies to try that may help reduce their uneasiness.
CBD oil has become a very popular way to manage stress for both dogs and their owners and contains serotonin which is a natural mood enhancer.
Herbs such as chamomile, Valerian, and St. John’s Wort are also effective anxiety-busters. They can be brewed as a tea and added to a dog’s water dish, and administered as a tincture or capsule.
Lavender and violet leaf essential oils are also effective ways to calm a nervous dog and to make grooming them easier and more enjoyable.
Additional Tips to Make Grooming Easier
No matter what restraining method is used, it is important to keep a dog comfortable while they are being groomed. This will eliminate a lot of its anxiety, and the dog will likely be calmer and easier to manage.
It is important to be patient throughout the grooming process and to stick to a regular grooming routine, whether weekly or monthly, and to use the proper tools that are intended for the size and breed of the dog being groomed.