rescued dog hates grooming - any advice?

Good grooming practices are essential for maintaining health and happiness for you and your dog. This is a forum to exchange tips and advice for proper care of your dog's hygiene needs.


pet me, not- Maxx!
Barked: Wed Jun 25, '08 9:56am PST 
Sandy is a rescued dog who was used for breeding. I don't know if she was ever properly groomed. She was dumped at the pound with a broken leg and her hair a big tangled mess. The rescuer had her groomed before I met her, but she was reportedly uncooperative, biting the comb etc., and they suggested bringing her to a vet who would sedate her before grooming. (This seems a bit extreme to me.) She was mostly cut short all over, leaving a little extra hair on the legs, a short beard, and very hairy ears (trimmed on the back but not the inside). I managed to clip a few very small hard mats out of her beard (with a small pair of hair shears) and a few of the little round mats on her belly (where there is a little extra hair). She has a mass of tangled fluff over her privates and I tried to work on this last night (slowly sliding open shear through like a comb, holding hair at the base to minimize pulling, clipping out the larger mats, slowly working tangles out by hand once they are broken up a bit by shears) but if any hair gets slightly pulled (I am working slowly and trying to avoid this but sometimes it happens) she yips and leaps up as if to bite but stops short when her mouth is by my hand. She was ok in the bath (although she jumped out of the tub once!) Does anyone have experience with helping anxious dogs deal with grooming? (Maxx hates being bathed and combed, but he puts up with it, and behaves very well at the grooming salon.)

Excited to have- a twolegger- sibling!!!
Barked: Wed Jun 25, '08 10:56am PST 
Have you tried giving treats at all? Maya absolutely hated grooming when I first got her. She would always get mad at the brush and try to bite the brush AND me. I started giving her slices of apple or other favorite treats to keep her occupied while I brushed. She learned to deal with it. Once in a while I still have to give her treats so she will let me groom her but she's gotten a lot better. So I'd say figure out favorite treats and use that to get her to possibly like grooming or at least tolerate it.

King of- everything
Barked: Wed Jun 25, '08 7:50pm PST 
I know some dogs are alot more sensitive then others. Some dogs if they have any little mat that you have to even slightly pull to get it out they freak because it hurts. Thinner skin is my theory anyways. I have a schnauzer I groom that is like that very sensitive so if there are mats we have to cut them. As for the over all bad behaviour while being groomed. If the dog never had been groomed often then the odd time it was I betcha the poor pooch was very matted therefore the grooming process was not to pleasant maybe even a little painful as some mats can pull a little while coming out. Therefore associating the grooming tools with something painful. Alot of patience will be needed. In cases like this I take the brush and just gently rub against the dog. While the dog is calm submissive stop and praise then start again then praise when submissive keep this up. Then take the clippers turn them on but dont cut any hair while they are on gently rubb them all over the dog near the face to and when the dog is calm and submissive stop and praise and keep this pattern up untill each tool does not freak your pooch out at all anymore. Then begin the more heavy stuff like actually using the brush and comb. this will take a few weeks at least but I have had this excersize work on a few cases where sedation was the only answer.

Miss Lola- Luftnagle

Solid Gold- Dancer
Barked: Wed Jun 25, '08 10:18pm PST 
For some reason, most of the shnauzers that we groom at the shop I work at are hyper-sensitive to any dematting. Not all, but a good majority. For these types, I recommend just cutting the matts out with the clipper. There is no point in working these matts out to keep them in a pattern. It stresses the dogs out too much. And we want them to have a more positve grooming experience...

Better than I- was
Barked: Thu Jun 26, '08 7:38am PST 
Hyper-senstive to dematting? Oh yeah, and to brushing, clipping and anything else regarding the 'grooming experience'. I just cut the mats out, and any other hair I can get to. I have worked on introducing the brush to her and if done gently and not for long she will tolerate it. Mine had a partial shave down at the vet for health considration (her butt), but rest is up to me.
She has been thru 6 groomers and asked NOT to come back.
Jasper- ♥ RIP- 5/29/13

Senior pets need- love too!
Barked: Thu Jun 26, '08 11:36am PST 
Just a thought, but on a past pet where this was a problem, I used a regular beautician's razor, the hand-held fold-out metal comb with the blade below the teeth and slowly worked in thru the mats. No clipper noise seemed to help, and the dog just thought I was combing it. It's tedious, but it worked on really tough mats. I got lucky with Casper. He had a bad scissor job in the shelter, and I was afraid he'd be a bear to groom, but even though he was horribly neglected in his recent past, he grooms like a champ. No problems with standing for the clippers (I have Andis, and they're really quiet) and best of all, no problem with use of the scissors to trim his beard and nose. Good luck!

Casper's mom

pet me, not- Maxx!
Barked: Fri Jun 27, '08 9:55am PST 
Where can I find a beautician's razor?
Poquito- ♥

Die- Cancer,- Die!
Barked: Fri Jun 27, '08 12:11pm PST 
Any barber or beauty supply store like Armstrong or Sally Beauty Supply will have them. It's a little more time consuming but seems to be easiest on the nervous ones to start with. I would even ask your local beauty shop where they get theirs if need be.

pet me, not- Maxx!
Barked: Fri Jun 27, '08 1:29pm PST 
Thanks y'all! I will give these a try