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Grooming help

Discussion in 'Dog Health and Nutrition' started by Veba, Apr 17, 2020.


  1. Veba

    Veba PetForums Member

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    Despite many attempts over the 2 years we've not managed to be able to get our dog happy with grooming. This wasn't really a problem as he went to a groomer and we did what maintenance we could between visits.

    Now that we don't have a groomer we've been trying to keep him from matting but have failed miserably with his ears because he growls and mouths very quickly, even with treats. He's a show cocker spaniel so lots of ear!

    Any tips? One ear is really, really badly matted. IMG_20200417_135159.jpg
     
  2. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    Have you tried squeezy cheese in a tube? Someone can keep squeezing out tiny amounts to keep him busy licking while someone else does what's needed. You can also smear it over your fridge door but I find the first way easier.
     
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  3. Torin.

    Torin. PetForums VIP

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    Given ~the situation~ at present combined with behavioural stuff, I'd be tempted to shave his ears to reduce the issue in the first place? That will also be a better starting point for him being happy with you brushing them than when they're already matted.
     
  4. Veba

    Veba PetForums Member

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    Yep, that's how we've managed to keep the other bits of him not to bad. I've tried all his favourite treats too but he'll only take so much before going away and not coming back.

    Our other tactic is chopping off bits that he'll not feel when he's sleeping. He likes to sleep with everything on show so around his bits are quite tidy :D
     
  5. Veba

    Veba PetForums Member

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    I don't have anything to shave them with so would have to order. He hates the nail grinder so a shaver will not go down well. Would I need to cut off what I can before taking the shaver to it? Think I'd need to watch some YouTube tutorials!

    He's the cuddliest boy and likes to be close but anything to do with keeping him looking or smelling nice is a big no-no! His mouthing is so gentle and when he realises he has my hand in his mouth he licks it :Happy I don't want it to escalate though.
     
  6. Magyarmum

    Magyarmum PetForums VIP

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    Have you tried putting him on a table when you groom him?

    I have two Mini Schnauzers who don't like me trimming their coats if they're standing on the floor but are quite happy for me to do it if they're on the table as they would be if they went to the groomer.
     
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  7. StormyThai

    StormyThai Moderator
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    Ok this is for the long game so to speak.
    I do a lot of consensual handling with my dog. I taught him a sustained hand touch and a sustained chin target (hand touch for when we are at the vets and chin target when I am doing things at home.

    Actually here is a clip that I did showing the sustained hand touch https://www.petforums.co.uk/threads/sustained-hand-touch.517467/

    The bucket game is also a great way to build up a dogs confidence with handling https://believeinmagic.dog/project/...lK86oxTZbDyj2-oTFQ4sjjPxiodSsBuddBMa1B37O8o4M

    Neither of those are a quick fix solution because they take time to teach but they will help you in the long run.
     
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  8. Jobeth

    Jobeth PetForums VIP

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    Veba, Sarah H and lullabydream like this.
  9. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    What are you using to brush with too, a human tangle teaser works well for some dogs and most dogs don't mind the feel.. All this and using the bucket game, plus detangling spray like knot sure can really help
     
  10. Veba

    Veba PetForums Member

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    We put him on a raised bit of the garden but don't really have a suitable table. I'd be scared he jumped off though. The bit in the garden allows him to back off without jumping.
     
  11. Veba

    Veba PetForums Member

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    These are the kinds of things we've been trying but got complacent because of having a groomer We'll definitely try again properly once I get these ears fixed.
     
  12. Veba

    Veba PetForums Member

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    We've got a few brushes but not a tangle teaser so will order one. We have Knot Sure but he hates that too o_O

    At this stage I think it may be beyond brushing though.
     
  13. Veba

    Veba PetForums Member

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  14. Sarah H

    Sarah H Grand Empress of the Universe

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    Can you not just get the scissors to him and snip as much as possible? Brushing knots are just going to make him more grumpy and less likely to let you do it in the future. Get on a table and first of all practice picking up feet, looking at ears, round bum etc and literally have one person do this while someone else feeds and feeds and feeds constantly. Just do it for a couple of minutes with lots of praise and then stop, repeat a few times a day. Then you can build up to just doing the odd snip, then more etc. If he starts to get silly stop touching and stop feeding. Let him get down (safely) but don't really give him much attention. If he comes back LOTS of praise and try again. Ideally you don't get to this level and you've built up so you just do short and sweet goes that he can tolerate.
    He doesn't need to look like a supermodel at the moment so just get the job done! Once the matts are out you can do some better grooming training with him, and it won't be as nasty for him as there won't be any knots to pull.
     
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  15. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    Spray it on your hands then rub it on his ears! If you aren't already doing so with the knot sure!
     
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  16. Torin.

    Torin. PetForums VIP

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    Scissors are fine, with blunt-ended scissors being safer - you can do a lot with them without needing anything electric if he doesn't like the noise already/ you don't have them :)

    Some individuals don't like the "snip snip" noise that scissors make when the very ends of the blades come together. You can massively reduce the stress of the clipping by
    a) Using scissors with longer blades, rather than stumpy childrens ones
    b) Not doing the full close of the blades, so there's a cm or so at the end that don't meet. This way you'll get the cut, without the aversive "snip". Here's a really badly edited image (Google wasn't cooperating) to show what I mean:
    Screenshot_20200417-174134.png

    I'd use the method @Sarah H explains for getting it off in the first place, and then work up from that for long term stuff that @StormyThai's covered. I'm currently doing consent handling training with Cadvan for injections (his offered consent is lying down), and he thinks it's super fun.

    [disclaimer: I haven't done the hair stuff with Cad, obviously, but I've built up with my sheltie guinea pig who can't move properly in her naturally unclipped state via the same methods]
     
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  17. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

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    It should be possible to rig up something like a grooming table with a lead connected above. The dining table taken out and put under the washing line for instance. The more it's like what he's used to at the groomers, the better he's likely to comply.
     
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  18. Magyarmum

    Magyarmum PetForums VIP

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    I put a non slip mat on the kitchen table for mine to stand on.. Fortunately for me their breeder's wife is a professional groomer so they have been trained from being babies, to stand perfectly still for a couple of hours whilst being clipped or hand stripped
     
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  19. Jobeth

    Jobeth PetForums VIP

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    I put my Lhasa/poodle on my lap to groom and cut him as he stays still for ages then. My Yorkie I groom on my lap but cut her at table height in the utility room. She has medium length hair so it helps to keep it straight. The tangle teezer is definitely worth getting. I have one for my hair and one for the dogs.

    I would also get in touch with your groomer to make sure you can get him in as soon as possible. Mine has stopped booking appointments but once they open again then they are working through the list by date order.
     
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  20. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

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    Agree about the table. Kenzie is (predictably) a little sh*t if I try to groom her on the ground, sofa etc. but on the table she will actually let me do quite a bit of grooming before getting fed up.
     
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