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Discussion Starter #1
two years ago we adopted Armstrong...well...where to begin...

He will not stand still to be groomed, even with professionals. He has been banned from Pet Smart and we've tried several private groomers who end up calling saying they cant get him to stay still and stop nipping them.
My dad made a couple of attempts at clipping him and he can not do it. He even got a prescription from the vet for "doggy downers" which did nothing more than make Armstrong act drunk! It was actually kind of sad, so we stopped using those.
Last month when we tried to clip him again my dad ended up having to shave Armstrongs body and legs almost completely bald and in order to get his feet i had to pin him on the ground and hold his leg still. Its just AWFUL

what the heck do we do???? His "haircut" is so horrible at the moment! :scared:
 

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Boy, I wish you lived closer. I hate to say it but I don't think the tables and equipment that is permitted to be used at the chain groomers is ineffective on difficult dogs. They need special equipment, they need a lot of time (remember their time = $$$) He needs a really understanding groomer. He would do well with a very experienced MOBILE groomer....one on one with no other dogs around and he needs someone who regularly does large, strong, mouthy dogs. If the groomer you choose prefers to do small, perfectly behaved dogs, you chose the wrong person. ASK questions...ask your vet for a referal, ASK your local poodle club who they recommend? The RIGHT groomer is out there. Don't be concerned with money....any good groomer doing a difficult standard poodle will charge what the job is worth....but on the other hand, they groom ought to look good....not perfect, not show-worthy but I would expect super clean, no mats, short nails and NO bleeding cuts and nicks. If you get this much, be thankful.....if it goes exceptionally well....hold on to that groomer for llife!
 

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Could you try grooming him in a different way so that he doesn't have to have his face shaved? Maybe going for a teddy bear head where he is trimmed with scissors instead of clipped with the clipper might get him used to things? You can stop shaving feet and round them off and just clip or grind down nails and clean out the pads.
 

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If he can't be trained to accept grooming by someone, then really your only other choice is full sedation grooming at a vet's office. Has Armstrong had any obedience training? If so, maybe you can use that in your favor and turn grooming into training :) If not, then maybe you should get him into a class.

I've only had 2 dogs that I've not been able to groom and they both ended up having to be completely sedated and shaved down.
 

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It does seem pretty extreme. Have you tried daily working towards doing the feet like kpoos mentioned? Playing around with the scissors or clippers.

I would also get him into a training class regardless. Are there other times that this behavior happens? Grooming is such a necessity for poodles. There seems to be other issues if he is that afraid and fear biting. Possibly before you........good luck this is a tough one.
 

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I agree with what partial2poodles says. I groom 2 dogs that were being sedated at the vet. After a couple of times in my shop one on one, they are now fine to groom. It just takes some time and patience. Once they understand that they don't have to fear me, and I'm not afraid of them they get better and better. It just takes finding the right groomer who is willing to take the time and patience with him. It will be a work in progress. Good luck!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I can only imagine that it would be extremely expensive to have the dog sedated at the vet on top of the grooming charge. Any idea how much it costs?

I REALLY appreciate all of the responses, I feel better knowing that other people have experience with difficult poodles. Armstrong is such a lover and a good dog, just extremely difficult when it comes to brushing and grooming

Clarion is about 4 hours away from me. I'm right at the Delaware/PA border
 

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I think it depends on the groomer as much as the dog. There's dogs that are a dream for me but don't really care for other groomers to touch them, then there's this little pap that HATES HATES me, when he's being groomed and I'm in the room he gives me this 'don't come near me' look and shys away if I do get near him. The groomer had me hold him while she did his nails, and he peed on me then looked like he was ready to go for my face.. but for everyone else? He's a dollface. Not sure what I did to rub him the wrong way?

I think you just need to find someone with a lot of confidence and patience.
 

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I agree with what partial2poodles says. I groom 2 dogs that were being sedated at the vet. After a couple of times in my shop one on one, they are now fine to groom. It just takes some time and patience. Once they understand that they don't have to fear me, and I'm not afraid of them they get better and better. It just takes finding the right groomer who is willing to take the time and patience with him. It will be a work in progress. Good luck!!!
Exactly :) However, it does have to come with some back up on the home front. I would recommend when you DO find a groomer, you ask them what they would like for you to do to work with him at home (kinda like homework :) ) to make it easier on him and the groomer!
 

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Would you be willing to drive to E. Rutherford, NJ? I think this new groomer that I'm using now might be able to help. She's a small shop, just her and an assistant. I don't know her history with difficult dogs, but might be worth a phone call to ask. She seems to have a good rapport with all the dogs I've seen her with, and she's really into rescuing dogs, so I'm sure she's dealt with behavioral issues at some point.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'll try whatever I can. Brushing him is an issue too. Can't even get near him. Oh Armstrong...right now he kind of looks like a poorly groomed labradoodle.
 

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Would you consider consulting a trainer on this? Sounds like positive reinforcement could help. It might not be an overnight fix, but as Armstrong will have to be groomed the rest of his life, it's worth spending time fixing the problems he has with grooming.

This video illustrates how a dog who was very aggressive during grooming and nail filing was reconditioned with positive reinforcement. I do think though you would need to consult a professional to start you on the right way to approach it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgEwiH8CeUE
 
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