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Discussion Starter #1
I don’t know if he does this for the groome, (she didn’t mention it if he did), but I just tried combing the hair on his head and ears. The very lightest touch was tolerated, while a little bit of pressure to get through the hair in his ears produced a shriek. I don’t know if it hurts, if it scares him or if he just doesn’t want me doing it. Should I maybe use a bristle brush to start? His hair is not matted, and went through the top of his head very easily. But his ears required just a small bit of pulling to get through. I tried holding the hair above the con. So as not to pull on the ear itself, but that didn’t work either.

He’s 12 and may not have ever been combed/brushed by his owner. His body hair is still only about 1/2”+ a tad, and is not matting anywhere. It’ll still be a while before he gets groomed again. I guess I could take him in for the bath and brush though as he hated the bath last time.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. He does trust me to an extent, but have only had him a little more than 2 months and he is just now really starting to come out of his shell.

Thanks all! ( he’s a tiny yorkie poo).
 

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I would take him to a groomer to see what they think, let them brush him for a while if he’s not in pain and then take it from there. It will allow you to build confidence.
 

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My advice:

Forget about a comb. Get a really soft slicker brush (plastic prongs with plastic ball tips from Petco or Petsmart that you can test out to make sure is SOFT) and just massage his body ever so gently with it. Just a few tiny strokes. Give him a treat. Next day, do a little more, and so on. Stay on body before working up to ears/head/legs/tail. My Maltese is 12 also and I don't want to put her through grooming, but she LOVES being brushed because I make it like a spa experience. Any mats get clipped out. Absolutely no trying to brush them out (same with spoos).

Oscar would thank me for this :)
 

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What does Oscar not like about the bath? Is the water the right temp? Make sure it's not too hot or too cold--it should be cooler than our shower water, the same temp for a child's bath.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I actually have a soft slicker brush without the wire pins. I will try to do that. I think a good time is when he’s on the chair with me just chilling out.

He doesn’t have any mats, I was just wanting to get his head and ears looking a little more kempt. But massaging his body with it is a great idea!

I really don’t know why he didn’t like the bath. It may have been being sprayed with the water itself. In the last 10 days before he was found as a stray, it poured every single day and for a while off and on. There were also horrible thunderstorms. He had so much mud on him, matted in his coat, he lost almost 3/4 of a pound just from that. I might try washing him in my sink to see how he does there where it’s more closed in rather than a tub.
 

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I'd break things down to the smallest representation of your final goal that you can within reason. I'd get him use to touching his ears and messing with them with just your hands, feeding treats while you do, making it a game of some sort. Then when he's getting okay with that, use a very soft brush, like a baby brush or boar bristle brush on his head, outer ears even if it's not effective in getting any tangles out. Just get him okay with a very gentle, short session with lots of reward.

As far as the bath, if he's frightened by the water, start ankle deep in the sink and use a wash rag. 3 minutes and that's it. Out, towel dry, make a fuss, give a very special treat. Later in the day or the next day repeat, using a little deeper water and so on. Just move ahead gradually and make it all short and pleasant. He'll get onto it.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
I played with my finger on his head, neck and ears. He was absolutely fine with that and was not in pain on his ear as I played with it to make sure. So I got him a baby brush with soft goat hair. He has no problem with this at all! He kept his head nice and still while I was brushing his head and ears and had no qualms with it. I guess I’ll continue with this for a little while, maybe putting more pressure on it, especially on his ears. Maybe next I’ll try a regular dog bristle brush? But it’s bigger and I don’t know if I should stay with the smaller baby sized brushes.

The goat hair brush does absolutely nothing as far as separating the hair to brush it out, but if I put pressure on it, it smooths it out which makes him look better. His hair is super silky, non shedding, and doesn’t tend to mat. So maybe I don’t even need to comb him? What do you think? He’s so tiny I’m afraid maybe a metal comb may be too heavy to not be uncomfortable for him. He’s a pretty wussy baby lol.

Thanks for the suggestions, they seem to be working well. He’ll have to go back to the groomer in a couple of months and I’d like him to be better prepared for it. I’m sure with all his dried on mud and down-to-skin matted coat when I got him, the experience was less than calm and pleasant, though I knew the groomer took great care with him. She didn’t know that after I left, I came back in the store and watched for a little while through the window. She took time to let him get used to her, and her hands moving over his body. It was really very sweet!
 

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You can always try an ACE plastic comb I used that on my elderly cats, it was easier on those old bones
 

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Yes, I'd try to comb him or use a brush with plastic tines or even a slicker brush now if he's not showing that he has trouble with it...just gently and carefully, don't scrape his skin too hard, giving treats along the way...get him use to different kinds of brushes. You don't want him to get matted so a little short session a few times a day might help to make sure he doesn't get tangles. And yet won't hurt him or make him stressed. Make it all really pleasant and cheerful so he associates the whole thing with a fun time full of tiny treats. If he balks at anything, just shorten the time you spend to just a few strokes. In other words, go back to where he was fine and work up again. It's awesome that he's already showing that he's okay with that what you're doing. Now it's time to add a teensy bit more pressure on him. When you add something new, some new criteria, back off on another criteria, like shorter sessions, fewer strokes. Make something else milder or easier while you add something you think he might not go for. You'll know when he shows you. Maybe he'll surprise you and be just fine with anything you do as long as it's gentle.
 
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Discussion Starter #13
He does seem really easy going about it now. He wasn’t even stressed about me using the new brush on him the first time. Had his head laying down and everything.

I wish I could give him treats when he does well, but he doesn’t eat treats. He has a hard time taking food from my hand because of the length of his snout. The top is about an inch extend past his lower jaw. If I put a treat down in front of him he simply turns away. He just has no interest in them. But I think a few well placed kisses from mama on his head and ears would go a long way .

Thanks for the advice. I do have a pin brush with plastic tips on the end. I might give that a short try and see how he does. I think maybe I should use it on his body first and then make the progression up to his neck and head and ears? I want him to see it won’t hurt him.
 

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Well, treats are just something most dogs love. The main thing is that you associate this with something he does love. So a little game or whatever...

I would be careful with the pin brush with the little nubs on the end. Sometimes those tend to catch if there's the slightest little tangle. Maybe his hair is short enough that it won't matter. I remember when I was showing Matisse, his breeder/co-owner chastised me for using such a thing...said it would damage his coat...cause breakage. So I got a metal pin brush without those tips. But you can try and see how it does. Good luck! It sounds like he's very trusting of you and he may not be difficult at all. Awesome little Oscar!:angel:
 
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