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**sigh** I need help

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  • **sigh** I need help

    I have a Shitzu that comes in about every 3 months. He's been coming to me since he was a pup - about 2 years. I have tried EVERYTHING with this dog, but he just gets worse every time. I had him this morning, and he was worse then ever. He's a very sweet little dog, but has an issue when it comes to standing. He simply won't stand up. Period. But he doesn't just lay down, this dog spreads all 4 legs and hugs the table with his belly. Even if I put my hand under him and try to hoist his little body up into a standing position, all 4 legs are strait out, and he will remain that way until I set him back down on the table - on his belly. No matter what I do, every muscle in his body is tensed up and maneuvering him in any way is practically impossible.

    I just got the GH Tuesday, and once I get the hang of it, I'm pretty sure I will never want to work without it. (saved my digits Friday) But honestly, it was no help with this dog. Instead of hugging the table with his belly, he hung himself instead. I had him all set up on the table, attached to the GH, with the "standing" contraption all set up under him, and all he did was spread his front legs straight out in front of him like Superman, hanging himself. Even when I took the standing contraption out, he still would NOT put those front legs down for anything. I had no choice but to unhook him, because I'm pretty sure he would rather choke to death then put those legs down.

    I don't know what else to try with this dog. I should probably be charging the owners more just for the added time and frustration, but it wouldn't make the job any easier for me. I need a solution to the problem, or eventually I'm just going to have to tell the owners I can't groom their dog anymore. I would hate to do that.

  • #2

    I feel your pain...I used to have a little Maltese who would do exactly the same thing. I wish I had an answer but we just struggled every time. Very frustrating. I will be watching this thread to find out how others deal with this particular form of non-cooperation.

    I had to laugh at your Superman description, I could totally picture that little dog!



    • #3
      OMG, I feel your pain! Sorry, I don't have an answer for you. I have a little regular that startles really easily and without warning all four legs go out and he lands on his belly. Their is no way to lift this dog up and get him to put his legs under him. Once he goes down I pretty much have to wait for him to decide to get up. So I just work on his face until he gets up. Sometimes he goes home with a really spectacular face and really shabby legs.

      Does your problem pooch stand for you at all? Will it lay on its side and or back? Maybe just give up on making it stand and just roll it around.


      • #4
        (sorry LONG response but maybe helpful?)

        There are just some dogs that NOTHING seems to work---even the groomers helper. It's rare, but there are the few that are like that.

        When I have a dog like that, (though it's usually a different issue than "the superman spread", lol), I just tell myself I'm just going to give them what they're paying for which means, "I'm going to do my best, and that's all they get. This dog will NOT be perfect, and if they don't like the cut for the amount they're paying me, what can I do?" I'm never rude, and the owners are usually very understanding.

        I have a shih tzu that comes in every 6 weeks without fail---and shortly after I got my hydraulic table, she started acting weird. I couldn't lift her, move her, or anything, she was TERRIFIED of "going off the cliff." After 3 groom sessions like this, I was desperate. Her owners are among my first loyal clients there, they love me (honest, these people must be blind, lol), so I can't just give her the ol' boot! Other than that problem, she is such a sweet dog. I had finally decided I couldn't take it anymore and told myself that they would get what they get---and no more. I was doing MY best (without losing my mind), and what more could I do? Well, I tried one more thing: I lowered my table. But I didn't just lower my table, I picked the dog up, put her on the floor, back on the table, back on the floor, and 2 more times. Then I raised my table and groomed her and there wasn't a single problem with her!!

        The next time she came in, I did it again, and now she's fine! WOW, that was easy. She is afraid of HEIGHTS! Problem solved!

        Tammy in Utah
        Groomers Helper Affiliate


        • #5
          i have a tuz that does exactly that, i have been doing him for years, and tried all different things, none worked,haa. well, i have a bar over my grooming table, and i bought a pony saddle cinch, it is wide and soft, so i just put it under his belly, and hoist it up to the overhead bar, he still is in a spread eagle , but i can get his legs done this way. hope this helps, it isn't a great answer, but the only one that sort of works.


          • #6
            No Sit Haunch Holder

            Try the no sit haunch holders. Ryans has similar to what I have. I use it for nearly every dog all the time for standing up to scissor legs. It is one noose hook then second attached noose hook for rear in front of penis if a boy. They casn still stretch legs out and hang kinda, but they can't actually sit or put belly on the table. It almost sounds like the dogs' tummy and the table are magnets. This may help. I have had two since calif, more than 7 yrs ago! They don't slide tight on neck however, but have foam-like to cushion the neck and rear undercarriage.They don't cost much,. I also use to stand them up for drying.


            • #7
              Okay, I have a Shih (suprise, suprise!) that does the same thing, only I think he is trying to be the Boy think Spikey is right about being afraid of heights so what I do is set him on a chair and squat in front of him for the legs, feet part of his grooming. No, it is not comfortable..hehe...but it works, he will stand on the chair, and thankfully I only have to do that for one client. I don't think my knees could take any more!
              SheilaB from SC


              • #8

                How about some of the wider slings some have mentioned, I havent's tried them yet. I did try the haunch holder a couple of times and have had limited success with it because some manage to still lay in it and swing around.

                I tried it on a big older dog once to help hold up his hips and the poor thing went to sit anyone and fell into it and before I could loosen or help him out it really squished his tummy bad and he let out a nasty yelp and peed all over himself cause the thing must of squeezed him too hard when he fell

                Seems like a lot of shih-zus with this problem. I had a lot of havanese that would do the same thing just flatten out like a pancake and the more you tried to put your hand under and say stand up the more they would panic.

                The worst shih-tzu I had was one who you can't even wash his face cause he would just about drown himself and back-flip like an acrobat in the tub. How do you handle that, when their loaded with eye goo and hate ANYTHING near their head and face. Freaks out for comb, scissors. Sweet but not too bright. Wagging and licking you the whole time.


                • #9
                  try putting him in a sling
                  If your dog is fat, you are not getting enough exercise!


                  • #10
                    Try putting your loop under one leg, like you would a cat. Then hook him up in the "No Sit" position on the other end of him. If he then wants to hang, let him hang. He won't choke himself if the loop is under one leg.


                    • #11
                      I had a Bichon like that, and after I tried this and that for almost two years, I gave up and told the owner, unless this dog came back with an more acceptable attitude, I wasn't going to groom it anymore.
                      It was hard and painful for me to say that to a nice lady, but if I did cut/hurt the dog by anyway, it would only be more painful to tell her that I cut/hurt her baby. And everytime after I finished it, I couldn't work for the rest of the day, that was that stressful.
                      The dog did come back after a few months, I don't know what the mom had been doing with it, but it is only a regular hard to groom dog now.


                      • #12
                        When I get a dog like this, I just roll them over onto their side and do one half at a time. I have only had 1 pet that I had to "just do my best". If they are really small, I will even groom them in my lap, and roll them around as needed to get to everything (ie, on their back to get to the belly, on their side to pull the leg up and out to get to armpit, etc). I always thought it would be nice to keep these dogs in longer coat and groomed frequently so they will look nice and be much easier to clip, because you essentially can just trim the feet, hiney, face, etc. They don't HAVE to stand correctly just to brush them out! I don't know, just some ideas.


                        • #13
                          I used to groom a Lhasa that would do this. The owner would carry her into the shop and I would put her on the table where she would go splat. I would hold her front end up with one hand and groom it with the other. Then I would hold the rear up with one hand and groom it with the other. I always just hoped that the skirt lined up. I thought this dog was so over weight she couldn't even walk. Then I became mobile. I went to this womans house, she handed me the dog. I carried her out to the van, and groomed her in the usual manner. When I carried her back into the house and sat her on the floor I was absolutely astonished when she went racing all over the house yapping her little head off. I had never seen her move before. After that I got tougher with her and she did start to stand up some. I have a few other dogs that will go splat whenever you move them. As long as they can stay in one position they are fine. I swear I have never thrown them off of the table but they sure act as though they are expecting it.


                          • #14
                            Put a leash or noose on him, hook him up to something on the floor to keep him from running and groom him there. That should solve your problem.
                            Stress is nothing more than a socially acceptable form of mental illness.- Richard Carlson


                            • #15
                              I agree with DAPER DAWG

                              Dear Dawg,

                              I agree with you. This is a job for a sling if you do not have a second pair of hands. If you do have a second pair of hands and want to keep this scardy cat then have another position their elbows on the table and hold the dog up from the belly.

                              When the dog goes to sit correct and lift it up. When it is up see if the person holding can slowly back off. When the dog stands praise them. Shouldn't take long for the non-brain dead especially if you use treats.

                              Let me also say slings do work just a little cumbersome to use as an everyday thing. This is just the customer for one but still try and train by slinging him a little low so he kind of has to stand to be comfortable. Again if he stands praise them and give treats.