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Old 11-18-2012, 08:20 PM
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Grooming woes

I love grooming Bentley - but he is not a big fan. He hates the bath. BUt there are a few things he hates even more: Getting on the table, getting blown dry and getting trimmed. He HATES the whole process. He is shaking when he stands on the table. He won't stand still and makes it very difficult to groom him.

I've been grooming him or at least working with him on the table since he was a tiny puppy. It just doesn't seem to get any better. I thought he would get used to it by now or grow out of the fear.

Part of the problem may be that we're working indoors in a fairly confined area, which makes the noise of the dryer seem a lot worse. Not much I can do about that.

How can I work with him to get him to enjoy or at least accept grooming time.

Thanks!
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Old 11-18-2012, 08:38 PM
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I started grooming decades ago, with no grooming table. So I would put an old quilt on the floor, in front of the TV, and sit there grooming the Sheepdogs and Irish Setter. Sheepies have to be on their sides, for line grooming, so this worked out well. The Setters and Goldens also learned to lay down for grooming.
What kind of dryer are you using?

My dogs have always grown to love grooming (it was more difficult when they were little) and rush to be first for "combing out" and "who wants a bath." I do one side at a time, break for a cookie (everybody gets one), then on to the other side. After the second cookie break, we work on the standing stuff - trimming the Sheepies' feet and even up whatever else needs it. They get lots of praise, love pats and talking to during this time. The most difficult thing is the other dogs want to be right next to the one getting groomed. lol
Hang in there.
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:21 PM
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Does he still shake when you just stand him on the floor to groom him?

I'd see whether its the dryer or the height that stresses him out.

Grooming should be relaxing zen time for these dogs.
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:16 AM
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I'll try the floor next time.

The dryer is a Challengaire forced air dryer. He tolerates the dryer better without the nozzle. With the nozzle on, he won't let me anywhere near his head. Without it, I can dry behind his ears and under his muzzle.

It's also not just the dryer. He also runs to his mom and sits in her lap when he hears me start the bath and he shakes in the tub. Not sure if he hates the bath too or if it's in anticipation of the drying/grooming to follow.
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Old 11-19-2012, 01:28 PM
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Are you still giving him treats to reward him? Even though my three are OK with the process now, I still have a small pile of treats where they can see them. They know they'll get them off and on during the process. If I forget, I get reminded with a nudge. LOL.

Are you petting him and saying good things during, so he knows he's doing a good job standing there? Even if he doesn't enjoy it, if he thinks he's pleasing you, he should feel better about the whole thing.

Also, try separating out some of the work. Perhaps do nail trimming apart from washing. And do the brushing a few hours before the bathing, etc.

Good luck!
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:14 PM
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Happy Hoodie!

You should really try the Happy Hoodie. http://www.happyhoodie.com/
I used to just tie a towel around the dog's head to protect the ears from the sound of the dryer. It worked but it would fall off easily. The happy hoodie is snug so it stays in place and has made a huge difference with dogs that hate the dryer.
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