If only I was given a dollar for each time someone complained to me about how aggressive their dogs were, I would have been a millionaire by now! There are quite a number of dog owners who are stressed out when they have to think about grooming their dogs; chiefly because of how aggressive the dog is, especially when he/she is trying to protest against being groomed.
As a dog owner, you’re worried that your dog would remain unkempt for long periods if she continues to bark at or even bite handlers and professional groomers. In this article, you’ll find out about ways to handle your aggressive dog and groom her perfectly.
Why is Your Dog Aggressive to Grooming?
You might not be able to understand your dog’s language or perspective, but there’s a reason behind the aggression!
Were there any painful grooming sessions or any form of abuse in the past, which your dog might be remembering?
Is your dog generally scared of meeting with, or relating with new people? This could also account for their overall aggressiveness or hostility to new people, groomers or handlers.
Could it be that your dog is trying to assert dominance over the situation by ensuring he or she wins this battle against being groomed? Note that if you allow the dog to win now, he has a positive reinforcement for a bad attitude, and you’ll find it harder to control his aggressive tendencies later on. You can’t afford to show fear!
Using Tools to Deal With Aggression
Here are some ways to use tools to deal with your dog’s aggressiveness:
· Tables and Restraints: Grooming tables (with non-slip surfaces) which make provision for attachment of hip/neck restraints are traditionally recognized as very good tools of handling aggressiveness in a dog, as it allows for dog positioning and manipulation in such a way that the dog handler is safe. However, neck restraints used to control the dog’s head position must be used carefully so as not to cause harm to the dog’s windpipe.
· Muzzle: To prevent the dog from biting, it can be muzzled, and a blanket can be put over the dog’ head while moving them e.g. from the bath-tub to a table, but you must make sure that the dog can breathe all the time.
· Long-handle Combs and Brushes: The superb benefit of using combs and brushes that have very long handles, is that they position you outside of striking range i.e. your hand can reach touch spots on the dog’s body without you having to quickly withdraw your hand because it is already outside of the striking range. The best dog shedding brushon the market has this feature, because of how challenging it is to handle aggressive dogs!
Using Medication to Deal With Aggression
Sometimes, the chief reason a dog is being aggressive while grooming it is because of anxiety. Easing your dog’s anxiety might require that you utilize medications.
· Choosing the Right Medication to Help with Grooming: Lots of medications can be helpful when grooming a dog, but the right one to use for your dog should be prescribed by your veterinarian (to ensure appropriate dosing, and prevent drug reactions). Common examples, however, are: Benadryl, Melatonin, Dog-appeasing pheromone (DAP)
· The Right Medication is Chosen Prior to Your Dog Becoming Anxious:There is something to be said about the timing of the medication. Many of these calming aids and anxiety drugs take a while before their effects kick in, therefore, it might not be appropriate to administer them after your dog has already gotten anxious- it is best to give before your dog gets anxious or nervous. Hopefully, by the time you bring out those grooming tools, your dog is already calm, and the session can go on without much ado!