Grooming your dog has many plus points...
The variety of different coat types means different grooming needs for different dogs.
For example, our rottweiler would get a good grooming once a week, with a rubber zoom groom but our Tibetan terrier, Bowie, needs us to attend to his coat with a comb at least three times a week (more when the grass seeds and sweethearts are prevalent or he has been grubbing around in the undergrowth!).
We also employ the services of a professional groomer for Bowie. Roughly every six weeks, he goes to the groomer for a bath, a clip, to have his ears plucked (hairy dogs do require “ear plucking”!), to have his nails clipped and also to have his anal glands emptying when required (trust me, this is definitely not a job you want to do yourself – leave it to the professionals – vet, vet nurse or groomer!).
The most important thing to remember is start early! As soon as you bring your puppy home, begin to introduce him to the pleasures of being groomed. And when I say “pleasure”, I do mean that you have to make this a pleasurable experience, otherwise you will set up a pattern of behaviour for life which at best is a nuisance as the dog keeps trying to get away from you and hides when you get the grooming kit out, but at worst, can result in the dog getting nasty with you, objecting strongly and possibly biting in order to prevent you from carrying out the process.
To make grooming pleasurable, you need to follow these simple steps:
If your dog is small to medium and long haired, it is likely you will ultimately employ the services of a groomer and in which case, you may need to get them used to being on a table. Make sure that if you do this, you put down a non-slip mat on the raised area where you are going to groom the pup. If he or she feels unsafe or slips off, you will frighten the dog badly and it will be very unhappy to be up high again. Oh, and don’t take your eyes off them for a second or they will fall or jump off!
Carry out the grooming “training” when the pup is relaxed and maybe a bit sleepy. Don’t tackle this part of your puppy’s education when it has just woken up and is raring to go!
Don’t make the sessions too long in the early stages – a few minutes is sufficient and finish on a good note, when the pup is relaxed and allowing you to run the brush over him/ her.
Reward the puppy once the session has finished with a treat or biscuit.
Dear Rob and Kerry,
It has been a year now since I first introduced you to my yellow Labrador Jake. He was 14 months old with a serious dose of attitude. I had very little control over him, and certainly no connection with him. Living with Jake and taking him out for walks was bordering on a nightmare, and I was quite literally at the end of my tether.
After that first meeting I don't think any of us quite knew where the future would lead. The only sure thing was that it could not possibly get any worse.
Unsuitable for classes, we embarked on frequent one-to-one lessons with Rob over the course of the winter. Progress was immediate, and a small chink of light appeared at the end of the tunnel. By the beginning of March, Jake was ready for obedience class, a few weeks after that and we were doing agility. Here was something that we both loved doing. It is great fun, and Jake is pretty good at it, and we work well together.
A year on and what a transformation. Jake is now a real pleasure to live with and take out for walks. I sometimes have to pinch myself to believe how different he now is compared to 12 months ago.
I really cannot thank you enough for all your help and support over the last year. I would never have been able to do it without you, and I am eternally grateful.
Jake is still very much a work in progress, but I know with your help the future now looks very bright indeed.
Julian Dyer & Jake
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