Why is it important to get your puppy accustomed to being brushed?
We all know how much work is involved in raising a puppy. Potty training, discipline and socialization are very important life lessons, among many others. Do we need to train our puppies for future grooming visits? Yes, we do.
We need to get our puppies used to being brushed. If we don’t brush our puppies, the hair will start to tangle and eventually develop into thick mats. This will make the grooming process very stressful for the puppy as he/she will need to be shaved down, and the matting will pull on the skin causing pain.
First, we need to understand that all dogs have different types of coats; long hair, short hair, heavy coats and smooth coats. Golden Retriever’s and Shih Tzu’s with long coats are going to need more frequent brushing than Labrador Retrievers and Beagles with smooth coats.
- Buy an appropriate brush and designate time to spend on brushing your puppy every day.
- Sit down with your puppy or have him/her elevated on a table. It helps to have 2 people during the brushing process: one person holds the puppy still and the other does the brushing.
- Make sure you brush down close enough to the skin so that all of the hair is being brushed out. Lift up arms and legs so all of the hair around the friction areas are being brushed too.
- Do not forget areas like the feet, tail, head and ears!
- Dogs with smooth coats may not grow hair long enough to be brushed however, there are tools we can use to rid of excessive undercoat and reduce shedding!
- Always remain calm during the brushing process, if your puppy tries to get away we must bring him/her back to the brushing position and continue the process.
- Give treats for praise and vocalize positive reinforcement, convince your puppy that brushing is important.
- Using a fine toothed comb afterwards will ensure the coat is free of mats.
- Be consistent and always end the brushing process in a positive state.
If we just spend a little extra time with our puppies every day we can help make them live more comfortably by having a healthy coat!
Written by Aprille Fattore, Professional Dog Groomer