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Discussion Starter #1
We’ve had our beloved Paris for all of 18 days now. She came home nicely shaved so I assume it would be smooth sailing shaving her FFT again. Oh boy was I wrong.

I shaved Bella and everything was peachy. When it was Paris turn she turned into the squintiest worm and tried to run away for dear life. The last thing I want to do is spook her.

I’ve spent the rest of the day turning the clippers on and off and giving her treats when she comes closer.

Does anyone have any advice on how to get puppies accustomed to the woes of poodle grooming? Would be really helpful ?.
 

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Short daily sessions without the clippers on. Just move them over her or even just hold them while you do something fun. Then move up to having them on for 30 seconds at a time, still keeping things positive. Then touch her with the vibrating clippers, 30 seconds at a time.

That sort of thing.

I've been taught not to coax a scared dog towards something with treats. You can treat while the scary thing is at a safe distance, but don't push her out of her comfort zone. As our trainer explained it, they are focused on the treat, and will follow their nose to it, but once the treat's been gobbled up, they look around, suddenly realize they're too close to the scary thing, and panic. The fear gets reinforced.

Remember, too, that Paris could be in a fear period. Or she could have been in one during her last groom and was pushed too far.

At about 8 months, Peggy entered her second fear period and was suddenly petrified of being groomed. She even cowered when her (beloved) groomer tried to brush her. So our groomer gave her lots of breaks, only did the essentials, and then let her play in the shop for half an hour before we picked her up. At her follow-up appointment 3 weeks later? No problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Noted. Thank you. Always appreciative of the incite.
I thought it would be helpful to associate the clipper with positive things since she loves food but I guess that’s not the best method according to your trainer. So we’ll try to do otherwise.
I spent the night turning it on and off so she could at least get used to the sound. She stayed far away and minded her business meanwhile Bella wanted to rub her face on the handle... maybe the vibration feels like a massage to her? No idea. Poodle weirdness.
We shall keep at it.
 

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I agree with PtP's method, but I think 30 seconds is too long at the beginning. I would give it just a few seconds in the beginning. Then work your way up adding 3-5 seconds as she grows accustomed to the lesser time. If you're persistent and patient she'll get there. In my experience it doesn't take poodles too long to get acclimated to grooming.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you. We’ll take it in tiny steps instead of strides ?. I’ll just have to accept a fuzzy face poodle for now. Her happiness is more important than my vanity.
 

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I thought it would be helpful to associate the clipper with positive things since she loves food but I guess that’s not the best method according to your trainer. So we’ll try to do otherwise.
I probably wasn't as clear as I could have been. It's absolutely okay to associate the clippers with treats. In fact, that's what you want! But that's not the same thing as using treats to physically coax a puppy towards the clippers. Think of it more like parallel experiences: Enjoy your treats or tasty chew while this thing whrrrrrrs for a few seconds nearby! Quick sniff? All good. Back to chewing? All good. Chewing frantically? Too much.

That's great that Bella is so comfortable with grooming. I bet Paris will learn quickly by watching her sister that it's not such a scary thing....especially if Bella is getting lots of positive attention during the experience. What little sister wants to miss out on that??

I bet if you do regular sessions with Bella without pressuring Paris, Paris will eventually come over to investigate.
 

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I would do a daily tiny groom if possible. My breeder is a groomer and great, so she already had 4 shaves when I got her, but she was a wiggly monster and hated the sound of my clippers on her face, though she was decent about her feet and stood like a rock for any other grooming. It was also my first time grooming. I found running the (off) clippers over her face and feet helped. Run the off clippers down the face, maybe a few times, then turn on, run down face on exactly the same line. All done! Yay treat! Later, come back and do a different line. If the face is too hard, I would run the vibrating clippers down her back, not shaving just showing that they wont hurt. I also demoed on my legs which seemed to help calm us both. "See, look, I am running the scary thing on me and there is no issue" I would also work on teaching her to stand still on a table as you manipulate her feet and pet her face.
The groomer I took her to for a lesson showed me to briskly shake her paw and how to hold her so she didn't wiggle so much. She also told me to always stop the clipper when the puppy is not wiggling as a 'reward' rather than rewarding the wiggling.
 

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Dogs differ a lot in their sensitivity to touch. What's fine for one may be extremely ticklish to another it seems. Misha is an extremely sensitive dog and grooming can be a struggle with him as well. He is slowly slowly improving but I'm not sure he will ever be great with his front paws being done. He is fine with the back paws. He is okay with face but hates when I do the bridge of his nose. I don't think it's fear. I really think it's uncomfortable for him. Not painful, but I think it tickles. With him we practice just desensitizing to the feel of the clipper. I also use a bravmini on his feet which vibrates much less. I do feet every week but I don't try to get the front feet perfect. I do what I can before he loses patience.

Just wanted to share so you don't get discouraged if she seems to progress slowly with tolerance.
 

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Most puppies are difficult to groom - even those who come from excellent breeders and have been groomed since they were 5 or 6 weeks old! My miniature came from a show kennel and I have many years of experience, but she is still fussy about feet. So have patience and keep working on it. I agree with Raindrops that some are more ticklish than others.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you guys for all your advice. If my memory serves me correctly she’s had at least 3 grooms before coming bone but a will be a puppy so I’ll try my best with her.

Johanna and Raindrops Bella hates her feet being done too. It’s quite ticklish for her, that and around her nose. I find she’s distracted if I let my husband hold her and treat her while I do her feet so that’s how we get those done. At that time she doesn’t seem to mind at all but otherwise she will forever pull her feet away.

Reraven123 I will go look and study that sticky lol thank you.

Forwantofpoodle I will also try that method later on. For now I just keep having the clippers hanging around in our relaxing space so she at least gets accustomed to seeing them.

PTP I hope she can see bella being happy about the clippers and catch on that it’s not so bad too ?. Fingers crossed.
 

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Another thing to think about... watch groomer videos and pay close attention to the holds they use on dogs. I find that simply learning the right ways to handle a dog during grooming can help. Misha has really gotten very good about understanding a muzzle hold means he must be very still. Useful for trimming around the eyes! They must also get used to each leg being held in different positions. And having their lips manipulated. I also use a specific hold for doing the front paws where I hold him against the side of my body facing the opposite direction from me, then reach around, take his front paw, and push it under his belly to my front side. That works really well for minimizing his complaining, though I can't yet achieve it for the opposite paw. I have seen groomers use it for nail clipping. Little things like this can really help with difficult dogs. It's amazing how easy groomers can make it look when they have years of experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well, this happened because MEN. I left my husband to watch Paris and continue her desensitization while I walked Bella. I told him to just keep turning the clippers on and off and keep praising her etc.
Well Paris is a daddy’s girl and I guess she gave him more leeway than she did me. Long story short, she allowed him to shave her face a it and so I had no choice but to continue when we got back.
We did go slowly though. Kept praising and treating her. She’s also way better about her feet than her face at the beginning or maybe she just accepted the whole process.
Although this wasn’t the plan I guess it’s a good outcome. Paris is an angel puppy so I guess it only gets better from here.
I’ll attach the photo my husband sent me while I was walking Bella ? and the end result of me cleaning Paris up. Thanks for all the advice ❤
 

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