Although the US has the highest rate of dog ownership in the world, Australia still makes the top twenty, meaning that there are a considerable number of beloved Australian pooches who are deaf or have a hearing impairment. There are numerous reasons why a dog can be born deaf or can lose their hearing, and some breeds are simply more susceptible to this. Your dog's hearing doesn't affect their coat, and so there's no reason why your deaf or hearing impaired dog cannot be professionally groomed. They'll get used to it very quickly, but how should you prepare for the very first session?
A good groomer will take a few moments to introduce themselves to the dog, and this becomes even more important when your dog is deaf or hearing impaired. Your dog needs to see the groomer and to smell them so that there's even a small degree of familiarity when the groomer gets to work.
You will also need to take a few moments with the groomer to teach them the various hand signals you use with your dog, such as the commands for sit and stay. You might, without even realising it, use specific facial expressions and other forms of body language while issuing these commands to your dog, and it's helpful if the groomer is able to emulate these as well, if applicable.
Your dog should be introduced to the various pieces of grooming equipment that will be used during the session. The dog should be able to see and smell the items, and the equipment should also be turned on for inspection before being used on your dog so that your dog can gain a sense of the vibrations emitted by each piece of gear. You basically want to minimise any surprise.
The Grooming Session
Although you will presumably be present during the dog grooming session, you might not want to actually touch your pet while the groomer works. Stay in their line of vision as a reassuring presence, but otherwise, the groomer should work solo, always keeping one hand on your dog so that the groomer's location is never going to be a surprise. Having more than one person touching your dog during the session can be confusing for your dog, as they will not necessarily be able to sense exactly who is immediately around them.
A small amount of extra preparation is needed when your deaf or hearing impaired dog is professionally groomed for the first time, but none of it is particularly complicated. For more information, speak with the staff at a dog grooming clinic near you.