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  • matted biting dog

    So tell me if I screwed up here:

    Yesterday a guy came to me with two dogs. One a sweet little Pekingese (that took me forever to get smooth) and the other was a matted mini schnauzer. The owner was a great guy who loved these dogs and I could easily tell that they took good care of the Pekingese but the schnauzer was so touchy, excitable, and snappy, they obviously couldn't get near him with a brush.

    I bathed the dog and was able to cut his back, chest and head ok but his legs and paws were severely matted. Anytime I stood his back end up or came near his legs he would freak out. I have a groomer's helper now so that was working well. But this dog was so stressed out. And when the owner showed back up the dog got even worse so he witnessed it first hand.

    I told the owner that he really needs to go to a vet's groomer and possibly be sedated and if there is anything actually wrong with his paws a vet would be there to examine them. The paws looked swollen but it could have just been the matting.

    I know that I could have shaved this dog's legs down because of the groomer's helper and a muzzle. But I didn't want to traumatize this little guy even more than I had too so I gave him back to the owner only half groomed. I called a vet with the owner standing there and they confirmed that they could take him in.

    The owner almost seemed appreciative of the way that I handled it but I can't help but wonder if someone with more experience would have been able to deal with this dog.

    So what do you all do with a dog like that?

  • #2
    I've got a couple years experience here...and I would have done just as you did.

    Maybe if the dog gets started all over from scratch, and gets whatever might be going on w/ his feet squared away...and comes back to you just for a few baths and "see, this ain't so bad" sessions....he might improve? Then again....when some of these Schnauzers make up their minds....maybe not? I think you handled it very responsibly...putting the dog's welfare FIRST.
    Often it's not what you say, but how you say it.

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    • #3
      I think you did the right thing in that situation. You know your own limitations and you will use your judgement to know the dog's limitations. It is not our job to forcibly groom any dog if it is not safe.

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      • #4
        I think you did the right thing, and you've learned one of the hardest things to learn with this job, when to call it quits. It is so easy to push dogs too far, and it can be hard where to draw the line, but when in doubt always do what is safest for the dog.

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        • #5
          What would I do with a dog like that? Honestly, I probably would have done the job with a muzzle and the GH, and then had yet another dog on the books that I don't want to groom. If I am afraid the dog is going to have a heart attack, I wouldn't do it. YOU did the right thing, absolutely the right thing.

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          • #6
            I would have done the same thing you did.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by flyingfur View Post
              What would I do with a dog like that? Honestly, I probably would have done the job with a muzzle and the GH, and then had yet another dog on the books that I don't want to groom. If I am afraid the dog is going to have a heart attack, I wouldn't do it. YOU did the right thing, absolutely the right thing.
              I couldn't have said it better myself...

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              • #8
                Yep! I would have made the same choice as you did. What if you had stressed that schnauzer out so bad that he had a heart attack, seizure or a nose bleed? Better to let the vet give the little guy some sedative and have the grooming done there. Like Sibes said, maybe after the vets office gets him shaved down & mat free, the owner would consider bringing him in every couple weeks for bath & tidy ups so he can get used to being handled by you and not freak out next time he needs a full grooming.

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                • #9
                  hehe I am the Veterinary groomer who gets those dogs! I book them on a quiet day and work with them. I have my saturdays set aside just for stressed, elderly, naughty, unwell or puppies first grooms. I only take three dogs, it is unrushed, and quiet and I can usually make headway.

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                  • #10
                    I agree that you did that right thing sending the dog out. You not only saved the dog added stress but yourself as well. No fun to do a dog that's in that condition and that temperament.

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                    • #11
                      All I can add is "BRAVO" Jedd!

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                      • #12
                        Good job!! A true professional knows when there is a limit Safety first

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                        • #13
                          Well I sure feel better. Thanks everyone.

                          You guys are great.

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                          • #14
                            Jedd, Don't be so unrational, LOL. It really doesn't matter if someone with more experience could have done more with the dog or not. That person (if he/she even exists) wasn't there. You were. You made a judgement call, and IMO you make the right one.

                            I'm also one of those vet groomers who gets to do the dogs no one else wants to battle with. Sometimes I can work them through it, sometimes I can't and they have to take a little nap while I get the job done. Over the years I've battled with a couple that really needed to take the big dirt nap, but that's another story.

                            The point is (yes, I do have one) you should trust your instincts, make a decision, and don't second guess yourself. All that does is give you gray hair and ulcers.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Helly View Post
                              Jedd, Don't be so unrational, LOL. It really doesn't matter if someone with more experience could have done more with the dog or not. That person (if he/she even exists) wasn't there.
                              And that is exactly the problem. Nobody else with more experience was there to show me how to handle a dog like that, or even if it was possible.

                              Just like PamperedPup in her 'frustrated' thread, I have largely gone about this on my own and have nothing to gauge my 'do's and don'ts' by. I hope to fix that soon with either a mentor or school. We'll see. But I really don't know what I don't know. And that IS certainly frustrating.

                              I'll get there....one day.

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