Monday, January 2, 2012

Grooming 101

Tucker's back paws at 12 weeks

Have you had trouble grooming your pup?  

I have been fairly regular at brushing Tucker and he seems fine with the brush if he can take a few bites at it for fun every once in awhile.  That was early on, now he seems to really enjoy his "spa time". For my benefit I have him on my kitchen table on top of a large beach towel.  I have him stand though he tends to do a bit of dancing around to see what I am doing from every angle.  Sometimes he will sit while I stroke down his back.  He clearly enjoys this section the best.  I do his chest, neck, ears and head last.  I take off his collar which has been a handy way to hold on to him, and hold his muzzle gently.  I can lift his head and have some control getting the brushing down under his chin and his chest.   His hair around his ears is growing a lot recently, so I have been trying to make sure no mats are forming.

Tucker's baby puff fur is been coming out and his guard hairs down the middle of his back seem to be coming in first.  Almost like the parting of sea with the adult fur on top and the baby stuff down the sides.  New color presenting itself for me to wonder if he will be toffee brown or a shade of honey.  He has the silliest fur on the back of his lower back legs which remind me of fringe boots.  I can't help but think of the song "These Boots Are Made For Walking" when I see him walking or running around.  Especially with his little strut he does.  Tucker is definitely a confident pup.  

What I am having trouble with is his nails.  He won't let me do them.  When he was smaller and younger he didn't put up much balking.  He wasn't happy to have it done but he would sit in my arms and allow it to happen.  I am so glad all his nails are white so I can see the quick!  Now he is a wiggler.  He squirms like crazy and before I know it he is staring at me with a look that says "What are you doing?!".   It's going to have to take two to do this boy.  Any advice from my blog friends?  What worked for you?

I tried to bring out the dremel nail tool I have as it is quiet.  He wanted to chew on it and make it a game.  Also he needs to be still for me to get the nail in the opening.  Stewie actually likes the dremel better than the nail clippers.  Stewie has never liked getting his nails done.  He hides his head into my neck, stiffly sitting in my lap, barely letting me handle each paw that he reluctantly allows me to extend.  Then I discovered by accident after grooming Tucker that he does much better sitting on the table and the towel.  All these years of doing his nails in my lap and now I find out that for him he feels more secure on a firm base.  Once done it is biscuit time and these pups love their treat!

Bath time had been quite easy as both pups fit in my large kitchen sink.  Until recently.  Just before Christmas I gave Tucker a bath and he is getting too big.  He wanted to plant both his front paws on the counter, then he would slide and that would get him nervous about the bath.  I can see that bathing him in the sink is soon to be a thing of the past.  Tucker is going to be much bigger than our past Sheltie Jesse.  I guess the shower or a trip to Petsmart to use their bathing area will be what we will have to do.  Darn.  

Which brings me to groomers.  I have considered that I could take Tucker to the groomers to get him use to being calm for grooming.  I hadn't thought about it till now that we use to always bring the other poochies to the groomers for baths and trimming.  It was there that they must have learned grooming manners because I don't remember having troubles with nail clipping before.  Okay, Annie our Golden really hated getting her nails done.  She seemed quite ticklish with her paws.  I would try to use the scissors or the clippers and have to be really careful that she wouldn't jerk her paw so I wouldn't clip too much.  Jesse loved his pampering.  He would lay down and practically doze off.  I suppose I could make Tucker an appointment.  I really like the groomer that I have used.  It is just two women who also board dogs and are into agility training.  It was one of the first boarding facilities that offered "play time" in a decent sized fenced in area with a lawn, doggie toys, and a little wading pool.  Most kennels use to just have a run for your dog and that was it.  Canyonwyck offered a chance for your poochie to run around and have some fun.  Seems like all kennels now have some kind of play area.  We rarely board as we have been lucky enough to either have our daughter come home to housesit or a friend of ours comes and housesits.  We need someone here to take care of our hens as well as our two kitties.  When we had our horses they needed their stalls cleaned twice a day as well as feeding, so it only made sense to have a housesitter.

One more week and Tucker starts doggie school!


Bailey Be Good! said...

Oh noes! Not the nails! I'm glad my nails stay nice and trim due to my digging skills... maybe Tucker should take up digging. Teehee!

Happy Happy New Year! :)

Woofs & hugs, <3

~Bailey (Yep, I'm a girl!)

Finn said...

Finn just kind of lies there and lets us do the grooming and we just give her treats as we go along. She actually hated the groomers and would claw at the door to get out once we brought her in, so we knew we had to do something! Good luck at school on Saturday!

Sara said...

Chewy is horrible about brushing/bathing, and I was thinking about bringing him to a groomer as well.

All of my dogs, even my friendly ones, become rather stoic at the vet, so I think the nail trimming would be a bit easier for a vet tech or groomer to perform.

Priscilla said...

Your post just reminded me that Eva needs to go to her groomers again! No, she doesn't like it at all but the groomers do a better job that I do, so... let's go grooming!!!

Bailey said...

We send ours to the groomer for a "pawdicure" for nails and pads. Bailey has such sensitive paws it is really hard to work on them. The extra $$ is worth it.

Lassiter Chase and Benjamin said...

Benji is losing his puppy fur too. He has a hard hair streak down the center of his back as well. His face seems to be changing everyday too. Mommy has given up trying to cut our nails. She accidentally cut the quip (or whatever its called) once on me (Lassie). Boy did that hurt. She told me to stop squirming around -- and then I jerked my leg cause I didn't want to listen to her -- and bam -- there was blood everywhere. Mommy held my bleeding nail with her bare hand until the bleeding stopped and put the nail trimmers down for good. Only the vet or groomers do our nails now. She isn't even going to attempt to cut Benji's nails herself! That experience seeing me (her baby) bleeding was enough to scar Mommy for life.