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Can a groomer handle my dog without trauma?

Posted by toomuchglass (My Page) on
Sun, Sep 2, 12 at 18:00

Here's some backround info about my dog,Poppy. She's a cocker / mix . ( I got her from the humane society )
Just from observing her all these years , I'd say she was mixed with a rat terrier . Yes -- I said "all these years !" She's already 8 .... and I'd say ,the last 4 years her hair is starting to grow like crazy. From puppy on , she had a short ,smooth coat . Now it seems like the cocker gene has kicked in ! She's a walking black hairball ! Every once in a while In the last 4 years , I've taken the scissors to her while my DH holds her. She squirms, It's not pretty , not even , but it's all I can do. Yesterday , I bought a dog clippers . Dh held her while I used the clippers ... well ..in some spots she's bald and other spots are still long ! LOL Poor dog ! She just moved too much . She did growl a few times , but that was it. She let me do the clippers on most of her body. Then I was sweating so bad, I gave up .

Here's my question . She has never been to a groomer before. Can a goomer handle a dog like this without traumatising her ? What if she bites ? ( I doubt if she would , she'd rather pee like a cocker spaniel )
I try and keep up with the matts under the ears , and she hates that.... so we have small matts.

I would love to know if you think she can be professionally groomed. . How do they handle a nervous dog ? Should I stay with her during the process ? She doesn't like other dogs , having barking dogs around her would freak her out .

*********** OK-- I re-read my post , and it sounds like I'm more nervous than her ! LOL But really , can groomers keep a dog calm enough to give it a haircut ? How do I find a good one ?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Can a groomer handle my dog without trauma?

A good groomer will be able to groom her. Check around to see if you can find some one to recommend one . Usually most dogs are much better when Mommy isn't there.


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RE: Can a groomer handle my dog without trauma?

She sounds like a real cream puff compared to two dogs I had up until recently. One was a mini schnauzer, who was wired way too tight, and the other was a little lhasa apso, who was a very traumatised shelter rescue and had baggage. Both of mine went to the groomers, and sometimes my daughter (who had her own grooming business) groomed them. They both did fine if the groomers were kind, patient and experienced. BTW, I also had muzzles for both, but the groomers really didn't have to use them. I was very honest with them about their issues, and I got lucky and usually got the shop owner, who was very experienced, although his schedule was tight, and I worked my appointments in to his convenience.


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RE: Can a groomer handle my dog without trauma?

I agree. My mom and stepdad had a Peke once that was darn right mean to everyone. A real PITA but they loved him. Mom would ask the groomer, "How in the world do you groom him?" The lady said she never had a problem, he just lays there. Now I don't know what method she used and hope it wasn't harmful to him, but Mom saw for herself one time. They put Chang up on the table and he just laid down and they had to turn him in order to move him because he wouldn't get up!


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RE: Can a groomer handle my dog without trauma?

i agree, an experienced groomer will be able to handle her. i wouldn't suggest using a muzzle unless/until she is desensitized to wearing one. slapping a muzzle on a dog that has never had one on can be traumatic itself!

i would get some rescue remedy and put a few drops on her tongue right before you leave for the groomer's. you could also give her a dose of benadryl to calm her. if she's particularly nervous/frightened, you might ask your vet for a mild sedative to use when you have a grooming appointment.

holding a dog down and forcing it to endure grooming will make the whole process a major pain in the butt forever. it's best to go slowly and get her used to it.


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RE: Can a groomer handle my dog without trauma?

I agree with everyone who said a good, experienced groomer will probably have no problems with her. We have a mini schnauzer who had been mistreated and neglected by her previous owner. For about the first year we had her she was extremely fearful and prone to snap. I was very up-front with the groomer about her issues. I was amazed when I came back to pick her up they said she did great, no problems at all.
I think sometimes the calm, confident demeanor of the groomer puts a dog at ease. Good luck with Poppy!


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RE: Can a groomer handle my dog without trauma?

she will be fine. I worked as a groomer for a number of years and I can tell you two of the most important parts of the job are endless patience and good handling skills with the dogs. Groomers are very used to working with nervous dogs, hyperactive dogs, etc. As with beegood, I would recommend you don't stay for the session. many dogs are very distracted while the owner is there which can just make them worse especially if they aren't used to being clipped, and the groomer needs the dog's attention to be on them. Over time the dogs can really bond with their groomers because you develop a really trusting relationship with them, and often they can become like putty in your hands. What you are doing now is just stressful for both you and your dog, and being groomed should not be a stressful experience, and honestly a good groomer has the skills to do this in way that is as calm as possible for your dog so that she doesn't stress out and fight it.


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RE: Can a groomer handle my dog without trauma?

We got our dog from a rescue a few years ago. He had been treated horribly, kicked in his groin area, and even had a chain embedded in his neck. There was a point in the beginning where we couldn't even lean over him because he would growl and cower in fear. He has very long fur (Keeshond/Aussie/Chow) so he needed to be groomed regularly. We found that having a mobile groomer is less stressful for him. Plus we can be there while he is groomed to make sure he's not being drugged or abused. My suggestion to you would be to find an experienced, highly rated mobile groomer. Good luck.


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RE: Can a groomer handle my dog without trauma?

"Plus we can be there while he is groomed to make sure he's not being drugged or abused."

shedthechrysalis, I find it disturbing that you have such a low opinion of groomers that you think this is the norm. I worked in very busy salons and not one of the groomers was ever abusive to the dogs, and groomers are generally people who love dogs and love working with them like I did. I can also say in my experience, very few dogs were ever given a sedative and that was always done by asking the owner to get the sedative through their vet. It would be silly for a groomer to give a medication to a dog not knowing their health history as their vet does (that would be a law suit waiting to happen). Sedating really is a last resort for a very very small number of dogs if they can't be settled and are particularly aggressive, it's done for both the groomer and the dog's benefit in those cases to keep the dog calm, and even then, the sedative may be tapered off over a few sessions as the dog starts to calm down while being groomed. The down side with using a sedative to the groomer is that the dog may get sleepy and just want to lie down the whole time which makes grooming them harder so it's not in a groomers interest to "drug" the dogs because it's not an ideal situation to groom a dog under.


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RE: Can a groomer handle my dog without trauma?

STC I have had my Shih tzus groomed by different groomers and yet have to see any abuse or mistreatment or drugs. My dogs love their groomer and their vet as well. If I didn't trust a groomer why would I use him/her? the OP is worried enuff with out scaring her into thinking she has to be there or heaven forbid what they wud do to the dog.And toomuchglass your dog will be fine with out you. Better in fact So go for it.


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RE: Can a groomer handle my dog without trauma?

OMgosh..............yes, drugging would be the last thing I'd ever be concerned with by a groomer. Laughing because the only substance consuming I've seen around a salon was a groomer I had years ago who liked to party and this one sometimes missed early morning appointments from popping too many pull rings the night before. The groomers I've known don't even like to work with dogs whose owners have dosed them with sedation anticipating problems. I can also tell you a 'rough' groomer doesn't last long and treating a dog roughly is the same as trying to train a horse roughly, it's self-defeating and makes it harder to get the job done. The reason they don't want the owners around is the dog is distracted, and if it's not a well-trained dog to begin with, it just simply makes the job harder because the groomer is not then the alpha. I have never had a dog be reluctant to enter the groom shops I've taken them to. They don't associate it with anything negative, and go in happily, tails (if they've had them) wagging and left the same way. After years of long-haired dogs (finally have a short-haired one) I can just say thank God for dog groomers and mine usually got a hefty tip.


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RE: Can a groomer handle my dog without trauma?

My much beloved dog wouldn't let me get near her with the intent of clipping her hair or trimming her nails. I dropped her off one day for a grooming, and returned before she was quite finished. I was able to peep through the window to watch for several minutes and was shocked (happily so) to see my little brat totally relaxed and even enjoying her grooming session. Even the ear hair removal!

Without fail, everytime I took her to a groomer (we had several over the years), she came bounding out to me a happy dog, clearly having loved the attention.


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RE: Can a groomer handle my dog without trauma?

I groomed for almost 30 years and never once did I tranquilize a dog. I did many first time grooms and many puppies, in fact I was the one everyone brought the cockers to since they were notorious for not liking their feet handled. Hogwash really.

Most dogs are respectful of groomers and most groomers are comfortable with handling the dogs. The dogs sense this and usually behave. I agree with most of the posters here and have found that it is usually the owner that is more fearful than the dog. Don't be afraid to ask questions of your groomer and share your concerns with them. If you are comfortable and the groomer is patient, that will come through. A squirt of Rescue Remedy wouldn't hurt either. I use it all the time before the vet or show ring with a nervous dog. :)

Poppy will probably be less stressed and come home a vision of beauty. :)

Ginny


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RE: Can a groomer handle my dog without trauma?

If she can tolerate it, I would take her to a vet to get her sedated for a grooming so it's less traumatic and she can get shaved down so the matts and hair are managed. I wouldn't recommend a groomer who prefers to strong arm the dog into submitting to being groomed. That will only compound her issues.

Then I'd find a good positive reinforcement trainer to work on counter conditioning her to getting groomed. She may always require some kind of anxiety medication if behavior mod alone isn't enough for her.

Grooming can be quite traumatic. Things are loud, hot and smelly. It's a lot for a dog to endure.


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RE: Can a groomer handle my dog without trauma?

"If she can tolerate it, I would take her to a vet to get her sedated for a grooming so it's less traumatic and she can get shaved down so the matts and hair are managed. I wouldn't recommend a groomer who prefers to strong arm the dog into submitting to being groomed. That will only compound her issues. "

msminnamouse please don't make suggestions like this, from what the op described this dog does NOT need sedating. she is simply not used to the sound and feel of the clippers, a situation groomers are used to dealing with. Groomers do not "strong arm" dogs into submission, it would be completely counterproductive to handle a dog that way so please don't make statements about how grooming is traumatic for dogs. Groomers are very good at handling dogs and gaining their confidence and cooperation, they do it every day, and as I said above, a groomer has the skills to do this, and it is not at all unusual for owners to struggle with grooming their own dogs. This dog also does NOT need an expensive vet grooming session, nor does she need special training or "behaviour modification", she is simply behaving in a way that many dogs will do when not used to being groomed, this is no big deal for a groomer to get around. If grooming dogs was easy, there would be no demand for dog groomers, and owners would just do it themselves. It takes more than clipping and scissoring skills to do this job, there is so much more to it than that.


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RE: Can a groomer handle my dog without trauma?

Well, it's nice that you've done a behavior evaluation on a dog that you've never met Trancegemini and decided what her dog needs, matter how unqualified you sound to be giving this eval.

It's not shared in the professional animal behavior world that strong arming a dog into submitting to a grooming is ever beneficial for the dog and that counter conditioning to get the dog comfortable and ENJOYING or at least willingly TOLERANT with the process is ever a bad thing.

THIS is the reason I do my own grooming because this view is often shared by most groomers I've met and talked to on the grooming forums.

Your claims are ludicrous and it's really not worth my time to continue responding to you. Forcing a dog to tough out a fearful process just so someone can claim to be able to handle any dog is egocentric and reprehensible.

Toomuchglass, if you need any tips to counter condition or a trainer referral to help you, please feel free to PM me.


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RE: Can a groomer handle my dog without trauma?

ms_minnamouse, Just read your brief profile. You say you are passionate about animal rescue and training. What a scary thought! Of course, you didn't claim you were good at it.


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RE: Can a groomer handle my dog without trauma?

ms minnamouse, what is ludicrous is for you to suggest sedation by a vet, training and behaviour modification as if this dog has a behaviour problem, when this dog's behaviour is typical of a dog that has never been groomed before and I know this because I've seen it many times before when grooming. Since you've never worked as a groomer, perhaps you don't understand how obvious that is. I have never seen a groomer strong arm a dog, grooming is done by building trust with the dog so I'm not even sure what your point is, I think you just have an opinion based on ignorance, which unfortunately seems to be your MO whenever you post here.


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RE: Can a groomer handle my dog without trauma?

Umm... When I was 17 I worked at a very expensive snotty dog grooming salon in Carmel, CA and YES they did drug up the dogs that were "hard to groom" and YES to some extent they were abusive (smacking the dog with a brush or ripping at the mats without making a first cut or even spanking the dogs). It was a horrible experience and the reason I quit and filed a complaint on the business. I didn't say every groomer was this way, but this was not the first groomer that I saw doing things like this, either. I don't care how many years you've been grooming, how much experience you have and how many good reviews you have on yelp or Angie's list. If you groom my dog, I will be there because I've seen too many horrible things that should never happen. To be quite honest, I don't really trust very many people with my dog. He's been through enough and doesn't need any other grief.

I suggested a mobile groomer for the OP because the OP sounds nervous plus she stated that her dog DOESN'T like other dogs. Bringinherbert dog to a grooming salon would terrify the dog. This way she could see the entire experience from beginning to end to see what goes on. She can learn how to wash a dog, she can see how the nails are clipped, she can see how the ears and eyes are cleaned. If she feels comfortable, she doesn't have to stay and watch. I don't see anything at all wrong with that suggestion.


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