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Getting Your Own Puppy Used To Grooming. Tips

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  • Getting Your Own Puppy Used To Grooming. Tips

    The last time I got own of my own puppies used to grooming was 10 years ago. I recently got an older puppy (3.5 months old) and wanted to get him as positive as possible about grooming. We can't often take the time we maybe would like with customer puppies, but we can take more time with our own pups. I thought this puppy would be pretty easy to accept grooming well, because right from when I got him he was very relaxed about being handled, you can flip him on his back, hold his legs, play with his feet, the only thing he didn't love was to have his head held. He came to me not having been groomed in a while and had some tangles, I was too busy at work to do anything there (christmas rush), so brought my comb home and combed him out there. Overall he was good, except for trying to get out some of the tangles, then he would squirm but once those were out he relaxed and laid out on his side as I finished.
    After the christmas rush I decided to give him a little bath and tidy. He was a bit nippy and scream-y for nails (which I think might be the first puppy to be nippy for nails of my family dogs), I had treats and after each foot he would get a goody, I talked to him calmly. Gave him a gentle bath and used the stand up dryer to dry him. Though other than the nails he isn't really poorly behaved he still is really nervous and shake-y,. He's now had 4-5 bath/blowdry/nails (he gets one every monday), and he hasn't really gotten less nervous about them.
    He's a very brave puppy, especially for his size, he accepts new things pretty easily, he's very relaxed at my shop with all the noises (he comes with me every day), in fact he always thought the HV dryer was a play thing when I would turn it on, so it really surprised me how nervous he does get during the groom. He won't take treats in the bath, but he will generally take them during blow drying and nails. I trimmed his feet the other day at home with him on his back on my legs and it was no issue, but standing on the table to get them done does get a reaction not as bad as the nails but definitely unhappy.
    The only thing I could have added to make things more relaxed would have been to put him on the table and in the bath without actually doing any grooming and trying to make it positive, but I still think as soon as I started to do the grooming he would have gotten nervous. I guess I could have done one paw, rewarded for it then not done the next one till another day, but there's only so far you can go with that. I can't really bath one leg and leave it haha.

    I am not too worried about this guy. I think he will get better slowly about his nails (he certainly isn't aggressive or anything about them) and maybe more relaxed about bathing and such. And once he gets his adult coat he probably won't need the constant baths (he's all puppy undercoat now which tangles easily) however in the summer I will be getting my first ever Conformation show dog standard poodle! And of course this will come with a LOT of grooming and not only do I want the puppy ok with it, but I need the puppy extremely well behaved to do the hair cuts correctly.
    What steps do you guy use to get your puppies as good and happy about grooming as possible?

  • #2
    Our one dog is HORRIBLE at getting a bath (pitbull ridgeback mix) from day one. I have more scars on my arms from her in 2 yrs then in 15 yrs of grooming. Climbing the walls flailing around uses the whole grooming tub freaking out. I don't even dry her because by time I'm done with the bath im worn out and all cut up.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

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    • #3
      Yes, sometimes there is just nothing you can do. Some dogs just hate the process, but I want as slim a chance as possible at it.

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      • #4
        I tell clients all the time that dogs behave worse for their parents because they can get away with it. It is no joke that most of our own dogs are terrible for grooming for the same reason. I agree that if a dog hates the process, just continue to expose, reward, ignore unfavorable behavior etc. It may help some, but our kids know how to test us. ;P

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        • #5
          Get them used to being on the table and the perimeters of the table. We teach show pups by holding them under their belly and letting their legs fall off the front and back of table. Once you get them comfortable with standing on the table, and loop, no grooming, then move on to touching all parts of the dog, holding their tail, paws, face. You have to establish a trust, then the grooming comes on easier.

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          • #6
            Thanks guys
            I like those ideas Irish, thanks!

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            • #7
              With clipper screamers well before their first groom we put them on their sides or back occasionally, not near head, and they calm down pretty quickly and when the first groom comes much better.

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