Problems with grooming - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-02-2008, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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Problems with grooming

I am having a few problems trying to groom Shane. First off, giving him a bath is like trying to dive in the Dead Sea ....nearly impossible. He is not a fan of the water so he fights and pulls and runs! We would take him to a groomer, but Shane is still aggressive towards other dogs, so we don't want to cause problems that way.

Another thing, Shane's hair goodness he sheds a lot...even if Shane is not with me...his hair is sure to follow . We try to brush him but he is not a fan of the brush either. He will attack it, of course we try to correct it, he will do fine for about 5 mins and then go right back to trying to attack the brush.

Does anyone else have these problems? How do you bath or brush your GS and what products do you use? Is there a particular way I should bath him or something? Any suggestions is greatly appreciated!!

We are loved beyond our capacity to comprehend ~Jewel

Stewie, Orange Tabby, yrs old
Shane, GSD, 20 months
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-02-2008, 02:02 PM
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Re: Problems with grooming

Ah, the joy of shedders! lol

Dieter thinks grooming time is a great big play session. He also tries to bite the brush, run away with it, he rolls over thinks it's great fun. I will give him a stuffed Kong, or a rawhide while I groom him, or have BF give him little treats to keep him distracted while he's being groomed. This also works for trimming his nails. I find that he doesn't mind the furminator nearly as much as other grooming tools.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-02-2008, 02:03 PM
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Re: Problems with grooming

Hi Liljah,

I do not know what age your Shane is, but I have a 15 week old pup that did not like being groomed. She would snap at the brush, and try to run off. It was near impossible, then I realize I was moving too fast with a ~8 week old pup.

So I started from ground zero. I put my brush away, and began by running my hands all over her body daily, and gently praising her to get her used to being touched all over. I would also reward with treats to associate touching with a positive note. I would hold her paws, her ears, scritch her chest, and her tail too ... talking all the time, kinda like in a story-telling way.

"Oh Janka, what big EARS you have! All the better to hear your commands with, my dear" ... that sorta silliness.

On the 3-4th day, I introduced the brush, starting with the top of her back. I use the 'down' command on her, and reward her with treats while gently brushing her, and voicing encouragement. It also introduces her to the 'stay' command as well. )

Now she is being taught to stand in place while I groom her, but I still reinforce good behaviour with a few treats. I also taught her to roll on her side as well, with the same method, so I can clean her belly and her wee-wah area since that part gets dirty from rolling around in dirt and grass, as she tends to get pimples if I don't keep it clean.

The touching of the ears and paws are geared towards other grooming practices, like cleaning her ears and clipping her nails.

At the moment we still use the slicker brush, but her adult coat is coming in. So we might have to graduate to the Furminator soon.

Hope I helped a little with my input. Good luck!

As for baths, I can't quite really say. She only had one so far, and she was screaming the whole time in the tub. O_O She needs one later cos she has doggy drool all over her from romping with her friends.

Janka vom Grunenfeld, BH (d.o.b. 10/12/07)
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-02-2008, 02:35 PM
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Re: Problems with grooming

Try having 2 people bathe her. one to hold her & talk to her & one to bathe. Work from her rear to her head. Be very patient & slow.
DaKota was abused by water & it took Me, My BoyFriend & my Boss
2 1/2 hrs. for DaKota's first bath. We didn't use treats. We did have to muzzle her too. That was about 7 yrs. ago. Now she almost fall a sleep in the tub. She loves it.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-02-2008, 03:05 PM
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Re: Problems with grooming

Ooh, starting from the rear up is a GREAT idea!

Thanks for the tip, Yvette.

Janka vom Grunenfeld, BH (d.o.b. 10/12/07)
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-02-2008, 08:31 PM
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Re: Problems with grooming

Bath tips -
Get a non-slip mat for the length of the tub
Get a non-slip yoga mat for outside the tub
Get lots of towels
Make it fun
The youngest likes to jump in and out at least one extra time. If she can do that, it's fine.
OK and for the soap routine - I mix the shampoo up with water, use a cup for water to dampen the dogs first, shampoo them up outside of the tub and then call them into the tub for more lathering and a good rinse.
Oh yes the bathroom gets washed too!

With grooming - working cornstarch into the coat really well first makes the grooming pull less, the dog like it more. Just do a little at a time and make it play. That's OK too.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-02-2008, 10:50 PM
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Re: Problems with grooming

Liljah, what are you feeding? Have you and your dog ever been to a taining class that uses positive reinforcement?

I *always* take the dogs for a walk after they get a bath. Even if it's just a short walk. And during the bath I sing them a stupid song about taking a walk. Okay, sounds stupid, but it works

I"ll have to try that rear to head idea....

I also make sure that I keep the shower curtain closed when they get a bath.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-03-2008, 09:05 AM
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Re: Problems with grooming

I also agree that this may be part of a 'training/leadership' issue. Just because my dogs may not see bath time at the BEST TIME EVER! They will certainly take their baths cause I said so, and there is no REAL pain involved.

The key words are 'because I said so' and my dogs trust me and know I'm their leader. Not that they will be punished if they don't go in the tub. It's not that kind of leadership. It's just that when I calmly ask them to do something, and guide them thru it, am there to help if they lose their confidence, they get thru this and MANY other things in life.

Dog classes were a huge help in my dogs looking to me for calm guidance and leadership. And the classes taught me how to do it properly (once again, not about me punishing and correcting but properly GUIDING). I also know if my dogs get TONS of exercise before a bath they tend to put up with it better.

I also swim my dogs, have them go thru puddles, lay in puddles/creeks/ponds/etc. And though a bath isn't the same, if I KNOW my dogs are ok in water generally it take the guilt off me if they seem to be in such pain and suffering in the tub ( ).


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-04-2008, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Problems with grooming

[quote=LisaT]Liljah, what are you feeding? Have you and your dog ever been to a taining class that uses positive reinforcement?

Oh yes, we actually go to a police dog trainer. He was nice enough to offer us lessons, but since he is still a cop and still working with his dogs, we can only go once a week.

I did try that the brushing techniques suggested from everyone and it seems to be working!!! Shane is a little more relaxed.'s time to see how he reacts to the bathing. I will take everyone's suggestion in mind! Thank you so much!

We are loved beyond our capacity to comprehend ~Jewel

Stewie, Orange Tabby, yrs old
Shane, GSD, 20 months
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