Ashley Turner of Turner & Pooch in East Sussex, is a fully insured City & Guilds qualified dog groomer. She uses a happy mix of patience and reward-based training to accomplish luxury dog grooms from her salon, building a trusted relationship each time a dog visits. Ashley tells us what to expect when taking your puppy for his/her first groom.
1. Do all dogs and puppies need to be groomed or does it depend on the type of coat they have?
Absolutely – grooming isn't just about how the dog looks, it is about the hygiene and comfort of your dog too. A good groom should include clipping nails, cleaning ears, checking/expressing anal glands if necessary, and a wash and cut.
2. At what age can a puppy go for his first groom?
The earlier the better. Usually us humans will collect our puppy at eight weeks old and they can come for a bath very soon after. This helps to get the dog used to the noises and feel of grooming. During the first three months of their lives they learn the most, and what they learn will stay with them for life. Therefore it’s important for them to have a positive first experience in a place that they will visit frequently in their lives, as early as possible.
3. What should an owner do to prepare a puppy for his first groom?
The best thing an owner can do is brush their puppy as often as possible and reward them with their favourite treat during the brushing. This is something the puppy will have to have done throughout their life in between grooming so it’s best to start early. Prior to the groom itself, it’s a good idea to walk your dog to release excess energy and allow them to go to the toilet.
4. Does the owner stay with the puppy whilst he is being groomed?
Owners can stay if they wish but in my experience the dogs aren't as settled with the owner present. It's good for any dog to have a little bit of separation from their owne