Does your Cavapoo hate being groomed? Are you looking for ways to help your anxious fluffy Cavapoo (Cavoodle) overcome their fear of grooming? You are not alone, there are many dogs that don’t like being groomed. But because a Cavapoo is a breed that requires regular grooming to maintain their good looks and a healthy coat, it’s important to find ways to help them cope. So we have 16 tips to help you when your Cavapoo hates to be groomed.
To help alleviate your Cavapoos fear of grooming here is what you can do:
- At home, you can brush your Cavapoo daily, trim their nails weekly, introduce electronic grooming equipment, and use specialty grooming equipment to reduce anxiety. You can also massage your Cavapoo to familiarize touch, take regular grooming breaks, and use treats for positive reinforcement.
- Prior to visiting the groomer, you can take your Cavapoo for a walk and avoid long car rides if travel causes fear in your Cavapoo.
- At the groomers, ensure they are aware of your Cavapoos fear of grooming, ask for practice visits, be confident when dropping off your Cavapoo, and bring familiar items from home. You can also consider a change of groomer, employ a mobile groomer, or use an over the counter calming treat to help reduce anxiety.
Let’s find out more details on each tip. But first:
Recognize Signs of Anxiety in Your Cavapoo
You may think that your Cavapoo is just fine going to the groomers. But anxiety can be prevalent in dogs in more ways than one.
Excessive barking, drooling, unexplained energy, pacing, and destructive behavior are all signs of a nervous dog.
More obvious signs are shaking, howling, and whining. All of which can leave a fur parent almost as distressed as their fur baby.
Recognizing these behaviors will help you in calming your dog’s nervousness. And help you begin the process of calming them down.
Start Cavapoo Grooming at Home
1. Brush Your Cavapoo At Home
You can help your Cavapoo become comfortable with grooming by brushing them from an early age. Not only will this help your Cavapoo be familiar with being handled, but they’ll also continue to look their best. And you can potentially reduce the number of visits required to a professional groomer.
During the puppy stage, you can start with a very soft brush and comb. You might not think they need brushing at this early age. The idea here is to have your pup get used to it.
Starting from around 8 weeks of age makes this process a lot easier. At 8 weeks you can brush your Cavapoo puppy a couple of times a week. You can make it fun for your pup by giving them little belly rubs between brushes and possibly treats to distract them from wanting to chew on the brush.
Take your time here. If your Cavapoo really does not like being brushed, start with just a few strokes of the brush. Then reward him with a treat and let him play before trying again the next day.
By the time your puppy is 8 or 9 months old, he may need brushing every other day. So if you start them from a puppy, they’ll be fine with you brushing them when they really need it.
Dogs are most comfortable with their owners, so being the one to do the grooming can help them look their best and keep their coat from matting.
Remember to brush their ears and paws as these are two areas some Cavapoos might not like being groomed.
Many Cavapoo owners love a Slicker Brush such as this one for keeping hair mats and tangles at bay.
2. Trim Your Cavapoos Nails Every Week
Trim your puppy’s nails every week from when you get him home. Hopefully, the breeder you purchased your Cavapoo from has already introduced nail clipping. But if not, you can get started now.
By trimming your Cavapoos nails each week, you will familiarize him with handling his paws. This will reduce any anxiety over paw handling, and importantly, his nails won’t be scratchy.
3. Introduce Grooming Tools at Home
If you have access to electric grooming tools or, even just an electric razor, have your Cavapoo get familiar with them. It’s a great idea to start when they are still a puppy.
Some dogs dislike the drying process. To help you can bath your Cavapoo at home and use your hairdryer on a low setting to dry him and get him used to the noise and feel of the air. You can also dry your own hair in front of him so again he can become familiar with the sounds. While drying your own hair, try turning the hair drying on your Cavapoo every once in a while to turn it into a fun game.
Gently introducing your Cavapoo to similar tools the groomer will be using is a good way to start your journey. Dogs react to things that they aren’t sure of, so introducing unfamiliar grooming equipment in the comfort of your home can help calm doggy anxieties.
4. Use Specialty Grooming Products to Reduce Cavapoo Anxiety
Dog anxiety isn’t exactly a new subject, plenty of people have experienced this with their pets. Some people have even developed specialized products to help deal with your Cavapoo’s fears. The Scaredy Cut Grooming Kit here was designed for such a thing. The specialized grooming tools come with 7 comb attachments for even the antsiest of dogs.
Another product customers have been raving about is the Happy Hoodie like this one. This headgear is designed to contour to your pet’s head. Acting like headphones and eliminating the scary noises that might be upsetting to your dog.
If your Cavapoo tries to get mouthy with you, you can use a soft muzzle like this one. As you can see from the below photo, also it doesn’t look attractive, it does protect you and gets the job done. Archie here does have sensitive spots, and with the aid of a soft muzzle, he can still be brushed at home.
5. Give Your Cavapoo a Massage
It might sound silly, but giving your Cavapoo a massage actually works!
Little massages with gentle hands on your Cavapoos head, stomach, paws, ears, and tail, help desensitize some of their sensitive areas they might not want to be touched during grooming.
Additionally, making sure to spread the toes of their paws can help with getting them used to being handled at the groomers.
6. Stop Grooming and Break When It Gets Too Much
This may seem like common sense, but not stopping when your Cavapoo gets too worked up is detrimental to their experience of grooming. Trying to groom a dog while they’re having a nervous breakdown is not going to work.
Taking them for small walks around the room, yard or even letting them rest in a kennel for a couple of moments is easier than trying to groom a squirming dog.
Taking breaks between long sessions of grooming can be beneficial to keeping your Cavapoos anxiety levels low.
Even if it takes a little bit more time, it is worth it to have a positive grooming experience.
7. Reward Your Cavapoo Before and After Grooming
It’s the oldest trick in the book but that’s because it works. Dogs are food motivated, especially Cavapoos who think with their stomachs.
Giving your Cavapoo extra treats before and after their grooming can greatly increase the amount of positive reinforcement your pet associates with grooming.
Before Your Cavapoos Grooming Appointment
8. Take Your Cavapoo For a Walk Prior to Their Grooming Appointment
Before your grooming appointment, taking your Cavapoo for a long walk and getting them tired out is a good way to reduce stress. It’s true for humans too. Exercise is a home remedy for stress and a guaranteed way to keep a dog calm and happy.
9. Avoid Long Car Rides to Grooming Appointments
If your Cavapoo is a nervous car traveler, avoid making appointments with groomers who are located far away.
A long car ride with a dog who dislikes them will arrive nervous and the grooming experience will be off to the wrong start.
If a long car ride to the groomers is unavoidable with your nervous Cavapoo, take some extra time to arrive so you can break along the way. Let your Cavapoo out of the car for a small walk, a toilet break, and perhaps a food reward.
After all, we don’t all have the luxury of choosing a super close dog groomer. Whether it be price, reviews, or previous bad experiences, we can’t always avoid that longer than normal car ride.
If your Cavapoo gets sick from car rides, perhaps they have vomited previously, you can talk to your vet about anti-nausea medication.Veterinarian recommended nausea medication can help with the unpleasant feelings your dog may have on the car ride over.
Cavapoo Grooming Experience
10. Talk to Your Groomer
Your groomer will have come across anxious and fearful dog problems before. They groom for a living and have studied how to do their job effectively.
Be clear with them about your concerns for your fur baby. That way they know to be extra careful and understanding with your Cavapoo. The more information you give them the better as it makes it easier for them to do their job.
11. Grooming Practice Visits
Certain groomers will allow for practice visits between your pet and the establishment. That way you are able to let your Cavapoo have a positive experience already with the place they are going to.
Getting them familiar with the tools, the people, and the other dogs can greatly reduce the amount of stress your Cavapoo may have when exploring a new place.
It will also help if you are still there with them as they’ll take comfort in you being there.
12. Confidently Drop Your Cavapoo to the Groomers
Some groomers liken doggy drop-offs to children being dropped at daycare. Yes, some children will be upset at first, but usually, they shake off their nervousness once mum or dad leave and have a great time.
If you carry your fur baby into the groomer and fret about her as she shakes with nerves, she might continue to feel anxious and hate her grooming experience.
Instead, try clipping your Cavapoo onto her lead before walking her into the groomer and confidently dropping her off. In most cases, your pup will continue on to have a positive grooming experience.
13. Bring Familiar Items From Home to the Groomers
An unfamiliar place can get even the most well-behaved dogs rattled, bringing comfort items like favorite toys can be very helpful. If the groomer is okay with it, bring your Cavapoos bed!
Making your Cavapoo comfortable with the space they are being groomed in is key and having familiar smells can make the experience all the more pleasant.
14. Try A Different Type of Groomer
Just like dogs, not all groomers are the same. They’ll have different practices or ideas on keeping their furry clients happy.
Some groomers recommend a strict system where if the dog is not being groomed, they’ll stay in a kennel. That way it eliminates feelings of uncertainty or disobedience. For some dogs, this works but some find it even more stressful.
Free-roaming clinics are becoming more and more popular these days as many clients find it is best to let the dogs exercise and explore. Getting familiar with the other dogs and the environment.
It’s important to recognize the type of dog your Cavapoo is, some will appreciate the freedom of a free-roam groomer but others require the structure that comes with a traditional groomer.
If one doesn’t work, maybe try the other and see if you have a better experience.
15. Let the Groomer Come to You – Use a Mobile Dog Groomer
Mobile dog groomers are able to come to your house and groom your dog right on your front lawn.
Not only do mobile groomers benefit a nervous Cavapoo, but clients have also noted mobile groomer’s work better with their schedules, locations, and needs as a pet owner. As well as eliminating the need for a car ride with an anxious dog.
You’ll even be able to stay nearby in case of an emergency or if your Cavapoo needs some urgent cuddles. It’s a good solution for most anxious grooming clients.
16. Consider Calming Treats and Chews
If your Cavapoo has a lot of anxiety around grooming, you can try an over-the-counter, non-toxic, treat to help dogs with anxiety.
There are some treats that can be taken once a day to reduce anxiety in general or specialized pills for the day of your grooming appointment.
Either way, there are options for giving your Cavapoo some extra help in calming down if it is really needed.
Make sure that before you attempt to get your Cavapoo to a groomer, you are comfortable with this stranger and how they handle your dog. Talk to them and ask about their practice. A good groomer will be more than happy to speak to any pet parents and reassure them that their Cavapoo is in good hands.
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