Consent Based Dog Grooming
What Is That?
Consent-based grooming is about reducing stress for your dog during the grooming process by paying attention to their behaviour and body language. It is similar to when you go to the dentist and are able to raise your hand if you are feeling uncomfortable.
Lowers stress levels
Reduces anxiety in dogs
Your dogs welfare is priority
Training your dog to accept grooming
Why I Use It
I use consent-based grooming to prevent your dog from becoming too stressed. My studies into canine behaviour will allow me to monitor your dog to see when their anxiety is increasing and help your dog to lower it. It’s my goal to encourage a calm and potentially enjoyable grooming experience for your dog.
How I Use It
There are several techniques I use including treats, pausing and grooming a different area of the body. I also do not use a blast dryer to fluff coats or rapidly dry dogs. In my experience as a groomer and dog owner myself, the anxiety caused from the loud noise is not worth it, this can mean that your dog may be damp upon collection. I prefer to trim coats to 1cm and below as this is easier and quicker for your dog limiting the time they are exposed to an anxiety causing trigger. I also avoid leaving leg fur longer on breeds such as Cockapoo’s to reduce the chance of mats on legs and feet. Whilst perhaps not as aesthetically pleasing as ‘column’ legs, it’s infinitely more practical and will allow you to maintain a grooming regime on them.
My priority is the welfare of your dog. While concentrating on making them comfortable, this may result in an imperfect groom initially until we manage to lower their anxiety levels. For one dog I work with, I started with several weekly sessions, grooming just one section of his body at a time. It wasn’t long until he learned there was nothing to be scared of and he is now happy to be completely groomed all in one appointment.
Common areas that I often find I need to leave less than perfect are feet, these are extremely sensitive in dogs and they can feel very anxious about having them trimmed so I concentrate on removing and mats and the bulk of the fur but may have to resort to leaving a few ‘untidy’ strands of fur so as not to cause unnecessary stress to your dog.
If your dog is particularly anxious, and with your agreement, I may only do the minimum in a grooming session, ensuring your dog is mat free and comfortable. I may also need to clip the coat shorter than the ideal length so that I can get under the mats rather than pulling at them and causing your dog pain. Please read and agree to my dematting policy prior to booking.
I do not crate dogs or use crate dryers, I treat your dog as if they were my own.
This method has massive advantages to anxious dogs but in my opinion makes it much more pleasant for any dog whether they are nervous or not.
This is an observational study of canine behaviour. It is a module project for module 3 of the course Foundations of Canine Behaviour Management.
Communication happens in many different ways, between the same species and different species.
The aim of this study is to identify as many acts of canine communication as possible whilst observing multiple dogs for one hour.
Training your dog to accept grooming is not something I can do on my own. It is a team effort with you, the owner. The more familiarisation to the process you do at home, the easier it is for your dog during grooming.
Unusually for a groomer, I often ask owners to stay with very anxious dogs for two reasons. The first being if it is separation anxiety, I believe it is unfair to ask your dog to deal with that on top of the stress of a groom and to show the owner how their dog reacts during grooming so that we can work on a training regime between us and I can help you with training techniques.
I would recommend that any owner purchases and of course reads the book ‘take the grrr out of grooming’ which is available along with other great information at https://www.happypawswithsue.co.uk/taking-the-grrr/.
This is a fantastic book that teaches you how to understand your dog and great training techniques. These are great for grooming training as well as general training.