Having your pup groomed can be a nerve-wracking experience for both dog and owner alike. Pets may react unpredictably in a new environment with strangers and loud noises. By using the power of positive reinforcement, you can ease your dog’s anxiety and teach them to associate the groomer with a pleasant trip to visit a new friend.
Go for a Walk
Nervous dogs have a lot of pent-up energy. Before your trip to the groomer, make sure to bring Fido for a long stroll. In addition to distracting him from the upcoming visit, he will be more relaxed, as he’s channeled his physical energy into marking his territory on every mailbox in your neighborhood.
Take a Test Run
In the days leading up to your big visit, ask the groomer if you can bring your dog into the salon to get a feel for the space. By desensitizing him to the unusual sounds, smells, and staff members, he’ll be less anxious about the real deal.
Keep Treats Handy
Have a pocketful of treats on standby during your trial run and grooming visit. Give your pup a treat at the beginning of any stressful situation, such as the car ride over and meeting the groomer, to associate these experiences with something he loves (who doesn’t love a good treat?). Be sure to reward them afterwards for doing such a great job handling their fear.
Ready to Get Fido a New ‘Do
With these useful tips in mind, you and your pup will be better prepared to conquer the stressful task of visiting the groomer. As frustrating as your dog’s anxious behavior can be, never resort to punishment, as this can be even more traumatic and lead to additional avoidance tendencies. Positive reinforcement-based techniques are the key to soothing their fear and will turn any trip into an exciting adventure!