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Suggestions for grooming aggressive dog

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by pearltheplank, Apr 20, 2011.


  1. pearltheplank

    pearltheplank PetForums VIP

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    I have been a groomer for well over 10 years and have been able to deal with most difficult dogs but a new one has me stumped

    Brief outline - westie around 14 months old, been coming every 6 weeks since he was 9 months. He had mites when a pup and vet advised owner not to groom:eek: Anyway, he is so aggressive that I can only bath and dry him. Touch him with a brush and he tries to take your hand off.

    Owner refuses to allow him to be muzzled or sedate him (I found homeopathic sedatives) He also get stressed and may sometimes throw up bile when he is with me. He has an undescended testicle which she also won't have dealt with

    Any suggestions welcomed or I will possibly have to deal with this for the next umpteen years
     
  2. Braighe

    Braighe PetForums Member

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    Why wont the owner allow him to be muzzled:confused:

    I would be withdrawing my services from the dog. Its your business and you have to ensure your safety, no muzzle, no groom.
     
  3. pearltheplank

    pearltheplank PetForums VIP

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    She says it will stress him out more. She has been customer for the last 8 years or so with her other dog and she also refuses to leave which I think makes him worse
     
  4. 912142

    912142 PetForums VIP

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    Ooh some owner! Maybe the answer is a visit to the behaviourist.

    It's a difficult one - my springer hated getting her ears cleaned and would react in the same way - so on a regular basis I would put the cotton wool down beside her whilst I played with her ears - checking them etc so that she would get used to the cotton wool around her - it worked to an extent as long as I didn't take too long. She never had a bad experience with ear cleaning so I was never sure why she did this.

    Presumably the owner doesn't brush the dog because of this?

    What about asking her to start doing that or leaving the brush beside the dog when it is resting so that he gets used to the brush being near to him or when he is sitting on her knee play with his coat and then gently introduce the brush. Similarly when you are working with him leave the brush in front of him so can sniff it out. Or last suggestion what about using a brush that fits over your hand?
     
  5. rocco33

    rocco33 PetForums VIP

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    Sadly, the problem is the owner not the dog!

    I would suggest that a muzzle may stress him out if just put on, but a dog can easily be trained to accept a muzzle and show her how. I would also advise her of the risk of cancer due to his undescended testicle.

    I would say that until she is prepared to accept this and change her ways, you cannot groom him.
     
  6. pearltheplank

    pearltheplank PetForums VIP

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    For the owner? Might suggest it:001_smile:

    She claims she does try to brush but I'm not sure I believe her or at the very least its half hearted. Might look into the hand brush thing. If I leave brushes in front of him, he just attacks them
     
  7. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

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    Why would you leave an undescended testicle unattended? Isn't that dangerous? Anyway, neither of my dogs like being groomed but they are too big to argue with! Have you tried a gradual desensitization, like showing him the brush, give him a treat, put the treat on the brush, that sort of thing, or get someone to keep feeding one end whilst you gently, in slow stages, brush the other end? Just a thought, but probably what a behaviourist would tell you to do anyway. I would not put a muzzle on my dogs either, to be honest. I expect the westie is afraid and if he hasn't been brushed much it could be tangled and pull, so a muzzle would just make him more afraid. You could try some really heavy duty gloves! You could clip it all off and start again?

    Also always let him watch when you are doing the dog (you probably already do this) as that sometimes helps over time.

    Neither of mine will let me near their bums. Ferdie just doesn't like it so will sit on it or tuck his tail right under so that I cannot get at it. Joshua is frightened of anyone going under his tail and will bite, and he means business. They both have to be sedated in order to do their bums, I have tried everything else and it is not easy as I hate doing it. I think your owner needs to get into the real world, or the dog is going to suffer. Tangled fur pulls and hurts, does she know that?
     
  8. keirk

    keirk PetForums Member

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  9. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    I think you have to safeguard yourself so the dog has to be made safe before you tackle it, either with a sedative or a muzzle.

    My suggestion would be that the dog is taken to the vet, knocked out and clipped totally, then the OWNER grooms it daily with a soft brush while the coat is growing back through. This way there will be no pain or discomfort so the dog will gradually learn that grooming is not unpleasant. If the owner is prepared to do this then you could have a go at stripping/clipping or whatever you want to do to it or if she has not got the poor dog used to being groomed it will have to go to the vet regularly for a total clip. I know our vets do a lot of dogs this way.
     
  10. JANICE199

    JANICE199 PetForums VIP

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    I have to hold my hands up to this problem.Hubby has to groom both my poodles in between them going to the groomers.If i'm anywhere near them they will play havoc.:(
     
  11. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

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    That is the best idea, but very expensive. I have to do this to get Joshua's bum clipped, the vet gives him an injection to knock him out then afterwards revives him. I think that this little westie needs clipping off and starting again if he is ever going to get over being afraid of the brush.
     
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