Puppy Grooming – looking great for life

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Puppy Grooming, Dog Grooming School

Puppy Grooming – looking great for life

Getting a new puppy is an exciting prospect and we are hugely attracted by how a puppy looks to us, therefore puppy grooming is essential to keep them looking and feeling great for life. 

Considering grooming when choosing a puppy

Before a new puppy joins your home there is so much to consider, the biggest being if you can fulfil a dog’s needs. These needs vary between breeds and types of dogs but usually involve a time and financial commitment from an owner.  Do you have the time to train, exercise & care for a dog? Do you have the finances to provide for their health & wellbeing including food, equipment, veterinary care & grooming services?  It would be very easy to simply say yes, I can afford the care of this dog but without the time, your dog won’t be fulfilled and vice versa.  From a grooming perspective, you need to choose a dog with a coat type that works for your time commitment and lifestyle.  A Poodle can require 45 minutes of brushing a day where a Labrador may only need 5 minutes.

Puppy Grooming training at home

When you have your new puppy, grooming training can start straight away by making it a fun and rewarding experience that they enjoy.  Here are some hints and tips to help your puppy settle into a grooming routine.

Desensitise to vibrations

Clippers make funny noises and vibrate which can worry a puppy so for coats that may require clipping, it is important to desensitise your puppy to vibrations early.  This can be done by stroking them with an electric toothbrush whilst giving treats or allowing them to touch the vibrations whilst they have a cuddle.  It is important to not force the dog and allow them to come back willingly if they move away.  This takes time and patience but will take much stress away from the grooming process.

Desensitise to metal

Most grooming tools contain metal that again makes strange noises when it snips of clangs.  You can desensitise to the snipping noise by using a pair of kitchen scissors and snipping around the dog when they are in a relaxed state. This action simulates a groomer and although hair isn’t being cut, it shows the pup that there is nothing to fear.  Equally running a spoon over your dog can desensitise them to metal in brushes that feel heavy or cold.

Nail trim – touch those feet

The only way to get a dog used to having their feet touched is by doing it often with praise and rewards.  Nail trims don’t hurt but dogs that don’t like having their feet touched can be very fearful so early training is very beneficial. Touching your dogs feet daily is important, feel in between the pads, hold your dogs fee / leg up for a few seconds as this will help your dog not feel anxious about the grooming process and also will help in the future should the dog have a cut or graze.

Stand training

Most puppy classes teach a dog to sit but learning to stand on command is ideal for grooming (and the show ring).

Going to a professional groomers

If your dog needs regular grooming it is important they attend a grooming salon as early as possible, puppies can go from at least 12 weeks after their injections. It is important for them to get use to the sights, sounds, people and environment. Slow introduction is key which promotes confidence and will ensure when your puppy needs a full groom they feel relaxed and not overwhelmed with the whole experience. Usually groomers will offer a puppy package where certain activities are completed at each session and that the puppy feels relaxed and is rewarded at each session.

Learning to Groom Your Own Dog

All grooming can be completed at home with the right equipment but depending on your dog’s coat type, the equipment needed can range from a single brush to hundreds of pounds for tables, dryers, clippers and tools.  Grooming dogs is a skill that takes time to learn with practice and patience to master.  If you don’t want to seek the services of a professional groomer, why not learn to groom your own dog properly under expert tuition?  For just £299 you can bring your pup to Four Paws Groom School (locations in Cheshire, Shropshire & Herefordshire) and learn how to correctly groom their coat to create the style you are looking for. Whether this is a Springer Spaniel with traditional furnishings, a Cockerpoo in a teddy trim, a Cavachon with flared legs or a West Highland Terrier looking for a personality style, our friendly and experienced team show you the equipment and techniques used to produce a salon standard finish. Four Paws Groom School welcome all breeds and their owners and were recently featured on Channel 5’s Dogs Behaving Very Badly working with Winnie the Schnoodle and her owner to overcome some behavioural issues around grooming, allowing Winnie to calm and be professionally groomed once again.

Choosing a professional groomer

All dogs will need a degree of grooming at home but many owners choose to enlist a professional groomer to give them the salon standard finish and choosing a dog groomer can be confusing. Although dog grooming is not a regulated industry, we advise anyone paying for a professional service to choose a groomer who holds an Ofqual Level 3 Diploma in Dog Grooming and a Canine First Aid qualification as a minimum. This is the level recommended by industry experts and organisations such as The Groomers Spotlight who promote qualified groomers (www.thegroomerspotlight.co.uk). By choosing a qualified groomer, you know that the person has studied and been tested on their knowledge and skill, giving an element of reassurance that your beloved pet is in safe hands.

Professional grooming costs vary with coat type and frequency. A short coated breed may need a bath and de-shed every 3 months at £65 where a wool coat such as a Bichon Frise may require styling every 4 weeks at £120.  Prices between groomers vary too (and rightly so) it is a service and prices will be based on business overheads, alongside the skill & experience of a groomer and the type of products/equipment they use. If your dog gets knotty or his behaviours mean he takes longer to groom, you can expect to pay a surcharge.  As an industry, groomers can be undervalued for their work but unlike human hairdressers, their clients don’t sit still and expect a bottom wash too therefore expect to pay accordingly.

It is important that grooming is considered when getting a puppy and early training allows for a lifetime of fuss free pampering.  Those who are inspired to become a professional dog groomer can find a training provider near them who delivers the iPET Network Level 3 Diploma in Dog Grooming & Salon Management, a nationally recognised Ofqual qualification that takes novices to professional dog groomers. www.ipetnetwork.co.uk

Enhance your animal care career

Completing a course with Four Paws Groom School offers learners a distinct advantage in enhancing their animal care career by providing a comprehensive and hands-on curriculum taught by experienced professionals. With a focus on grooming techniques, animal behaviour, and industry best practices, our training courses equips learners with the knowledge and skills needed to excel in the competitive field of animal care. The modern facilities and personalised guidance from experienced tutors ensure that student not only meet but exceed industry standards, positioning them for success in a fulfilling and rewarding career working with animals.

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