How to Calm a Dog for Grooming: Tips and Tricks

By Chelsea Hunt-Rivera / August 28, 2019

Grooming your dog requires patience and proper training of the dog. Also, it is essential to calm your dog before you start a grooming session. The dog may feel uncomfortable or act strangely while grooming. Hence, you need to turn the whole process into a fun-loaded and rewarding experience. Below are some of the tips that can make your dog’s grooming a less tiring and hassle-free procedure.

Tips to Follow

To calm your dog before grooming, you need to give them some time to understand the process. The dogs usually feel anxious when you place scissors, brushes, and other stuff in front of your dog. 

To make the grooming process as smooth as possible, try to follow these tips. 

Spend some rime with your dog before grooming

By spending some time with your dog before starting a grooming session is a perfect way to calm the pet. It helps to familiarize the dog with the process by occasionally brushing their hair. Show them the tools from time to time and let the dog experience the things around them. 

Repeat this process almost every day without actually grooming the dog. This will help to build your dog’s confidence over the tools that you are going to use for the grooming purpose. As a result, your dog won’t act scared when looking at the grooming tools like clippers, scissors, or brushes. 

Go slowly

Slow and steady wins the race. Yes! You heard it right. This old saying also applies to grooming your dog. Therefore, prepare your dog for grooming slowly and steadily. Usually, dogs or any other pet react abruptly to change. 

So trying to groom your dog without preparing them for the task isn’t a good idea. Instead, try to condition your dog slowly and let them understand the situation first. 

For instance, before grinding their nails, allow your dog to see and sniff the tool. After that, gently touch the clipper to their paws and pull it back. Repeat this process a couple of times until your dog is entirely familiar with the tool. 

Once your dog starts to act normally, don’t forget to reward them for their excellent behavior.

Choose a neutral location

Apart from other aspects, the selection of a suitable location for your dog’s grooming is essential. The best possible option is to go for a neutral position. When you have already tried to groom your pup in a room, and everything went wrong, don’t choose this location. 

The dog won’t feel comfortable going into that particular room due to the element of fear. Therefore, select a neutral location if possible or choose a place where your dog loves to play. In most cases, pets enjoy playing in the outdoor area. For example, your backyard would be a perfect place to start a grooming session. 

Talk to your dog while grooming them

Talking to your dog helps to divert their attention from the grooming process. Hence, when giving treats to your dog, talk to them continuously. Try to make the grooming session a fun activity by offering rewards to the dog. 

For instance, after clipping a few nails, talk to your dog, and start brushing their hair without the dog taking notice of what you are doing. Rewarding the dog after every action with a treat makes the grooming session more enjoyable for both you and your pet.

Train your dog for grooming

Before grooming, try to condition your dog and allow them to understand what exactly is happening to them. To keep your dog calm during the grooming session, try to introduce behavioural training principles relying on the touch and reward procedure. 

Here are some of the tips that you need to follow to train your dog: 

  1. To start with, use the touch and treat method. Touch your dog at different spots and give them a treat after touching and pampering your dog for a few minutes
  2. Repeat this process for preparing your dog and make them used to your touch and grooming tools
  3. Start slowly and keep an eye on the behavior of the dog. If the dog is feeling annoyed, stop the process immediately
  4. Break up the tasks into various small sessions. This will help to keep the dog calm during the session
  5. Praise your dog for his good behavior and reward them every time you finish each step of the grooming session


So, how to calm a dog for grooming? First, if you are not good at grooming your dog, the most viable method is to visit a professional groomer. On the other hand, if you have the experience of grooming a dog, you can use it for any new pet.

Special care and caution are necessary for procedures like nail trimming and cutting the hair. Furthermore, don’t start a grooming session until your dog is completely calm and cooperative. By following the above tips, the grooming process should be a calm and happy one.

About the author

Chelsea Hunt-Rivera

Chelsea Rivera is a Dedicated Pet Parent who loves to create amazing content for pet owners and is helping change pet wellness as the Head of Content for