Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Beginner needs advice

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Beginner needs advice

    I've only been grooming for a short time and am doing it part time...so far, so good...I only have space for small dogs right now and am working by myself. I have difficulty sometimes trimming feet and nails on the dogs who don't like their feet touched...I'm afraid if I apply pressure by holding the dog close to my body I will hurt it...they seem so delicate. I clipped a yorkie/dachshund mix this morning with short legs. She was only one year old and probably has only been clipped a few times. All in all she was fine and nice disposition, but she was a wiggle worm and I really struggled to clip her legs and trim her nails. I scissored the legs as much as I could. Is there a different technique or trick of the trade someone might have or should I invest in the groomer's helper since I will be working by myself...we only have 2 arms, darn. Thanks for any advice you can provide.

  • #2
    It comes with experience. Try to divert there attention to something else when you are doing the legs and feet. I put my grooming table in front of a window and it works pretty well. They look at what is going on outside more then what I am doing.
    Oh yes the Groomers helper for sure, the starter kit should be all you need at first.
    Welcome to the board from another Maryland groomer. Lots of good info here.
    Last edited by Poochie1; 04-18-10, 12:43 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by kookanana View Post
      I've only been grooming for a short time and am doing it part time...so far, so good...I only have space for small dogs right now and am working by myself. I have difficulty sometimes trimming feet and nails on the dogs who don't like their feet touched...I'm afraid if I apply pressure by holding the dog close to my body I will hurt it...they seem so delicate. I clipped a yorkie/dachshund mix this morning with short legs. She was only one year old and probably has only been clipped a few times. All in all she was fine and nice disposition, but she was a wiggle worm and I really struggled to clip her legs and trim her nails. I scissored the legs as much as I could. Is there a different technique or trick of the trade someone might have or should I invest in the groomer's helper since I will be working by myself...we only have 2 arms, darn. Thanks for any advice you can provide.
      I used my Groomer's Helper for the first time this weekend and I LOVE IT. Wouldn't want to groom without it.

      Comment


      • #4
        I am in the same exact boat as you...so I hope there are lots of other replies. I'd like to try the groomers helper too, but running a bit low on funds right now. All the dogs I have done so far have been super easy (as far as disposition), but almost all of them HATE the whole foot thing. I'm also very afraid to hurt them. Someone once suggested walking around with the little dogs in your arms and positioning them so that you can clip their nails while walking around with them. I tried that on my own dogs and found that I wasn't coordinated enough!! LOL.

        Comment


        • #5
          Hmmm...it's hard to imagine exactly what to advise you on when I can't see what they are doing but I will give you three subjects to study that REALLY helped me click as far as humane handling goes. (that is, not pinning the dog and doing it no-holds-bar)

          #1-Dog Anatomy. When you know what is pulling and when it is a lot easier to counter. For instance, I hate it when dogs try and jump out of the tub because it makes a huge mess and the floor gets all slippery. So, when one comes at me, I take two fingers and push lightly in their shoulders. The gravity and (light) force on that body part allows them not to go very far. Usually I don't even need to say anything. Push a couple of times and most dogs get the point and realize you want them to stay in the tub.

          #2 Martial Arts. Specifically defense blocking. Teaches you how to use your opponent's force coming at you and redirect it. It also gives you pretty quick natural reflexes which has saved my butt a coupla times from being bitten.

          #3 Swing Dancing. Yep! I said swing dancing! Or, more liberally, dancing with a partner. Ballroom, foxtrot, tango, waltz, etc. For me, swing is waaaaaaaay more fun but also a bit more upbeat. When you are working with a male lead they teach you how to use your own force and momentum from movement to your advantage. Think the Lindy for anyone that knows how to swing.

          These three have been able to help me quite a bit when it comes to handling. There is an opposite to every movement. Sometimes something as simple as picking up the opposite leg so that the dog's weight is leaned into the foot you are working on is effective.

          Groomer's Helper is a WONDERFUL tool but can only go so far.
          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.

          Comment


          • #6
            Let me begin by saying I am new to grooming, I am being trained with the groomers Helper (My choice). I can not imagine grooming with out it. It helps with biters and wiggle worms. I know some people do not like this item but it is better than a muzzle IMO since a lot of the times a muzzle will stress a dog really quickly. This is just another grooming tool that is a must have IMO.

            Comment


            • #7
              Try to pick the paw up under towards rhe bpdy, not out and up, this is for nail clipping. The little guys are tougher than you think, apply gentle firm pressure when holding for trimming feet, just remember short legs cannot stretch far up or out. raise the dog to comfortable height for you to get at the paws. Keep trying until you find what works for you.
              ~~Everyone is entitled to my opinion!~~

              Comment


              • #8
                Melissa Verplank's short video on her website really helped me. It really only works on small to medium dogs, but that is pretty much where you are at right now, so hopefully it helps you too. I work at a corporate store that doesn't allow any equipment they don't supply, so no groomer's helper for me. I can now trim nails and shave feet pads on dogs I might have needed help w/ before. Here's the link:

                http://www.melissaverplank.com/Grooming_Tips.php

                It is the 7th video down, the maintaining calm control one, but all her other videos are helpful too!
                I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.
                -Michelangelo

                Comment


                • #9
                  Kookanana...

                  Yes, on the Groomer's Helper. They are wonderful.

                  Here are some other suggestions also.

                  First....I NEVER put a dog on the table and start the groom by doing it's nails. Brush it, comb it, play with it....ANYTHING but a nail trim. Why start the table time with something they may hate. Start with something more fun...THEN do the nails just before the bath.

                  Be confident. Beginners tend to go slowly and dogs can tell you are unsure. Line up the nail trimmer where you want it and then CLIP. Not a slow squeeze....a quick CLIP. Dogs object to the slow pressure.

                  Try pushing their foot INTO their body. They tend to pull their foot away from us, and we tend to pull their foot TOWARDS us. This ends in a tug-o-war. When you push the foot TOWARDS their body, it is unfamiliar to them and they tend to allow nail trimming then.

                  Also, while you are pushing towards them, they may step off the edge of the table. You, of course, have them safely and humanely secured.
                  They aren't going to fall.....but they don't know that. In their mind, they now have a choice....they can allow you to trim their nails, or they can 'fall off the face of the earth'....most will choose the nail trim.
                  Remember.....tell them how clever they are to have chosen the correct answer.

                  Blobs of peanut butter in their mouth can work wonders also. Put a big blob on the roof of their mouth, and then trim like crazy!

                  For some of the real wiggle worms, I will put them under my arm, pressed against my body, with their rear end facing the same way I am. Then hold their foot like you would a horse....with the pad facing up.

                  For scissoring legs, I have found the clip-on combs on my Mini Arco's are really nice. The clipper is small, and very quiet...and works nicely for those guys that are a little unsure of themselves.

                  Hope this helps....

                  namaste...dogma

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Ditto to everything Dogma said. And I'll add one more.

                    Desensitize. Start with the dog secured on your table. Grasp the leg at the top and very quickly run your hand down it, and over the foot. Praise the dog. This not only becomes a game that he can feel good about, but he doesn't have to tolerate your touch for any length of time.

                    Repeat the above several times, then just slow it down. You're trying to build his tolerance level. Again, repeat several times. Then run your hand down the leg, lifting the paw off the table, and when you get to the paw, stop. Keep your hand open, palm up, and allow his foot to rest on your hand for a second before taking it away. If he fusses, go back a step, and repeat a few times, then try again.

                    Once Mr. Dog is happy enough to rest his paw in your hand without any pressure, start to quickly but gently grasp the paw. Just close your hand on it, then release. When he's comfortable with that start rubbing his paw and nails. Gently. Always start out with quick touches, then lengthen the time. Start out with light touches, then increase the pressure. Make it as easy for the dog as possible. This gives both of you the chance to win.

                    When you can hold the foot without problems, clip ONE nail and praise. Again, starting out quick and moving up to longer touches. Release the foot, give him a pat, then pick it up and do another nail.

                    One last suggestion. You can try cutting the nails with the dog's foot on the table, not lifting it at all. It takes a little practice, but it's a good technique to learn. Very helpful when you have a dog with bad knees, hips or back.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by dogma View Post
                      Kookanana...

                      Yes, on the Groomer's Helper. They are wonderful.

                      Here are some other suggestions also.

                      First....I NEVER put a dog on the table and start the groom by doing it's nails. Brush it, comb it, play with it....ANYTHING but a nail trim. Why start the table time with something they may hate. Start with something more fun...THEN do the nails just before the bath.

                      Be confident. Beginners tend to go slowly and dogs can tell you are unsure. Line up the nail trimmer where you want it and then CLIP. Not a slow squeeze....a quick CLIP. Dogs object to the slow pressure.

                      Try pushing their foot INTO their body. They tend to pull their foot away from us, and we tend to pull their foot TOWARDS us. This ends in a tug-o-war. When you push the foot TOWARDS their body, it is unfamiliar to them and they tend to allow nail trimming then.

                      Also, while you are pushing towards them, they may step off the edge of the table. You, of course, have them safely and humanely secured.
                      They aren't going to fall.....but they don't know that. In their mind, they now have a choice....they can allow you to trim their nails, or they can 'fall off the face of the earth'....most will choose the nail trim.
                      Remember.....tell them how clever they are to have chosen the correct answer.

                      Blobs of peanut butter in their mouth can work wonders also. Put a big blob on the roof of their mouth, and then trim like crazy!

                      For some of the real wiggle worms, I will put them under my arm, pressed against my body, with their rear end facing the same way I am. Then hold their foot like you would a horse....with the pad facing up.

                      For scissoring legs, I have found the clip-on combs on my Mini Arco's are really nice. The clipper is small, and very quiet...and works nicely for those guys that are a little unsure of themselves.

                      Hope this helps....

                      namaste...dogma
                      Thanks so much to you all the others for their advice and tried techniques. I am sure that as time goes on I will develop a few of my own, but will certainly try out those suggested. Thanks again for your help.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Another approach I think no one has mentioned...Simple mechanics...I will swing the dog's rear end around so the dog is facing away from me. Keep the dog's head in the restraint and place his body under your left armpit while he is standing on the table. You us your left arm to keep the dog in place against your left side; run your left arm under the dog's belly and grasp the front foot with that hand. Quickly cut each nail. Spin the dog around and do the rear nails in the same position while securing the dog against your body.

                        This works well because the dog cannot pull the leg away from you; if it does pull, the leg is pulled back closer to you...clear as mud?


                        On some I use my LIPS sling because it gets their feet up off the table since many dogs use the table as leverage to pull against you....Mainly naughty terriers that cannot be reasoned with because they actually look forward to their monthly toe nail sparring event.

                        Comment

                        Working...
                        X