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The other day, I took my 6 month old puppy, Fred, to Petco to get groomed. I told the groomer to just clean him up a bit and give him a pom on the head and the tail. Fred did good in the bath, he kept giving the groomer kisses, but when she started to cut his hair, Fred bit her on the lip. Luckily, no blood was drawn. She didn't finish the hair cut because she didn't want to traumatize Fred. So my question is this; how do I make grooming less traumatic for my puppy?
 

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If it was me I'd try holding a pair of scissors opening and closing them, as if your cutting something, while he's in the room as it could be the sound he doesn't like. That way if it is , he can get used to the noise and realise they're not anything bad. When he's used to hearing them try pretending to cut him while brushing him, just an odd pretend snip every now and again.
Do this over a couple of weeks every day, see if he's any better when he's used to seeing and hearing them. :)
 

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It's always helpful for groomers if the owner works with the dog on a regular basis...handling their feet and paws, touching them all over their body, having them stand still on a surface, holding their legs up and out one at a time, that sort of thing.
Of course it would have been best if your pup had visited the groomer since the beginning, but for now it will be best to acclimate him slowly.
The fact that he bit and drew blood is scary though, has he ever done that before?
Perhaps it might make sense to go to a less corporate grooming facility, one that is recommended in your area. To be fair to his next groomer, you must disclose that he bit the last groomer so they can take proper precautions.
Best of luck!
 

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Also try to get him acustom to different noises. For instance clippers, they can frighten a dog that isn't used to them. Turn on a set of clippers or even a dremel (used for nail grinding) and place it against his body. We even place our dogs paw on the base of the dremel so they can see it doesn't hurt and get used to the vibration feeling. I agree to also try to pretend or actually trim a little with a pair of scissors. If you see he's getting nervous give treats for him being tolerant but behaving (lots of praise too). If you notice he getting ready to nip then correct him immediently by saying "au au" in a sturn load voice.

I would say that Poodles learn pretty quickly and I think if you really assist the situation now it will resolve sooner then later, Luckily, he is still very young.
 

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Yep what everyone else said :smile: Please be very careful with scissors and clippers though and an unruly puppy. If you can put him up on a sturdy table, and even just brush him, play with ears, feet, look in his mouth that sort of thing it will help too. If you can stretch the budget take him to another smaller grooming shop, where he can get to know the groomer, and take him regularly just for a bath and general tidy up eg. f,f & t.

If you can find someone like Wonderpup that offers a cheaper rate for pups and is prepared to spend some time with him pretty much not getting much done, you will help to set him up for an easier grooming life. And yes please let the next groomer know about his past experience, they need to be prepared in case he goes to bite and they then know how to work with him to overcome any issues.

OK that's my 2cents worth :smile:
 

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I'm curious, did you see the bite happen? I think petco is like petsmart in that they have windows and you can watch right? Did you happen to see it or did the groomer tell you about it after the fact?

See if they can work out a deal for you where you can come in every week or every two weeks for a face, feet, and tail trim to help him get used to the process. You may have to go to a privatly owned shop for this? I'm not sure how old fred is or what Petco's programs are like. Petsmart had a puppy program for puppies five months and younger where it was only 14.99 for FFT. I do a similar thing for my new puppy clients and occasionaly older dogs who are starting the grooming process a bit late or who have had bad experiences in the past. It's 15 dollars a visit and you HAVE to come in at pre-booked times every week or every other week for as long as it takes for the dog to get comfortable enough to be groomed safely. I tell clients that the dogs don't have to love it, but they DO have to put up with it for my safety and theirs.

Most definitly warn a new groomer about Fred's previous behavior. I make a point to ask about the dog's behavior and past grooming experiences in additon to the what kind of hair cut, skin issues, allergies and such. I even have a part of my release form that specificly asks you to disclouse any known behavior issues. It is amazing to me how many people look you right in the face and LIE. Then when the dog bites me they aren't at all surprised. Better to make your dog sound evil and have it turn out to be ok than to say he's great and have some unprepared groomer charge you 100 bucks,(Yeah I've done that), because he was able to score a bad bite that he probably wouldn't have been given the oppertunity to give had I been forwarned and ready.
 
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