Puppies and Grooming and How Do I Do It?by Nancy Carlson on 11/08/15
We have been receiving quite a few questions lately about puppies and grooming. The questions usually start out with "We know New Designs Kennel grooms their puppies. Our puppy came well groomed and sweet smelling. How come my puppy won't let me do it?"
We do groom our puppies on a weekly basis. Nails are trimmed. Ears are cleaned. Puppies with coats are brushed. All puppies are bathed when necessary and always fully groomed immediately before going to their new homes.
As puppies are growing and learning, they are willingly accept having their weekly "spa sessions" without issue. They are with their siblings or snuggle buddies, they are young and growing and developing as infants and tiny babies and they are relaxed as new fun things happen to them and for them. We never reprimand our puppies for not wanting to be groomed or brushed. We reward them lavishly with praise and toys and snuggles and treats for behaving properly and appropriately.
Washing your puppy is as easy a 1-2-3!
1. Wet your thoroughly to the skin with tepid water. Let the water run over your wrists. When the temperature reaches the point where you can't feel it - it has reached 98 degrees. This is a perfect temperature to bathe your dog or puppy. Wet them to the skin and all parts of their coat from tip to tail - making sure to keep water from running into their ears, as this can cause a "swimmers ear" type infection which is a lot easier to prevent than it is to cure.
2. Use regular baby shampoo to wash your puppy. Make sure to fill a small unbreakable glass with the proper amount of shampoo and then fill with tepid water. Mix well. Then when your puppy is wet to the skin, pour the pre-mixed shampoo over their coat. If you simply put shampoo down your puppy's back and try to shampoo him with the soap directly on his coat - you will never get the soap rinsed out and you can cause itching and dry coat. It's worth the extra step to mix the baby shampoo first.
3. Wipe your puppy off to damp-dry with a clean, fluffy towel. Make sure to wipe eyes and ears and between toes and under their tail. You can blow dry them with a hair dryer put on low or just allow them to air dry if the weather and your home is warm enough.
When your puppy joins your home, they continue to grow quickly and learn many new things. Regular grooming is something that you must set time apart for and plan ahead for. Have a daily time for brushing, nail trims, ear and eye cleaning takes only a few minutes and keeps your puppy looking clean and spiffy with very little struggle.
Puppies have a very short attention span and cannot handle long grooming sessions or intense grooming events without a struggle. Planning on five minutes a day, you can clip a toenail, and then praise, praise, praise! Good puppy! Clip another nail - Good dog! This is fun!!! Offer a short play time with a favorite toy and then try to clip two nails. Good puppy! Your puppy wants to please you and wants to obey. Offering rewards of snuggles, play time and exercise will help your puppy to focus and be calm during grooming.
Making sure your puppy is on the sleepy side before starting a grooming session will also make your job easier. A puppy sleeping on your lap can have ears cleaned, nails trimmed and hair brushed as part of a bonding practice, drawing both of you together in an atmosphere of closeness and relaxation.
As with any lessons you teach your puppy was they grow, frequent repetition, reward and consistency in training will make any lesson fun and immediate and allow your dog to be competent, relaxed and confident in their learning.
New Designs Kennel encourages daily learning lessons for grooming and all other good canine learning requirements. A few minutes each day will allow you and your new puppy to learn a common language and enjoy each other more and more every day.