No one likes to think of their dog as aggressive. However, when your dog is placed in a new environment with lots of new sounds & smells, is manhandled (for their own good, but they don’t know that), and surrounded by strangers, they can often get a little stressed.
Even in the hands of the best groomers, it can be a very new and excitable environment.
However, better understanding your dog can help you help them.
If your dog gets aggressive while grooming there are a few things to know.
Aggression in dogs can come from quite a few different negative emotions that your dog is feeling.
Although the aggression may look similar from emotion to emotion, understanding what your dog is feeling and why can help you resolve (or at least alleviate) the negative emotion.
If a dog is aggressive due to a predatory nature, and you attempt to nurture it as if it were merely afraid, you could potentially make the problem worse.
So go through the list and see what kind of aggression your dog may be showing:
They will show signs of anxiety and stress and fear before getting aggressive.
They may have their ears pulled back, panting, whining, wide eyes, shaking, or a stiff body.
These are just a few of the things to look for.
If you are stressed then most likely the dog will be stressed as well. Make sure you are calm and confident when taking your dog to a groomer.
Try and make the trip to the groomer enjoyable for the dog, also go more frequently to the groomer will help.
If you only go every 4 or 5 months they will be stressed every time but if you go more frequently they will most likely learn that it isn’t so bad.
This happens if a dog responds inappropriately when their behavior is corrected or handled.
Make sure that you are calm and assertive so they know that you are in charge.
Also set rules and boundaries for your dog. They will let your dog know that they don’t run the house.
These dogs will protect a treasured possession such as toys or food.
One of the quickest things to do is prevent access to the things that they guard.
You can also work on different commands like drop it or leave it. Try and make a game out of it so they think if they give you what they have they get something better.
A lot of dogs bark or snap at people and animals along the fence because it is their perceived territory.
Work on basic obedience and work on their recall skills. Another thing you can do to help is to work on a command that tells them to be calm and quiet. Start practice inside and then go outside.
They are trying to protect themselves or their own.
If your dog has protective aggression then it needs to be stopped. This will take training and patience to get them to not react to other people and animals.
They show this aggression because of their prey drive.
One of the main if not only ways is to avoid situations where they will have this aggression.
If a dog attacks cats then avoid cats, if they attack small dogs then avoid small dogs.
With this type of aggression it is best to seek professional help when training them.
Most if not all of the times they will have maternal aggression because they just had puppies.
They show this kind of aggression to protect their puppies.
Give them space and time. They are trying to protect their babies so let them. When they are comfortable you can approach them.
Dogs aren't able to communicate their pain to you in a similar way that a child would. They can't use their words. They can't point to where it hurts. It can be difficult for a dog to communicate that they are in pain.
However, if you pay attention, you should be able to identify things that cause your fur baby pain.
It does require attention, though.
If you are already aware of problem areas that your dog is feeling temporary or chronic pain, ensure that they groomer is aware.
Simply knowing the problem will help them do their jobs better.
Help Your Dog Become Familiar With The Stimuli Associated With Brushing
Dogs can easily be freaked out by brushing if they are not familiar with it.
The feeling of having a brush run through their fur/hair can be scary when it’s done by a stranger. The feeling can be extra scary if they have tangles, and the brush snags and makes them feel pain.
They can be desensitized to this sensation if they become familiar with it at home, in the hands of someone they trust.
When your dog is a puppy, get them used to being brushed.
Start off slow if it’s totally new to your dog. Start with just the body at first. Once they seem to be more comfortable with it, move on to more stressful areas (such as ears, paws, tails, and face).
Use treats to make it a game and a more enjoyable experience.