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Trouble Grooming

August 11th, 2005, 05:40 PM
My Aussie will not for the life of her let me brush her! Now, I used to be a dog groomer, so it's not like I'm hurting her or anything. She just screams and bites whenever I run a brush through her coat, or try to trim any part of her. I've tried the obedience (on a table) way, the having someone hold her way, and the sneaking up on her while relaxing beside me way, nothing works. I'm at my wits end, she has mats behind her ears and her feet and butt need trimming so badly. What on Earth do I do? :mad:

August 12th, 2005, 11:59 AM
Have you tried giving her a favorite toy that you reserve just for grooming time? Or maybe a treat that she really loves to chew on while being groomed? Is this a puppy? Our newf puppy bites the brush the whole time she is being brushed. She is getting better, but it still makes it tough to brush her. She just hasn't figured out that the brushing is a good thing. Perhaps this dog has had bad experiences with grooming and will require some 'baby steps' and patience to get past it.

August 12th, 2005, 12:23 PM
It sounds like this dog may have had bad experiences with grooming in the past.
The reactions you describe sound like defensive actions to me.
So, I would suggest that you take her to a vet/grooming clinic and request she be sedated lightly to ease her discomfort and fear. You may have to do it this way a few times in order to get her coat under control (mats and stuff). But, at home begin re-training her to accept the brush near her instead of actually touching her with it. Tons of treats and praise for allowing it to lay on your lap while she's next to you getting petted, etc..
Good luck with this... it's a bit of a vicious circle really...grooming is hard to do, but, grooming needs doing... :rolleyes:

August 12th, 2005, 02:56 PM
She's nine-months-old (today) and has been with me since she was six weeks old, so I know that nothing bad has happened. I have taken her to a shop just to get her feet trimmed, but there is a lot of trimming I would like to do on her, so it gets pricey. I try to 'sneak brush' her while she is on the couch chewing her bone, but it doesn't work. Guess I will just have to get her used to it, whether I have to wear leather gloves or not is the question!

August 12th, 2005, 02:59 PM
Peel back her coat and see if her skin is dry / red or irritated?

August 12th, 2005, 03:36 PM
A little flakey, but nothing major.

The thing is is she looooooves baths, and finger combing.... it's just the brush. :confused: She sees it and her ears go back and she makes this face: :eek:

August 12th, 2005, 03:43 PM
Try using a rake comb on her instead.

August 12th, 2005, 03:44 PM
I suppose cats are a little different,but my Rocky had matts and I bought a matting-comb and while I comb them out,I hold on to his skin/hair so it will not hurt,the same way I hold on to my hair if I have a tangle.
My cats also have to sniff the comb after every stroke,I guess to make sure it won't bite them. :D

August 12th, 2005, 03:56 PM
Maybe she's itchy and the brush is irritating her skin.
I found this with my Sadie. Giving her a little more codliver oil now and some flax seed oil for her skin (dry as well).

August 12th, 2005, 04:11 PM
I do use a rake comb.... thought maybe that's what's bothering her. She is shedding badly. The mats are behind her ears, not tight, and very small.

I will try giving her a little oil in her food.

I think maybe she just needs to get used to it. We weren't very diligent with it when she was a young pup. This is all my fault, I'm sure of it. :mad:

August 12th, 2005, 04:47 PM
YEP this is exactly whats been happening with Sadie.

I don't bath her often 1 or 2 times a year and that is it!

The tight undercoat is making the skin difficult to breath and pulling, so it becomes irritated, sensitive.

I gave Sadie a bath and put lots of organic fragrance free conditioner in her coat (what I use for my hair) plus I use a great dog shampoo
made by The Soap Works, no insecticides, pesticides or detergents in it.
Contains: all vegetable contents, pH neutral, chlorophyll and cedar leaf essential oils.

The Soap Works
PO box 94011 , 3322 Yonge St
Toronto M4R 3R4

I purchase it at The Big Carrot $6.89 was the last price for a 16oz bottle.

After I bathed Sadie I didn't brush her much just rubbed some of the undercoat out and then just did some gentle surface brushing AFTER I let her coat AIR dry.

August 12th, 2005, 05:18 PM
I bath Willow about every 4-6 weeks. She swims in ponds, rivers, and lakes, so needs to be bathed a little more often. Her undercoat isn't too thick right now.... but, she's just a pup. I use puppy shampoo on her still.

August 12th, 2005, 05:30 PM
When you bath her after she swims maybe don't use any shampoo just rinse her down with some warm water as the shampoo could be irritating her skin.

Over bathing will def irritate the skin and make her itchy as well as dry the skin and coat out.

August 12th, 2005, 05:40 PM
Oh no, I don't bath her after every swim. And her skin is only a little flakey.

I think it's probably more of a behavioural thing (although I hate to admit that) than an irritation thing. She just doesn't like it and is stubborn about it.

August 12th, 2005, 05:42 PM
So she's a little stubborn LOL

August 12th, 2005, 05:43 PM
Just a wee bit. :p

doggy lover
August 12th, 2005, 05:56 PM
Thankfully Tucker loves to be brushed, combed and nails trimmed. I just tell him its brush time and he walks over and lays on the floor for me to brush him. The same goes for his nails he waits while I trim them and file them. It can take me over an hour to brush him after a bath. The only thing is I am the only one allowed to do it, my daughter can brush his teeth but he will not allow her to brush him. He grumbles at her and runs away. My last dog hated brushing and he was a heavy shedder so I use to dog a little each day, yes he was the master, about five minutes a day was all he would put up with and as for his nails I had to muzzle him or he would hold my hands so hard that I would have fang marks in them for hours. He never tried to bite hard to break the skin, but the strength of the hold was too much for me. I don't know if your Willow is like Tucker and has the long hair on her back legs, Tucker's hair on his legs and tail has to be a good 8 inches long.Here is a pic of Tucker after a bath.

August 12th, 2005, 07:51 PM
So far the hair on her front legs is about the same length as his, on her back legs it's about an inch, but thick. She has no tail, her butt hair is really thick, and her ears are crimped and it's a really soft hair (different from the rest). She's not too hairy.... yet, but she will be, I just know it.

August 12th, 2005, 08:07 PM
Try your major brushing when he is tired. You may also want to use a soft bristle brush on him until he figures out it will not hurt. Brush for a few min several times a day. The brush is pretty much useless for actually brushing the coat but it should feel good. What type of brush are you using. He may need a soft slicker rather than the hard slicker as well as a series of combs. As a last resort to remove the mats w/o having to sedate him would be to use a muzzle. Constant praise when he is behaving. For the time being I would do this several times a day, a few minutes at a time. Don't let him go on his way unless he is being good. If he growls, snaps and you put him down he will figure out that this is what works to make you stop.

Sorry I didn't mean to call her a guy instead of a gal.

August 12th, 2005, 08:21 PM
I use a rake comb and a soft slicker. The mats are small and I will cut them out, they are behind the ears so don't make a difference in the appearance.

Doggy Lover, her is a pic to get an idea of her coat.... much the same as Tucker's really. (her belly is still growing in from the surgery, she really is not that skinny)

August 12th, 2005, 08:48 PM
She has learned arguing during brushing works. Just like a little girl who doesn't want to have her hair brushed will sob or scream until mom quits. it might have hurt her once when mom pulled on a tangle but that's what she is worried about - not that it actually hurts now. You have to brush your dog and you are not hurting her - so she needs to get over it.
Some combs and brushes cause static electricity and that can drive a cat or dog nuts. So try to be aware fo the dryness of the coat and the quality of the brush/comb.
I would not do 'sneek up on her' grooming - that doesn't create trust.
You need to get her laying on her side (submissive position) and work a tiny area where there are no mats. If she complains correct her and put her back into the position. Intermix grooming, massage and petting - make it a nice time. If she goes to bite at the brush, just 'pop' the brush towards her and say 'leave it' or 'quit' and go back to gently brushing - just as you would correct her if she tried to put her mouth on you. You aren't obligated to go deep into the coat right away - right now you are working more on desensitizing and manners not actual grooming. Just do this for a few seconds to minutes and then release her with super happy energy for doing such a good job. Repeat this a few times a day until you can start working on actually doing some real grooming.

August 12th, 2005, 08:49 PM
Your dogs are beautiful :D

I thankfully got Sadie used to being vacuumed at a young age she now loves it and gets pouty if I don't vacuum her when I do the house!

I also have an adjustable suction on the vacuum so I don't use it very powerful...she really enjoys it!

August 12th, 2005, 09:24 PM
LOL that's cute.

Thanks Tenderfoot. I tried a bit of that today. I will work at it. She's going to need a lot of grooming, like I said before, she will be a very hairy girl when she grows up.