Yesterday my post was a little long winded.
I guess it just proved how strongly I feel about treating the dogs in our care like they have feelings, and not like they are just a job.
Also the importance of working with a dog to get it to except and maybe even like the grooming.
I had a puppy come in about a month ago.
He was 6 months old.
It was his first grooming.
In my opinion, he should of had his first grooming no later then 3 months old.
Now, I don't know about other groomers out there, but if I am going to have a puppy fight me about scissoring their face, it is going to be a Shih-tzu every time.
I don't know if it is because their nose is so short, or if it is because their eyes are so close to their nose, or because when they were born their mother told them they have to fight the groomer for their face.
Most of the time puppies learn pretty fast when I groom them for the first time.
I do a lot of hugging and cuddling.
I tell them everything that I am going to do before I do it.
I work slow.
I let them smell the dryer, the comb, the brush, the clippers, and the scissors before I use them.
I give them a brake if they need it, or I need it, but most of the time neither of us needs that break because I take my time.
When a new puppy owner asks me how long it will take to groom their dog, my answer is...
"I am not really sure. I work at your dogs pace. If he is scared, I work slowly to make him feel better. If I have to, I will stop grooming him and let him rest while I finish someone else. I want to make him feel comfortable and get to know me. If he does really good I will have him done fairly quickly. If he gets upset about something the grooming will take longer. I want him to like the grooming experience as much as possible."
I rarely have a puppy owner rush me after that speech.
I feel that I am a pretty patient person, but every once in a while I have a dog or puppy that really puts me to the test.
This little guy was my most recent test.
He was a test, because nothing that I did helped him learn.
He was bound and determined to fight me the whole way.
Every time I thought that we were making headway, he decided to start fighting again.
And it is always the sweet, silly, overly happy Shih-tzu's.
Maybe it is because there doesn't seem to be a serious bone in their body.
This little guy didn't care about anything at all.
This little guy gave me several heart attacks.
I have not had to stop and count to a hundred in a long time, and I think I did that at least a dozen times with this little guy.
I put a video on You Tube.
The video is about 8 minutes long.
It took me almost 25 minutes to scissor and clip around this puppies eyes.
Fifteen minutes too long.
But I got it done.
Not the best trim in the world, but I didn't cut him.
And, he was still a happy puppy when I finished.
I tried every hold that I knew of to try to scissor around that puppies eyes.
He did not like any of them.
I was firm when I needed to be, but never mean.
Did I want to give up?
Only once or twice...well maybe three times, but I hung in there.
Years ago this puppy would have had me in tears.
Now I just get upset.
Not a mean upset.
The kind of upset you get when you are a person with vivid imagination, and you constantly visualize cutting the dogs eye out and having to hand it to the owner.
Yes, I have a sick imagination.
That is what gets me upset.
And I tell the puppy that to.
"Look buddy, I have no desire to poke your eye out and hand it to your Mom, I let him know.
"Do you realize, you little goofball, that you are going to make me cut you?" I inform him.
"Listen you little peace of poop, you could have been finished 10 minutes ago if you would just let me cut the hair around your eyes," I tell him as sweetly as I can.
"Come on buddy. Please give me a break. I just need two minutes. You could be done in two minutes," I groan to him as my head hits the table in frustration.
"Go home and bite your owner for waiting till you were 6 months old for your first groom," I strongly advise him.
I told you I talk to the dogs.
Here is the link to the video.
I hope it doesn't give you grooming nightmares. :-)
Happy Grooming, MFF