Fear of Grooming?
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Fear of Grooming? Expand / Collapse
Posted 12/6/2010 10:45:16 AM

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As many dog owners can tell you, bathing a dog is not always an easy task. Especially if you're trying to bathe a dog with a fear of water or grooming of any kind.

Have you had to deal with a dog who hated grooming? How'd you do it? Share your tips!


Post #62935
Posted 12/7/2010 3:54:19 AM

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fortunatly my dogs all tolerate bathing. But they mostly come from show breeders that start them out as puppies getting used to being groomed. I did the same for my puppies and I havent heard anyone complain that they dont like being groomed.

The trick is take it slow and start them out young, even if they dont need a bath. Lots of treats and praise


Post #62944
Posted 2/13/2011 8:54:47 PM


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My dog hated getting his nails clipped. He would whine & bite & bark until I stopped clipping. Thus his nails became very long because the task of nail clipping was so dreadful. I started really slowly, using food as a reward every step of the way. First I would just touch his paw with the clipper, & then reward him. When he was comfortable with that, I would put very light pressure on the nail with the clipper, & keep going step by step in verrrrrry slow increments, waiting until he was comfortable with each step before moving onto the next. Now I can clip all his nails very easily. I believe that almost any grooming fear can be solved this way. If the dog has enough good associations with something, he will begin to look forward to it.
Post #63423
Posted 2/16/2011 4:07:21 PM
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Hi, I am a trainer/behaviorist at a university in NY. He is probably having this fear because he was undersocialized as a puppy. Some dogs needs lots of introductions to "scary" things like bathing, grooming, and nail clipping during the socialization period of their life. One sure-fire way to help him become more accustomed to grooming is to make him create a positve association with it. If even the sight of the grooming materials scare him, take them out slowly, in itervals to help desensitize him to the "scary" grooming. Each time you take the grooming materials out, give him his FAVORITE treat when he is calm and not acting frightened. Therefore, you reward the calm behavior as help him create a positive association to the grooming. Slowly work up to him being brushed without signs of anxiety and eventually bathed.Take your time, fixing behavior problems takes time but if you put the effort in, it will all pay off in the end. Hope this helped :]
Post #63444
Posted 3/1/2011 2:17:14 PM


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I have a Papillon and I can't hold her paw without injuring her. So I let professional dog groomer cut her nails. I'm afraid she is going to get hurt by me. As far as baths are concerned, she doesn't like them but tolerates them. Talk soothingly. The water should already be in the tub. Not too hot or cold. Lots of treats. If it becomes regular thing, the dog will come to at least tolerate baths.
Post #63552
Posted 3/13/2011 8:44:59 AM

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My dog used to run and hide and then shake like a leaf in the wind when it was bath time.
When I first got my dog, we went straight to the groomers because she was a real mess (rescue). They showed me how to bath my dog. Months later, I seen one of the ladies again and I told her of the issues. I was told not to bath (the way they told me) but to do it the opposite way.
It was all to do with rinsing of the head.
What I did to over come my dogs fear of baths so that now it is fun and she looks forward to her baths is this:
I connected with my dog first. Totally attune to her body language and in touch with my own empathy, I found that she just didn't approve of her head washing the way we were doing it. I could understand that as if I were her and the spray thing was getting too close and maybe even too hard of pressure, I would be putting up a fuss too.
What I do now is when I bath my dog, I start with her ears for one, with her face cloth and I wash the inside and outside as well as the hair around. Then I insert cotton balls. Then carefully rinse the perimeter of her face with her spray thing (attached to faucet in the kitchen sink) Oh and I use a non slip mat in the sink too.
To rinse the top of her head, above her nose, between her eyes and around her nose I use a cup of water in the sink and I apply it with my fingers. She likes this Much Better. After I wash with her shampoo, around her face, her beard and sides of face, i use a tooth brush to get in beneath her eyes, above her nose and her head. Gently I apply the shampoo and brush it down with the tooth brush. To rinse I use my fingers and cup of water but also the tooth brush rinsed and then water from the cup picked up from the tooth brush. From there on in the rest of the bath is easy.
Lately my dog likes to have her front paws up on the counter or on the faucet as I bath the rest of her. She appears to feel really engaged by allowing her to do this. Sometimes I don't allow her to do it until the final rinse but I go with what she is feeling.
My dog actually licks me after her bath as if to show her approval and enjoyment.
She loves to have a bath now.
Doesn't run and hide and doesn't shake anymore either.
I also praise her huge when we are bathing. When I am bathing her body, I give her a nice massage from her shoulders down. I can tell that she really enjoys it.
I think connecting with the dog, with empathy and going slow and gentle is the key.
Perhaps if a dog is protesting it is because they don't want water poured over their head, as I have seen ppl do. They do not like water in their ears either (cotton balls is a must and helps avoid this) and a hand held spray into or down their face is disturbing. Being more gentle and trying to sense how the dog must feel really has helped us.
I have noticed too that water temperature must be perfect. If the water is too cool or too warm, my dog lets me know by moving and looking in the direction of the spray nozzle.

You Are What You Eat
Post #63625
Posted 3/13/2011 9:01:50 AM

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Problem With having nails Done:
I am lost as to what to do. In the beginning my dog was a bit reluctant to have her nails done but would go through it without much fuss.
One day we had a different vet when we went to have her nails done. (I get the vet to do it as my dog doesn't see a groomer, her nails are black so I am afraid to do it and if anything happens, we are at the best place to be).
The vet office we use has three different vets. The vet who came in to do her nails didn't even say Hi to my dog, just opened drawer, got clippers and 'grabbed' her paw. My dog resisted and he just held tighter.
I made the biggest mistake of my life by allowing him to continue. My dog dislikes this vet now and has put up a major fuss ever since. So much so I am afraid she is going to have heart failure
When I go to have her nails done now, I request the lady vet who Roxy approves of better. I also give my dog some rescue remedy before we go, which has proven to help but..
How do I get my dog to not fear having her nails done again?
I am trying to learn how to do it but am very reluctant. My dog allows me to touch her paws, even file her nails but filing takes forever it seems.
We were starting to see a groomer who has a rep of being able to help dogs with problems resolve their fears. I stopped because of nothing in particular, was just scheduling more than anything but also, nothing bad about the groomer but she babies my dog Too Much. Just Do It is my thought. Don't prolong the agony.
I haven't had my dogs nails done in a few months and are not too bad as she walks, a lot but will need doing again soon. I feel so badly for her when she has to go have them done. She shakes as soon as we pull into the parking lot, even after rescue remedy.
Any ideas? Please & Thank you.

You Are What You Eat
Post #63626
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