All of these things have been said to me the past couple of months...
My puppy doesn’t need a haircut yet
My puppy is too small
The breeder said not to take them to the groomers until they had an adult coat
Grooming is only for long haired dogs
During the early stages of a puppy’s life it will learn to make positive associations with things they encounter and as grooming is an essential part of your dogs well being this should also be introduced as early as possible. Once a puppy has had all their vaccinations and cleared the waiting period, usually a week or two afterwards, it’s safe for them to come in for their first appointment – their actual size doesn’t matter, your groomer should be comfortable handling even the littlest puppies.
It's recommend they make a visit by the time they are 16 weeks old, puppies are more adaptable and easier to train when they are young so waiting until they ‘need’ a haircut or thinking it’s only for long haired breeds means that this critical learning experience is missed.
There is often confusion when breeders recommend waiting until they have an adult coat – this generally refers to cutting and clipping the coat which a groomer wouldn’t do – we might tidy the odd straggly hair or clear way hair from their eyes but not much more.
During a puppy visit (they are considered puppies until approximately six months) they will be slowly introduced to all aspects of grooming. The first visit may only be 20 minutes long to let them explore the sounds, sights and smells of the salon and be handled by the groomer. The next visit they would be introduced to a bath and being dried, lots of patience and cuddles will be given to make this as enjoyable as possible – and who doesn’t love puppy snuggle. Until they are ready for a full groom additional things are introduced like nail clipping and ear cleaning. Visits should be very 2 - 3 weeks until they move into a normal adult grooming routine which your groomer will discuss with you.
We all want the best for our pups and working closely with your groomer will provide many long term benefits, not forgetting they are great sources of knowledge so if you need any help getting the right brushes, combing, teeth cleaning or bathing then ask away!
A dog that gets groomed regularly on a schedule will see it as a normal part of life but those that don’t may see it as a punishment. So the next time someone mentions that puppies don’t need grooming – give them a little nudge in the direction of this blog.
Don’t forget it takes a village to raise a puppy!