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612551 tn?1450022175

Calm a dog during grooming

I am working with a mixed breed Westie (maybe miniature poodle mix, not much shedding) at a shelter and have managed to get her to where we can take her to adoption shows, she will not nip when a stranger reached down to touch her head and ears.

She needs another grooming and I will suggest to the shelter I go along to calm her if that is a problem.  They had her groomed several months back and cut her real short.  It may be they anesthetized her (is that possible) and cut short so it would last longer.  She is cute with a fuller coat, a buzz cut makes her unattractive in my eye.

I am working to get her adopted and will put in the time to go the groomer with her if that seems like a reasonable way to calm her.  Of course, the shelter has to approve and they are very concerned about law suits even for volunteers it seems.  They would not want me to get a dog bite.
4 Responses
441382 tn?1452810569
Hi Jerry!
Most groomers (or should I say GOOD groomers) that I know NEVER anesthetize a dog to groom them because they cannot, without a veterinary license, totally knock a dog out since there is always the possibility of an adverse event with general anesthesia.  The most they would be able to do is to mildly sedate them (give them a small dose of acepromazine or something similar) to keep them calm, HOWEVER that usually backfires because a dog that is fractious about being groomed is PROBABLY not going to calm down with a small dose of a tranquilizer and they are now going to fight the tranquilizer as well as the grooming.   A dog can feel itself losing control when dosed with a tranquilizer and will struggle to maintain that control, so now they are struggling to maintain their control AND struggling to fight the grooming.  When I worked as a shampoo girl (back when we rode dinosaurs to school) the most we would do would be to make a muzzle out of a strip of gauze and wrap it around the dog's muzzle twice, then criss-cross it under the jaw and bring it up and tie it in a bow behind their ears.  It worked amazingly well, it never hurt any of them and it was very easy to undo when we were finished grooming them.

Actually, in my experience both with grooming AND with being a vet tech for almost 20 years, having you there would probably make the situation worse instead of better.  A dog that is difficult to work with is often worse when its person of choice is there because it feels like if it cuts up enough, that person will come and "rescue" it and get it out of Dodge.  If you are not there, they will probably just put a soft muzzle on her and give her a haircut.  Since you don't like the dog in a short shaved style, ask if they can use, say a one inch comb on the clipper so that it doesn't take the hair right down to the skin, it will leave it about an inch long so there's a certain amount of "fluff" to the dog's appearance.

I do think, though, that it would be more detrimental to the situation if you were there.  And if you start off with you in the room and then leave if it looks like she isn't going to behave with you there, it might be too late to correct that by you leaving because then she's going to know that you're there even though she can't see you.  The other thing, Jerry, is that I honestly don't know if their insurance will allow you to be in the grooming area while they are working.  It may be different from place to place depending on what policy they have or who they have it through, but I know that the place that I worked in didn't allow dog owners into the back where the grooming took place at all.  It was small anyway and they would have been in the way, but there were three groomers and a shampooer working back there, usually with four dogs either on tables or in the tub at all times, so there's also the safety consideration of if you get too close to a table with a dog that doesn't know you or that gets nervous with a stranger closeby you could get bitten, so insurance may enter into it as well.  You'd be amazed, many dogs that are considered to be "mean" look at their groomer like a member of their family and they WILL behave quite well for them, but let someone they have never seen get close to them and you never know what will happen.

Let us know how you make out with this, and I'd LOVE to see a picture of the little girl!  :D


612551 tn?1450022175
Good to see you are still active here with your very useful and expert advice.  I am convinced and will just try to get some input to how short they go.  Being a shelter, I suppose the grooming is expected to last as long as possible, i.e., prevent hair nests/matts, not too much attention given to the looks.  I know the shelter pays for vet and groomer, but suppose there is some "consideration" on the cost, and it is a volume business relationship. The shelter in fact has a low cost (may require income limits) neutering clinic.  They also have their dogs treated there by vets, but I think that part is not open to the public.  

Law suit concern is at the top of the list for the shelter executive and founder.  a woman who has at least 10 dogs at home that belong to the shelter and she decided to take them home for more home-like care. Some have obvious "defects" and wouldn't likely be adopted anyway.  As it is a no-kill shelter some dogs are there in hospice even when they have years left in their lives.  

My Lola is in this last category and that and the fact she is part Westie (my wife's last dog) I decided to work with her.  In the beginning I was not supposed to show her for fear she would bite. That is now behind us, but grooming may be another matter, she may fight back.

I am still in a struggle I think we discussed just about a year ago, but am trying to get back here on occasion and usually need the good advice and help.  I can add a picture of Lola to my picture gallery.  There are other dogs I have worked with over the past year and three of them have been adopted.  On a very cute Pomeranian.  He went fast, had costly teeth problems and I think the owner couldn't afford to fix it so turned the dog over to the shelter... which did the necessary work.  The dog appears to have been loved, I hope the owners were told a home was found (or conversely it would have been nice in the case I describe to have offered the dog back to the original owners - such matters are not discussed with the volunteers).
Hi Jerry!  Good to see you here.  That is wonderful that you are working with the Shelter.  You still have Jasper, was his name?  Agree with Ghilly on the grooming issue.  It is usually better if the owner isn't around.  When I had my Shelties, I used to bath and groom for a few that had bought pups from me.  It was much easier for me to do the dogs if the owners were not here.  LOL!  
612551 tn?1450022175
Hi happy to see you're still busy here helping dogs and owners.

Went to shelter yesterday to see Lola, and when I returned her to the staff person I said I think one could just cut two big mats on the top of her head with just a pair of scissors.  He took a pair from the table and "snip snip" they were gone.  I also told him I'd like to see Lola get a grooming before the April adoption show.  Suggested using a 1" or more trimmer guard so she'd  not look skinned. We'll see. Her coat is nice/pretty but needs grooming cuts a couple times a year to look its best.

I will try to "sell" fostering to people who like Lola but are reluctant to adopt.  We have the same high qualification standards for adoption and fostering, and I will suggest applying for approval so if they decide to go, they're ready to go.  No dogs are released before a background check is made by a volunteer working that issue for the shelter... she's an expert, and the shelter can be too tough sometimes, I think. .
974371 tn?1424653129
Hi Jerry!
Haven't been around too much. Really do not like the new Forum make over and just bedn busy.

Oh, she still has matts?  If they are bad, they usually have to be shaved diwn pretty short if they can't be combed out.  The littke rescue I have here now was found full of matts down to the skin and full of ticks and fleas. He had to be shaved completely down but looks great now and he gets groomed every few weeks and I brush and comb inbetewen.  Convince them, if I am understanding correctly, that Lola will be more likely to get into a home if she looks her best and remind them that is the goal.

Glad they have high standards.  I assume you mean they do a home visit first?  When I helped with rescue, we always did home checks too.

Hope Lola gets a home!! Good job!
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