How To Groom An Aggressive Dog

Grooming your dog is an important part of your life as a dog owner. It will help your dog to look and smell his/her best. Grooming your dog also has other benefits for you and your dog like greatly reducing the chance of your dog experiencing skin pain and helping to keep dog shedding under control. With all of this being said, the problem here is that your dog may not feel at ease with being groomed.

As a result, you could find yourself grooming your dog only for him/her to exhibit aggressive behavior. At best, your dog could simply try to run away from you and at worst, your dog could bite you. So, if you aren’t certain about how to groom an aggressive dog, here are some things that you can do in order to ensure that you have the best chances of successfully going through a grooming session with your dog with little to no incident.

(Photo courtesy of ian_peric via Flickr)

1. Teach Your Dog The Stay Command

There is nothing more frustrating than when you are grooming your dog only for him/her to run away before the grooming is finished. The problem here is that your dog may not understand that he/she is expect to stay in place while you are grooming him/her. In order to fix this, you will need to train your dog to stay.

This post will walk you through the seven-step process of how to train your dog to stay. So, I recommend that you give it a read. Once you have already trained your dog to stay, you should be able to get your dog to stay in place with just the stay command. Also, if you would like to move with your dog to another area of your home during the grooming session, you can do that too.

The best way to accomplish that is to call on your dog to come to you and this post will help get you on the right track to doing so. So, let’s say that you were brushing your dog’s hair in the kitchen and now want to move to the bathroom in order to bathe your dog, you can use the come command to call on your dog to come with you there.

2. Exercise Your Dog First

If your dog is making any aggressive moves while you are grooming him/her. That could be an indication that your dog has a lot of energy to burn and that can lead to him/her being restless. So, you will want to exercise your dog first before you groom him/her because not only is that good for your dog’s health, but also it will allow him/her to use up a great deal of energy.

That will help your dog to be relaxed which often translates into a better behaved dog. One fun option for exercising your dog is to play a game of frisbee in which you throw a frisbee across the air and your dog has to run in order to catch it. If your dog doesn’t already know how to catch a frisbee, no problem, this post will help you to accomplish that.

If you don’t already have a frisbee, the Hyper Pet Flippy Flopper Dog Frisbee is a great option as these frisbees are soft which will allow your dog to catch the frisbee without straining his/her teeth in the process. Another option for exercising your dog is to take him/her out for a walk around your neighborhood.

In order to have the best results with exercising your dog, you will want to make sure that your dog already knows how to heel which means that he/she is to walk side by side with you. If your dog doesn’t already know how to do so, this post is well worth a read. Generally speaking, I would recommend exercising your dog for anywhere from thirty minutes up to an hour.

3. Get Your Dog Comfortable With Being Groomed

(Photo courtesy of angel_shark via Flickr)

Some dogs may not feel comfortable with being groomed at all. If that is the case with your dog, you will need to assure him/her that everything is going to be ok during grooming. There are a few ways in which you can do that.

Get Your Dog Used To Being Touched

Some dogs may not feel comfortable with you touching certain areas of their bodies. From what I understand, the most appropriate area of a dog’s body to touch is the back, especially near the head. Here is how you can get your dog comfortable with being touched in an area of his/her body other than the back.

Slowly move your hand towards one area of your dog’s body and touch it in a gentle way. If your dog growls, which is a warning sign that your dog will bite you, move your hand to the dog’s back and touch (or pet) it for a few seconds and then try again. If your dog doesn’t growl or otherwise react negatively to you touching that area of his/her body, be sure to reward him/her with a tasty treat like Canine Carry Outs Dog Treats.

Doing so will help your dog to associate being touched by you with good things. Once you have successfully touched one area of your dog’s body, work on touching other areas of his/her body until he/she becomes comfortable overall with being touched by you.

Introduce Your Dog To Grooming Tools

Depending on your dog, some grooming tools may be scary to him/her. In order to put your dog at ease with the grooming tools like a brush, a clipper, and a scissor, start out by slowly introducing him/her to each tool by casually putting it down on a coffee table or on the floor. Allow your dog to look at and sniff it. Reward your dog with a treat each time he/she does so.

Once you have already introduced your dog to each grooming tool, try and use it just a little on your dog. So, for example, if the grooming tool in question is a brush, try and do just one gentle brush on the dog’s body. If your dog is brave with that, go ahead and reward him/her with a treat. Increase the grooming tool’s usage little by little and reward him/her with a treat each time until you are certain that he/she is comfortable with it being used.

Break Down Your Grooming Session Into Smaller Chunks If Necessary

Enduring through a long grooming session may prove to be stressful for your dog. If that is the case, it makes sense to break down a grooming session into smaller chunks that lasts for something like ten to fifteen minutes each time. That way, you can give your dog a break. So, if you haven’t finished grooming your dog yet, no worries, you can call him/her back to you after the break and resume the grooming.

Here they are. If you are anxious or frustrated with how to groom an aggressive dog, these are some of the things that you can do to ensure that the grooming session with your dog goes as smoothly as possible. What are your thoughts? Have you in the past struggled to groom your dog without him/her disrupting the process? Feel free to leave a comment down below.

4 thoughts on “How To Groom An Aggressive Dog”

  1. Grooming an aggressive dog can be a challenge, and one certainly doesn’t want to be bitten by a dog when you are just grooming him or her. I have always started the grooming from when my dogs are puppies, so it is something that they become used to when they are very young. I would first just touch them with my hands, and run them down the back and side of my dog, before introducing a brush. I a dog is not used to being groomed, it can be a problem in an older dog, so start them young. 

    Reply
    • Yes, that is a good advice you have right there. A dog should be groomed starting at as early an age as possible so that the dog will become used to being groomed by his/her owner. Thank you for sharing your experience of how you got your dogs used to you grooming them.

      Reply
  2. I loved reading this article as it’s so important to know how to handle a dog while grooming them. With having a few troubles with this myself in the past I have learned quite a few new tips that I will take with me and use next time I’m grooming my dog. Thank you for your very informative article it has taught me a lot today!

    Reply
    • You are welcome and I am glad that you have learned a lot from reading this article that will help you the next time you groom your dog.

      Reply

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