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Discussion Starter #1
I've got a 9 month old Min Poodle who had an incident with the groomer this week.

He's always been a bit bolshy about touching, especially belly and legs, so I work, work, work on that, and he isn't allowed to even mutter at me when I touch him, regardless of how private he thinks the area is. He is brushed regularly (2-3 times per week) and we use treats to make it fun.

All that said, he snapped at the groomer this week when she was doing his feet. She's fantastic, and needless to say he got extra attention to his feet!

So now he's on a regime of constant feet touching, poking, holding, etc. with no tolerance for even trying to snatch a foot back.

Anyone have creative ideas for super-proofing him for the groomer? She's great, and I don't want to risk our relationship! Do I need to invest in my own clippers just to work on this issue?
 

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When you say you've been working with him about being touchy about his belly and feet, what, exactly, have you been doing in your attempt to get him to be more tolerant/receptive?

He's already 9 months old, and now there's been an incident with the groomer, so it doesn't appear that he's getting better about being touched. How often is he groomed? (I shave FF&T every week, clip/scissor the rest every 4 wks. All 3 of mine take a nap on the grooming table!)

I use desensitization and counter conditioning when I'm fostering a dog who has issues with grooming; some respond quickly, others take more time. My puppy (Lucia) was actually a little foot touchy, so I used massage to relax her, and just touched the bottom of her feet without grasping the foot, eventually massaging between toes/pads. She enjoys this very much. When I shave her feet, I hold the foot loosely, as she does not like a firm hold (Maddy prefers being held firmly, and Beau doesn't care - he just loves being touched)!

There's a kikopup video on this very subject. I'll see if I can find it for you.

The main thing is not to force the issue, as this will make the problem worse.

Here you go:

This one is actually with a min poodle who doesn't like his face touched:

http://www.youtube.com/user/kikopup#p/c/F09632A4A4BD3DDC


And here's for touchy feet:

http://www.youtube.com/user/kikopup#p/c/F09632A4A4BD3DDC/6/LHgBvnQ71ss
 

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Since your groomer see's him personally and the way he acts, you should explain to her you want a good relationship with her and want your dog to have a good relationship with her, and ask her to show you personally some things you can do with him to get him out of that.

I'm sure she will be thrilled to hear that you want to change his behavior for her.

I wish more people cared about how their dogs act on the table. We tell them play with their feet and ears often as puppies, and brush them often, all to get them use to handling and brushing, and of course they never do....
 

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Discussion Starter #5
grooming

I will now be spending untold hours watching kikopup... what great videos!

The groomer has been super from day 1. She did his first clip at 16 weeks, and does him about every 6 weeks. At her suggestion, we've been doing lots of body handling since his first session, and he's pretty good. I hadn't focused on the feet, as his most sensitive area is belly and scrotum, so we concentrated on that until now. I randomly, in the middle of things (including his dinner) touch him all over, inspect his belly, poke, pat, tickle, whatever, and he gets a treat for not objecting. He's always been fine with his feet for me, I do his nails about once a week (taking teeny slivers off :)), so I can already hold his foot, pinch his toes, whatever. I may have to enlist strangers in the park to handle his feet and give him a treat!
 

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I'm not saying this is the case, but SOME TIMES, a blade can pull the hairs if they are the tiniest bit dull or they can get a bit warm, both of these things can be uncomfortable for a dog and they can react.

If he's been good in the past for his feet, you might look into these cases as a possibility for his "bad" behavior.

If your sure it's him and not a procedure, perhaps you could take him in every 3 weeks for bath, feet, face, and sani, then on the sixth week, have him completely groomed. This would get him past his "teenager rebellion" stage :)
 

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IA with Cameo. Taking him more often until he gets used to it is good advice. I have 2 spoos that I have done since puppy hood. They came weekly at first, even if it was just for me to put them on the table and touch them everywhere. They usually ended up getting a bath or FFT every 2 weeks. They are now 4 & 2 yrs and wonderful. One even comes in and goes straight to my table and puts his front feet up he knows the routine so well. I give a discount to my customers that come that often also. Because they came so often, the owners and I were able to work together to get thru their individual sensitive areas.
 

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See, dogs go thru stages and at your pup's age, he's in his rebellious stage. he's gonna flex his muscles and see what he can get away with that he otherwise never attempted. A lot of times at this stage, you have to double up on training efforts so they dont' get an independant streak down their trouble-makin' backs, lol.

Honestly though, I think this is PART of the problem, but still feel that it could possibly be part of the grooming itself that is triggering his protest's.
 

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I think the key is how your groomer reacts. How she handles his little rebellions will make the difference as to how they progress (or hopefully not progress). I have always found the best reaction is almost no reaction, just ignore the bad behaviour, CALMLY continue with whatever you are trying to accomplish with just a calm 'no' and push their mouth away (when they are getting mouthy). Eventually they give up when they realize the struggling isn't getting them anywhere. But the groomer has to stay absolutely calm. The best tool I have found for helping with this is the Groomers Helper. It keeps the dog facing forward, in one postion and stops him spinning around which only adds to the 'tug-a-war', and doesn't give him the opportunity to get his face close to the groomer's hands. That's just what I have found.
 
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