Would You Take Him to the Groomers if he were Scared? - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 11-06-2012, 09:38 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Would You Take Him to the Groomers if he were Scared?

Jazz has a long coat and right now he has a lot of fur that needs to come out. I've been brushing but it would really help if I could take him to the groomers. The problem is, he's very afraid of the groomers. I took him to Petsmart a couple of years ago and I think a combination of a very hectic environment, a not so nice groomer, and a high anxiety dog to begin with resulted in a bad experience. He doesn't have any issues if I do it myself but I just don't have the tools and it hurts by back because he's so time consuming with his coat.

My question is, if your dog were afraid of the groomers, would you take them anyway or avoid the situation? I've done some searching and I found a small independent shop that I like and I've gone in and chatted with the owner and I have good vibes so I'm considering taking him there.
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Old 11-06-2012, 09:49 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I would try an initial trial visit to that groomer to get a feel for how your dog reacts before I would leave them there for grooming. I think you're right about the environment in PetSmart being too hectic for some dogs. We would never take our girl there - just too much going on.

We tried the 'visit' approach with our new vet before we took her in for her first exam so that she could sniff around and feel comfortable before they started poking at her. It really eased her mind, she had some bad experiences at a prior vet so we wanted to help ease her anxiety this time around. She still doesn't LOVE the vet's office - but she is much more calm.
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I would try a couple of visits with the independent groomer first, just a get-to-know-you type of visit with treats and petting, then a bath and brush-out. If the groomer can schedule Jazz for a quiet time in the day, that would be even better. My Quinn is leash reactive with other dogs so the groomer does him on her one late night per week after the others have gone home. She will gate any dogs that happen to be there late in another room so there is no contact.
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:25 AM   #4 (permalink)
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It would depend on how afraid he is. If he's just doing a lot of avoidance behaviors (ducking head, crouching, hiding behind you, etc) then yes, if I trusted the groomer, I would. The groomer should be able to handle that by being calm and gentle. I might even pay for a double session so that the groomer can take as much time as necessary to make your dog as comfortable as possible.

If he's showing any signs of extreme stress (shaking, drooling, any defensiveness, etc), then no, I would want to ease into it. Short visits, maybe have the groomer brush him a bit while you're with him until he calms down.
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:29 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stealthq View Post
If he's showing any signs of extreme stress (shaking, drooling, any defensiveness, etc), then no, I would want to ease into it. Short visits, maybe have the groomer brush him a bit while you're with him until he calms down.
Yes, he shakes and drools. Another member recommended a DIY place in my area that I may try and in the meantime I can do some visits to the shop closer to me to get him more comfortable with the shop.
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Old 11-06-2012, 02:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Check to see if there are groomers in your area that are very familiar with GSDs. We lucked out - the center where we buy our pet foods & supplies is run by people who've been breeding GSDs for years. So their groomers have lots of experience. Ziva was scared to death the first time we took her there. Now she walks in, wagging her tail in pleasant "Hello" to Sam. (Course, he gives her lots of attention. And treats. And he gets a tip from us...there's never a problem even making a last-minute appointment!)
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Old 11-06-2012, 02:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I know of some groomers who travel to your home and groom the dogs there. If you have a tub large enough, maybe he's be more comfortable at home.
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Old 11-06-2012, 03:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Mobile grooming business, maybe? They are everywhere.
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Old 11-06-2012, 03:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I would try a mobile, as suggested above, or an independent groomer who maybe doesn't have all the hectic activity going on.

If he's a Coatie, well that can be a royal pain to work with, and a groomer could probably be a good thing
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