Tia, a Neopolitan Mastiff, gave birth to a litter of puppies on 29 November 2004 in Cambridgeshire, UK. The 24 puppies were the largest litter ever.
Now that's a puppy grooming challenge.
Whether you have 24 puppies or one, grooming is important. It's beneficial for your puppy and for adult dogs too. Getting off on the right foot can save your puppy and you lots of problems down the line.
Read on to learn about 5 puppy grooming mistakes you need to avoid.
First, why is grooming important for puppies and dogs?
Regular brushing of your dog's coat aerates the coat and promotes healthy growth. The brushing encourages good blood supply to the skin. The grooming keeps natural grease in the coat from blocking pores and causing cysts on the skin surface.
The brushing removes hairs that have molted and become matted. This is not only good for the appearance of your dog but also reduces skin complaints.
Getting started early in a puppy's life is so much better than trying to train a dog later. Your puppy can begin to learn that being handled is fine from the first day you have them.
Don't wait until your puppy needs to be spruced up because their coat is too long. They are likely to find the experience frightening and react badly.
A puppy has to get used to brushing, bathing and being handled a step at a time.
Start with touching and handling in a way that is associated with nice things like a puppy treat. Start by letting them sniff your hand and when their nose touches you, reward them.
Move on to touching the puppy's head, shoulders and back over a period of about a week. Keep rewarding with encouraging words and morsels of food. If the puppy reacts by biting or acting scared, backtrack.
When they are ready, move on to other areas of your puppy's body. Move on to holding, restraining and moving your puppy for a few seconds and then for longer using the same gentle encouragement.
Notice how you are around your puppy. Are you relaxed or are you tense? If you are anxious about the process of training your puppy to accept being touched, held and moved you are less likely to be successful.
Your anxiety will mean that your movements will be less relaxed during puppy grooming. You are less likely to have fluid, gentle movements.
You may be tempted to make brushing "fun" by playing games with brushes. This can teach your puppy to be excited and even bite or nip when being brushed.
Equipment should be introduced gradually and associated with relaxed positive re-enforcement and a tasty snack. Show the item, such as a comb, use it a little and reward. Gradually increase use.
Done right, puppy grooming can be fun for both you and your puppy. Take your time and relax.
You may find that doing this leads to the release of a number of feel-good hormones in your body. So looking after your puppy means you are looking after yourself too.
Have more fun with your puppy by clicking here.
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