3 Ways How to Restrain a Dog While Grooming at Home

Filed in Dog Health by on April 29, 2022

How to Restrain a Dog While Grooming at Home

Grooming is an important aspect of caring for any dog, but some dogs tolerate it better than others.

Even if your dog stands perfectly still for every step of the grooming process, you may want to consider some type of restraint to ensure that nobody gets hurt.

In this blog post, I’ll discuss 3 ways how to restrain a dog while grooming at home.

By the way, I also wrote an article on the best dog grooming clippers, if interested.

The Importance of Restraint During Grooming

First, I’d like to briefly discuss the importance of restraining your dog during grooming.

Restraint can seem a bit unnecessary with a well-behaved dog, but it’s a great way to keep both you and your dog safe while grooming at home.

Very few dogs enjoy every aspect of grooming and restraint can help you get the job done without unnecessary stress.

Perhaps your dog loves being bathed but doesn’t enjoy having his nails trimmed. Maybe he hates bath time but adores being brushed.

All dogs have their own unique likes and dislikes, as well as their own reactions to different experiences.

Some dogs may simply walk away when you try to do something they don’t like, while others may overreact or behave aggressively.

Safely restraining your dog at these times means that your dog won’t hurt himself or you.

Remember to make each grooming session a positive experience with plenty of praise, patience, and treats if needed.

My Top 3 Ways How to Restrain a Dog While Grooming at Home

1. Primping Loops

grooming loop

Dog with grooming loop.

Professional groomers use grooming loops to restrain dogs during the grooming process.

They generally resemble a short slip lead with a clip on one end. That end can be clipped to a grooming tub or an arm over a grooming table.

Grooming loops work much like a collar and leash to keep the dog in place but offer a bit more flexibility.

For more delicate dogs, or those with respiratory issues, a grooming loop can be adjusted to be worn around the chest rather than around the neck.

Many groomers also use grooming loops around the back end to help keep stubborn dogs standing while trimming the rear end.

However, they’re not recommended for supporting older or injured dogs that may have trouble standing for long periods of time.

Grooming loops can be used at home for grooming in the same manner. If you don’t have your own grooming table and arm, you can easily clip the loop to something sturdy or wrap it around a solid object and clip it to itself.

When using a grooming loop, remember to keep your dog’s safety in mind and don’t leave your dog unattended.

If you’re grooming your dog on a table, for instance, he can easily step off the side and hang if you aren’t right there to help.

Additionally, dogs that panic easily can pull the loop tight enough to choke themselves if you aren’t there to calm them.

If you decide to use a grooming loop at home, you must be sure that the object you’re clipping your dog to is sturdy enough not to be pulled over.

If you’re clipping your dog to a table leg while you groom on the floor, be sure that the table cannot be pulled over on top of you or your dog.

2. Leash and Collar

If you don’t want to invest in additional grooming tools, you can always use your dog’s regular leash and collar for restraint.

This method also works well if you need something longer than a grooming loop to tie around a stable object.

When using a collar and leash for restraint, you’ll want to make sure that the collar fits your dog well and can’t slide off if he pulls back.

For some dogs, like sighthounds, this will happen with a flat collar due to the shape of the head and neck, so a martingale or slip collar is recommended.

Again, you’ll want to be aware of your surroundings and make sure that there’s no way your dog could accidentally step off an edge or pull something over if he resists.

Make sure you’re tying the leash to a sturdy object and use a quick release knot if possible so that you can release your dog quickly in an emergency.

If you’re using this method to restrain your dog in the bath, you may want to consider using a waterproof material such as biothane.

Nylon and leather collars can stretch when wet and will also be more difficult to clean, so they’re best suited for grooming a dry dog.

3. Handler Help

Groomer with helperIf you don’t have anything to attach a grooming loop or leash, you may want to consider asking a friend or family member to help you restrain your dog for grooming.

This is also the best method for large dogs, but can overwhelm a fearful dog, so it’s best to use someone your dog is familiar with.

Even if you have someone to help you, you may want to have your dog wear at least a collar so that your helper has something to hold on to.

If your dog is nervous about being groomed, a familiar helper can be a great way to help calm the dog.

A helper can easily give a dog tasty treats or soothing pets during stressful steps of the grooming process.

When using a human helper, remember to keep an eye on your dog’s body language. If he tends to react aggressively to certain grooming tasks, you’ll want to make sure that both you and your helper are out of harm’s way.

It can be helpful for any groomer’s assistant to review safe dog handling techniques before helping out. In most cases, it’s recommended to use the least amount of restraint necessary to avoid stressing the dog out.


Remember, safety is key when restraining your dog. Always be mindful of your surroundings and your dog’s body language to make sure no one gets hurt. Grooming can be a great way to bond with your beloved pooch, so be patient and mindful.

If you have difficulty restraining your dog for grooming at home, or are struggling with aggressive behavior, it may be best to consult a professional.

Groomers are experts at training and building a relationship with the dogs in their care and are trained to work with more challenging behaviors.

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