Thursday, 23 August 2018

About Puppy Grooms

You may be sitting reading this with a newly acquired bundle of scrumptious fluffiness snuggled into your lap.
He is cute, he is soft and when he playfully nips your fingers your immediate response is "awwwww..!".
You can't imagine sending him to a big, busy grooming salon. It would be too scarey for the little guy and anyway he is gawguss and they can't improve on perfection - right!??
But then you start to notice that his fur is getting tangled in places - right there where you tickle behind his ears and where all the food gets caught around his muzzle. So you try to comb them out but he WILL NOT sit still and "Ouch that hurts!" when he starts using his little razor sharp teeth in earnest to get you to stop.
You let it go because you are putty in his paws until..
What's that? At any time between about 6 months and a year old, your puppy will start to shed his fluffy puppy fur to make way for his adult coat, which will follow his breed type. It will change texture and maybe even colour.
By this time the new coat is now getting all caught up in the fluffy stuff he is trying to shed. One day you pick him up and cuddling him isn't as pleasant as it once was. He won't let you run your fingers through his fur any more (because it is uncomfortable when you snag on the tangles and the matts are making him sore) and well, he smells - nasty! You decide to bath him but you have to towel dry him because he is scared of the drier, leading to more tangles, which he will not allow you to comb out.
OK you think, time for this little guy to man up and go get his first big boy hair cut!
And you whisk him off to the groomer, who will bath him and dry him and make him look all cute and lovely again! Unfortunately when he gets to the groomer, a complete strange who attacks him with a big noisy hair drier and big, noisy clippers which vibrate against his skin, your puppy is terrified and wriggles and squirms. And because he hasn't been combed the groomer has no choice but to clip all his fur off and start again. When you go to collect him you are not happy that your pup has been shaved down like a convict, or you are mortified to see him so cowed by the experience so you don't go back until you absolutely have to.
So from his first ever visit your puppy is left with negative associations with grooming - you both are in fact. Thus begins the never ending cycle of shave down, grow out, grow matted, shave down. Your puppy, now a grown up dog, hates the whole experience and will not stand still or co-operate and the groomer is never able to achieve the beautiful finish your best friend deserves, no matter how many different groomers you try. Your dog may even become fear aggressive, so that drastic measures such as muzzling &/or sedation (via a vet) become necessary.

To help avoid this all too familiar scenario, start taking your puppy to the groomer as soon as you can (or in my case I will come to you, so that the puppy is able to get used to the routine in familiar surroundings). A good groomer will start slowly with short maintenance grooms. At Southend Scalliwags I offer the following introductory groom:
  • Bath & Dry
  • A thorough brush & comb out
  • Scissor tidy of feet, face and hygiene area
  • Nails clipped if necessary
This routine usually takes about an hour. During the process the puppy is introduced to various tools gradually so that he becomes de-sensitised to them. I am also happy to offer advice on how you can keep your puppy clean & tidy between grooms and how to brush him out thoroughly and efficiently.

I recommend booking your puppy in for 2 or more introductory grooms about a month apart and by the time his adult coat is starting to come through he will be thoroughly familiar with the routine and we can discuss options for his first big boy groom.

A STANDARD PUPPY INTRODUCTION TO GROOMING IS £20 (based on one hour of work).


Post a comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home