Here’s How You Can Prepare a Nervous Dog for the Groomer

Nervous Dogs at the Groomer Most dogs get a little nervous when their owner takes them out of their comfort zone. If you were a dog who was used to living in one place, and all of a sudden your owner tries to put you in a car and take you somewhere foreign, you’d be nervous too!

D’Tails Grooming grooms a lot of dogs. Some of them seem perfectly comfortable at the groomer e, while others come in noticeably nervous. What are some tips we can offer pet owners to help them help their nervous dog prepare for time at the groomer’s place?


First, because grooming involves a lot of touching of the dog, you should get your dog used to being handled by humans. That means your dog should be exposed to more than just your hands– so when visitors come to the house, let them touch your dog so he or she becomes somewhat used to “strangers.” As for specific touching, start with areas that aren’t too sensitive, like the shoulders. Pair “predictor words” with a gentle touch of the specific spot. Therefore,  you can say “shoulders” when you’re rubbing your dog’s shoulders. Then move to other areas, like “ears” or “paws.” If you/your visitors do this in a gentle and comforting way, your dog will be less nervous about being touched in general.

Plan the Right Trip

How about getting your dog in the car to go somewhere, like the groomer’s place? Try taking your dog in a car for a short ride around the block before you go for long rides. Maybe your dog gets motion sickness– check with a vet for anti-nausea medication if this is the case. Add stuff to your car that the dog likes, so he or she will associate the car with “good stuff,” such as a particular toy or treat.

Pre-grooming Visit

Finally, consider asking your groomer if you can bring the dog there for a pre-grooming visit… that way, you’re bringing the dog there to “check it out” without going “all the way” for a full grooming session. This exposure to the sights and sounds of the place helps take the worry away from the dog. At the groomer’s, give the dog treats and rewards so he or she feels good about being there.

To learn more about how you can prepare your for a trip the groomers, contact us today.

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