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Preparing Puppy For First Grooming

tips for puppy grooming

dogs before groomingMurray is a chicken-baby. I say that with all of the love in my heart for this puppy, but he is truly afraid of his own shadow. His fearfulness makes me fearful that he will grow up to be a “reactive dog” and that could be problematic. He is the kind of dog you can’t just walk up to and pet when he’s sleeping because he startles easily and gets a bit snappy. He is not fond of people coming up behind him when we are walking. He cringes away from loud noises. If he gets scared, he will run over and hide between our legs. It’s good that he knows we will protect him and it’s probably good that he doesn’t feel the need to beat every other dog up the way Henrietta does, but his fear is a bit disconcerting.

On the flipside. He is the most playful, fun loving puppy I have ever been around. He loves to play aka torment Henrietta the Diva Poodle and the cats in the house. He has a bucket full of toys that are always strewn around the house and he is always ready to play. Dashing back and forth between me and Tim in the backyard (to get his energy out!) is one of his favorite games. Henrietta has stopped participating in that because he will run over the top of her and try to roll her — she is not amused by that!

murray with mohawkEven though Murray is a chicken, he is the friendliest guy and will walk into the veterinarian’s office or even the groomer like a champ. He will toss me “what are you doing to me” looks over his shoulder, but he will happily go along with strangers.

When we got him we weren’t sure if he was going to be more Poodle or more Golden and with the way his hair is so light and feathery, he seems more Golden. We’ve taken him to our favorite pet store, Olde Dogge Inn, recently to get the hair above his eyes trimmed and his bum shaved and realized he needed a true grooming. I scheduled it at a time when Henrietta was going, thinking that he would be happier and less fearful if his sister was there. According to Lindsay, our favorite groomer, not so much. He looks scared and sad in his “Mohawk picture” and she said he was terrified of the dryer so he had to air-dry. However, he was happy and friendly and that’s what matters, right?

How did we prepare our puppy for his first grooming? Here are a few ways:

  1. He’s been to the groomer before for short clean ups — nails, bum shaving, clean up around the eyes. This got him accustomed to the sights and smells and the sounds of the shop.
  2. He is out and about with people on a regular basis. Henrietta wasn’t socialized when she was a puppy and we want to make sure Murray is. We let anyone who wants to pet him, to pet him. We take him walking on crowded streets. He goes for lots of car rides. Speaking of which…
  3. He is accustomed to the car and goes for trips to places other than the “scary ones” ie the vet’s and the groomer. He loves riding in the car and gets into his seatbelt easily and falls asleep once the car starts rolling along.
  4. He got a ton of love from the groomers while he was there — that’s why we take our dogs to them.
  5. He got a ton of love from us when he got home.

I assume the fear of the groomer will become a thing of the past, but for now almost everything is a new experience for him. Lucky for him he has great pet parents at his side to calm and reassure him and to shower him with love and hugs.after grooming

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