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Old 06-30-2014, 12:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default worst grooming behavior

So our 6 month 70lbs puppy has thee worst tantrum when trying to groom him. First off, when he was a pup he was GREAT, awesome at the vet, we bathed him once before in our bathroom tub with doors no problem, he let us blow dry him after :-), clipping nails was not too much of a challenge but we were able to do it.
But now its a complete 180. Clipping nails forget about it. He'll let you do whatever you want to his paw with 1 hand. But the millisecond you touch him with two hands FORGET IT. We've tried doing a one for one with high value treats and it almost is worse. we actuall took him to our local petsmart just to get him used to their grooming staff(before us trying)and have them trim nails. He flipped out. They were only able to do one nail.
We took him to beach and he absolutely loved/loves the water. But when we got home, time to wash all that sand out right? Wrong. He loves his kiddie pool and hose but is a nightmare to control trying to clean/rinse him out.
we are kinda at a loss on what to do. Also fearing bringing him to vet now too. Its not that he gets violent cause he doesn't, its just that if you try to hold him or even restrain in the slightest way he just goes balistic. I dont want to scar him on anything to make it harder on us and him for the future. Any help
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Old 06-30-2014, 12:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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by giving up you are letting him win
so now he knows if he screams and carries on you will quit

put him in the tub and smear peanut butter on the wall for him
then put on your big boy or girl pants and get to washing him

same for clipping nails
one of you bait with treats to get him to stand still
the other just hurry and get nails clipped

btw it might be better to use a dremel
if you nick him it will only confirm his worst fears

also with my gsd i stand in the tub with him straddling him with him standing and bathe him that way
with a shower attachment
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Old 06-30-2014, 02:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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My boy got progressively worse in clipping nails. The last time I tried with my nice nail clippers, he screamed bloody murder in my son's lap while still taking the offered treats. Now, he's 15 months old and my husband dremels his nails while I keep him still and give him treats. It is MUCH easier to dremel than it is to clip. I just place him in a down, then nudge him to his side and just keep a hand on his neck. When we started with the dremel, I treated when we turned it on and off. Then we dremeled one nail and treated. Now, I hold a treat and he nibbles on it while my husband works. I just keep treating.

As to the water, my boy loves water but of course doesn't want me to wash him. That's just too bad. I have to do it by myself with my 90 lb boy, but he quickly figured out I wasn't going to let him win, and he gave up. Now, he's resigned to the yucky task.
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Old 07-02-2014, 03:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have to agree that you're letting him win. My vet showed me how to hold the dog while clipping nails and it involves two people. Lucky for me, I'm able to do it on my own now.

As for bathing, same thing, you're letting him win. All of that winning creates more fussing with each new attempt. You just have to get down to business and approach the tasks as non-negotiable. Use treats, praise, whatever, but practice being proactive about it instead of reactive.
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Old 07-02-2014, 04:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
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My boy is a heck on wheels when it comes to a bath in the tub. Always took 2 of us. Last time we tried in the tub, he came out of it, bruised my pride, pulled a couple of muscles in my back. Same way about his nails. He can not handle tight areas and confinement. This was after all the great tips you have seen here and elsewhere on the forum.

We tried the kiddie pool. Works like a charm. Bonus is I don't have a bathroom to clean.

For his nails, I had him get on the ottoman, went through a series of touch his nail with the clipper - click and treat; then clip, click and treat. He will play cute sometimes and offer different behaviors on the ottoman, his favorite is rolling on his back looking at me with the tongue out and the goofy grin; a quick eh, roll him back over and continue clipping.

Keep in mind, Woolf does have a couple of wires crossed, so I choose my battles. I won by finding a way to bathe him and clip the nails without causing more anxiety.
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Old 07-02-2014, 04:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I also wash mine outside (i.e., he doesn't get a bath in the winter hehe). His kiddie pool works well with the water hose. Also, I *can* do his nails myself, using my regular nail clippers. We can just get them shorter using the dremel as I'm terrified of quicking him with his hard, black nails so I only take the tips off. I can do it by myself though as he is very good to listen to me ... at least about that. I usually keep a bag of treats and treat often while working by myself, with the cat sitting beside me pawing my leg asking for treats as well.
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