Help your dog and get bonding with them, its the perfect way to build a stronger and trusting relationship where you can demonstrate to your dog not only good behaviour, but how much you love them.
When it comes to brushing and grooming your dog at home, it can be tough! This is because your dog is like a kid that doesn't want to be prodded, nor sit still for longer than 5 minutes. So you have to be patient and persistent, making sure you create routine with your dog, either daily or weekly. By sitting down with them and reward them when they sit with you obediently (you can use training treats here).
Once you’ve developed a good routine with your dog, you will be able to do a better job at helping them take care of their coat. Brushing a dog’s coat properly is extremely important to prevent knots, turning to mats, which block and build up dirt under the coat, leading to skin irritations and infections. Brushing out your dogs coat regularly, will also aid their natural skin and hair oil to circulate around their coat and enhance it.
We've put together an information pack on the four main home grooming tools and how to use them. We have highlighted areas on the diagram of the dog below where you should pay most attention. First we'll run you through the type of routine you should build with your dog, then some training tips that might come in handy and also the physical brushing technique to make sure you're doing a thorough job!
- Prep your dog for brushing, either bath them and make sure to use dog friendly conditioner to help ease out any dirt and knots OR use a detangle spray, or conditioned water spray to wet down the coat slightly before brushing
- Its important to use this opportunity for a health check of your dog, as you’ll be able to highlight any abnormalities that need attention or that you should be extra careful with during brushing
Work in the direction of the hair growth, starting from the ends and working your way back toward the skin, section by section all over your dogs body
*TOP TIP! Working from the end of the hair strands and then building the brush up toward the root/skin will allow you to take out knots without tugging too much at the skin, allowing much more ease for you and your dog.
- Make sure to pay attention to inside legs, their bottom and behind the ears as these are prone to matting
- If your dog is uncomfortable, then give breaks and find the best position for you and your dog to sit together and get the job done!
- Be patient and start by touching or massaging the areas you’d like to brush before going in with the brush. It will take time to build up trust and confidence with your dog to complete this routine and use brushes on them.
- When your dog relaxes and allows you to work an area of their coat, reward them for this - whether that's with encouraging behaviour and TLC or a training treat, they’ll soon understand that their cooperation is key to this routine.
However, once you’ve nailed this it will be the most rewarding thing you do for yourself and most importantly your dog!
- Always start little and often, building up the routine so the dog can become accustomed with the techniques and tools you use, as well as being able to chill with you for at least 5 minutes without fidgeting.
- Start by using soft bristle brushes and gently go over your dogs coat to get them used to the brushing and handling of their fur. Once they're comfortable you can work up to a comb and/or stiffer brush where necessary.
- Using treats or toys to distract your dog away from the tool itself is a great tip, if the dog is getting to aggravated by the brush before its even touched them! (Groomers secret: get your dog a lick mat that you can cover with dog friendly peanut butter and that usually does the trick!)
- Make sure you find a comfy spot for you and your dog, we suggest a blanket on the floor and put the grooming tools out of sight behind you, introducing them one by one.
- If your dog is laying with you on the floor, focus on one side of your dog working in small areas and giving your dog a treat as you work section by section - this will help your dog focus on the treats rather than the grooming itself, as well as associating the groom routine with something good!
- You need to build trust and by following these tips will help you do that - they'll know when its time to sit and groom, this means getting pampered with treats!