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Discussion Starter #1
Just a quick comment: If the breeder has not been clipping the puppies faces, feet, and tails, I would avoid buying from that person. Puppies need to become accustomed to being handled and groomed from at least five weeks of age.

One exception - if there were quite a few puppies in a litter and they were all the same color I used to clip different combinations of feet in order to tell those little black fur balls apart. We had a bitch who kept the name 3-Foot for months because she was the puppy who had three of four feet clipped! Other techniques are using a dab of nail polish on the back - different colors - or using stretchy rick-rack as a "collar". I'm not a fan of the latter because even if stretchy there could be an awful accident.
 

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Excellent advice
 
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This really is important advice. It's always the proverbial uphill battle to help a new poo owner or searcher understand the years of consequences if the pup isn't trained to be comfortable with the process.

I'm sure they'd be horrified to hear that their pup could need to be sedated, just for a haircut!, if they don't get them accustomed early.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Off topic a little, but do you have to reapply the polish regularly? Or does it stay on until you wash it off?
I seem to remember that it lasted for weeks. I put it on the puppy's back. It does not wash off since it's nail polish!.
 

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I liked seeing Gracie’s face when I picked her up at eight weeks. I prefer the shaved face so it is important to me that she had early socialization to it. Her breeder is also a groomer, and breeds for conformation.
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Here’s a pic, at 8 weeks....because I look for any excuse to post pics of Gracie :)
 

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With our toys, we specifically ask them not to trim or clip them. I do this bc I have always preferred working my girls up to grooming myself. I prefer the whiskers stay in tact for my girls until they gain knowledge and comfort of their surroundings. With that being said, I work extremely hard with preparing them, lots of face, paw and body touching all day long. I'm home all day so this process has always worked greatly for us. My girls have always sat very still and calm during grooming. So I do feel there are options if you're willing to put the work in.
 

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I prefer the whiskers stay in tact for my girls until they gain knowledge and comfort of their surroundings.
Same here. I haven’t seen any evidence for it, but I believe that their brain development and proprioception is probably somewhat affected by cutting their whiskers while they’re still developing. Just a theory based on my knowledge of neuroscience... I know they don’t use them to the same extent that cats do, but if they had no purpose at all, then evolution would have gotten rid of them. I might be wrong about this, but I’d rather work on desensitization without clipping the area either.
 

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With our toys, we specifically ask them not to trim or clip them. I do this bc I have always preferred working my girls up to grooming myself. I prefer the whiskers stay in tact for my girls until they gain knowledge and comfort of their surroundings. With that being said, I work extremely hard with preparing them, lots of face, paw and body touching all day long. I'm home all day so this process has always worked greatly for us. My girls have always sat very still and calm during grooming. So I do feel there are options if you're willing to put the work in.
I seriously doubt whiskers play any role in helping a dog with surroundings. They’re not cats.

Even if the breeder grooms the puppy a few times like they should, these first sessions are only first steps in grooming, and the owner still has tons of work to do, and if not done, will end up with a monster to groom...

I really see no advantage in asking a breeder not to groom.
 

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Here's a few articles. The second one goes into more detail. I personally just feel they play a major role in experiencing their surroundings. So for me I feel it's unfair to say if a breeder doesn't groom their dogs it makes them irresponsible. Again, I request upfront that they not groom. I think the option is nice, but I just think it should be up to the buyer.


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I strongly agree with Johanna. I was so grateful, as a first time groomer, to get a puppy who had been groomed at least 3 times when I got her. She was far more calm than I was with our first grooming. And puppies should be started with grooming before their personalities are obvious enough to choose the best homes for them.

I recently tried to groom my dads 9 month old dog, who is matted and has never been groomed, and was even more grateful to Annie's breeder. It was AWFUL and stressful for both of us.

Even for those not planning to groom on their own, having the breeder expose the puppies is a very good thing, to keep the first exposure to a buzzing clipper from being traumatic.
 

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I'm not sure how I feel about whiskers. Misha certainly had no issues without them. I think having a puppy get used to their removal early is better than late. I don't think they lack function, but I think a clean face offers health and vision benefits.

I didn't feel that I could really see Misha until his face was shaved. Before then it's like they're covered up with fur. Some people think of the furry face as natural but canines naturally have a clean face. I'd rather return it by shaving. I know it's just personal preference though.

I've never seen a high quality breeder that doesn't shave faces. And I also wouldn't want to go to one that pairs pups before they groom them. That's too early.

Also I think freshly shaved puppy faces are just the cutest.
 

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I will add that our terrier with massive whiskers is a huge clutz, while Fluffy is much more balanced, even with a shaven face. I think whiskers serve as more of a night vision aid than anything.
 

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Whiskers aren't the main reason I leave them but it does add to why. I think if I didn't have all the time on my hands or larger size then I'd possibly consider letting a breeder do it. But I've just found a way that works well so I don't jinx it. lol. Lots of touch and I also bring out the clippers, so they form a tolerance to the sound and vibration.
 

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I love that Leonard was groomed from a very young age, he was easier to groom as a puppy to a point. I brought him home at 18 weeks, a show dog that outsized.
My girls, were not so I had to accustom them to regular grooming.
I think it is kinder to keep pet poodles clipped short unless you are completely committed to keeping them well groomed, tangle free basically pain free in between professional grooming.
 

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I was grateful that Buck had been groomed at least twice. If you’re a total beginner, as I was, with a mandate to keep my puppy, Buck, safely socialized until he was fully vaccinated, having a freshly groomed posterior “T” was a big help. I agree it’s a tell, if a breeder doesn’t groom the litter a few times.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I liked seeing Gracie’s face when I picked her up at eight weeks. I prefer the shaved face so it is important to me that she had early socialization to it. Her breeder is also a groomer, and breeds for conformation.
Here’s a pic, at 8 weeks....because I look for any excuse to post pics of Gracie :)
Gracie is lovely! May I ask who bred her?
 

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Dog noses that don't require grooming regularly
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Dogs noses that do require grooming regularly
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Not sure how useful the whiskers are here
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Not only never groomed, also apparently never bathed
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This look, without being kempt just suggests neglect to me. Never mind personal preferences in eventual look, I think the impression of neglect is a factor, in addition to the pup needing to become accustomed to grooming, especially the difficult face, feet, tail, before they learn to be afraid of things.
 
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