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Our 8-month-old mini poodle likes getting a bath but is VERY difficult with the dryer. We have bathed her about six times at home, and she gets a bath every 4-5 weeks from the groomer as well. She does not seem to be getting better with the dryer.

We have a special dryer for dogs. She tries to jump off the table and also shakes when we are trying to dry her. It turns into a major ordeal. We are also afraid that she could break a leg because she is trying to dart off the table, and even though we have an anti-slip mat in place, she slides around as she's trying to escape the dryer; it takes one of us to hold her and the other to dry her. Also, is it necessary to dry her each time?

Any suggestions?
 

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Yes you should dry and brush as you do so to straighten and fluff the coat. This will help to reduce the occurrence of mats and decrease the odds of you not finding them in a curly air dried coat.


I assume you mean that you have a forced air dryer when you say you have a special dryer for dogs. Understand that they can be loud and scary to dogs that aren't used to them. You can put cotton balls in your pup's ears to damp down the sound and to prevent fast moving ear from hurting the ears if you accidentally direct air right down the ear canal.


You should invest time in training your pup to relax for grooming. It is part of the natural life of poodles to have to have extensive grooming. Put your pup on the grooming table and feed some treats and stop there. Take the dog off the table and repeat as needed a few times a day until the pup is happy to be on the table. Turn on the dryer and put the dog on the table and feed treats while the dryer is just making noise, but not blowing on the dog. Repeat as needed. Once the pup is relaxed while the dryer is on then just lightly blow air around the dog's body and feed treats (while they are dry not when you actually need to dry them). At each stage just give treats at the end so the dog learns to look forward to staying on the table until you give some treats and take them off. I still give freeze dried liver to both of my poodles just before I take them off the table. I look on those treats that they only get at that time as their pay check for helping me to get through things smoothly by not squirming and trying to get off the table on their own.
 

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I have never used a dryer on my dog. He gets a bath every 2-3 weeks and air dries. You do have to make sure to comb down to the skin both after the bath and at least every other day in between baths.
 

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Happy Hoodie. Happy Hoodie For Dog Anxiety Relief It cuts down on the noise and really helps with anxiety. Noelle has one, although we don't use it anymore, it sure helped.

Your next step is to practice blowdrying with your dog every day. Make sure your blow dryer is unplugged. Hold it. Put it down, reward your dog for looking at the blow dyer. Because that was very brave! Done for the day.

Get the Happy Hoodie. Put it on your dog. Turn the dryer on, point it at the ceiling. Turn it off. Laugh and give a treat. Take off the Happy Hoodie. Done for the day.

Blow dry yourself for one second. Reward. Done for the day.
Blow dry yourself, the dog, yourself for a second. Reward. Done for the day.
Blow dry yourself, the dog, yourself for five seconds. Reward. Done for the day.

Continue this process every day, inching the time forward, until your dog is officially BORED with this game. You'll know you're done playing his game when your dog looks at you like, really? Duh, it's a blow dryer, not a poodle shredding industrial fan. Sheesh. Can we go now?

Pay richly. Best treats of the day for grooming. Go to the grocery store and look behind the real steaks for something called a chuck steak. It's really cheap, two, maybe three bucks. Grill it up, chop it up, that is what you reward your dog with. Warm rare steak bites are a high value treat around here. I bet your poodle will like them, too.
 

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There are quieter dryers that are less stressful for some dogs. You could look into that. What kind of dryer are you using? A high volume one? I'd look for one which is quieter for starts. Then, maybe sit on the floor and dry and brush next to you to calm them. Grooming needs to be a positive safe event, maybe you can work on getting to that "place"???
 

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Hmm, not sure the noise level. But my Sunny does not like loud noise and mine is noisy, but not terribly -- a similar dryer to yours. I'd try cotton in the ears and just small sessions getting him comfortable with it, etc. I found this review of your dryer..... "As a professional groomer, I have used many different dryers and different brands. At our salon, we specialize in very nervous, senior, and fearful pets. This dryer works wonderfully for small dogs and dogs with a fear of the HV (high velocity) dryers and loud noises. It is very quiet! The adjustable speed is great,the air flow is not bad for a small dryer like this. It also has adjustable heat settings which I personally appreciate. I would not recommend this for blowing out coat on big breeds so much, but for what it is I am absolutely in love with it." That's good, so it is one of the quieter ones.

Good luck....calm, slow movements so he feels comfortable.
 
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