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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I haven't had time since moving to find a new groomer so I've been taking care of it myself (poorly, I'm sure, although the tips I've picked up here have helped :)). My question for groomers: I have a fearful dog who takes a while to warm up to new places and people. It's difficult even getting her to enter a new building if it has glass doors, which 100% of the grooming shops I've checked out have.

So knowing she's a handful, would you agree to the following:

- Allow me to come to your shop as many times as it takes to first get her going into and out of the building without fear and then hanging out inside calmly. I wouldn't want to disrupt your business but on the other hand, I have to take this slowly since I don't want to flood my dog and create a bad association before we've even made it through the door.

-Spend time getting to know her, play with her, walk her. Basically getting her to trust you before you try any grooming. Maybe she visits you 4-6 times and you spend an hour with her each time. Then you start working up to just brushing, then brushing + bathing, then add ear clean, then nail trim. I would pay for a full groom each time, whether she walks out of there groomed or not. And I'd be willing to do it daily if I have to for however long it takes for her to get comfortable. Bathing would be no more than monthly, though.

- Here's the hard one: I would like to drop my dog off, have her worked on, and then I would like to pick her up as soon as she's done. I don't want her sitting around in a cage - she had a bad experience when she was a pup, which I think is part of the reason she hates glass doors and grooming by strangers in general (she's ok with me).

WDYT? Does this sound totally whacko? Any other suggestions? My goal is to have her going to a professional groomer once a month again, but I have to get over this big fear obstacle and don't know how to do it without enlisting the groomer's help with a serious course of desensitization. She learned to like her groomer at the last place we used, but that was because it was also her daycare and the groomer took the time to get to know her, play with her, etc. before he tried to groom her. And it was a place she was already comfortable.

Thanks for your input. I just want my girl to look this pretty again!


 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's good to know there are groomers out there who will help deal with this - thanks. I agree on the daycare, although I have to be careful about which one she goes to. They have to know how to deal with a fearful dog, only use positive methods, have a large yard with a high enough wall that my girl can't jump it (that is still under debate!), be cage free, have the right staff to dog ratio, blah, blah. We've tried enough of them to know how to spot a good one. Unfortunately, the only good one around here is one that doesn't offer grooming. So I'm searching for a groomer who will really listen (when they dismiss my concerns and patronize me as if I know less than a rock about dogs, I walk out!).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks, GG. I was hoping you would say that about being willing. My vet has recommended a groomer to us I think I'll try. She and her husband have worked in rescue for years, so I think she should be used to dealing with fearful dogs. And they make appts for grooming vs. having the dogs there all day, which would be a big help for us. I like your suggestion for doing it early or late in the day, too. I just wasn't sure if this would sound like a really unreasonable situation to ask someone to deal with. But, don't ask, don't get, right? :)

Interesting about Jiggy. Wonder if it's genetic - seems to be with Poca. Or at least I think she was predisposed to be skittish and we must have done something when she was young to enhance it. Don't know. We just take each situation as it comes and deal with it. The vet thing kind of makes me mad. She used to be fine at the vet - she would act like she was going to daycare, which she loves. Then the vet hit a nerve while giving her a shot and that was the end of the good times at the vet. :( Oh well. If it hadn't been for the shot, something else probably would have set her off at some point. We love her though, although I would like there to be a little less dirt and doggy smell in the equation!
 
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