How to Restrain a Dog While Grooming: Helpful Ways to Calm Dogs

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how to restrain a dog while grooming
Grooming with a dog brush on a shetland sheepdog.

Caring for your dog isn’t just about love and food, but the right way to groom them, too! If not done right, then it can end up with their fur all mangy, nails unclipped, and feeling insecure about their looks. Not only does a lack of grooming affect their appearance, but it’s very uncomfortable as well.

However, not many dogs actually like grooming, squirming away as they see the dog brush! There are ways on how to restrain a dog while grooming though, and it doesn’t need to be as intense as it sounds. So read on as I show you how you can calm and keep a puppy in place as you groom them.

How to Restrain a Dog While Grooming

Some dogs hate the grooming process, may it be due to past experiences or the fact they don’t like staying still. It’s totally normal and possible to overcome, so here are some tips and ways to calm down and restrain your dog for grooming:

1. Administer Calming Aids Or Medication

There are many medicines and products you can use to calm a dog down for grooming. But before you do use these medications, I recommend that you ask your dog’s veterinarian for prescriptions or suggestions on which are safe for your dog. They can also advise you on the dosage and how to administer it properly.

The usual calming medications are melatonin, Benadryl, zylkene, dog-appeasing pheromone, or various herbs.

Make sure that you give the medication before the dog is anxious, as it won’t work when they’re already nervous. Do so without showing any of the grooming tools or implying that you’ll be grooming them.

»Why Is Your Dog Acting Weird After Grooming? What You Need to Know

2. Teach Your Dog to Enjoy Grooming

happy dog in grooming salon
Happy dog in grooming salon enjoys trimming procedure

To restrain a dog properly, you first have to calm him down for grooming. It’s best to have them enjoy grooming while restraining him so there won’t be much of a struggle.

To do this, identify what triggers your dog, which can be some of the grooming tools, the groomer itself, or water. Once you do learn what triggers them, introduce those triggers gradually.

Give them treats and positive associations with the trigger object, even placing it next to the food to show that it’s not threatening. Slowly use it on him and increase the duration of using it over time.

3. Use Comfortable Restraints and a Nonslip Table

As much as possible, it’s best to groom your dog on a nonslip mat or table to prevent more trouble. As for the restraint, you can find many types available specifically for grooming. I recommend that you get one with a comfortable loop for your dog’s neck, holding them up while they sand.

If your dog bites, use a muzzle and restraint, making sure that it’s installed and put on correctly. Prioritize your dog’s comfort while putting him in the restraint, being firm but gentle with it. Also, the location should be comfortable enough for the restraint to be put on properly.

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4. Avoid Coddling or Giving Treats During the Grooming

If your dog shows signs of struggling while grooming, speak to them firmly to calm them down. Do NOT give them treats or reward them with praises while they try to escape. This could confuse the dog and think that this is good behavior, continuing the struggle.

The best time to give treats or rewards is only after the grooming is done. I recommend that you reward them with treats while they’re in the restraint to provide positive associations with the restraint and the grooming itself. But only reward them once your dog’s calm, not while he’s growling or resisting.

5. Have a Positive Yet Stern Attitude the Whole Time

Have you always wondered how professional groomers stay calm with their furry clients even when they struggle? That’s because they’re trained to stay calm and assertive, showing the dog who’s alpha. Not only would the calm attitude identify the leader, but the dog will also be a bit more at ease, staying still during the grooming.

So before, during, and after grooming your dog, make sure that you’re speaking with them calmly and with assertiveness. Don’t be overly sensitive nor angry, find the balance in your tone of voice. Be patient with your dog throughout the grooming process, do not show signs of anger or frustration.

Learn more about restraining and calming a dog down for grooming with this informative video:

Wrapping It Up

Grooming a dog is essential, even if your dog doesn’t seem to like the process. Through learning the proper and safe ways of keeping him still, you can get the job done and have a happy dog after. Remember, it’s not just about restraining him, but calming him down to keep him in one place, too!

I hope this article on how to restrain a dog while grooming helped you out. So don’t wait any longer and begin doing these tips now!

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