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When do you throw in the towel on grooming a fussy dog?

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  • When do you throw in the towel on grooming a fussy dog?

    I have two clients that both have two dogs each. One dog is fantastic...but the other dog in each of these households is very very fussy when it comes to cutting the hair on their back and front legs or doing their nails. I muzzle these dogs for each of these tasks and then take the muzzle off for the rest of the groom. Both dogs flip out when I touch their legs and start throwing them selves around on my table and of course try to get the muzzle off (I am using a groomers helper mind you; they are tri-tied!). One dog the last time I had him muzzled and was trying to do his legs started to have a seizure he was so upset. I am so frustrated with this situation and really do not want to groom these dogs any more..however, the other dog in the household is fantastic and I really don't want to loose them as a client. Using tranquilizers is not an option (per the client), both dogs are 10 years old. Any suggestions as to what to do would be appreciated. Thank you!

  • #2
    I'd send them to the vet

    Send them to the vet groomer, for sedation or at the very least monitoring by the vet (staff) to be groomed.
    No question about it.

    Erica

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    • #3
      I'd let the customer know how difficult fifi has become to groom, and suggest they find a groomer at a vet clinic to do it. Of course, I AM the vet groomer, so I can't send them anywhere! LOL!
      For me, when dogs start acting like that, they just get "good enough grooms" and may not look perfect, but I make them comfortable. I always let the owners know how the dog is acting too. And if it gets progressively worse I let them know each time. It would look kinda funny if fifi were fine for 5 years (at least the owner would think so) and all of a sudden you can't groom her anymore cuz of her behavior. Make sense?

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      • #4
        I think if the grooming is causing the animal that much stress I would inform the owner and tell them that since the dog is older they may need to find an alternitive to how that dog is getting groomed(mabey a vet).The last thing you want is a dog passing on the table due to stress,or getting hurt from thrashing. Just tell them it is for the dogs well being. Good luck on that one.

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        • #5
          I throw in the towel when safety (for the dog or me) becomes an issue. Let the owner know what your concerns are, and that the finished result may not be perfection. When dogs get stressed to the point where they seize, or spin & snap so much you risk cutting them, and sedation isn't an option just aim for clean & comfortable.

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          • #6
            I feel your pain. I had one doing the death roll on the GH and I had to call it quits. When they start doing that they can get really hurt. I got everything done but 3 legs. I was shaving them with a 10. this was a cock a poop that had not been done in 8 months and the last time the vet had to sedate her.
            If your dog is fat, you are not getting enough exercise!

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            • #7
              I think you need to be honest with the client, start from there. First, prepare yourself for losing the good dog. Prepare yourself mentally for this so that you can speak to the client earnestly with no self interest. Consider also how you feel about the dog, would you be willing to continue grooming these dogs if the people released you from any and all liability regarding the pet? Or, would you under no circumstance want to continue? Figure that out first as well. Another thing to consider...is there a way to groom the dogs legs (with scissors and no clippers? for example) that wouldn't freak them out. Even if it would look like total ****, is that an option for you to discuss?

              Then, tell them your fears and frustrations. Pose it in a way that completely speaks of you being concerned for the health, safety and well being of the problem dog. That you are no longer comfortable with the dogs behavior and fear that the dog will injure itself or that you will injure it inadvertantly and that you would feel inconsolable if this were to happen under your care. Therefore, you are sorry but you feel this animal would best be served being groomed under a vet's influence. If you think there might be a way for you to get safely through the groom by scissoring the legs or back....tell them that is an option but only if they sign an agreement that totally releases you from any accidents or mishaps or events. But they must accept that the dog may not look very good. You will only do what can be done safely. Tell them you will no longer be able to do the nails at all, just not going to happen. They can be done at a vets. Then, end it all by telling them that you will be happy to continue to service the other dog and would love to retain them as a customer...but that you understand if that will be inconvenient to them. After all, you only want was is best for the client and the dog. Surely the one good dog cannot be soooooo good that it makes up for the horror of the bad one. There are plenty of clients who only have good dogs out there. Don't hold on to them simply for the good dog.

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              • #8
                When to throw the towel in

                The dog is "leg shy". Send to a vet, have it sedated. end of story


                astrordog

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                • #9
                  I recently posted something on here about some dogs I groom who act exactly the same way with their nails. I've had a dog do the GH death roll nonstop and it's not pretty. It gets to a point where their safety is an issue so I don't do it. Send them to a vet's office to be groomed...it's not worth hurting yourself or the dog.

                  If your goal is to keep the other dog as your customer, make extra sure you make it clear that the DOG'S safety is the primary concern, rather than you just not wanting to deal with a difficult groom. And of course give them the option of contining to groom the other dog, but understand if they decide to move them both to a new location.

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                  • #10
                    Fur said just what I would have. I agree with purple that if you have never told the owner anything about the behavior and suddendly you tell them you can't groom one it might give you more of a problem than if you have told them that you are having troubles then go to can't groom

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                    • #11
                      I have two shar peis that FREAK on nails :-) I told her to take them to the vet for nails but I still groom the dogs, I just don't do the nails. If the dogs can handle everything else you will still help them out by staying clean :-)

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                      • #12
                        I will try to work with dogs. I will just give them a not perfect groom. More for practical reasons than looks, and most owners are very appreciative. However, when it gets to the point where it harms their health, like with the dog with the seizure, then it might just be time to throw in the towel. If you ever feel uncomfortable grooming a dog, or feel like it just isn't safe, then it is your right to refer them to a vet for safety reasons. I know that you don't want to lose the clients because the other dog is great, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do. Well, they might still bring the good dogs though, because generally the vet may charge more, but who knows. Good luck!
                        Scratch a dog and you'll find a permanent job. ~Franklin P. Jones

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                        • #13
                          the one I did today did take her dog to the vet and that is why it was not done for 8 months cauze the vet charged her $165 to groom under sedation. She said it was not the money but she did not want to keep sedation for this dog when she is only 2. My god, I have got a long road ahead with this little bioch.
                          If your dog is fat, you are not getting enough exercise!

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                          • #14
                            I have a client with two maltese. one is great the other had to be sedated. now that Im out on my own, I don't groom sedated dogs. I still groom the good one, don't know what they do with the other one. I don't ask! lol

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                            • #15
                              She said the owner told her the dogs are 10 years old and sedation is out of the question.

                              I think that being AT the vets would be a good idea for grooming. That way if the dog has a seizure, it will be in the BEST place to have it.

                              No need to sedate. Ask the vet about a little benadryl---and send the dog to the vets to be groomed while under the influence of Benadryl. Being a vet groomer myself, this is my favorite option. I do NOT like grooming dogs sedated. Cats? Love it for the most part, though I try NOT to do it if I can avoid it, but dogs, that's not my cup of tea.

                              Tammy in Utah
                              Groomers Helper Affiliate

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