How to Get a Dog to Be Still While Cutting Hair

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Things You'll Need

  • Grooming table

  • Grooming noose

  • Treats

  • Brush


Do not punish your dog during this training process. Only a system of positive rewards when your dog does well and a lack of treats and ignoring when your dog doesn’t do well will be effective. In fact, punishment can lead to bad behaviors, including fear and aggression.

A haircut doesn’t have to be traumatic for your dog.

If you have decided to forgo the cost and hassle of taking your dog to a professional groomer, then one of the things you will have to learn to do is cut your dog's hair. When giving your dog a haircut, it can be especially difficult to get the dog to keep still. This is because a haircut is most likely not a pleasant experience for your dog. The more anxious you get, the more anxious your dog is likely to get, so before you try this, have some training and dog grooming knowledge for keeping your dog still.

Step 1

Get the proper table for giving your dog a haircut. This table is much like the tables that a professional groomer would use. It is the proper height for cutting a dog's hair and should also have a grooming noose, which helps to keep your dog still, with a quick release option to keep your dog safe.

Step 2

Connect the grooming noose to your dog's collar before you start cutting hair. The noose should always be used to help your dog stay still. If your dog jumps off the grooming table, the force will unfasten the quick release connectors on the noose so your dog is never in danger when using this device.

Step 3

Train your dog to stay still on the grooming table by using positive reinforcement. When your dog stays still for a minute, give it praise and a treat. Gradually increase the amount of time your dog needs to stay still before praise and treats are given.

Step 4

Incorporate being handled into the training. Instead of rewarding your dog for simply staying still, give praise and a treat when your dog stays still and allows you to handle and brush areas that are more difficult to cut around, such as its ears, tail and paws.

Step 5

Try a haircut when your dog can sit still for the amount of time it will take and have various body parts handled or brushed. Choose a place for the haircut that is calm and quiet. Loud, sudden noises might startle your dog and make cutting the hair more difficult. Continue to give your dog praise and treats throughout the process.