1. Manage your expectations! What your dog will tolerate at the groomers may be not what they tolerate at home. At the groomers, they are in different territory, and the groomer is in position of authority.
2. Start when your dog is tired and content. Have a helping extra hand and plenty of really tasty treats to make it enjoyable as possible and to reward good behavior.
3. Small dogs can be placed on secure table, against a wall if possible or a counter . Have him secure on collar and lead with him tethered if possible and an extra helper. A large dog can be tethered on the ground.
4. Don't be fooled by promotional grooming videos which make it look easy. It takes months of skill and practice to master clipping a dog fully. If your dog is not badly matted, keeping him groomed well should be enough for now. It’s the safest and easiest. Keep sessions short and have fun with your dog afterwards so they will learn to enjoy the experience.
5. Check for over grown nails ,in particular the dew claws. These are the ones high up off the ground and may be found on front and back feet. If your dog is getting walked regularly you shouldn’t have to worry about the other nails.
6. Areas to prioritize : If you need to trim with a scissors, the important areas are around bum, penis and eyes. Using small rounded nail scissors. Keep about half inch away from the skin , always point the scissors away from the dogs eyes and body. Check ears and teeth are healthy and check for parasites.
7. Aim for comfort over looks at this point, just do body and leave tricky parts for groomer. If you do decide to do more, areas to be extra careful around are ears mouth and eyes feet and under arm pits .
8. If you come across knot cut it out carefully rather than trying to pull in out as this will cause the dog pain. Place a comb behind the knot, in front of the skin and you should be able to safely cut it out without risking cutting the skin .
9. Types of brush: a slicker brush is the most common brush to use. It helps to de-shed and condition. Start at an easy part, like the back. Make sure you push the hair up and brush from the skin out to ensure the full coat is groomed. A conditioning spray can be very helpful too. Comb through afterwards to check your work.
10.How to reward good behavior: Important to motivate and reward your dog as you go along. Extra tasty morsels can bring round the most uncooperative dog! A lick matt can be useful too to distract him when dealing with trickier areas! Also remember to smile and praise heavily while dog is being good !
Finally, during this weather, take care with walks, avoid mid day walks and providing shade and extra water. Your dog may be dealing with coat that he’s used to. If your dog is extremely matted and it’s badly affecting his health or movement contact your vet!
Happy grooming !!