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lisa0307
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18-10-2006, 07:27 AM

My dog is scared of grooming tools, what can I do

What's the best way to desensatise a dog when they are afraid of a dog brush/comb? They get agressive when they just see them and start to scream and yelp before the brush/comb has even been put onto them...all advice appreciated. Thanks
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Meg
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18-10-2006, 11:27 AM
Hi Lisa puppies should be introduced to grooming tools when they are very tiny as part of the socialisation process , (you just pretend to use the tools on a puppy then treat/praise).

If a dog has not been sensitised to tools it can be a big problem and may take ages to correct .

Start by getting a soft baby brush that will not pull the coat, put it and the brushes/combs on the floor in normal surroundings,don't make a fuss about them or watch her so she gets used to seeing them around and learns they ain't a threat, give her lots of praise and a special treat (a bit of meat or cheese) if she sniffs them .

After a few days of leaving the tools around , if she is not too scared adopting a bright voice and attitude stroke her then pretend to use the soft brush, do nothing to her so she learns it will not harm her then more praise/treat . Progress slowly to gentle brushing ,then the comb.

If she is really scared don't force her, go at her pace and backtrack if she is scared at any stage, don't sympathise always use a bright matter- of- fact voice .

Once a dog has accepted tools it can help to show it a special treat ,then put the treat and put it where it can be seen so the dog has something to focus on. When you have finished give the threat and lots of praise. My dog knows there will be a piece of cheese on the shelf near the table I use to groom her, she knows it is hers when we finish and she waits eagerly to be groomed
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rachelsetters
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18-10-2006, 11:51 AM
Hi Lisa - some very good advice above already.

I can add a couple of ideas

You might want to do first is to 'groom' using your hands prior to introducing the brush.

Reward when no struggling. If struggles stop moving your hands/brush and continue when settles back down. Reward may be a big treat or a fuss at the end or a play.

As already said - take it really really slowly.

another thing I did was to name the parts as I did it so they got to know where the hand/brush was going so not 'surprised'.

You can overcome this I'm sure.

good luck,

Rach
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Zetacharlie
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18-10-2006, 11:55 AM
I started with a grooming glove-its just like stroking your dog- they soon get to love it- once they are used to that then gradually introduce the brush/comb
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lisa0307
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18-10-2006, 03:07 PM
Thanks for the advice, very helpful...my friend has tried leaving the brush/comb etc out in view for the puppy to see and get use to but he ends up trying to chew them and so she has to remove them. Will tell her to try with the treats etc and see how it goes...thanks
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MazY
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18-10-2006, 03:22 PM
You might also try placing the treat on the brush handle for the dog to take off. Anything you can do to get the dog more accustomed to the sight of the equipment will be a bonus.

Even, and don't laugh, attaching it to the belt and walking around with it attached to you for most of the day. It'll soon be "just another object". Sometimes, silly behaviours need silly solutions!
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Meg
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18-10-2006, 03:35 PM
Originally Posted by GSDLover View Post
You might also try placing the treat on the brush handle for the dog to take off. Anything you can do to get the dog more accustomed to the sight of the equipment will be a bonus.

Even, and don't laugh, attaching it to the belt and walking around with it attached to you for most of the day. It'll soon be "just another object". Sometimes, silly behaviours need silly solutions!
....yes and after having the tools around for a little while put them near the feeding bowl at dinner time, anything to make the dog associate the tools with 'good things'
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Harry25
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18-10-2006, 03:44 PM
I have an extra brush for Poppy, she chews the handle while I'm brushing her with her proper brush! At least she knows the brushes won't hurt her.
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lisa0307
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18-10-2006, 05:57 PM
All great ideas and much appreciated..thanks so much
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perrypooh
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18-10-2006, 07:29 PM
Originally Posted by Harry25 View Post
I have an extra brush for Poppy, she chews the handle while I'm brushing her with her proper brush! At least she knows the brushes won't hurt her.
I do that aswell with my puppy trims,it keeps them happy! I also had to take a cocker pups ears all off right down to the wood today,very sad and didn't enjoy it at all but unfortunately didn't have an alternative.I've done this pup a few times before and she has always been extremely clipper shy to the point of aggression but luckily until today had never had to use them on her.I really wasn't looking forward to it and didn't expect to get very far but I started off stroking her ears then gradually introduced a tiny stroke of the clippers then a stroke of the hand and built it up gradually until I could use the clippers completely,all the while making very high pitched baby noises and praising her for being so clever,people outside my door must have thought I'd lost it! It worked though!
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