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Discussion Starter #1
We have been working on teaching Noodle to handle grooming. And he was getting better. No idea what happened today. The groomer was working at home and was very sweet with him. But he was a terror. Trying to bite and generally being a pain

Sigh.

Back to the drawing board.

We worked with the dryer and the brush for 5 minutes each tonight with success.
 

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If I remember correctly, Noodle's a teenager. Regression isn't unusual. Just keep working in small increments, as you did. Eventually. he'll remember his manners.

Another thought, is there any chance he had a sore place or something which was irritated by the grooming process? At what point in the groom did he start complaining?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
He sat through the beginking of a rough cut with clippers. Then it seemed like he had enough. Neither clipping nor scissoring was acceptable. I ran my hands over his body after he'd calmed down and he doesn't seem to be sore.

We will have to take it slowly, I guess. I hope we can make progress soon. I don't want to self groom but I can't really find a groomer who will groom him in 5 minute increments. He won't win any beauty contests while we are working on things but hopefully one day he will let the pros back at him.
 

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He sat through the beginking of a rough cut with clippers. Then it seemed like he had enough. Neither clipping nor scissoring was acceptable. I ran my hands over his body after he'd calmed down and he doesn't seem to be sore.

We will have to take it slowly, I guess. I hope we can make progress soon. I don't want to self groom but I can't really find a groomer who will groom him in 5 minute increments. He won't win any beauty contests while we are working on things but hopefully one day he will let the pros back at him.
Don't give up on finding the right groomer. I know it's hard.

I spoke with multiple groomers, all of whom came highly recommended, and only one showed any interest in dog behaviour/willingness to work as slowly as necessary. She sees each session as an investment in future groomings, and will take "energy breaks" with Peggy, where she lets her off the table to blow off a little puppy steam and then it's right back to work. So far it's working well and I deeply admire her willingness to adapt to each dogs's needs in an industry that sometimes takes more of an assembly line approach.

Don't give up!
 

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Here's what I'm back and forth on.

This groomer was happy to give him breaks but he wasn't any more willing to keep going after a break. I don't know if I should be pushing through it and working with him between professional grooming sessions or just putting the whole thing on ice while I just work with him in really miniscule increments.

I think the latter (though it is way more work) sounds like what makes more sense to me but I'm not sure.
 

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Did your groomer give you any suggestions to help? One thing you can do is use something that vibrates against the body. Clippers without blades or electric toothbrushes are both good options that won’t damage a nicely groom hair cut. Using lots of treats you can slowly help desensitize so hopefully he will be happier to cooperate.
 

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I think if you're getting 5 good minutes, as you said in your original post, you're doing great. You can accomplish a lot with 5 minutes a day, adding a minute or less every few sessions.

We started in 30 second increments at our groomer's recommendation, and did that for a couple of weeks leading up to her first appointment, and we tap or rub her nails every day while we're relaxing in front of the TV, inspect her ears, rub our hands or a brush over her, etc., always keeping it short and positive.

Pushing past their threshold does you no favours in the long run. You'll likely make faster progress moving extremely slowly, because you'll avoid setbacks.

How old is Noodle? Peggy was groomed only once before she came to us at almost 9 weeks, and is now groomed every 4 weeks, with each appointment building on the previous appointment's progress. We kept her puppy fluff until 6.5 months, with only face, feet, and sanitary area shaved until that point.

We've never pushed her because it's important to us and her groomer that she be comfortable with this process that will be such a big part of her life.
 

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I reached out the groomer to see if she’d be amenable to stopping by more frequently for mini sessions. I hope she says yes.

Noodle is 6 months and is full on in the fear period so I’m sure that has a lot to do with it. Thanks for all the encouragement.
 

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I'd recommend doing it yourself, at least to get him trained. Then if you want to use a groomer, he'll be cooperative.

For training, remember to break difficult things down into baby steps. If he starts getting antsy after 5 minutes, quit on a happy note after say...3 minutes. Be sure to include good treats. In fact, you can do some things while he eats his dinner on the table. Let that food distract him a little bit while making a good association with grooming. Don't push him up to his tolerance level. Stop before he's apt to get fidgety. Lots of praise for small successes.

Over a little time, you can add a minute, then another etc. You don't need to groom him all at once. This can be broken into 2 or 3 minute sessions several times a day. The idea is to prevent him from practicing that moving around, obnoxious behavior and find out how wonderful it is to hold still and let you groom him. Don't do anything too dangerous if he's too antsy.

Sometimes a good walk before to make him a little tired first might help. So just add a little pressure gradually, rewarding when he's doing well, making him forget he ever moved around while you were grooming because he will no longer be doing that since you'll stop prior. Lots of happy times, including dinner on the table while you groom.

He'll get the idea.
 
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I reached out the groomer to see if she’d be amenable to stopping by more frequently for mini sessions. I hope she says yes.

Noodle is 6 months and is full on in the fear period so I’m sure that has a lot to do with it. Thanks for all the encouragement.
Aw. Just a baby and not too far behind Peggy. Poodlebeguiled is the master of excellent advice, so please do listen to her more than me :)

But......I'm a terrible groomer. I groomed my senior for her last few years, after she came home from an appointment with a bad limp. (I wish I had found my current groomer sooner!)

Anyway, I did my best but my best was very bad. And it was hard on Gracie because I was so very slow and cautious. Sometimes a more confident, less emotionally invested hand is better.

Only you can know if you're the best groomer for Noodle right now. All the practice we did with Peggy was either faked (using just the back of the clippers so she could feel the vibrations) or limited to brushing.
 
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