Many Thanks to IPDGA Member Dani for sharing this with us
Fear free grooming is all about alleviating stress and anxiety in our pets during routine grooming. Grooming plays a vital role in our pets overall health and wellness so it is vital that our dogs are taught that this process isn't stressful or scary.
As puppies we help our new family members to explore our world and how to overcome potentially scary things in the socialisation process. Grooming is another pivotal part of this process. All dogs will require some level of grooming throughout their lives. Whether you have a short haired dog who require regular nail trims and brushing to help reduce shedding or a curly coated Bichon Frise who requires extensive grooming by both you, the owner, as well as professional visits every 4 - 6 weeks. Grooming plays a role in all our pets lives. Grooming also gives you the opportunity to see your dogs coat and skin up close to observe any changes or potential issues such as rashes, parasites, infection or inflammation. Your groomer will often be the first to inform you that your dog requires veterinary treatment for an issue you may have not noticed. This can be life saving for your pet!
Dogs communicate with us through a variety of ways. The most common and often least understood method is through their body language. Fear free groomers are trained to observe and understand that body language to tell us when the dog start to become stress. Through processes called desensitisation and counter conditioning, we can help change how the dog feels about aspects they previously felt were stressful (brushing, washing, drying, nails, clipping) by paring them with something the dog likes (such as a high value treat, toy or even praise). Using these techniques and showing you the owner when and how to implement them, results in pets who enjoy being groomed.
To achieve fear free grooming it so important that the owner understands how to use and correctly implement the techniques the groomer uses (ie timing of when to treat etc). It is also useful to work with a fear free veterinarian who will also implement the same techniques as the owner and groomer.
I work closely with a fantastic local positive based dog groomer as well as fear free certified vets who send me a constant flow of new clients. It has had a dramatic positive impact on my business and has helped me dramatically increase my revenue. Within my first year of business, my books are now full as I cannot keep up with the demand.
Sue Williamson's Book is fantastic as well it's called "take the grr, out of grooming your dog" There's Facebook groups as well!
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