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Hello friends of SDK! Christina here with your Barking Post for this week! Since we are coming into the holiday season, I thought it'd be a good time to break out the puppy book! Regardless of where you get your new best friend from, they all need similar training techniques to prepare them for grooming. Each technique should begin with allowing your pup to sniff the training device prior to touching him/her. Never "force" practice grooming and always have practice time after a play time. This will ensure the pup is calmer. Don't hesitate to use treats! Treats each time after each milestone no matter how small it may seem. Don't forget the praise! Good Job! You're So Brave!

Feet: Reason: Toenail trims, pad grooming, feather and leg grooming (long hair breeds/mixes)

-- battery operated toothbrush simulates the vibration of our clippers. With the toothbrush turned on, gently rub the bristles around each nail and underside of feet. Be sure to go all over and around the pads. Rub the toothbrush up and down each leg and the pits of the front legs and inside the back legs.

Face: Reason: Vet checks, Grooming, Medication.

-- Gentle face massages. Imagine a spa massage: hold your pup's face in your hand while rubbing your thumbs up over their nose to above and around the eyes and mouth. This will help reduce the sensitivity when it comes to checking the mouth and eyes during a vet visit and while grooming. Step this up a notch by using a spoon and gently rubbing it around the eyes and up/down the chin and throat area. Work up to using the battery toothbrush. The vibration is similar to our clippers and desensitizing a pup's face is the most difficult. Take it slow and be patient.

Sanitary: Vet checks, Grooming.

-- Practice keeping the pup standing and still while you lift each rear leg. Never lift above the back! Start simply by lifting a foot and setting it down. Work up to lifting a leg and using the battery toothbrush on the inside of legs and abdomen. While the pup is standing, lift the tail. All of these movements are important when shaving sanitary areas and tummies.

All over body: Before ending the grooming practice, be sure to do a small all over practice. Use your dog brush, comb, spoon and toothbrush to do an all over "sensation" practice. Always end with positive reinforcement and treats. A well desensitized puppy will ensure that your grooming bill will stay low, and your furry best friend will grow up to enjoy the grooming process.

Happy Practice,

SDK Groomer, Christina

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