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There is a do-it-yourself dog wash shop nearby. I took Panzer for the first time a couple of weeks ago and again today. Today went much worse.

We started out with a nail trimming. At 9 months, this was his first official nail trimming (during the summer months we walked on enough pavement the nails stayed short, no such luck in the winter). The groomer had to lift him onto the table and he put up quite the fuss. Whining, shaking, do his best to get free. The groomer was really good with him, firm enough to get the job done and very patient.

Next up, the do-it-yourself bathtubs are big and elevated so no stooping required. Panzer doesn't have a lot of experience with stairs, so he did not want to go up the three stairs into the tub and the groomer ended up hefting him in for me. I tried "up" and treats with no success.

He did fine during the bath and then refused to get OUT! I tried for probably 5 minutes before the groomer came back in to heft him out. Ugg.

I tried the blow drier but he was fairly ramped up by that point - just wanted to bit the drier hose (ended up chomping into my arm once trying to get the air). After three tries with the drier, I gave up and we left. The groomer offered to help with the drier but I had had enough by then.

Things went worse on this second visit to the shop. Is there any point in taking him back for another try? Any advice on how to make this work? I have no ideas on how to get him in and out of the tub. Maybe we're better off doing the bath at home. :(
 

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I do Do-It-Yourself dog washes all the time. Taking the dog to a groomer runs me about $50, doing it myself just $10.

I just heft mine into the tub. Their big GSD feet do not love going up the little slippery steps. After that I just feel that it's about being firm. If you ever watch a groomer, they just no nonsense get it done. I find with my dogs that the less I fuss about things...the better it goes for me. I'll talk to them...but just sort of narrating what I am doing. I'm not stressed...they don't stress.

Most of mine are pretty good about being in the bath and then after with the dryer that I can do them myself. Although admittedly the first few times it takes a fair amount of muscle. They try to jump out, I shove them back in, they try and slip away I will haul them back into place. Praise them when they are still. Eventually they get the idea that Mom does not want them fidgeting and they settle down and wait for me to be done.

Anka does not care for the forced air dryer near her face and will go a little beserk trying to kill it and it can be hard to not to catch her sometimes. The one time I did her by myself I was pretty sure I had some kind of possessed crazy dog. I ended up pinning her to the tub and continuing. It was important to me that we get through it. By the end, she had settled considerably. She does much better now.
 

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Try exercising him to tire him out and calm him down before going. Break down the issues he has with going into parts and work on those at home. Have him practice going up and down stairs, work on letting him have his paws touched, expose him to the sound of your hair dryer then use it on him gradually. I think it might be overwhelming for him to have the whole experience at once at the groomers.
 

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does Panzer really need a bath every 2 weeks? instead of usuing a blow dryer on him towel dry him. you could wait untill the Spring time and bathe at home with the hose. if you have to bathe him sooner put him in the tub. place a lot of towels on the floor.

There is a do-it-yourself dog wash shop nearby. I took Panzer for the first time a couple of weeks ago and again today. Today went much worse.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
does Panzer really need a bath every 2 weeks?
He had a play date yesterday. It had been raining quite hard in the morning and the dogs' favorite place to play in the friend's yard was in a big area of sand where the trampoline used to sit. I figured since we were going to get the nails done, might as well wash some sand out too.

Thanks for the advice. Yes, the groomer was much more firm with him than I was and if I should have taken charge in the beginning, before things got frustrating for both of us. And also a good idea to work on him with each issue individually. Thank you!
 

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There is no reason a 9 month old should have "little experience with stairs". If you don't have a lot of stairs at home, that is what socialization trips are all about - not just seeing people, but experiencing all sorts of new things and situations. You go somewhere, you see steps, you see a ramp, you see an empty big city road-side planter - you spend a few minutes going up and down stairs, up and down the ramp and get Panzer to jump in and out of the planter - make it all a big game, great socialization opportunities, mental and physical exercise all in one, you are setting both of you up for success.

For grooming I do it all at home, and your dog really shouldn't need a bath every two weeks. Mine may get one or two a year. In the summer, I take them swimming to help keep them clean, and in the winter, everything is snow covered and frozen. Though in other places where it rains a lot through the winter, I can see the dogs needing a bath more often because of the mud.

More than the grooming issues itself, I would work hard to catch up on real-life exposure to many different experiences so that Panzer is comfortable climbing things, jumping out of things, and being up at height.
 

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The reason Panzer was being so much of a pain is because he is being put into a situation that is new and different to him and that he is not entirely understanding or entirely comfortable with.

A lot of dogs are funny about being picked up or having their paws held simply because their owners don't spend a lot of time practicing those things.

A good place to start is with the paws. Teach your dog to give you a paw on command (or on hand signal) in a positive way, with lots of good rewards, and then work on having them let you hold their paws firmly, again with lots of good rewards, before you ever put a clipper or dremel onto the nails. Just let the dog get used to giving you a paw and you holding the paw relatively firmly. When that is not an issue and the dog lets you pick up and hold paws, both front and rear, then introduce them to the clippers or dremel - one paw at a time if need be.

The same with going up and down the stairs. If your dog has no or little experience with stairs, it's a good time to start and teach them to step up onto something - maybe one step at a time at first - and back down, following your hand or following a command. Once you do fine with one or two steps, work up to longer stairs. Keep it fun and positive and try, if at all possible, to practice on stairs with different surfaces (wood, cement, etc.)

At 9 months old, I would still be very careful about a lot of jumping up and especially jumping down, but you can start teaching up "up" for stepping up on items that are maybe not really tall and "off" (or whatever word you want to use) for coming off the object, too.
 

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I have taken him to my office which is on the 2nd floor. We've tried the stairs on a couple of occasions - he'll go up 4 or 5 and stop. Just refuse to go any more, so we go to the elevator. I'll try this setting after hours when people aren't in the lobby that are wondering what's going on. We only have two stairs into our home and then two stairs out into his back yard. The other places we go just don't have steps/stairs either. I'll have to keep an eye out for a good training spot. Somehow during the socialization and training he has had, I've completely overlooked stairs. He hops in and out of the car just fine.

He has only gotten two baths in his life - just happened they were 2 weeks apart and this isn't the norm.

We do need to work with his feet more. This was an issue during CGC testing too, but that was a very quick touch, not like nail trimming.

Our trainer is having a couple of Sunday practice sessions to get in some training out of the cold. I'm going tomorrow and will see if he has something we can practice with too.

Thanks
 

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shoot ~~if you have a magic bullet for the nail trimming figured out, let me know!
Karlo is a PIA to get nails done, and he has been de-sensitized up the ying yang...I pick my battles with him and this is one that is not going to be a win for my side.
I think some dogs just need the *quick and dirty* nail trim and out they go...as long as you trust that quick and dirty groomer!
One word of warning, I wouldn't associate the grooming/ with training environment, it will cause conflict.
 
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