You need to know how to control the dog!


When I get new dog grooming clients whose dogs  I have to shave because they are matted, I   try to show the owners what   brushes they need and how to brush the dog.  Fundamental is insisting the dog be still so it can be groomed.  Many dog owners allow their dogs to get out of control, like they are martians or something.

I have  written about spoiled dogs in the past, abut  clearly  it really needs to be addressed.

I recently  took in a dog  that was somewhat obedience trained, but very reactive to small animals and other dogs, He’s a work in progress, but no matter,  He is learning that I am in charge & we don’t act a fool.  He sees a dog or a squirrel, and I tell him to sit.  Because  he has been behavior shaped to sit automatically (and most dogs ca at least do this), he doesn’t give  it a thought. He sits and he is distracted from whatever  captured his attention.

It takes a while to teach a dog anything, but if you are consistent, and motivated yourself, you can do this.

I  guess it’s a given that I am motivated to be able to communicate with my  dog and have a  relationship with  him.  Not so most pet owners, apparently.

Most owners have good intentions, but because they trusted the pet shop  sellers—or even the backyard breeder,  rescue, or shelter that sold/gave them the dog, and those people didn’t make a big deal about how important obedience training/behavior shaping is…. they let the dog get out of hand. When that happens, you have double the  problem, because not only are you trying to shape a new behavior, you have to overcome an old habit—the dog’s habit of being in charge of your human.

I  addressed this  to an extent in my blog on specials coat—and how to grow the coat long. The primary issue is forcing the dog to be submissive, then  using your own  system and working with confidence.  There is no reason the dog should be hurt.  I realized I  had done it wrong with my first Afghan Hound, because I always allowed him to stand on the grooming table, and he was too nervous to just lay down if I brushed him.  I started the next one as a puppy, before her hair grew long—-& this is  how I tell pet owners to start if I have had to shave the dog.  Start while the hair is short and go through the motions.  However, I also suggest  some sort of formal training for the dog, so  they both get used to the dynamic of the owner being in charge, and the dog paying attention.  A better bond forms,

I know most pet owners never planned to WORK with the dog every day.
They just didn’t give any more thought to taking car of a dog than walking and feeding.  I am sorry the  people who sold or gave them the dog were less than forthcoming.  I  wonder how  rescues can  NOT address grooming and training.  However, I know the pet shops can’t be trusted.  Please spread the word.

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