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Hi!
While I have regularly groomed my Bouvier, she came to me as at 6 with years of experience being groomed. All my other dogs have never needed clipping... and I have terrible hands and wrists (connective tissue disorder) so I really need to take our new guy to someone.

So we're working on handling our 14 week old Standard. We just got him, from a byb, so he hasn't been groomed. Ears, face, feet, tail, rear etc. I've just introduced the clicker, so we'll add that reinforcement as we start brushing.

I assume he'll also need to stand, lift paws... what else is good to be introduced? Hubby has some clippers I'm going to turn on and move around the pup.

Would it be strange to ask a groomer for me to be present for the first groom do I can reinforce the pup's good behaviour?
 

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I don't think that it would be that unusual to ask a groomer to let you see the grooming. As for grooming socialization, you should also try to work on foot handling, like spreading the toes and playing with the feet.

Hope this helps, there is a lot of good information here to help.
 

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I'm sorry about your hands and wrists giving you pain. I have issues there too and it's a bummer. Along with EVpoodle's good advice, I'll add some things I would do in the meantime. First, yes, I would go ahead and ask the groomer if you can be present regardless of what you want to do with the reinforcing. It's nice to watch and see how your dog is handled until you feel very comfortable with the person. (jmo)

If you have access to or own your own clippers, I'd set the clipper on the floor and turn it on. If your pup shows some interest of it, click/treat. You don't have to load the clicker. Just start using it. Angus will catch right onto that connection. Then if he goes nearer, c/t. See if he'll be all right with you running the clippers (without clipping...just the back side of it) along his shoulder...that is, if he's not fearful up to that point. C/T. Make a fuss and quit for the day. As the next few days go on, you can add to that...doing a little more to associate a really fun attention and extra special treats...VERY short sessions. Of course, all that is if you can do that with your wrist/hand problems. You can ask a groomer to help you gradually condition him...not that you have to have him groomed fully at first. It's imperative to make this a pleasant experience and not stress him out too much. If he's too wiggly, keep in mind to keep those sessions very short so you can end on a good note.

Another thing you can do is have him on a low table (resembling a grooming table) and put his meal bowl there while you simply brush him gently as long as he likes being brushed/stroked. It will help him learn to stay put pretty well while you brush. Again, if it bugs him to do that while he eats, only do a few brush strokes at first and leave it at that.

He'll get onto it. Good luck!
 
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I searched high and low until I found the right groomer for a poodle pup. One of the most highly recommended in our area expected our puppy to stand for a 3-hour groom (minimum!) the first time. That just didn't feel right to me. And many others groom a group at a time, assembly line style, expecting you to drop your puppy off for a half day.

Nope.

Eventually I found someone who starts with one hour and then builds up slowly, one appointment per month, a little longer each time, and will continue to do so for Peggy's first year. And she only works on one dog at a time.

I considered sticking around for the first visit, but ultimately decided Peggy would do better without anxious old me hovering around, and the groomer probably would, too. So instead I asked a TON of questions until I felt comfortable (and the groomer asked a bunch, too, which I appreciated), and then I hung out nearby until she was done.

It went great!

And Peggy looked so proud after. ?
 

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P.S. We also do weekly table work at our puppy classes, where the assistant dresses up in a funny costume and playfully pokes around while the puppies take turns standing for her. Great for building confidence not just at the groomer's but also at the vet's.

And our groomer asked us to turn on our clippers (max. 30 seconds at a time) and just gently touch Peggy with the vibrating handle a couple of times in the week leading up her first appointment. I had my husband feed her treats while I did this to keep it happy and positive.
 

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I was able to watch the first groom of my puppy; the groomer had a nice set-up in her finished garage, only one dog at a time so no waiting. Often I’d find my dog lounging in one of the big fluffy beds when I ‘d return to pick him up. I could have used another visit later, once I knew enough about grooming to be dangerous!

He was hesitant to climb into her large commercial tub, which became necessary as he grew (she couldn’t lift him!). I brought smelly treats and helped to teach him to climb the metal stairs. I don’t know how this could be taught at home. I bathe in a rather low bathtub, and introduced this by smearing peanut butter on the tile wall (suggestion from a friend). I used PB for some time to reward my spoo for entering the tub. It’s not a problem at all any more and he automatically climbs in when he sees that bath preparations have been made.

For grooming at home, I wished that I would have taught my dog at a young age to lie on his side on command, and then transfer that behavior to the grooming table. The blow dry can be lengthy and I have to give him breaks from standing (which is also what the groomer did).

In addition to introducing the trimmer slowly, how about a dremel as well? Start by just touching it to the nails turned off.

I use a happy hoodie to cover the ears when drying, something else that the groomer used. Might want to introduce that sooner, if you want to try it.
 

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Out of necessity, all of my Standards are trained to hop up onto a chair, and then onto the grooming table. This, also, helps at the vet's office. I do have to make sure they do not slide off the steel exam table. There is no way I could regularly lift my boys onto tables, so this solution works well for me. Wilson, just leaps straight up onto the grooming table from the ground, but then, he has springs for legs, ha-ha!
 
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