How do I groom a nervous pet?

Nothing can be harder than trying to groom a scared or nervous dog, whether it's trimming their nails or just trying to groom them, if they don't like this then they may try to bite, nip, scratch, or simply be constantly moving.

No matter how experienced you are it's up to you to calm your pet's nerves and it is going to take time, effort, and patience to reach your goal of being able to groom your dog easily.

There are several reasons why your dog might not enjoy being groomed and becomes fidgety and nervous when it's time for being groomed; they might not like the feel of the tools or the noise they make if you are using clippers or they may have had a bad experience before.

The following are a few simple steps to follow to try and easy your dog's anxiety of being groomed.

  • Keep yourself calm - if you know your dog is nervous then it's important that you keep calm so your dog doesn't pick up on this. It may mean you listen to music.
  • Let your dog see and sniff the grooming tools you will be using, once they have become used to these then they can become more relaxed.
  • Keep the grooming short to start with but do it regularly.
  • Praise and reward your dog, using treats.
  • Start with simply stroking your dog.
  • Progress to gentle grooming by using a grooming glove while keeping the stroking motion.
  • As your dog becomes more relaxed and used to being groomed then progress to using a brush etc. and they should begin to settle more.
  • Leave the worst bits for your dog to the end and take your time.