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My Izzy does not like to have her hair or face fussed with. She pulls away, she snaps at me and the bows. I would like to teach her to lay perfectly still while I fix her hair. For those of you who have mastered this with your dogs, will you please give your tips, how you did it, what worked for you?
I'd appreciate it.
 

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I just started very slowly with Peanut. At first I could only brush him for a few seconds before he decided it was enough. Just speak gently and praise Izzy. Tiny pieces of treats will help too. It also helps a lot to put them up on something sturdy and high so they will think that there is no way to escape. It's also more comfy than bending over the dog on a bed or on the floor.

Try to "practice" grooming while Izzy is tired so that she will be more willing to lay still. Introduce everything one at a time. If you can clean her eyes one day and then the next day do her top knot (or whatever else you need) it will be less stress on Izzy. I'm not sure how long it took, but Peanut now knows to stay still and he will lie on whatever side I need him to to brush him out. I just love Izzy's pictures and I can't wait for more!!!!!
 

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I'm not quite there yet but here's my story... to give you hope.....

When Catcher was a young puppy he would snap and bite, too. Then when I it became clear to him that I was Alpha he quit biting and snapping but would try to jump off the counter on to my shoulder. I would talk to him almost in a whisper in a very calming voice..... telling him "sweet nothings". I would give him a treat afterward. Over time he has adjusted pretty well. Sometimes he even will lie down and let me work on his top knot. He is getting better all the time but it has taken months...... It is a work in progress....
 

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i just brushed him every night, even if he didnt need it. if he flipped out i fussed instead of consoled him b/c if i reacted to him screaming, he used it against me. he would scream just to make me stop. so i learned to ignore the screams, and he eventually gave in. and i always give him treats afterwards. if u place her on a high area, it helps. they dont think they can get away, and usually lay still. good luck!
 

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I teach the behaviors for grooming positions separately from grooming at first, which is done with a sleepy puppy on the bed for a bit.

I put them on the table and lure them to lay down, treat. Lay them on their side gently, treat. Lay them on their back in my lap, treat. Hold their head, treat. Just a tiny bit and only holding still for a moment. They get the idea fast that the grooming table is for me to put you how I want you and you get treats for it. Then I add in short brushing sessions and putting just a lightweight single band in the top knot. After I put them down with the band in, I get them immediately involved in a game to distract them.
 

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Originally posted by 20202@Feb 18 2005, 04:52 PM
My Izzy does not like to have her hair or face fussed with.  She pulls away, she snaps at me and the bows.  I would like to teach her to lay perfectly still while I fix her hair.  For those of you who have mastered this with your dogs, will you please give your tips, how you did it, what worked for you?
I'd appreciate it.
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I actually just wrote a reply on how I got Abby to lay still for grooming in your "when to start training" thread, so I hope something helpful is in there!
 

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As usual, Jackie brings up an excellent point. A sleepy dog (or puppy) is a much more cooperative subject! Even though Lady is an adult and very used to all the fussing, I still usually brush her in the evening, in front of television, when she is sleepy.

Treats are also a great incentive for being good. Because of her diabetes, Lady has to get insulin shots twice a day, plus I check her blood sugar myself by taking a small drop of blood from the inside of her lip. Obviously, she has to be a very good and cooperative patient for all this. I always keep a little treat next to me and she gets it IMMEDIATELY after her shot or poke - as fast as I can get it to her so she connects the two. She sits as still as a statue for both, believe it or not.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
We are not making any progress with this. She will sit, down, stay and now dance on her two back legs. BUT she will not tolerate her topknot hair messed with. My DH has to hold her still for me to even get a rubberband in and then it's twisted askew and sideways.

She does this high pitched screaming sound, it sounds like a bat being held upside down, it's ghoulish. As soon as I reach for her head she starts her bat scream while biting at me. I'm at my wits end. Treats do not work. I don't even think an exorcist would work.
 

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Do you take care of the topknot on a table, or on your lap? I do the major grooming on a table, but put the ponytails and bows in on my lap, usually quite late at night when Sylphide is sleepy.

She relaxes on my lap and I take care of the bows. I always try to make the topknop grooming as pleasurable as possible and do a little scalp massage and gentle combing before I start putting in the bands and then the bows.

Our new puppy Shrek got his first bow in today. He watched with interest as I groomed Sylphide, and saw her put her head into position for the bows. When it was his turn, he was surprised and resisted at first. But suddenly he remembered what Sylphide had done and just relaxed his head into my lap and - voila- bow in. I'm working with him right away so that he gets used to being handled for grooming while he's still a baby. It's much harder to train them to be still when they get older.
 
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