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Published by Alpha Dog Training
Your Pup’s First Grooming Appointment
If you plan to have your puppy professionally groomed when she grows up, you should also show her what to expect at her first grooming appointment. Unless you have a wash-and-wear dog who can get by with just an occasional bath—and you are willing to be the one to give it—you will likely want to use the services of a professional groomer. This is especially true if your puppy has long hair that needs to be styled and clipped. However, your puppy will have to wait until she’s at least 16 weeks old to visit a groomer since most salons require dogs to have all their vaccinations before their first session. In the meantime, you can start preparing your puppy for her first grooming appointment. Doing so will help her feel more comfortable while she’s being groomed, and will make the groomer’s job easier.
Start at Home
Handle her paws, lifting each one and gently massaging it with your hand. Reward her for cooperating with praise or a treat.
Don’t ask your puppy to tolerate having all the nails on all four paws snipped in one sitting. Just do a few nails to start, and then return to do a few others the next day.
Next, get your puppy used to being brushed. Even shorthaired dogs can benefit from regular brushing, and longhaired dogs absolutely require it.
Electric clippers can be one of the scariest things about getting groomed for a puppy, so it’s a good idea to get her used to the sound and sensation of clippers before her first grooming appointment.
Every visit to the groomer comes with a bath, so it’s a good idea to get your puppy used to being washed before someone she doesn’t known does it—and in a strange place, too.
You may want to give treats throughout this process to help your puppy associate being bathed with something positive.
Even if your puppy is a longhaired breed, she probably still has a short puppy coat that can be dried with a towel or two. But when she grows up and goes to the groomer, her coat will likely need to be dried with a blower. You may want to start getting her used to the blow dryer now so she isn’t freaked out by the sound and feeling of it the first time she goes to the groomer.
Begin by turning on your hair dryer while your puppy is in the room so she can get used to the noise. You can do this by having your puppy nearby while you dry your own hair. Eventually, start bringing the dryer closer to her while it’s on, offering her treats. You can even try letting it blow on her while on the low setting for just a few seconds, and then praising her and giving her treats as a reward. Once she seems okay with having the dryer blowing on her, you can use it to finish drying her off after a bath.