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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!

Hi, I lurk here :) I've had people who come in to either sensitize or desensitize their dogs to the grooming area. What has helped some is having the owner bring the dog in, have a seat and we chat--not only do I get a feel for what they're wanting done as far as grooming goes, but the dog can "not be the center of attention" and hear, smell and see the things of the grooming room and get braver at their own pace. I wouldn't make a big deal of "making" your dog meet the groomer right off the bat, letting them move at their own pace can do wonders if the patience is there. If you wanted the groomer to walk your dog, or spend extra time with her, there might be a nominal charge but it sounds like that wouldn't be an issue for you.
I hope I'm not too late replying to this thread.
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