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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello!
I have a 9 week old spoo and am a first time dog owner ambitiously planning to home groom. I have done a lot of homework - here, YouTube, the Poodle University online course, reaching out to spoo owners.

My equipment thus far:
  • wahl Minibrav
  • wahl lithium 5-in-1
  • flying pig dryer (hasn’t arrived yet - used my dryer on low low heat)
  • nail grinder

We had a bath and blow dry last week (planning one a week
To get her used to it).

We are doing daily handling - ears, feet, tail, face, body. Slicker brush and combing.

I clipped her paws and did her nails last week - and then tried face and sanitary a few days later. She HATED it. Squirming etc despite treats. I didn’t want to force it or create trauma - let alone injure her, so I didn’t force it.

How should I proceed? Should I get my husband to hold her?
How often should I exposure her to the clippers to get her used to it? Let her “win”? Wait until she is ready for a nap and tired?

Looking for any advice you have!!

thank you!
 

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Fenris (spoo), Sushi (old grumpy cat)
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I have a 12 week old spoo and the advice I was given was to take him to the groomer's at least a few times first before trying on my own. If you haven't groomed before you are a newbie and so is your puppy. By going to the groomer's she'll have the best experience with a professional and learn how to behave when groomed. Then when you try it at home, at least your pup won't be a newbie and will be more comfortable.

I just took mine for his first groom, the puppy groom is only $22 at my groomer's (plus tip). He loved it, got a social hour with all the girls working there who loved on him, and he was really happy with the experience. By the time I get my uncertain hands on him, he will be a pro. Also, if he she ever needs to go to a professional groomer in the future, then she'd also have the experience as a puppy to fall back on.

Otherwise, I'll let the pros here tackle the practicalities since I'm also a complete newbie when it comes to grooming as well.
 

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I’m a first time spoo owner and am planning on doing all my own grooming. So far, so good, 3 weeks in. My puppy had at least 4 face shaves by her breeder before I got her and I know that helped tremendously. She was super squirrelly the first time I shaved her face about me going near her ears for some reason. My solution was to do what she would let me do and then flip the bravmini around and move the handle where she didn’t like so even if she jerked and fussed, I knew she wouldn’t really get hurt. I did that daily and the next week when I shaved her face she was completely fine about the whole thing. Another thing I’ve done is every single day I put her on the table and do something. I started off really slowly, like dremeling one foot, treating for staying calm, and then getting her down. Sometimes I just get all in her mouth and ears. Other days it’s just a quick fluff up. Like I said, it’s only been 3 weeks but it seems to be working out well. I’m planning on keeping up daily “something” on the grooming table for a good long while.
 

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Just like Starla said, a little bit everyday, I always treat at the end when I am done. I am on my 5th, 6th and 7th poodles , I always found it best to keep it brief and and often
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My solution was to do what she would let me do and then flip the bravmini around and move the handle where she didn’t like so even if she jerked and fussed, I knew she wouldn’t really get hurt. I did that daily and the next week when I shaved her face she was completely fine about the whole thing. Another thing I’ve done is every single day I put her on the table and do something. I started off really slowly, like dremeling one foot, treating for staying calm, and then getting her down. Sometimes I just get all in her mouth and ears. Other days it’s just a quick fluff up. Like I said, it’s only been 3 weeks but it seems to be working out well. I’m planning on keeping up daily “something” on the grooming table for a good long while.
I am SOOO inspired!!
I took an extra doggy soggy Mat and got pup into a sit and down then gave her pieces of shredded mozzarella as I did her nails, ending on wins.
It went so well that I turned on the wahl and as I fed her each piece, I touched her with it (blade totally away).
5 mins of slow treating and praise (don’t worry....very little cheese lol) and had the vibrating wahl going all over her head and face!
Ended on that high note and I’m going to build this mat exercise and positive reinforcement into our routine!
 

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I would slow it down a little. I'm assuming you've had her for a week? And you've already introduced her to a full bath and blow dry, and full nail trim and now fft.
I groom Raffi myself and he is quite good (we did have a set back on paws when the blade got too hot without me noticing- we are now back on track, but keep checking blade temp in mind!). This is the progression I used on him.
Put clippers on the floor. Mark and treat for looking at them from a distance then closer up, then sniffing them, then sniffing them in my hands (this took two 3ish min sessions in one day). Hold clippers, mark and treat for sniffing them, then allowing them to be run over various body parts (face, legs, body, belly, lastly ears) while still off (another two sessions). Turn clippers on and repeat progression (four sessions).
Of course in the mean time I had also been working on handling and brushing like you- this was easy since the breeder had done it too. In separate sessions I did nail trims on one paw at a time.
The first time I actually used the clippers, I started as usual with mark and treat for sniffing at the clippers off, then on, then I trimmed ONE TOE. Then next day two toes, then about half a foot, then a full foot. Once all the feet were done I started on his face. All told, it took maybe two weeks for the full fft to be done. But two weeks later, I could do a full face one session, and two paws at a time. A few weeks after that, full fft.
As a vet tech, I see SO many dogs that do not tolerate grooming very well, and it's important to me that something that is a regular part of Raffi's life is not stressful for either of us.
I like to remind myself, there are no downsides to taking things too slow. But taking things too fast can backfire (sooner or later) very significantly!!
 
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