Introducing your dog to grooming slowly

Question: How do I begin introducing my pet to the grooming process?

Answer: Start slowly and simply. Your pet will experience many sensations while being groomed and will benefit from acclimating at their own pace. Let’s break it down.

Hey, hi! Welcome to the full-on commitment of grooming your own pup. Before we get started, I want to make sure you’ve *link* committed to investing in this process by obtaining the right tools. I’m going to reiterate the upcoming paragraph and bullet points on every post. Ready?

Commit to every step.


Regular grooming that is performed properly will result in a healthier and happier dog inside and out. It is so important to understand that improper grooming can introduce new, worsen ongoing, or exacerbate preexisting issues. No slacking, okay? Commit, for the sake of your babe, to the following:


  • Value grooming as an essential method of health care maintenance and respect the process.
  • You get what you pay for. Invest in appropriate and quality tools and supplies.
  • Start slow. Introducing your sweet friend to each part of the process is critical to overall success. You’ll find the pace that works best for both of you throughout the series of steps. 
  • Learn how to properly bathe – yes, it’s probably more in depth than you think!
  • Understand the importance of drying. 
  • Know that grooming is a skill and will require dedication, patience, and practice. 
  • Please, for the love of dog, recognize signs of stress. This goes for yourself and your pet. If you find yourself struggling, take your dog to a professional groomer or veterinarian! 


Heck yeah, y’all. Are you ready to start slow? Let’s do this.

Touch, sight, sounds, and smells, and tastes – the basic five senses that we’re all familiar with is a fundamental place to start.

Before we put all of our attention on the pup, let’s get ourselves in check. You should exude a calm, confident, and nonchalant demeanor throughout any level of training. This will promote an overall relaxing and welcoming environment conducive to learning.


If your pet reacts negatively, avoid coddling, and use an easy tone to point out that everything is all good. “No worries, little friend. We got this. You hear this noise? Good dude! Yeah, good job! What a funny noise!” Comfortable is the tone here. If you are uncomfortable, your pet will pick up on this. Be confident! Encourage the same for your babe!

Bring your best zen vibes, be ready to hype up your little dude, and know when to walk away to reset yourself or the situation. You got this, human!

Your goal here is to spend increasing increments of time dedicated to introducing your pet to the grooming process that will be so necessary for his well being throughout his entire life. This should be a tedious, focused, and FUN learning experience for everyone!

When should you do this? And for how long? Any time! Really. Make any amount of “down time” into real quality time by putting these efforts below into practice. Knock it out while on a Netflix binge. Or schedule specific blocks of time, maybe after a walk when the babe is a little pooped. As long as everyone is enjoying themselves, you can do this any time. But again, increments of time are important here. For starters, maybe do 5 minutes; for quick learners that are hungry to please, you may end up spending 20-30 minutes per session. You’ll find what works.

Now, on to the senses.

Beginning with touch, you can spark engagement and nourish a trusting relationship simply by petting your dog. While you put your dog at ease with pets and pats, this act also simultaneously introduces the idea of where the grooming tools will be operated – which is probably everywhere on his little body depending on the coat he carries!

Important focal points will vary depending upon the mix or breed features. Got a beard that will likely need trimming? Got furry feet? Massive undercoat? Focus there. Don’t forget in between the toes!

Sight and Smell

Now let’s introduce the grooming tools without using them. For instance, just lay each item out on the floor. Start with brushes as they are relatively safe. Reward when they sniff around them or show any interest. Heck, leave them out all day so their presence seems normal. Visit the area occasionally to pick up an item and show your own interest. Once he seems familiar, or exhibits curiosity without fear, lightly use the back side in a brushing motion down his back. Use lots of praise and make it a happy activity! Do this with each tool and the respective part of his body, his face and feet especially.


The buzz of clippers, the hum of a dremmel or automatic nail file, the quick snippy noise of nail clippers, the blast of blow dryers – whew, here we go! Be ready to give the highest praise or use your best treats. Our goal is to desensitize and eliminate big reactions to loud sounds.

Without using the tools on your pet’s body, turn on one tool that needs power to function. If you can safely prop it somewhere it cannot fall or break, that is preferrable. We are just introducing the noise. Spend time just here and let your pet become comfortable with the new sensation.

If you are working with the blow dryer, do not use any heat. If you are working with clippers or another sharp object, please either use a cover or exhibit extreme caution.

If, and only if, your pet is not fussed by the noise, you can move onto holding the tool. If all parties are then comfortable and your pet even seems curious, you can begin to bring it closer. Point whichever tool in the opposite direction as it would actually be used and let the noise fill the area as you casually go about petting and encouraging your little one. Act as if nothing has changed. Starting near your pet’s tail or rear is likely a more welcoming introduction than a straight blow dryer breeze to the face.

High level: do a run of all your basic training commands while the blow dryer is on! Whaaat, y’all are pros.

This is just the beginning! Easing your little one into this will prove to be a massive assist in the long run. Actually putting the tools to use is our next step and you can read about that here. *link*


I truly believe that every age group from young pup, to adolescent babes, indifferent adults, to stubborn seniors can benefit from the introduction to the grooming process. The rewards are in the tasks associated!


Grooming practices, like any training sessions, are so important to stay healthy, to build confidence, to create a strong foundation for a well mannered personality, and to encourage a babe that enjoys being groomed. Bonus – you get to strengthen your bond along the way! You’ll find that so many things go hand in hand. Starting early while your little one is malleable is such an advantage. Late bloomers may require more patience but I’ve got hope and you should, too!


Future links:
Positive reinforcement
Intertwining basic training
Which tools to use and when

Looking For A Professional?

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Morbi volutpat, leo quis hendrerit dictum, sapien libero fermentum justo, eget faucibus diam arcu.

Get in Touch By Phone Or email

Morbi volutpat, leo quis hendrerit dictum, sapien libero fermentum justo, eget faucibus diam arcu sit amet nisi. Duis rutrum diam.


(245) 426-3523