|Just lying around like a dust bunny!|
It has been 6 weeks since Coco first came to us. She was freshly clipped on her arrival and already her fur is getting long. At 15 weeks it is none to early to for me to start preparing Coco for her next grooming. I have been brushing her fur every few days without any problem. And I have clipped the fur near her eyes at least once. But it is the clipper which will be the hardest thing for Coco to get use to. I do want her next grooming to be as stress free as possible..
|Initially Coco is very nervous with the clipper.|
Yesterday was the first day I got out the clippers. I had some freeze dried liver treats on hand since they are hard enough for me to grasp hold of, and will last for several minutes of nibbling. While letting Coco nibbles on the Liver, I turned on the electric clipper. Coco was noticeably concerned, and started to back away from the treat.
I coaxed her as close as I could and continued to run the clipper. I let her nibble for 2-3 minutes while I turned the clipper on and off, and to the first and second setting. As long as Coco had a good eye on the clipper and it was well in front of her, she was OK nibbling on the treat.
|While nibbling on liver treats noisy clippers don't seem so bad.|
After several minutes I pulled Coco onto my lap and brought the clipper even closer. Being on my lap seemed to give Coco some renewed confidence. I ran the clipper again for another 2-3 minutes until Coco seemed to quite relaxed.
|Clippers are nothing to worry about.|
Later on that afternoon, I walked over to Coco in her crate, and turned the clippers on and off a few times. She sat down eagerly and licked her lips. She must have been thinking of that liver treat again! Now how easy was that to build up a positive association with a clipper!
I will continue this exercise for a few more days and ever so often, until I am confident that Coco will allow me to groom her without too much protest. I want to really fix in her mind a positive association with the sound of the clipper.
In future sessions I will also start holding her in place, stroking her back, her legs, her ears and her head. Just the same as if I was actually grooming her. It isn't difficult to teach a puppy to be happy with the grooming process. It just takes a few minutes of preparation while the puppy is young.
|Beauty is worth the effort!|
Whether you plan to clip your dog yourself or use a groomer you should not ignore this training exercise. If you don't have a clipper use a blow dryer and other noisy electrical appliances around your puppy.
People who do not take the time to accustom their puppies to noisy motors and the grooming process can set themselves up for an expensive and potentially dangerous problem. Dogs who freak out at the groomers, often have to be taken to a Veterinary groomer for sedation. This is an expensive problem and not without risks. Just remember that clipping a Schnauzer/Schnoodle/Poodle is absolutely necessary. Even if your puppy has a sparse coat and can get away without a clipping his first year....he/she will need it eventually and as you see, it is much easier and less time consuming to teach them while they are young, then to deal with a fear issue later on.
NOTE: The treats I used are called "Tale Mix -- Freeze Dried Liver" I purchased them in the Dog Treat section of our Giant Store. I keep them especially for holding a puppy still during grooming....I don't use them for everyday because they are rather expensive.