Grooming a puppy isn’t something you can dive right into. Instead, you’ll need to slowly introduce your pup to things like taking a bath and being brushed or styling with clippers and scissors. Some puppies might enjoy this kind of attention right from the start, but others need more time to get used to being handled this way. You can begin puppy grooming right away by taking small steps and focusing on creating a positive association with grooming activities.
How to Start
If you just brought your puppy home and he isn’t used to being handled yet, you’ll have to work on this first. Take time to get him used to being held, petted and having his paws touched. Before picking your puppy up, give him a small treat. This helps him associate being handled with something rewarding.
Before brushing your puppy, let him sniff the brush first. Give him a couple of small treats, then gently brush him a few times. Increase the number of times you brush during each grooming session until he’s comfortable being thoroughly brushed.
Introducing your puppy to nail trimming might take a little longer, since some dogs don’t like having their paws touched. If you’ve been working on getting your puppy used to having his paws handled, this shouldn’t be a problem. Show him the nail clippers, then give him a couple of treats. Do this a few times in order to let him get used to the clippers. Once he seems comfortable, try to clip one nail. Just do one the first time, then gradually work up to trimming all of his nails in one grooming session.
Bathing is another part of puppy grooming that can take some time to get used to. Start by letting your puppy play with water in the sink. Make it fun by giving him a toy or doing some gentle splashing. You can also give him a treat beforehand. To get him used to the tub, place him in it while it’s empty and let him sniff around and explore. When your puppy is used to the water and tub, you can start giving him baths.
If you’re having trouble getting your puppy used to bathing, brushing or nail trimming, consider professional puppy grooming. At DoGone Fun, we offer a Puppy Introduction Program that helps your pup get used to baths, ear cleanings, nail clippings and hair trims.