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Help! I have a 2 year old female golden, Riley, who hates to be groomed! I am out of patience! She has just recently allowed me to brush her! She is a real rascal and rebel!

Whats the best way to handle her? She needs a bath bad--she is a regular at the dog park and she comes home very gurbbed and sticky. I try my best to wipe and brush her down but she needs a good old bath!

My vet won't let her be bathed by his groomers - she is very strong and a bit much to handle. I don't blame him. He has given me mild tranquilizers for her if I want to bring her to a private groomer. I really don't want to medicate her!

Any suggestions or tips on how to handle my loving beast Riley?
 

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Take her to any neighborhood grooming shop, tell them exactly about her behavior, and walk away. Don't ask to stay and watch. They'll get it done. Riley just needs to learn to behave herself and they'll help her do that.
 

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Kate
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My vet won't let her be bathed by his groomers - she is very strong and a bit much to handle. I don't blame him. He has given me mild tranquilizers for her if I want to bring her to a private groomer. I really don't want to medicate her!
I keep staring at this and marveling... o_O

Way back when my Jacks was a puppy - we just took dogs to the vet to get their nails done. This was because we basically did not know how to do nails and it cost $4 a foot to just have the vet do it.

This came to a complete end when I realized it took 4-5 people pinning him down to get his nails clipped - and they also a REALLY CRAPPY job of it. They left the nails ragged and super sharp.... while continuing to charge us full amount.

I learned to do his nails myself and have never gone back to having anyone else do them.

Funny funny recently was bringing my baby pup to the vet for shots and she checked the feet because they normally recommend doing nails at that age (12 weeks). Nothing for them to do though! :)

My point is just groom your dog at home.

Buy a hand attachment for your shower if you don't have one. Quite honestly EVERYONE who owns a dog SHOULD HAVE ONE. You never know if they are going to have poops all over their trousers at 2AM and you need to hose that off without actually hunting for the hose outside!

Put a pair of shorts and a tshirt on - stuff you don't mind getting wet - sit on the edge of the bath and go for it. No nonsense. No babying or whining. Just pop the dogs in, hold onto the scruff with the one hand and just bathe the dog.

Most of the bath time is getting their backs and chest massaged while you are working the shampoo in and the dogs really love that.

And with a hand attachment - everything gets rinsed off FAST.


With the nails - I found that minus the stress of having 4-5 GROWN PEOPLE pinning him down at the vet.... my dog learned to relax. He still disliked having his nails done, but I could get it done in a couple minutes just clipping nail after nail. There was no wrestling or pinning.

With your dog - if you simply tackle the baths at home where she feels safe, don't baby her or let her get away with being bad, just get it done.... and bathe her every week... there won't be any more fuss.
 

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Yeah, I have to say, I'm in the "it's not a choice" category. I would work much more on getting her comfortable with you brushing her - she's had the upper hand for two years, so you need to undo that. Put her up on a table - you will have more control. Start by having someone hold a spoon of peanut butter or a treat to let her lick while you brush, and keep doing that every day until she realizes that this is not negotiable. Same with a bath. There are even little rubber contraptions that you can stick to the tile and fill with peanut butter to keep them occupied. But grooming and being clean are important parts of life. They all start off wanting to avoid the brush, or play and bite it when they are puppies. You have to just keep doing it and make it part of life.
 

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our 4 month golden hates getting his nail cut so the last time we took him to the vet they cut them bribing him with peanut butter he could have cared less about getting his nails cut.
 

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There are so many things on the market now to help with bath time (like the peanut butter mat you stick to the shower wall). My house came equipped with accessibility bars in the tub, so when Lana is being a brat, I just put her slip leash on and tie it to the bar so she cannot jump out. What behaviors is she exhibiting during grooming? Lana gets excited being brushed and it's more so on the ground, so most of her grooming is up on a grooming table. She is cross tied with a noose and groomer's helper so she cannot back out of the noose. Lana is fuzzy with her feet but you just keep holding on until she stops pulling then keep going. It's going to get done whether she likes it or not, struggling will just delay the process. Lo and behold she doesn't struggle as much now as she used to.
 

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our 4 month golden hates getting his nail cut so the last time we took him to the vet they cut them bribing him with peanut butter he could have cared less about getting his nails cut.
It's all about the peanut butter for us! Both my girls HATE being groomed. I even say the word 'Brush' and my older girl runs and hides.
I pull out the peanut butter jar and they both follow me into the bathroom.
My older girl actually jumped into the tub!
 

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These three things have saved our lives for home grooming:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06Y3QSGWP/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/Aquapaw-Dispensing-Suctions-Grooming-Training/dp/B07DKNN87F/ref=sr_1_4?crid=1NWQKHVTECXH8&keywords=dog+lick+mat+for+shower&qid=1568916960&s=gateway&sprefix=dog+licki+mat,aps,156&sr=8-4

https://www.amazon.com/Pro-Guard-Grooming-Stay-N-Wash-Restraint/dp/B001RMMWHY

My current/newest boy is not a fan of grooming, but I can do his nails without much fuss if I have the lick mat filled with peanut butter and stuck to our french door. I haven't attempted a full bath with him yet (he's OK for the groomer - sort of), but I've started putting the lick mat on the tub wall and he nearly shoves me and my other dog over in his rush to jump in the tub! I did have to give him an abbreviated bath when he was working on a skin infection and as long as the mat had peanut butter, he was oblivious...

My girl is a bit tougher. She's willing to jump in the tub, used to having her feet and pants rinsed, but wants to hang her head out of the tub, so I have to use the noose when I want to wash her neck and head.

I know your dog needs a bath NOW, but starting to get him in the tub for a lick mat, then maybe just a regular quick foot or pant rinse, before moving on to a full fledged bath, may help once he's clean and you have some time for him to begin to acclimate and get good associations with the tub...
 

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What about special, stinky treats that only come out when you are grooming? Like a special chew, pieces of chicken, freeze-dried salmon, or peanut butter in the Aquapaw (frozen so it lasts longer). And as soon as she resists or runs away, then the treat goes away too.

I just strip down and get in the tub with Tomo, I bathe him almost every week since we got him, so he is mostly good in the tub. He likes to stick his face outside and sometimes will try to escape, but thankfully I'm still bigger than him :laugh: I have to use high value treats for eye drops and when I put on his harness though, he hates putting the harness on (probably because his head is so large...).
 

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Ann
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From the very beginning, Bear, who’s 14 mos old now, would follow me everywhere. Whenever I showered, he was laying on the bath mat. So, when it came to giving him a bath, he would just jump in and stay put. I think it’s because he would see me or my husband shower and he just was so used to it, that he doesn’t mind. Maybe you can take her in the bathroom when you shower? I have to admit, Bear’s been doing this since he was a few months old so you may have to try a few times with Riley.
 

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Don
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From the very beginning, Bear, who’s 14 mos old now, would follow me everywhere. Whenever I showered, he was laying on the bath mat. So, when it came to giving him a bath, he would just jump in and stay put. I think it’s because he would see me or my husband shower and he just was so used to it, that he doesn’t mind. Maybe you can take her in the bathroom when you shower? I have to admit, Bear’s been doing this since he was a few months old so you may have to try a few times with Riley.
I would do just that. We never had a problem grooming our dogs and I think this contributed a lot in making them comfortable with the tub and shower.


P.S. I know it sound really weird but it works trust me, its just like showering with your baby except way easier.:nerd:
 

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I would do just that. We never had a problem grooming our dogs and I think this contributed a lot in making them comfortable with the tub and shower.


P.S. I know it sound really weird but it works trust me, its just like showering with your baby except way easier.:nerd:
Mine never minded either -- he wanted to be in there with me. He always laid out with his eyes closed when I dried him (groomer's dryer as he got older) like he was having a wonderful day at the spa. I hope my next one feels that way.

Something I found really helpful for feet grooming is to start from when he was a brand new puppy at home making sure he was extra used to me touching his paws. When he sat by me on the couch, I would hold his paws and gently rub on them.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for the advice! I would however feel very guilty to just walk away and let the groomer handle my girl Riley she really is a beast! Thanks for taking the time to answer! Your goldens look beautiful!
 

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Omg am I glad I’ve read through this post. My Tucker is absolutely freaked by a bath. I’m going to try to bring him into the shower for his next one. He already walks into the shower with me. I’ve tested it and lies down outside the doors when I shower every time. Perhaps that’s the answer. I bought that booster bath (such a great thing for a dog that likes a bath - like my senior Dog), but Tucker no way. I hardly expected him to hate baths. But he has from the beginning. Today I tried to take him to a do it yourself place and holy smokes he sounded like I was killing him. So that went awful. He’s really great in this early age with so many obedient behaviors. He hears none of that under duress from a bath. And like I’m reading this behavior has to be resolved. Totally following this thread!
 

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Megora, I had to smile whenI read this...'Just pop the dogs in'.

You would get a good laugh watching this uncoordinated retired woman trying to pop a 72# golden into the tub. Just the word shower or bath sends her slinking off to a hiding place. Clearly we waited too long to teach her bath time etiquette! lol
 
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