Thursday, June 17, 2010

DIY dog grooming. My dog is kinda mean, so I am being forced to do it myself?

I have a 6 year old male Shih Tzu. Everytime he goes to the groomer he gets scared and he growls and snaps. I had a groomer before that could deal with him, but I have since moved out of state. I have tried every groomer in the area where I live now, they either wont groom him at all or they call me in mid groom and say "Come get him, I cant work with this dog." Or they charge me about 100$ over the normal price because they said he acted bad and took up to much of their time. So I have been forced to face the fact I am going to have to do this myself. I bought a dog grooming kit with shears, brushes and clippers. But I am confused about something, do I shave the dog before the bath? Or do I give him a bath, dry him then shave him? Or should I bathe him then shave while his hair is still wet? And please dont tell me this breed does not need to be shaved, I know that, but he just isnt happy when his hair is long. Any info and tips will help alot, thanks!

DIY dog grooming. My dog is kinda mean, so I am being forced to do it myself?

Wow, it's like practically nobody read your question and just flung out all sort of opinions about mats and stuff you didn't even mention. Wierd. Also, about 95 % of pet Shih Tzus ARE clipped down into various length "Puppy Cuts".

Generally, clip the coat, wash the dog, dry the dog, reclip the coat. You may find that the dog bites you at the same point he bites the groomers, in which case you would have to resort to the vet grooming.

Places to watch your fingers and face are doing his feet and working around his face. Some males get nasty about having their privates shaved. If he is not neutered, I recommend you get him done. No sense to ever breed a Shih Tzu with a bad attitude, generally Shih Tzus are nice and calm, never mean.

If your grooming set can not handle his fur, go to a pet super store and buy an Andis clipper and get one that includes a #10 blade. Then you could buy a #4 blade on the side and you could clip him with that blade in the winter, the 10 in the summer.

DIY dog grooming. My dog is kinda mean, so I am being forced to do it myself?

I'm a groomer of 10 years. Take him to a Vet that offers grooming. Have him stripped down nose to tail every 3 months and let them tranquilize him at first.It will either get better (where the dog is again OK with being handled by a groomer) or worse ( they will need to completely Anastasie the dog)I assume that either you didn't take him for regular grooming from puppy hood (every 4 to 8 weeks) or he had a bad experience at the groomer.

DIY dog grooming. My dog is kinda mean, so I am being forced to do it myself?

You shave to remove the excess hair, then you bath and dry, then you shave again to tidy it up because the hair goes differenly after it's been bathed and dried. Then you scissor to clean up the "flyaways".

It's best to have someone show you, because a novice with sharp objects and a jumpy dog can lead to disaster. Perhaps you could pay a groomer to show you how?

Or perhaps it would be best to simply have him shaved at the vet's under sedation/anesthetic. Expensive, yes, but probably safer all around.

DIY dog grooming. My dog is kinda mean, so I am being forced to do it myself?

It really depends on how much time you have and how dirty he gets. If he has lots of mats or a very oily coat, you may find the DIY clippers will not perform very well.

Another thing to consider is the condition of his coat. If his coat is very thick, the shampoo might not get to his skin or roots. In that case, I would clip/shave, then shampoo.

DIY dog grooming. My dog is kinda mean, so I am being forced to do it myself?

Whatever you do, do not shave him while he is wet! You can shave him before the bath, bathe him, and then after he dry, go over him again if he looks uneven. It sounds like he might be afraid of the clippers. Try to contact a local dog obedience instructor/trainer for help. he/you may just need a few lessons to help him get used to you doing the grooming. I am glad that you are trying to keep your dog happy! good luck!

DIY dog grooming. My dog is kinda mean, so I am being forced to do it myself?

Take him to the vet's and have him sedated for grooming. Easier and safer for EVERYONE.

DIY dog grooming. My dog is kinda mean, so I am being forced to do it myself?

Brush the long hair before a bath and untangle them so that you wont have a hard time blowdrying them after a bath and use warm water. About the shaving part, Shih tzu's are long haired dogs and doesn't need to be shaved although you might want to cut the hair that comes in contact with their eyes. I think it's the ones in the eyes that's bothering your dog. You only shave if they have mange, it's a kind of parasite that lives under the skin or dirty dogs. In that case you have to shave all of it.

DIY dog grooming. My dog is kinda mean, so I am being forced to do it myself?

Why shave him?

Just keep him clipped to a reasonable length.

Can you muzzle him to have him groomed?

DIY dog grooming. My dog is kinda mean, so I am being forced to do it myself?

Shih Tzu's often are bad about grooming because most people get them and then never work with them until they are a solid mat and then expect them to like being groomed every few months. I think some of the suggestions were fine -- maybe take him to the vet and have him sedated a bit and then shaved down and THEN as he is growing out, put him on your grooming table daily and brush him... keep him from matting in the first place. Mats hurt because the hair is pulled and it makes the skin sore so grooming, even just clipping can be uncomfortable so if someone was hurting you, you would be bad about it too. People get coated dogs and cats and then never brush them. Do not ever bathe him before you brush him out as that will tighten mats up. Get him used to you brushing him -- he can learn that it is a nice thing. I always had my coated breeds so relaxed with grooming that they would lay over on their side for me to brush them -- you brush your hair daily to prevent mats, why would you expect your dog's hair not to tangle when left unbrushed for weeks on end? Get some treats and put him on the table for a few minutes of brushing at first -- don't expect him to stay there for thirty minutes and allow an overall brushing the first time -- build up so that he knows it isn't an unpleasant thing ... make it pleasant for him so that he looks forward to your time together. There are spray conditioners that help keep the electric hair thing from happening for him and help you to brush him out easier if he is a little tangled. Just like you, it hurts to have tangles removed without care. Don't bother with shears until you are more comfortable with dealing with him or with the clippers as either of these you can mess up with and hurt him which is counter productive -- you want to make him look forward to and enjoy his time on the table being brushed and then maybe you can get someone to help teach you better about clipping him up. Good luck!

DIY dog grooming. My dog is kinda mean, so I am being forced to do it myself?

There is no harm in shaving your shihtzu. Many many owners opt for this as there is less work involved in keeping up with them. You can pre-clip before the bath. Don't worry about trying to brush him out before a bath either. The hair is coming off. If he were a full coated to the floor dog yes prebrush. But he isn't.

Yes many people don't understand this but it is possible. The clippers you bought ( usually called pet clippers at walmart and petsmart those kinds of places) just aren't made to work that well. The blade only comes in one size and doesn't come off and you have to rely on the blade combs. Not worth the money. A professional clipper and blades are a much better choice but they will set you back quite a few dollars. But it is an investment to use over and over again.

If he is really matted at this point, it would be better to pay the vet groomer to have his sedate and shaved down the first time. Then you keep up with it at home. If he gets a smoothie at the vet the first time, you may be able to overcome his fears or aggressions at home with good consistent training. Often times what an owner thinks is fear is actually a dog just being "pissy" about being made to do something he doesn't want to do. The only way a dog has to tell you that is either fight or flee. Fleeing isn't an option at the groomers so fighting is the only way to go for him.

It is very difficult to groom a shihtzu who doens't want it done. Between the slightlys smooshie noses, the pokie outie eyes and the short legs they are just a tought cookie.

If you are patient but firm, don't back down, use common sense and take you time you can probably learn to groom your boy yourself.

There are some very good books, videos and online chat lists you can reference for help.

I just can't stress too strongly though how dangerous grooming and aggressive dog is. As a novice you are running the risk of hurting your dog or getting hurt if you aren't very very careful. However it can be done.

As a professional groomer I don't generally recommend owners try to groom their own pets ( otherwise I'd be out of work), but if the desire is strong enough, and the commitment is high enough I'll do everything I can to help them learn to do it safely.


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