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Hi: When I pick up the hairbrush and walk toward Levi, he runs away, wagging his tail like we're playing a game. His hair is a mess. What do I do?
Jack
 

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If his hair is a mess, meaning matted, best to take him to a groomer and have him shaved down. Trying to brush out mats is painful for dogs and you won't create a good grooming experience by starting out with mats. After a shavedown you can start fresh and keep him mat free as the hair grows back in.

If his hair is not actually a mess but just needs a little brushing, I would use a raised surface. Place him on a table or other high surface like a freezer or washing machine. Teach him that grooming happens at this location and he must get used to it. Be very gentle and sweet talk him and give him treats for good behavior.
 

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...I would use a raised surface. Place him on a table or other high surface like a freezer or washing machine. Teach him that grooming happens at this location and he must get used to it. Be very gentle and sweet talk him and give him treats for good behavior.
I agree with the raised surface. I couldn’t believe what a difference it made for Beau. He used to want to make it a game when I tried brushing him on the floor and he would be really squirmy. Now at 6 mo old, on the counter he does really well and maybe even enjoys it. He stands and waits for me to lift him up there. I just put a Rubbermaid dish mat down so he doesn’t slide around. Maybe someday a grooming table.
 

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Good answers. Do put a nonslip surface down such as a bath mat, large towel or textured surface.
Have some good treats handy to feed him as you work. Make being up and getting brushed a happy place.

I joke with my dogs that grooming and brushing them is expensive 😆 because of all the treats I feed them.

Be careful to watch that he doesn’t fall or slip if he’s not savvy about staying in one place. If you have help to hold him gently that’s best.
 
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I'm not sure of your set up or how heavy Levi is. You could try ontop of your crate. If you need another creative option here's what I did - I have a 1/16th piece of plywood ontop with a yoga mat for comfort.

An elevated surface is a game changer.

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