Groomers spend a lot of time dealing with dogs that just will not behave. And it’s no wonder that many dogs won’t—or can’t. There are a plethora of things that
cause fear and anxiety in animals, including strangers,
loud or sudden noises, being restrained, new situations
If a stranger picks a dog up and holds it on a table
three feet above the ground in order to tug on its
coat, poke in its ears and pinch its toenails, in an
environment full of strange dogs and loud dryers that
it can’t get away from, and its owner has left it, what is
it supposed to think? These are all things dogs fear, and
we expect them to accept it all with equanimity.
Although most groomers are pet-loving, compassionate people, it’s also true that
we need to complete the grooming process that we are being paid to do. And it’s cost
effective to do it quickly, so balancing compassion for the animal against the task at hand
is sometimes hard. There are three aspects to handling animals in the salon that can
make it easier on everyone involved.
First, we can do as much as possible to prevent stress to the dogs, as that can cause
difficult behavior. Second, we can manage the behavior and the environment to the best
of our ability to speed up the process and ensure everyone’s safety using the tools and
techniques available. Third, in some cases, the dogs can be trained to react differently to
the grooming process, saving upset and time for all.
How can we help prevent stress? Looking from the dog’s perspective helps. I recently
saw a relevant quote on social media that originated from The Educated Dog Learning
THEGROOMING SALON S N
PHOTO BY COOKSTUDIO
Knowing how to properly handle animals in the salon is imperative to maintaining
a successful grooming business.
BY CAROL VISSER