Some dogs are incredibly fearful of any new place, person, or thing. You need to exercise extreme caution when dealing with a fearful dog so he won't bite you, and so you don't startle the dog and cause him to have an anxiety attack. The fearful dog requires patience and a calm atmosphere. Start out very slowly: Begin with just your touch. Let the dog relax while you rub behind his ears and stroke him gently.
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, a scared dog needs a bit more than you can offer, and maybe a vet can provide some medication to take the edge off his fear. Fearful dogs take time and patience to rehabilitate. You can't expect miracles overnight; you must persevere and see it through so the dog can learn to trust.
Talk softly to her and move very slowly. Smile at her and talk in a happy tone so she gains more confidence. Once this dog is comfortable with your hands on her, try something else very benign such as a cotton ball. Rub the dog gently with a cotton ball until she relaxes. Once she's relaxed with you touching her with a cotton ball, try twenty more things — a paper towel, washcloth, bottle of shampoo, unplugged clippers, the backside of a brush — until the dog is completely comfortable with everything. This builds her trust in you. Work slowly and proceed with grooming her. This exercise should help the dog cope with her fear of grooming.
One product that works especially well on very nervous dogs is South Bark's Blueberry Facial. This tearless shampoo whitens and cleans the dog gently, and the blueberry aroma relaxes even the most difficult dog. If your groomer doesn't carry it, try www.southbark.com.
Make it pleasant, talk softly and sweetly to her, but don't baby her. When you feel sorry for her, she knows it, and she views it as weakness. This makes the anxious dog even more anxious because she really needs a leader to get her through her fears. Always be calm and confident when handling any dog, but especially the scared dog. If you are confident, she will become more confident and relaxed. Move slowly and methodically and smile. Giving off confident energy comes across to the dog and she can then relax because she's in the presence of a leader.