Calming my dog while grooming?
Im trying to groom my Maltese but he will not have anything to do about it. Is there a calming medicine I can give him so he will be calm enough so I can clip him
Owners of many long-haired dogs prefer to groom them at home in order to save money and time. However, many dogs don’t agree with this idea and give Mom or Dad a hard time. The best way to have a well-behaved dog is to take the time to train him to be calm during hair cuts. This can be difficult and take a long time, but will be better in the long-run. The best way to accomplish this is to use reward-based training to teach them to be calm. This training technique can be used in other situations as well, including on the leash. Keep a handful of Cheerios oat cereal in your pocket as reward treats. When you get ready to clip him, be sure that you have a safe set-up where his head is secured (tied up) and he can’t run away. Once he is tied, have him sit and reward him. Be calm and talk to him gently. The second that he stops bouncing, pacing or barking, reward with a piece of cereal. You have to do this again and again and he will start to associate being calm with getting a treat. Once you have him calm, it will be easier to clip him. Don’t react when he is bad. Yelling and scolding can make the problem worse.
You can also have a second person help to hold him while you are doing these exercises. Distraction with a second person (with treats) can allow you to work on him (brushing, doing a little clipping) without having to constantly stop when he gets too excited.
If he is having problems during the haircut due to fear and severe anxiety and not just excitement, you will need to work with a professional to resolve these issues. Fear and anxiety ‘panic attacks’ can be a lot harder to deal with simply using training techniques. You can talk to your veterinarian about having a calming medication prescribed to fit his needs. Some groomers also have luck grooming dogs that are ‘unruly’ during home grooming sessions – as some of these dogs are on better behavior when away from their owner. The latter option of having him professionally groomed may be more expensive but may be less stressful for you both in the end.
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