Why is my dog scared of the groomer? - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-27-2011, 10:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My dog Sam has been groomed by this guy since this past summer. The guy seems nice and brings a mobile grooming trailer to my house. He came highly recommended.

 

Sam has always seemed to like him but today when he got here as soon as Sam saw who was here ran to my room and while I was picking him up to bring him to the groomer peed on my bed. : ( (Sam is a Bishon/Shitzu)

 

This makes me really uncomfortable. I am home alone with a 2yo and a 4yo so I can't stand in there while he gets groomed but I did peek in the window when I picked up my son from school and the groomer told me I could come in so I did. Sam was getting dried off and did have a collar attached to the wall on (like many groomers use). It was clean in there and nice and warm.

 

Would this present a red flag to you like it does me or am I over reacting? I plan on talking to the groomer when he gets done (probably in the next 20 min) but don't even know what to say. If he is hurting my dog he is not going to say so. I am going to call the office after I talk to him as well. (It is a family run business so I will be speaking to his mom)

 

For what it is worth my friend and I use the same groomer and I called her and told her about it and she said her dog did the same thing when he came for her dogs last grooming.

 

I'm sad and concerned.


~Katie~ married to J, mom to DD- A 13 yrs ,DS- L 7yrs , and my little nursling DD2- R 5yrs.

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Old 01-27-2011, 11:17 AM
 
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This to me (being on the other side) looks like a dog who is fed up with grooming.  What sort of maintenance do you do at home?  I ask because I have groomed many and have dealt with many dogs in my years of being a vet tech.  It doesn't take much to freak some dogs out.  Perhaps a nail was trimmed too short.  Perhaps he was more matted than normal last time and had to be dematted longer.  Unfortunately without seeing how your dog is being groomed I couldn't say.  Some dogs go crazy when being groomed even by the most gentle groomer in the world.  Others, couldn't care less.  I would mention it to the groomer, as he is your regular.  Trust me it is better to know a dog did a minor freakout at home....that way you can gently deal with any issues that arise


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Old 01-27-2011, 11:30 AM
 
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There might be changes you can make to make grooming experience easier for the dog? Sometimes a different haircut is quicker and easier on the dog.

 

I was a groomer for many years, and some of our clients wanted very difficult, time consuming grooming jobs that were hard on the dog and I felt bad for the poor dog that hand to stand for so long while lots of tangles were removed, because the owner preferred a flowing coat. Or very difficult haircuts when a short buzz would get the dog in and out faster.

 

Maybe you can talk to the groomer about how the dog tolerates what is being done and if there is anything that can be changed. I think his attitude will tell you what you need to know. If you do feel he is being treated harshly, do find someone else.

 

 When I was a groomer we just had some dogs that hated to be groomed even though we were what I would call a well run place and the staff was kind and gentle. But there are loud noises going on, dryers, and lets face it, occasionally a toenail gets cut too short or perhaps a snarl in the coat that gets pulled. So sometimes there are unpleasant things and a dog will just decide this is NOT FUN and mope when he comes in.

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Old 01-27-2011, 11:33 AM
 
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I wouldn't worry yet. I agree with above poster.

 

My first thoughts were either the dog doesn't like being forced to submit (which being groomed is a submissive thing, not he's doing anything wrong by requiring access to vulnerable parts) Or something scared him/ maybe he got a small hurt (like the other poster said about nails).

 

My poodle who loved water was traumatized by my being angry once when he had an accident in his crate and thus all over himself. It took a while to get him OK in the tub again (I felt horrible, but I was mad, not mean to him poodles are very sensitive to moods)


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Old 01-27-2011, 11:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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He does just get a buzz cut but I was sitting here thinking that the last time he got groomed he had gone several weeks longer than before because of conflicting schedules (me dr appts for kids had to reschedule, then the groomer got sick had to reschedule again) and with the Bishon in him his hair was snarly (even with brushing you can brush the same spot over and over and when it gets that long it just keeps tangling). I did talk to the groomer when he brought Sam back in and he said that lots of dogs don't like the blow drier. ( I blow dry him after a bath and Sam loves it but that is in a big open room and the groomer trailer is really small so it would seem louder). But then the groomer had forgotten Sams collar in the truck so went back to get it and I let Sam out to go potty and when he saw the groomer coming he ran from him. : ( I hope it was just that he got his hair pulled or something. I really like the convience and price of this groomer and that they are a small family run business.

 

Any other thoughts are welcome.


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Old 01-27-2011, 12:01 PM
 
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Dogs run away from us at the vet hospital too.  Seriously we are great people.  LOL but dogs don't understand that shoving a thermometer up the bum, taking blood, restraining, trimming nails...is all good for him.  That is why we encourage people to bring their dogs in when we don't have to do anything to them...we give lots of love and treats only.


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Old 01-27-2011, 03:47 PM
 
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Some dogs just don't like the groomer. And sometimes all it takes is one tiny thing- like, maybe he accidentally backed off the grooming table one day, maybe the dematting last session scared him, maybe the groomer accidentally pulled a tangle in a sensitive place. I take my dog in to our groomer about once a week to get her nails done, and every time she hides behind me or tries to go someplace else besides in the door. I KNOW nothing bad has happened to her there, I stay with her and hold her for her nail trims and often watch the groomer work with other dogs. Heck sometimes my dog lets out a hideous yelp during nail trims- and the groomer always jumps and we check to make sure she is ok- and its a ruse! She's particularly sensitive about one paw, and has learned that if she yelps, the dremeling stops, lol. Its not that the nail is too short, she just isnt into it. Yet her nails need to be done.

Do you do any grooming at home? It helps if dogs are used to some grooming. A gentle brushing, even every few days, can not only get them used to grooming, but also keeps their coat in better shape, which means when the groomer comes, its an easier job (less dematting and such) and therefor easier and less stressful on the dog. It wqould be like, imagine if you only brushed your hair once a month. That one time would be painful and stressful, probably, right? And take forever? But if you brush it more frequently, it takes less time, less pain, and less stress.
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Old 01-27-2011, 03:56 PM
 
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My dog (a Corgi) doesn't go to a groomer, but I brush him regularly. He just plain doesn't like it. I feel like I'm bring gentle with him, but he has a thick double coat, and can get matted if I don't brush often enough. I suspect that your dog doesn't hate or fear the groomer because the groomer did anything wrong; I suspect that Sam doesn't like the process, no matter who did it.

 

I've found that giving my dog treats after he gets his nails cut or gets brushed makes him far more tolerant!

 

I've never had a dog who enjoyed getting a bath - not even my Lab, who adored the water. My beagle would run for cover if she heard the word Bath.

 

Talk to the groomer, and see if there's anything you can do together to make it a more pleasant (or less unpleasant) experience for Sam.


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Old 01-27-2011, 06:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I do bathe, blow dry and brush Sam at home and we trim his nails. I hold him and my DH trims because he is better than I. I used to do all of Sams hair cuts but stopped about 18 months to 2 years ago because having 2 under 2 was too much to be covered in dog hair and nursing kids back to sleep. (I always did cuts after kids were in bed). He was really well behaved for this and would lay on his back while I trimmed his belly area.  Extremely easy going. He is just shy of 4yrs old maybe it is his personality as he really gets out of puppy hood.

 

Like I said no matter how much you brush there are tangles. Not mats but tangles because of his kinky and straight hair mix. I am glad to know everything is probably fine. I am going to see about standing in there or watching through the window when he gets groomed again. I don't want him to be naughty because he sees his mommy standing there.

 

Thanks for all the input.

 


~Katie~ married to J, mom to DD- A 13 yrs ,DS- L 7yrs , and my little nursling DD2- R 5yrs.

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Old 02-21-2011, 05:25 AM
 
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You know, being a groomer it always worries me when dogs who previously did not have issues with being groomed/groomer all of the sudden start acting scared. And I do not buy that some dogs just do not like their groomers. I have worked with a lot of "special needs" dogs who hated to be groomed. And while I was not able to turn every dogs aversion to grooming, every single one of them loved to come see me after couple visits! They would run into the shop, say hello and than still act bad on the table anyway. If it was my dog, I would investigate further as to what exactly going on in there because if you have a stable dog who never exhibited such behavior, it would take a tremendous stress to cause them to be afraid of the person who they trusted before. Like you probably have stepped on your dogs paw by accident but he is not scared of you it should be same thing with groomers. If they provide positive attention during their sessions and work on minimizing negative experiences, things like stepping off the table or having a nail cut too short should not cause fear. However, before you jump to conclusions, look at how you handle your dog around the time he meets this groomer. It might be a reason why he is acting this way. Do you cuddle and babytalk to him when you hand him over? How did you react/interacted with you dog when he ran away from the groomer for first time? Most cases of "shivers" I had to deal with were caused by owners transmitting their nervous energy to the dog during drop off time. I would see the dog shiver violently when they were brought in but as soon as the owner and the dog were separated, the dog would lay down and be calm.
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Old 02-21-2011, 05:27 AM
 
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You know, being a groomer it always worries me when dogs who previously did not have issues with being groomed/groomer all of the sudden start acting scared. And I do not buy that some dogs just do not like their groomers. I have worked with a lot of "special needs" dogs who hated to be groomed. And while I was not able to turn every dogs aversion to grooming, every single one of them loved to come see me after couple visits! They would run into the shop, say hello and than still act bad on the table anyway.
If it was my dog, I would investigate further as to what exactly going on in there because if you have a stable dog who never exhibited such behavior, it would take a tremendous stress to cause them to be afraid of the person who they trusted before. Like you probably have stepped on your dogs paw by accident but he is not scared of you it should be same thing with groomers. If they provide positive attention during their sessions and work on minimizing negative experiences, things like stepping off the table or having a nail cut too short should not cause fear.
 
However, before you jump to conclusions, look at how you handle your dog around the time he meets this groomer. It might be a reason why he is acting this way. Do you cuddle and babytalk to him when you hand him over? How did you react/interacted with you dog when he ran away from the groomer for first time? Most cases of "shivers" I had to deal with were caused by owners transmitting their nervous energy to the dog during drop off time. I would see the dog shiver violently when they were brought in but as soon as the owner and the dog were separated, the dog would lay down and be calm.
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Old 11-12-2012, 05:33 PM
 
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You should know that the blow dryer that your groomer uses is totally different than the dryer you use at home, which is probably why your dog doesn't mind your dyer.  Our dryers are designed to remove water from the coat by force (hence the name, force dryer)rather than by heat and therefore are much more powerful than the typical household hair dyer.  These dryers are louder and seemingly much more aggressive to most dogs and a lot of dogs are intimidated by them without proper conditioning. Some dogs just flat out hate them no matter what you do! 

These dryers are necessary in this line of work.  They allow us to do a job faster and more effectively, saving time for the groomer and money for the owner.  They are used to fluff the coat so as to get a nice, smooth finish.  Some groomers like myself, use a combination of a force dryer, table dryer and cage dryer to get it done.  Table dryer are less powerful but use a heat sorce to help finish the coat and cage dryers can be used to dry a dog completely, although this takes several hours depending on the breed and produces a more undesirable finish on a coat, especially a curly coat.

My advice to you:  Most dogs put on a show when they walk into the groom shop.  I will say, for the most part, the "show" is mostly to blame on an owner's anxiety.  Your dog is an extension of your emotions so I would remain calm and collected when handing him over to the groomer.  Walk him to to the groomer on a leash, say a quick goodbye and walk away.  Be groomed is not a "natural" thing for a dog, so many dogs are never 100% in love with it. 

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Old 11-12-2012, 08:13 PM
 
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I am a groomer, and own a dog grooming shop, so I have a few thoughts.

 

First- dogs have personalities, just like people. There are some dogs I do who have been fired from multiple groomers for biting, being aggressive, etc...they have never given me trouble at all. Some even wag when they see me and will kiss me. On the other side of the coin, there are some dogs who I groom every 4-6 weeks, have for years, who always act as if they have never seen me before. So it could be that your dog, for whatever reason, just hasn't warmed up to this particular groomer, or maybe just doesn't like groomers in general. 

 

When you peeked in on your dog, was he trembling? Did he LOOK scared? Was he attempting to get away from the groom, or did he seem overly submissive? 

 

What you mentioned about your dog going longer than normal and being snarly could definitely have something to do with it. Since he gets a buzz cut frequently, he is probably not used to his skin being tugged on at all during grooming, and if he had mats that the groomer had to brush/shave out, there definitely would have been more tension than normal and he could have taken it as a personal attack from the groomer. 

 

The only thing that might concern me a little is the fact that he peed. Does he ever do the "submissive pee" or is this completely new for him?


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Old 11-17-2012, 11:13 PM
 
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Considering i got the "difficult cases" when i was grooming i even had to go to someones house and home-groom their dog because they had been banned from every salon in the area. he was a GREAT dog to groom, he just needed time and patience to learn that grooming wasn't a bad thing.

it is worrying when dogs go from great to nasty and as a groomer i would route through files and see what happened the last time they were in the salon, if it wasn't listed i asked the one who covered them. 

 

i figured out one key element of it though, after a dog that i normally worked with was banned from the salon i was at.

BEAUTIFUL german shepherd female, could be very nervous i slowly had her working out of it, one day she got skunked i wasn't in she got an appointment with another groomer bit her and boom banned.

i couldn't figure out why... until i looked at the differences in our techniques, i'm a pocket full of treats trained to use force free training with dogs, she was a CM dominance style groomer. 


AND as ananas brought up most dogs use to frequent grooming tend to HATE being groomed after an expented period of not being groomed as frequently because it tugs,

 

think about brushing out a toddler or young childs hair when its a complete rats nest (they generally arent the most co-operative) but they can understand your words when you explain things.

Dogs dont get that kind of comfort since they understand very few english words, and the nicest tone of voice in the world means nothing when there are mats and knots in a coat.

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