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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Hawaii
    Posts
    164

    Default how to improve handling dogs

    I have to say that I'm very nice and soft towards dogs so all of my client's dogs like me.
    While it works well with many dogs and shay dogs, some dogs take advantage of me I guess.
    For example, a dog is good for the first few times then on the third time, all of the sudden, she is difficult.
    She still likes me very much but just being difficult for certain things.

    Are there any good videos, youtube, or books to improve how to handle dogs?
    I have read Cesar Millan's book that you have to be calm & assertive, etc but do you know anything else that might help?
    I work alone in my own shop so there's no one to help me when I need some help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Fort Lauderdale/Aventura, Florida
    Posts
    3,510

    Default

    Calm and assertive is wonderful, but it sometimes comes off as 'wimpy', and the dogs will test you. Tone of voice is very important. I try to keep mine calm and professional and businesslike while they are on the table.

    Taught school for a great many years before going into grooming (trust me, dogs are easier) and the old saw of 'start off hard and then ease up' works here as well. I love my dog clients and thoroughly indulge in sharing that love---off the table or out of the tub. We are there to work in those places and all dogs must behave, off the table or out of the tub we are allowed some playtime. This rule is never broken and I don't seem to get many dogs who don't catch on very quickly if only teenagers had been as easily instructed). :}

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    6,960

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Vienna View Post

    Are there any good videos, youtube, or books to improve how to handle dogs?
    I have read Cesar Millan's book that you have to be calm & assertive, etc but do you know anything else that might help?
    This might seem like an odd answer but check and see if you get the RFD-TV or RURAL-TV channels in your area. Early in the morning and later in the evening they frequently broadcast programs that deal with training horses. Horses are big, dumb, can be dangerous to handle and frequently cause problems for their riders by not respecting the rider or the rider letting them get away with murder because they don't know how to correct the horse and end the problem.

    There is a definite over-lap on how these horse trainers and Cesar deal with "rehabilitate...and train people" and watching them might give you a better understanding on how to handle disrespectful dogs.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    107

    Default

    My biggest thing is don't let the big guys intimidate and bully you. Many a time i have had to take over walking a German shepherd or even a newfie to the back because other groomers allow it to balk like crazy. I won't take that, just plant your feet firmly and keep on walking... after a few seconds of being drug they will figure out its best to walk with you instead.if they're throwing a fit about having their feet, legs, whatever held, hang on and don't let go until they give up, then reward them. Just a few techniques i use.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    3,016

    Default

    I won't say anything about Cesar Millan, because that's a big fat can o' worms. However, it bears remembering that he himself asserts that he is not a dog trainer. And did you ever see the episode where he tried to groom the grouchy Maltese? He handled the dog very poorly and got bit bad.

    You DO need to have confidence. A sure touch is much more calming to dogs than a nervous one. Think about being at the dentist. How would you feel if your dentist seemed nervous about touching you? You'd assume he doesn't know what he's doing, and you'd be freaked out.

    Its the same with dogs. They are alarmingly good at reading body language, and will pick up on cues you didn't even know you were sending! Keep yourself calm and your breathing even while grooming. All movements should be smooth.

    Often when a dog is misbehaving I put my fingers on his side or belly and just touch for a second, with LIGHT pressure (this is NOT a Cesar Millan snakebite 'touch!'). Think of the way you'd touch someone to stop them and get their attention. The solid contact in that area resets them, interrupting the bad behavior and calming them slightly.

    There's never a need to be rough or unkind with a dog. Treats often help in difficult cases, but only if you know how & when to deliver them. Sophia Yin has some excellent articles, videos, and a book on handling techniques for veterinary practice. Most of the tips carry well into grooming.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    3,016

    Default

    Oh, forgot to mention. I second DDD's idea. If you treat a dog the same way you'd treat a horse you'll get great results. Don't startle them, don't pick up their feet without asking permission first, be aware of sensitive zones like the back end, etc. Pay close attention to the people--good horse people always control their movements and reactions carefully. They never jerk their hands, twitch, or make sudden movements. Fluidity and calmness are key.

    In fact, I completely stopped having trouble with Schnauzers when I started imagining they were tiny horses. They get offended when you manhandle them, but if you use the same techniques a farrier would (but in miniature!) 90% of Schnauzers relax and let you do the whole groom safely.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    417

    Default

    I had an extremely dangerous horse growing up that I re-trained myself with no riding lessons or training. I started off trying to be "her friend" and after you have a 1 ton animal come crashing down on top of you, you learn that you can't let a giant animal push you around. I have the same attitude with dogs now, most of the dogs I groom will respect me on the table after the first groom when they realize I wont let them get away with anything. Be confident and assertive, while still being kind and rewarding when they do something good. I am mobile and when I show up, the dogs I groom run to me and give me kisses....they are respectful of me, and they still like me. P.S and my horse, once she learned to respect me, she and I bonded and were an inseparable pair. A lesson that will always stick with me.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Hollywood, Florida
    Posts
    8

    Default

    One important thing is to keep your own emotions under control. If you see a dog running loose or even just a large dog you worry about, Your dog knows you are worried and will assume it is the other dog causing the worry and that can bring on aggressive behavior so no matter what, keep your emotions under control along with using good methods to train your dog manners for walks.
    pet salon

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Central Ohio
    Posts
    353

    Default

    I spent many years in the horse world before I started with dogs. I whole heartedly agree with the others, the techniques I learned with horses apply quite well to dogs. I touch a dog's hip or shoulder, then run my hand down the leg to pick it up. Smooth movements, calm demeanor, never startling them by "grabbing hold" of them. If they choose to struggle and fight, I stay calm, yet tenacious. If I can safely and effectively handle a 1200 pound horse, those 10 pound squirmies (biters, 35 lb dancers, 140 lb pullers, etc) can be groomed using very similar techniques.
    DDD's suggestion is a good idea. Finding horse training videos, TV shows and magazines may be easier than finding dog ones.

  10. #10

    Default

    Apparently, we are so blessed that we own a dog that don't need too much training. Actually, our Shih Tzu is like a well mannered human being. For training and handling, I just rely online searches and forums like this one.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Posts
    712

    Default

    I recently watched the Super Styling Sessions by Sue Zecco and Jay Scruggs titled "Difficult But Not Impossible Pet Grooming". I didn't work with difficult dogs in school and also work alone now. In the real world dogs kick, pull, struggle, and sometimes offer to bite. This video shows some great techniques that i have found to be helpful.
    I too look forward to hearing about other pet grooming videos and articles that could be helpful.

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