Keep your dog happy and calm while you groom them with this simple tip from an expert trainer

Mini Poodle being groomed
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Do you have a dog that hates to be groomed? If your pup wriggles all over the place and refuses to stay still while you brush them, bathe them, or trim their nails, this one's for you!

Learning how to groom a dog is a challenge for a lot of pet parents, particularly those who have a canine companion who would rather be doing anything else.

That's where expert dog grooming tips can come in handy. And trainer Christie Catan, the co-founder of Tails of Connection, has just shared a brilliant one on Instagram.

Read on to find out what it is...

Teaming up with fellow doggy expert Julianna DeWillems, the pair reveal their favorite training hack for dogs that get wiggly, restless, or mouthy when they try to brush them, wipe their paws, or put on their harness.

"We smeared some cream cheese onto this licky mat but you could easily just smear something tasty right on the door or on the floor," DeWillems says in the video as she shows a mat stuck to a window that her dog is licking the food off of.

"The goal with this hack is to keep the dog occupied and enjoying themselves while we quickly do what we need to do, making it easier and lower stress for everyone."

Catan goes on to say that while having a dog voluntarily stand calmly and opt into a grooming session is an important goal to strive for, there are simple and easy solutions (like the one above) that you can use while you're working towards those bigger goals.

"For us, something tasty smeared in front of the dog or a big pile of crumbled dog treats on the ground accomplishes what we need: a dog who is stationary and whose head and mouth are occupied," explains Catan.

The pair say it's important to always watch your dog's body language when you're grooming them.

"Ideally you want to see your dog relaxed and eating (like in this video!), and not tense, freezing, trying to get away, or unable to eat," they explain.

If you find yourself stuck and the tip above doesn't work, we recommend working with a professional trainer to help your pup slowly feel calmer and more comfortable when being groomed. 

Kathryn Williams
Freelance writer

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.