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Anatolian......Groom or not to Groom?? That is the question...

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  • Anatolian......Groom or not to Groom?? That is the question...

    I have a client with 2 Poms that I do monthly. While I was there 2 months ago a friend of my client's stopped by with an Anatolian and wanted me to groom it so I did. No problems. My client calls today and tells me that the Anatolian lunged and tried to attack her adult son. Apparently the son was shaken up and so was the owner of the dog. He said that the dog had never done that before and no one knows why he did it. This is a VERY large dog. Anyway my client is now afraid for me to groom this dog for fear of me being attacked. She saiys that he wants me to groom his dog the next time I'm at her home which is next week. My client is anxiety ridden over this and I'm not sure what to do. My DH thinks we should go ahead and do him because he didn't give us any trouble 2 months ago but I'm feeling a little shaky about it. What do you guys think? I'm trying to make a decision about this before he calls me.
    Anyway I love that my client is so concerned for my well being. There's so many who never give it a second thought.
    "In a perfect world, every dog would have a home and every home would have a dog."

  • #2
    That's really sweet of your client! My honest gut reaction is to say go ahead since you have no personal (aside from client testimony) reason to be afraid. Lets be honest...I'll bet we all have a lot of clients who are terrors at home but angels on the table. Being guard dogs, Antaolians tend to be very protective, and being in your salon should be neutral enough territory for him to not feel threatened or need to protect if that's what he was doing. Do you have any background on why he attacked? Was it out of nowhere? If he gets aggressive with you in any way, you can always stop the groom and send him home.

    That said, I don't know the dog, I don't know the owner, and the only bit of the situation I know is minimal, so if YOUR gut is telling you different, there's probably a reason. Maybe you should explore it a little and find out why he makes you uneasy.
    There are 3 different kinds of people in this world: Dog people, cat people, and rational people who don't have a problem liking two things at the same time.


    • #3
      owner of one

      I own an anatoliian and another dog that is 1/2 anatolian. Both very loving and sweet but also very strong and protective. They sense danger and they are on it.

      If you are feeling nervous, don't do it. They will know. We give off a scent in our breath/saliva. I had a trainer come out to evaluate our 11 month old rescue. He never let the guy near me. Still don't know why.

      We have people coming and going daily w/no issues but I always wonder if the trainer came in a bit nervous.

      I always groom my anatolian w/no problems. Last week I went to clip his nails w/no bath. He was having none of it. Their was no winning so I just waited a day and did it w/ the normal routine. Who knows ... these dogs are bred to make decisions ... not follow commands.


      • #4
        If you dont feel comfortable then dont do it. If the owner is anxious then that will make the dog's behavior worse than it would have if she was calm. It is difficult to say why the dog lunged too. If you would like to try, have the owner muzzle him before walking in to the groom shop. That way your fear of being attacked will naturally be diminished, you will be safer, and you can attempt to work on the dog with more confidence. Have the owner wait outside till you are sure you are comfortable working on the dog. It *was* awful nice of your client caring about your safety. Good luck!


        • #5
          Don't do it. You are nervous, the owner is nervous, that is not a good combination.


          • #6
            Since this behavior is not the norm for this dog then IMO the owners need to take him to the vet for a work up to make sure it's nothing medical that's causing the sudden aggression.

            Also, do you know for a fact that the son wasn't being stupid and aggrivating the dog? He may have a history of teasing him and the dog may have finally said "ENOUGH"!!!!!!

            It's your call whether or not to do the dog, but I agree w/the others. If you are nervous when you are working w/him he will pick up on that and it could increase the posibility of an incident.
            SheilaB from SC


            • #7
              Have the owner put a secure basket muzzle on the dog when the dog is brought in for grooming and keep it on for the entire process. If they refuse to do so, tell the owner to take a hike. The money for the groom won't cover the medical bills and plastic surgery to put you back together.

              Personally, I think any dog that size which has no iproblem with "lunging and attacking" an owner/family member has earned a one-way trip to the vet. The idea a large dog of that nature can be excused for attacking members of the family because they were "bred to make decisions - not follow commands" is ridiculous and asking for trouble.

              That dog has obviously become the elephant in the owner's drawing room that can do whatever it wants and get away with it. And a dog such as an Anatolian is fully capable of killing someone if they decide to and only a bullet could stop it from doing so.

              I hope the owner has good insurance because he is going to need it.


              • #8
                The owner needs to think about whtherr she should keep the dog . her fear is probably going to become an issue. A large breed which tends to be headstrong and a fearful owner are not a good match. Also if the dog has decided he is in charge of the housenoone is going to come out the winner. My adult daughter was bitten in the face by her freinds dog who had a previous (unknown to her) history of attacking the friends own mother! Lucky my daughter ddn't panic as her whole face was in the dogs mouth! The pic only shows half her face it was pretty swollen and luckily the only scar that is apparant is the one by her eye. She has bite marks on both sides of her jaw. I think th eowner of the Anatolian needs to consider whether he is in th ebest home.
                Attached Files


                • #9
                  I can only speak for myself but I would do it without hesitation. Owners often have troubles at home (territorial ) that never transfer over to the groomer.

                  I can think of multiple instances where the owner has warned me that the dog has "Gone after" people in her home and the dogs have never shown the slightest bit of aggression at home. I am thinking of one gordon setter in particular who seriously, out of the blue lunged at the son in law who had been a regular in the home for a couple years. The owner was so stressed about it that she warned me over and over to be careful but he has never shown any sign at all in grooming of aggression.

                  The reason I say that I can only speak for myself is that if you are going to start off with this dog being nervous, the dog will read that in you and you may trigger some instability in him so if you dont think you can groom him with confidence then I would refer him elsewhere BUT I would tell the client that your referral is due to your own lack of confidence then any surety you have that the dog will be aggressive during grooming. I would hate the owner to take your refusal as concrete evidence that she has a dangerous dog and make any rash decisions.

                  I would consider what you feel your skill level is in reading dog signals and behavior then consider if you will be nervous and that should give you your decision

                  Having said all that, if he comes in and you don't like the behavior or signals you see.. send him home and recommend a good trainer. hehe.

                  PS, I have to very respectfully disagree with the coming in muzzled suggestion. I think that is just asking to set up bad expectations and nerves in the humans and the dog that is more likely to trigger it.


                  • #10
                    You have done the dog only once

                    So think about this. First, how old is this dog?? If he is under 3 years old, he could be developing some aggression/dominance issues that simply weren't there previously. He may not be an extremely aggressive dog, or such issues would be apparent earlier, but he is LARGE and you are in a mobile, so I would think on this. Besides, do you really WANT a huge, hairy groom for years?? I don't know, maybe you don't mind, but it's a great time to nix this dog if you do not feel comfortable handling a large, bossy breed and this boy may simply be trying out his muscle, especially if he is under 3 years old. He may or may not decide to try it with you. Boy dogs are often more aggressive with men.

                    Just my take.


                    • #11
                      Hotw, Holy cow was your daughter lucky! She could have so easily lost and eye or had her beautiful face permanantly disfigured. I hope she heals up w/no visible scarring and doesn't develop fear issues around dogs because of this.
                      SheilaB from SC


                      • #12
                        I wouldn't do it.

                        These are very stong protective breeds...Anatolians, Pyrs, etc...and their instincts are alive and well. They can tear the jugular out of wolves. If you look on petfinder, most of these breeds are being placed as guardians in homes who have acreage and secure fencing.

                        Edit: Also,, is this dog being kept as a housepet? If he is, his mental and excercise needs may not be met which may play a factor in the trouble she is having. Some of these breeds are better off living as outdoor dogs where they can allow their instincts to flourish.
                        Last edited by D'tails; 03-23-10, 08:55 AM.


                        • #13
                          This dog was good for his last grooming. He is about 2 years old and in tact. I was a little nervous the first time I groomed him and he gave me a couple of side ways glances but was well behaved. The story I was told was the young man walked up to pet him and the dog became vicious. The owner of the dog has a heating and air conditioning company and takes the dog to work with him every day so he spends a lot of time with the dog and seems to spend time on training also. Don't really know what set him off. When I met him the owner let him out of his truck unrestrained and the dog ran over to me and jumped up on me with his paws on my shoulders looking quite happy with lots of kisses but man that's a lot of dog to handle if he turns on me. My DH thinks he'll be fine but I'm a little leary about it. Thanks for all your comments and opinions.
                          "In a perfect world, every dog would have a home and every home would have a dog."


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by SharPeiMom View Post
                            He is about 2 years old and in tact......... Don't really know what set him off.
                            That could be a good clue. Intact male guardian breed..possibly protecting his owner from a man on his own turf?

                            My Dobes are extremely protective in my home and on my property, but strangers can approach them fine in stores, etc., because they aren't protecting their turf. A lot of intact males are driven by hormones and become an entirely different animal than they would be if they were neutered...more protective, dominant, dog aggressive, etc....doesnt make them bad in my eyes, just a more natural instinct-driven temperament.