Understanding Puppy Grooming
Understanding Puppy Grooming
Getting a new puppy is a very exciting time and we want to be a productive part of that. It is crucial that puppies are exposed to grooming at an early age to help build a positive foundation for a happy life! All dogs must learn to tolerate nail trimming, ear cleaning and baths at the very minimum. However dogs that require haircuts must learn to accept the entire grooming process.
So often, we are contacted by a new pet owner that has an older puppy that is in desperate need of a haircut but has waited until the puppy is very overgrown and even matted. The first year of a dogs life is full of physical, environmental and psychological changes, this includes at least 2 "fear stages". Positive, early exposure to grooming is essential to help build the foundation and trust to work through these times. Thrusting your adolescent dog into a completely new and overwhelming situation and expecting us, as the groomer to traumatize these pups by attempting a haircut is simply something we will not do . There are new smells, loud sounds, other dogs, an unfamiliar human handling and maneuvering them and new tools touching them all over. It is unfair to your pup and sets them up for a more difficult road for positive, stress free grooming.
We recommend puppy introductory services at a young age, 10 weeks(for healthy puppies that are current on their puppy shots). Allow your newest family member to be eased into a experience, that is quick and has no discomfort and minimal stress. It is best for the first few visits a puppy is being groomed for little to no hair being cut. It is more about focusing on getting a bath, hand drying, thorough brushing, nail trimming, ear cleaning and practicing having their faces gently held and basic handling to successfully groom them completely in the near future. Your puppies first haircut should be simpler, things such as sanitary shaving, paw pad shaving and learning to have their face(specifically around their eyes) tidied and cleaned up. It depends very much on each individual dog as to how much practice they need before we start doing full body haircuts. As is the way with puppies it truly depends on how cooperative they are for those initial haircuts as to the end result as far as how much can be safely completed and how aesthetically pleasing the end result is. We do our very best to make every pup look and feel fantastic!
Our goal with puppies is to pave the way for them to enjoy grooming. Especially because grooming is necessary! We want to create a positive environment full of expertise, compassion and individualized grooming experiences that build confidence and happiness in your pup. It is heart breaking when we encounter animals that are terrified, traumatized or even so aggressive towards the grooming process they must suffer through stressful and traumatic grooming to keep them healthy.
A typical layout for puppy grooming progression is as follows;
1st visit, meeting my new groomer and having a very new but positive experience with lots of treats and snuggles. Services provided would be bath/drying, ear cleaning(ear plucking if necessary and tolerated), nail trimming and combing. If I am not stressed and I will need haircuts in the future clippers/scissors may be briefly introduced and a tiny bit of trimming may be done.
2nd visit, I know more of what to expect and all previous services are practiced again and if I am not stressed or scared we can do more trimming!
3rd visit, I understand the grooming process and that no one is going to harm me. I may be hesitant to leave my parents or very excited to romp and get my bubble bath, individual personality plays a big role! All previous services are practiced and expanded upon as long as it doesn't stress me out. I may even get my first full haircut today!