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Cranky About Being Handled


Guest jenznaz
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Hey ya'll, I need your wisdom...

 

Background: Had my 7 year old guy for about 2 years now. He growled at me once for trying to brush his teeth, and has been agressive (snarling/barking) towards my husband when he was startled. This was long ago when we first got him, but no major problems lately. We understand he'll always be very insecure and needs his space and we don't bother him when he's on his bed. Any grooming attempted has always been done by me, only.

 

So forward to present: I used to volunteer to cut grey's nails for my group, and often owners would bring their dogs with very long nails to be cut, saying, "He/she won't let me" and I would always think, "You're the boss, you just cut them". Well now I've become one of "those people".

 

He let's me brush his fur, although he doesn't love it. I still don't know what to do about his teeth - tried working with him slowly on them, same with his nails. My problem is - I'm scared, I'll admit it. I'm afraid he'll snap at me. I muzzle him when I've tried to do his nails but I'm also afraid he'll growl or snap because I pushed him too far, and made nail-cutting that much worse for him.

 

When I do attempt to groom him, he droops his head waaaay down, nose starts dripping, and he jerks his feet back away from me as I'm holding them. I always give up after a couple of minutes.

 

I feel like I could sloooowly approach nails and teeth again, but the blockage is all mental - how do I overcome my fear of him? I just can't believe I've gotten myself into this situation when all these years (with my prior grey) I advocated being the "leader" so much and now I feel like the biggest wuss. And why after being with us for 2 years is he still so afraid and untrusting of me? I used to get a lot of pleasure out of grooming my first grey, and it's upsetting to me that I can't take care of Xilo the way I want to.

 

Maybe I should have posted this in Behavior....

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Bribery and distraction work wonders. Riley is the same way. He has threatened to take a chunk out of me on more than one occasion when doing his nails, once going so far as to lunge and snap at my face. He stopped about a half inch from my nose, but the message was crystal clear. So I took a muzzle with a poop cup, slathered creamy peanut butter inside the cup, put the muzzle on him and went to work on his nails. He was so busy licking the peanut butter out of the cup that he ignored me, more or less. So that's how we do it now. Even if he does get cranky I'm protected, but usually the PB lasts for just the right amount of time to get his nails done.

Kristen with

Penguin (L the Penguin) Flying Penske x L Alysana

Costarring The Fabulous Felines: Squeak, Merlin, Bailey & Mystic

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Will he chew? That could take care of his teeth.... A different. Chewy every night! :-)

 

For his nails... Sounds like it's more your problem than his. Muzzle him, leash him so he can't run away, pin him standing up against a wall with your hip, grab a foot, zip and run the dremel over the end of one of his nails. Jump away screeching in happiness and race to the kitchen with him to get a cookie! Only do 1 nail each day.. Slowly rotating feet.

 

This is a quick tiny thing so YOU can't get yourself worked up. It's over so quick he won't have time to growl. Running and a squealing mom is always fun! Especially when you get to chase mom to the kitchen. Then we get a cookie? Holy dog poop! In a month it will be hey mom look my nails are long.... Hint hint.... :-)

 

 

------

 

Jessica

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There's lots of good advice in this recent thread. The keys to getting a dog used to handling is to go slow, make sure it's always a good experience with as little stress as possible, and reward good behavior with special treats.

 

Have to admit I haven't tried JAJ2010's method, but I think running and screeching would probably freak out my sensitive female greyhound. LOL So it probably depends on the dog's temperament. I like to have really yummy treats handy so I can give them to the dog immediately after each nail.

Jennifer &

Willow (Wilma Waggle), Wiki (Wiki Hard Ten), Carter (Let's Get It On),

Ollie (whippet), Gracie (whippet x), & Terra (whippet) + Just Saying + Just Alice

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I actually used this method on miss shy sunshine a lot. Sometimes they are too stressed or nervous to eat a cookie and the celebration in a squeaky happy voice and running snaps them out of the lowered head drippy nose stress frame of mind. Of course you can easily adapt it to your dogs needs :-)

 

Never under estimate the power of making yourself look like an idiot in dog training lol

------

 

Jessica

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