Do not groom a fearful dog. Grooming a fearful dog will only lead to more fear and may even lead to aggression. A far better dog-training tactic is to gradually accustom your dog to the presence of these items, allowing him to overcome his fear of them. In order for your dog to overcome his fear, he must associate these things with positive events. For example, in order to accustom your dog to a towel, you might want to feed him with a towel under his food bowl. Put a towel in his bed or on your couch for him to lie on, so that he can become familiar with its texture. The more your do sees a towel being used, sees the way it moves, and hears the noises it makes in use, then the more comfortable he will be with having one used on him. Similar tactics can be used to familiarize your dog with a brush, clippers and nail trimmers. A great way to familiarize your pet with clippers is borrowing your husbands electric razor! Turn it on and just using the handle "pet" your pet with them. It gets them familiar with the sound and the vibration of grooming clippers and your pets 1st grooming will go so much smoother if they are already familiar with this.
Once your dog is familiar with all these things, you can prepare him with some pre-grooming. Pre-grooming consists of all the routine tasks that come with owning a dog. Rub your dog down with a towel if he gets wet outside, to prevent unseen mats from forming. Use your fingers to detangle a stray knot or two from a long coat, since knots always tighten in a wet coat. Remove obvious debris from the coat, to keep it from becoming entwined and causing sores or "hot spots". Sometimes removing your pet from their familiar territory also helps. Instead of brushing them on the floor or couch, lay a towel on your counter or table and put them up on it. This also helps your pet get used to the idea of a grooming table.
Your short-coated dog may enjoy pre-grooming in the form of a "grooming glove", since it is so similar to petting. A grooming glove is used to loosen dead hairs from his coat. Grooming gloves, usually canvas gloves inset with little plastic or rubber nubs, also have the added benefit of polishing the dog's coat.
Not all dogs are familiar with grooming. Preparing your dog for grooming can help even a fearful dog enjoy what might otherwise be a frustrating task.