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Help! How do I go about training Deni to lay down with her head on a rolled up towel so that I can do her topknots? I do manage to wrangle her down long enough to get a half-hearted topknot/fountain but it takes me several tries to get it right because she moves so much! She won't be starting puppy class for a few more weeks so she's not used to training yet...


Here's today's fountain...the barrettes were actually looking like a butterfly earlier! I've redone the fountain twice today...BTW, she wasn't happy with me waking her up for a pic!!


 

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It took Peanut and I A LOT of practice!!! He is always in a short cut, but I guess the training is the same to get them to stay still. First it helps to put them up on a table, some here put them up on the washer, this way they can't run away from you. Then it's just lots of practice. I would brush Peanut just a little bit everyday and praise like crazy and give him treats. Eventually Peanut learned that it's okay to stay still for me and that he has nothing to be afraid of. He's great now (at 15 months) and I can even brush his teeth without a fight. Someone else may have good suggestions for having them lean on a pillow. Oh yea, it really helps if you have your short grooming practice sessions while the little one is tired.
 

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I didn't think IzzyBella would ever be still for her topknot, she was such a wiggle worm. She still is but I've come up with a solution. We have a ledge beside our kitchen island that is almost five feet high. The ledge is only about six inches wide. I discovered that if I put Izzy up on the ledge she would lay flat immediately for fear of falling off. I stand facing her, she lays her chin on the ledge and I can take all the time I need now. She's so incrediably patient, never moves and I can fuss and fix and refix to my hearts content. Now as soon as I pick her up and put her on the ledge she settles down knowing what's coming.

I'd suggest finding a high spot and of course, never letting your hands or eyes off them for fear of them falling.
 

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I put them up on the table, lay their head down and treat. I just slowly extend the time of their head being down. My dogs all accepted it quickly knowing at the end they would get paid off. Now we do the whole groom and a treat at the end.
 

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Your baby seems quite tiny. It does take time for them to learn to settle down. I do all of the major grooming on a table, but do their topknots while they are sitting on my lap. Somehow I just find it easier to get the bows in right that way. They know it's bowtime and just settle in. As soon as one is done (usually Sylphide first), the other knows it's his turn and jumps right in my lap.

I spend time massaging their little heads and making the head grooming as pleasurable as possible. I was very fast with Shrek at first because he was so wiggly--but he's a very calm fellow, and already settles down for as long as I need him to at 22 weeks.

I'm both patient and firm when it comes to grooming... gradually introducing new grooming elements, but firm about the fact that they'll have to put up with it whether they like it our not. I did the first full trim of Shrek's paws the other day--both around and in between the pads--a victory, since he was terrified of having his paws handled. I think someone must have clipped his nails too short or something like that when he was a baby. As soon as he realized it wouldn't hurt, he settled in.
 

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I had the same problem with Catcher. I thought he'd never accept a top knot but now he does. Throughout the "learning" process I've tried to make grooming a pleasant experience. I talk very softly to him and tell him what a pretty boy he is.... sweet nothings.....

Now he actually seems to like it when I fuss over him. I put him on a counter top in my laundry room when doing this and I do have a rolled up towel for him. I never told him to put his head on it... he just did it instinctively. At first, before I had the towel, he would lower his head so I could get to the top knot... sooo cute!!
Then I put the towel there and he uses it......

My technique sounds a lot like SylphidesMom's ..... After cutting the band out of the "old" top knot I brush and scratch and massage the area where the top knot was since I figure it might itch him. I try to make him feel really good. It is a really nice bonding experience for us....
 
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