How to Get a Dog Not to Move While Grooming : Dog Training Musts

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How to Groom a Hyper Dog

Three Methods:

Some dogs are naturally more energetic than others, which can make grooming more difficult. You can try to calm your dog, either by tiring them out with exercise or by using a veterinarian-recommended sedative. This will help make grooming easier, and will help your dog relax during the process. Your hyper dog may need to be restrained while you're bathing and grooming them, so it can be helpful to have another person assist you.


Calming Your Dog Before Grooming

  1. Identify the source of your dog’s energy.Some dogs naturally have more energy than others. Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, Jack Russell terriers, and Chihuahuas are all high-energy dogs that can become destructive and hyper when they’re bored.Before you begin grooming your dog, try to assess why they are full of energy. Your dog may be naturally high-energy, or their hyperactivity could be because they need to be exercised or they are stressed.
    • They may need to be exercised so they can burn off their excess energy.
    • They may be wound up because they are very excited for grooming or for another reason.
  2. Exercise your hyper dog.A tired dog is much more easily groomed than a hyper dog. This is especially true with working breed dogs, since they naturally have higher levels of energy and need a significant amount of exercise to keep them relatively calm. An hour or two before you groom your dog, make sure they get plenty of exercise. Depending on your dog’s preferences, you could play a rigorous game of fetch, go for a run, or take them to the dog park.
    • Let hyper dogs wear themselves out with exercise.
    • This is a great way to calm your dog if you do not want to use a sedative or calming medication.
  3. Talk to your veterinarian about calming medications.There are a number of different medications available that can help calm down hyper dogs. These medicines can help calm a dog's anxiety and stress levels, and act as a mild sedative.You should always consult your veterinarian before giving your dog any over-the-counter or herbal remedies. They are able to identify any potential side effects or risks associated with the medicine.
    • You can also talk to them about herbal and natural remedies. Ask about products that contain valerian root, chamomile, and ginger root. Never give your dog an herbal calming product without consulting your veterinarian.
  4. Use a sedative to calm the dog.Exercise should be helpful in calming your dog down before grooming. However, some extremely hyper dogs may need a sedative or calming medication to settle them down enough that you can safely groom them. After talking to your veterinarian, you may use an over-the-counter medication in the prescribed amount.
    • One of the most common medications that they prescribe is Benadryl. This is an over the counter antihistamine that is also known as diphenhydramine.
    • Your veterinarian may recommend melatonin, which has a mild sedative effect that is safe for dogs.
    • Acepromazine is usually recommended if melatonin and Benadryl don’t work since it is a sedative.
  5. Administer an alternative calming aid.Beyond over the counter medication, there are several other products available that may help to soothe your dog. The most commonly used product is the Thundershirt. The shirt helps to reduce anxiety in your dog by making them feel more secure and comfortable in stressful situations, like grooming.
    • Thundershirts are essentially compression shirts that are used to ease anxiety and hyperactivity in dogs.While the shirt cannot be used during bathing, you may use them while you’re clipping your dog’s nails, cleaning their ears, or brushing their teeth.
    • There are also DAP collars that release a calming “Dog Appeasing Pheromone” that some owners find helpful in calming their hyper pets.
  6. Administer any medication prior to grooming.You want to administer the sedative or calming medication prior to grooming so the active ingredients have a chance to become effective. You should read the manufacturer’s directions about the length of time these medications take to become effective, but in general you should expect to give it to them at least thirty to sixty minutes prior to grooming.
    • You can hide the pill in a smelly and tasty food that your dog loves, like peanut butter, canned food, or liverwurst.

Planning Your Grooming Strategy

  1. Keep the grooming session short.Long grooming sessions will only exacerbate your dog’s hyper energy. Try to keep them as short as you can, whether it’s ten or fifteen minutes. You can also give your dog breaks during the grooming process to calm them down.
  2. Prevent your dog from escaping the grooming area.During a bath or brushing, a hyper dog might try to bolt away from you and escape. They may think that grooming is a game, or they may be anxious and stressed about the process. Either way, you want to make sure that your dog is unable to escape.
    • If you are grooming them in your bathroom indoors, make sure you securely close the door.
    • When you are grooming your dog outdoors, make sure you are in an enclosed area.
    • You can also put your dog on a leash and tie it to something, like a tree, to prevent them from running. Or, you can enlist the help of another person to hold your dog while you’re grooming them.
  3. Restrain your dog, if needed.You may need to restrain your dog while you are grooming them. You can enlist the help of another person to hold the dog in place while you’re grooming them, or you can hold them with one hand while you work with the other. You can loop one arm around your dog’s midsection to hold them still.
    • Do not respond if they begin to struggle while they’re being restrained, and do not let them wriggle out of your hold.
    • Keep your voice steady and calm. Don’t use a sympathetic or baby voice during the process, since this can teach the dog that grooming is something to be feared.
  4. Groom in a calm environment.Hyper dogs can become even more energetic if they become overstimulated. Try to keep the grooming environment as calm and quiet as you can. For example, don't have music blaring from a stereo when you're outside and avoid grooming outdoors when the neighbors are cutting their grass or throwing a party. Indoors, try to make sure members of the household are staying relatively quiet.

Bathing and Grooming Your Dog

  1. Get your dog ready for their bath.After they have been exercised and any medication has had a chance to take effect, your hyper dog should be somewhat calmed down. If they are still high energy, take this time to try to soothe them by petting them, and talking to them in a calming voice. If you are using a leash to keep your dog close to you, you do not need to take their collar off. Otherwise, remove their collar.
    • When you are bathing them in your bathroom, place them in the bathtub. The bathroom should be secured and the door should be closed.
    • When they are being bathed outdoors, you should have the hose ready. You will either need to hold on to them while they are being washed, have their leash tied to something immovable nearby, or have another person hold them.
  2. Thoroughly wet their fur.Make sure the water is warm, but not hot. You can use your hands, a hose, a shower head attachment, or a bucket to wet their fur. Their fur should be completely wet so you can begin to wash them.
    • Avoid getting water in their ears, since this can cause an infection.
  3. Massage shampoo into their coat.Using a shampoo that is specially designed for dogs, put a small amount of shampoo into your hands and start to lather it into their coat. You want to use shampoo on their entire body, and pay special attention to areas that are dirtier, like their paws. Be careful washing their faces. Shampoo can irritate their eyes, and you want to avoid getting water and shampoo into their ears.
    • It may be helpful to have another person hold your dog’s head.
  4. Rinse your dog thoroughly.It’s important that you thoroughly rinse your dog to remove all traces of shampoo from their coat. Leftover shampoo can really irritate your dog’s skin, so keep rinsing for another minute after the water runs clear to be sure all the residue is gone.
  5. Dry your dog.Use a cotton towel to dry your dog off. While a blow dryer is a popular option to dry your dog off, a hyper dog is unlikely to sit patiently in the time it takes to blow dry their coats.Use a towel instead and cut down on the time it takes to dry their coat.
    • If you want to prevent your dog from shaking water all over your bathroom, try this trick. Gently take hold of their muzzle with your hand, using your thumb and forefinger. When dogs can’t shake and rotate their head, their body also won’t shake. This way, you can towel dry them and limit the amount of mess they’ll make.
    • Use a soft cotton cloth to wipe the inside of the dog’s ears.
  6. Restrain your dog for the rest of grooming.You may want to clip their nails, brush their fur, trim their fur, or brush their teeth. Bathing is typically more difficult with a hyper dog, since water is involved. During the rest of these grooming acts, you can hold your dog still by either putting them on your lap or wrapping your arm around their midsection and holding on to their collar.
    • You can also ask someone else to hold onto your dog while you are working on them.
  7. Reward your dog for their good behavior.While you’re grooming, be sure to praise and reward your dog for their good behavior. You want grooming to be an enjoyable process for both you and your dog. Positive reinforcement teaches your dog that when they obey your commands and behave well, they’ll be rewarded. This encourages good behavior and can help make grooming a smoother process in the future.
    • Praise them for being a good dog and for listening to you. You can also give them their favorite treat or take them out to play a game that they love.

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  • Stay calm throughout this process. When a dog can tell that you’re stressed and frustrated, they will respond negatively as well.
  • Make grooming a routine. Most dogs need to be bathed once a month, but your dog’s particular breed might need to be bathed more or less frequently. By following a grooming routine, your hyper dog will begin to understand that even if they are hyperactive, they will still get groomed.
  • You can give your dog a treat when they are being restrained so they can become accustomed to being handled.


  • Never yell or hit your dog during this process. This will not help them become calm, and is abusive.
  • Always consult your veterinarian before giving your dog any type of medication.
  • Always follow the veterinarian’s instructions for dosing for medication.

Video: How to Groom a Hyper, Uncooperative Pitbull

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