By Mitzi Parrish
This is just a sample chapter of the “New Golden Paws Complete Guide to Dog Grooming”. A new innovative book proven successful for close to 4 decades of teaching pet styling. Check out www.goldenpaws.com for all the rest of the chapter descriptions and available DVD’s. Golden Paws now gives you the power of choice whether you attend one of our nationwide schools or want to learn from the best Long Distance Learning Program available! Even if you are a professional pet stylist, you can learn to improve your styling skills.
This Sample Chapter is just a small part of this truly informative book along with DVD’s to learn great styling skills.
Sample Behavioral Problems & Solutions
There are different types of behavioral problems you may encounter when you are grooming the dogs. The information in this section will explain the problems, the reasons why, and what to do when a problem occurs. You will need to determine what the reason may be behind the bad behavior before you can try to correct the problem.
The main reason for most behavior problems is broken trust. You have to gain the dog’s trust and sometimes you will not be able to do that. It will depend on the dog. If you cannot find a reason for the pet’s resistance, then it may be the pet has learned that being somewhat dramatic at home gets the results he wants and he is now trying it with you. If this is the case you will have to establish your Alpha position and maintain it with the pet. If the pet continues to resist you in a strong manner, then you may have to call the owner and see if there might be another reason for his behavior other than the ones listed. There are 12 situations listed and the proper handling for these situations will follow.
INCORRECT HANDLING POSITION
TEASED AND TAUNTED
FIRST TIME GROOM
PREVIOUS BAD GROOMING EXPERIENCE
Most dogs will behave like little angels. They want to please you as long as they clearly understand what you want them to do. There will be some behavioral problems you may encounter with the dogs for various reasons. Listed below are some of the reasons dogs may misbehave.
The dog does respond to your emotions. It is important to stay connected to the dog by being emotionally aware of his feelings at all times during his grooming. If you become distracted or preoccupied to the point where there is no emotional connection to him, he will sense the connection has been broken. He will begin to feel confused and insecure because he is not getting a clear message of what to do. Then he will begin to misbehave or resist you in some manner. You can talk and do other things as long as you continue to stay aware of him. You have to keep this emotional link between the two of you to keep the constant communication so you can continue to anticipate his feelings and he yours. It is your responsibility to open up this type of communication with the dog by making the emotional contact with him on a personal level. You can do this by tapping into the love feelings of your pet and then by attaching that emotion to him and treating him as your personal pet. Maintain that awareness by staying aware and connected to him.
2) INCORRECT HANDLING
The program’s handling techniques are safe. When you use them correctly most dogs will not resist them. Sometimes a dog may have a painful condition or his weight and size can cause him to resist you. In this case, you may have to modify the control position or you may not be able to use some of them. After checking to make sure you are exercising the control positions correctly and the dog is not in pain, if he is still resisting you may need assistance. If none of these suggestions have worked and you feel you cannot safely groom the dog or that particular part then you may have to leave the part un-groomed or send the dog home. Make sure there is a true problem because some dogs are great actors and they know how to act to get you to stop, but most of the time if they are “acting” they will act up on other parts too.
3) ALPHA DOG
This is a case when your position as an Alpha dog is being challenged by another true Alpha dog. A true Alpha dog will cooperate with you to a point. He will decide what he is willing to let you do. As long as he is cooperating with you, go ahead and groom any and all parts he will let you do. In cases where the Alpha dog is showing signs of aggression (even after being muzzled), it is better not to force the issue. Because of his behavior you may be able to groom only what you can instead of grooming the way you would like to. A true Alpha dog will not give up and it is not worth the fight when it endangers the dog or you. When a true Alpha dog is challenged by another Alpha dog they will fight until one is unable to fight anymore. This is not what you want to do and you do not need to put yourself or the dog through this type of experience. Remember, you became a groomer to enjoy it and to make the dog beautiful. A true Alpha dog is to be respected just like you need to be respected. With both of you respecting each other’s position, there will be boundaries for both of you and these boundaries do not need to be challenged by either of you. If they are the dog can get aggressive and even if you muzzle him he can injure himself if he fights too hard and overexerts himself. Always put safety first for you and the dog. It is OK to send the dog home before a bad experience can happen. Not all Alpha dogs will enforce their positions. Most Alpha dogs are highly intelligent and will understand they need to cooperate with you. Also, they understand you are not there to challenge their position unless they challenge yours. Alpha dogs are to be respected for their position and their intelligence, and they are usually sweet and loving dogs.
Well I hate to leave it at this. I will continue this subject next month in “Behavioral Problems & Solutions Part 2”
Until then take care and enjoy!