This is the aptly named Shaggy.
Shaggy was fired from his long time groomer because she felt Shaggy had become dangerous. And I applaud her decision. As groomers, I think we sometimes forget that we can refuse service. Shaggy was beyond her control and she recognized it. Instead of performing a service poorly, this groomer chose to focus on her strengths.
One of my strong suits is turning around problem pets. The owner informed me that Shaggy was most problematic with his nails. He is arthritic and an all around grumpy old man.
I decided to save Shaggy's nails for last in the hopes that I wouldn't start out the groom riling him up. He needed to be muzzled and fought the entire groom. It felt like Shaggy knew his nails were coming and was on heightened alert the entire time. I used very tasty treats and calming music to no avail with him.
Lets try the nails first and get them over with. That worked even less then the first groom. He was totally unreasonable afterwards and I was just plan tired. It took me longer to do his nails than the rest of the entire grooming session.
I need help with the nails. I had Shaggy's owner help me with the nails in my mobile grooming van. Plan C wasn't working very well either.
I need to find some neutral ground with this dog. That's when it hit me. The original groomer was house call and was working inside the home on Shaggy's turf. The inside of my grooming van is my turf. Neither was neutral ground.
I instructed Shaggy's owner to wait outside the van and I would clip Shaggy's nails before he entered my van. And
Winner Winner Chicken Dinner
Shaggy was wonderful (ish) for the rest of the groom. He is still a grumpy old man.
It took four attempts to find a solution that worked within Shaggy's parameters. There is a fine line between not giving up and recognizing when you should.