As a loving and caring pet owner, there’s a ton of things you adore about your dog. You love the way they greet you after a long day at work. You love the way your pooch helps get you excited about going for that morning walk. You love the way Fido always seems to know when you’re feeling bad and you probably like the way your pooch always seems to be a good listener, even when you babble on about topics he can’t possibly understand.
One of the things you probably don’t love, however, is when your pooch gets a bit…stinky. Proper grooming isn’t only essential for your enjoyment, it also reduces parasites and discomfort to your dog caused by overgrown nails, bad oral hygiene, and a matted coat. It’s a good thing, then, that dogs can be trained to love and accept grooming by their humans and others.
Hello, my dog is extremely anxious. He hates everything grooming wise except bathing. Taking him to get his nails cut is the most dreadful experience any owner could have. He will bang his head into the pole, jump off the grooming table, bite anyone, and bark violently. Please help.
Hello Samantha, First of all, get Pookie used to wearing a soft, comfortable, silicone, basket muzzle. Do this by giving him a treat whenever you show him the muzzle, touch it to him, and eventually, put it on him. Do this gradually over several weeks, until he is comfortable wearing it. When he is used to the muzzle, then attach one end of a leash to him and the other end to something else nearby while he is standing on the floor. Spend time showing him each grooming tool and every time that he looks at it, give him a treat. When he is comfortable looking at the tools, then gently touch a tool to him without using it, and give him a treat every time that you touch him. When he is comfortable with that, then carefully use the tool on him just a little bit, then give him a treat. Finally, use the tool on him as gently as you can, and after every couple of clipped nails, brushes, or rubs, give him another treat. Do this throughout the entire grooming session. Expect this entire process to take at least a couple of months. If any of the grooming tools make noise or blow air, then spend extra time getting him used to the sound of air by giving him treats while the tool is further away from him. Also be sure that he is not in any pain during grooming from cutting nails too short, using the wrong type of brush or getting out tangles, or being handled roughly. If he has a bad mat, then cut it out rather than brush the tangle over and over again. He needs to learn to tolerate grooming but he also needs to learn to trust his groomer. He gentle but firm. It is not okay for him to bite you, and having the muzzle on him will teach him that biting does not make the grooming stop. If he seems uncomfortable, then go more slowly or be more gentle, but he should believe that his tolerance gets him rewards and eventually freedom, not his aggression. Using a leash when you groom him will keep him from escaping, without risking him falling off of a table. Wait to use the table until he is comfortable with grooming in general at home. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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She barks aggressively when postage people come and s ares them. Hyperactivity, (jumping on people) . Barks around our cats.
Hello Kate, How does he do with strangers in other scenarios? Is he aggressive, friendly, ignores them? If pup isn't normally aggressive toward people and only acts that way when they approach the door, I recommend desensitizing him to people approaching the door. Check out the video channel linked below for examples of desensitizing a dog to various things. If pup isn't normally aggressive, then recruit friends pup doesn't know to walk past your yard/door from a distance. Keep the distance far enough that pup doesn't react to the person. Reward pup for calmness and ignoring the person. Make sure pup cannot get out of the home while practicing this though for the safety of the friend. Have the person repeatedly pass and reward pup for every calm response, and interrupt pup if they start to tense up or fixate on the person - before they react badly. As pup becomes more and more relaxed and happy about the person passing by, have the person pass by at closer distances. Work up to the person coming within 10 feet of the door gradually - going at a training pace pup can stay calm at (this will probably be done over the course of several training sessions with the same person). When the person can walk by within 10 feet of the door and pup stay calm, have the person go further away and walk toward the door head on (opposed to walking past your home) but then turn and not go all the way to the door before they get there. Start with them turning before getting to the door sooner, so they are further away still. As pup improves, have the person approach the door closer before turning, until they can eventually come all the way up to the door, like they are going to leave a package on your mat and pup stays calm. Be sure to reward pup for each good, calm response - if you don't reward having someone approach over and over again can actually make things worse, not better - rewards for calmness and happy body language and quietness are key. Practice this until pup will consistently stay relaxed and happy when the person approaches (not just stiff and silent though - like pup is waiting to explode - you want a relaxed happy looking body). When pup does well with the first person at each training session, then recruit a different friend to practice the same thing, starting from the beginning again, until pup gets to the point where they are relaxed and happy about that person approaching too. Repeat this with a dozen people ideally - even more is better. Once pup is happy about people approaching, when strangers approach, like delivery people, toss pup a treat when the person approaches while pup is still calm, and keep your attitude happy and confident about the situation, so pup won't view the person as a threat. If pup is aggressive around people in other scenarios too, you will need to hire a professional trainer to help you with this in person for a more intensive training program, tailored to pup, with sufficient safety measure in place to avoid possible bites. Look for someone who specializes in behavior issues and comes well recommended by their previous clients. Ideally the person would also work with a team of trainers so that there are multiple new people to practice the training with pup with. For the jumping, check out the article below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-australian-shepherds-to-not-jump I would in general work on several commands that increase impulse control - this will take repetition and working him up to distractions gradually. Pup essentially needs an off-leash level of obedience to help with self-control, even though he is inside. One benefit of this, even though it will mean some work and time on your end, is that it should help pup learn better calmness and self-control in general and the training practice should stimulate him mentally, which can wear him out more. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Place command: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Heel- Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Come - Reel in method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall I would work up to pup doing a 1 hour place command, gradually adding distractions like toys and food being dropped, family entering and exiting the front door, and you dancing around silly, start with the basics of Place and gradually make it harder as he improves, consistently returning him to place when he breaks command due to distraction, and keeping sessions frequent but short. You want to work up to pup handling all kinds of silly things when guests aren't there, including the front door opening, then recruit dog friendly friends who are willing to practicing entering and leaving your home over and over again to work up to pup being able to handle that distraction also. Once pup has stayed on Place for long enough to become calm and bored, then let pup get up to greet guests with a leash on to practice the leash method from the article linked above. I would instruct guests who want to greet pup to command pup to sit, then feed pup a treat under their chin (not holding it above their head or that encourages jumping), so that pup starts to expect to automatically sit to greet guests and has a go-to behavior that they can't do at the same time as jumping. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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I need help getting my dog used to hair trimmer
Hello Tonya, Check out the video I have linked below on desensitizing. This is generally done over several days or weeks depending on how nervous your dog is. Go slow, watch your dog's body language to see when they look happy and relaxed before you progress further with each step - like pup being happy just to see the trimmer, then happy about touching it, then happy when it makes the noise, then happy when it gently, briefly touches their fur, then happy while cutting the fur. Keeping each trim brief at first, and breaking it into several sessions. I find for the average dog this process often takes about a month, some may adjust immediately, others may take longer, but the more often you practice for short sessions the quicker it tends to go. https://fb.watch/4spBR8fWJt/ Long term I like to always give treats or use a licking mat while grooming to help your dog to continue to like the grooming process long term. I was feeding my own dog kibble periodically during her trimming session yesterday even though she was already desensitized to grooming six years ago - that way she always is happy and willing to groom each time, even after the initial fear is gone. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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