Having a challenging dog not only brings challenges to your day-to-day life, but also to things you know must be done, such as brushing out your dog. Brushing a dog who hates to be brushed will take a lot of time and patience on your part. Consider doing the things you hate doing, such as going to the dentist or washing dishes. Your dog feels the same way about being brushed. You know it needs to be done. He knows it needs to be done. But that doesn't make the task any easier. Focus your dog on the rewards he can have during brushing rather than the act he hates.
You know your dog hates being brushed. So, go into the brushing with empathy and understanding--and lots of treats. Take a slow and gentle approach, and don't expect too much until you've had plenty of time to convince your pup brushing is not as horrible as he might think.
Brushing can put you in the dog house with your pooch. But keep your brushing sessions light and rewarding with fun treats or toys filled with high-value treats. Keeping your dog engaged with rewards rather than focused on the act of brushing will keep him looking fur-tastic.
We just adopted this 3 1/2 year old female. She is a sweetheart; gentle as a lamb. BUT when I try to brush her she growls and tries to nip me. She HATES it and won't let me brush her. What can I do? I'm afraid I can't even bring her to a groomer!
Hi Lauren, congratulations on your adoption of little Riggins (love the name!). She may have had a bad grooming experience before you came along in her life. I would suggest on an evening after a long walk, to let her relax on the couch with you and try a short brushing session. Praise her, then stop. Each night, just give her a few brushes. If you discover an area where she does not seem to mind it, keep practicing there. Another family member can distract her with a treat, perhaps at the same time. Research a groomer that is used to working with dogs that express fear and aggression. They will probably recommend a few short visits to start. Lastly, make sure that Riggins has a vet checkup to rule out arthritis or another issue that may cause her pain while being brushed. Good luck!
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