Grooming a large dog can be a bit of a challenge especially if you’re doing it alone with no one to help you. I am going to share some tips that I have learned from my experience with large dogs.
Train Your Dog to Help You
Yes, you read that correctly. You can train your dog to help you with some of the procedures that are involved with being groomed. Training takes time and patience on your part. Every dog is different, some learn fast and others not so fast. While training your dog you need to avoid distractions, you need to have his undivided attention. Use simple 1-2 word commands along with body language. It is always best to start this training when your dog is a puppy but you can still teach an older dog new tricks. Furthermore, a well-trained dog will make grooming a more enjoyable experience for both you and your dog.
Getting on the Grooming Table
I recommend using a grooming table no matter what size your pet is. It will save you from having back pain and make the grooming process go much smoother.
Large dogs can be taught to help you get them on the table. Start by having the table set as low as it will go then put the grooming noose around your dog’s neck. Teach your dog to place his front paws on the grooming table. You can do this by patting your hand on the top of the table and saying “Up”. This will encourage him to stand and place his front paws on the table. Once his front paws are on the table put your arm under his belly just in front of his back legs. Then lift and swing his hind legs onto the table. Immediately hook the noose to the grooming arm. Reward your dog with praise, do this every time and it will soon become a natural routine for your dog.
Another option for getting your large dog on the grooming table is to use a set of portable steps made just for this purpose. You can then train your dog to walk up the steps and onto the table.
Getting In and Out of the Tub
Teach your dog to jump in and out of the tub that you will be bathing him in. Teaching him to jump in the tub will take a bit of coaxing on your part. Start by putting yourself in the tub. Place a grooming noose around his neck and gently tug on it while saying “Jump” or whatever word you prefer to use. You may need to get someone to help by giving your dog a gentle push from behind. Once he has jumped into the tub attach the noose to a hook or whatever you have to use. Reward your dog with praise then begin bathing.
Jumping out of the tub is obviously much easy, most dogs will do this as soon as the bath is over. Before you allow your dog to jump out of the tub make sure that the floor he is jumping onto is covered with a non-slip mat. You don’t want your dog to slip and hurt himself. I personally use a mat and a few towels on the floor after bathing my Boxers.
Teach your Dog to Sit and Stand on Command
Most dogs already know the command to sit. If you haven’t taught your dog to sit on command I suggest doing this now. Once your dog knows to sit you can begin to teach him to stand. Teaching your dog to stand will be a big help when it comes to grooming. Start by telling your dog to sit, then say the word “Stand” at the same time put your hand under his belly pushing up until he is fully standing on all four. Praise him and repeat the training, your dog will soon get the idea just like he did when you taught him to sit.
Training and grooming are some of the ways to show your dog you care. You are spending quality time together and building a bond that will last a lifetime. Always remember to reward your dog after every training and grooming session. Nothing delights your dog more than to make you happy.
I hope you found these tips for grooming a large dog to be helpful. If you have any questions please leave me a comment.
Happy dog grooming,