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 Post subject: Puppy Show Coat/Growling Advice
PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2015 10:42 am 
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Hi! Long time reader, first time poster.
I have a two part question on grooming my 4.5 month old gremlin, uh, I mean cocker.

1) Ramona is convinced that the towel and slicker brush are trying to rip her legs off. She snarls and snaps when I try to use them. The odd thing is that her groomer says that she's a perfect angel when she's there.
I followed Jim's advice in "Growling Grooming", but to no avail. She bares the towel if I give her a dental chew or if I get to her ears and rub them to relax her (not always easy). The slicker? She has yet to submit to it. She doesn't mind the soft boar bristle brush, but that isn't very effective. That makes me wonder if the slicker is too sharp for her skin. Any advice? I want to get a Mars comb to do her back regularly but I want her to be happy with it.

2) I don't plan on showing Ramona but I still want to see her in a full show coat, what with her beautiful black fur. I want to keep her back natural (I'll card/strip at home as needed) because I'm not a fan of the strong line between back and coat. My groomer said if we did a full coat, she wouldn't trim her legs at all, but she's so fuzzy! What should I tell my groomer so that Ramona's back and legs stay nice and neat while her coat is growing?

Thank you all for your advice! (I'll upload a picture when my internet is working better.)


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 Post subject: Re: Puppy Show Coat/Growling Advice
PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2015 7:09 pm 
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Yes, the slicker might be stiff and hurt her. Ever hit your finger with it? I'd get a softer one. I don't know, but I'd think all dockers need a bit of a leg trim now and then. I'm interested in what others say.

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 Post subject: Re: Puppy Show Coat/Growling Advice
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 6:43 am 
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1) I think yes, you could try a softer, bendier slicker brush ( although you say she is reacting the same way with the towel and she is an angel at the groomer's so that may not necessarily be the issue). Cici is also an angel at the groomer's. When I first started doing the whole brushing and clipping routine at home, she was a bit snappy, but two things helped:
A. I noticed she was not reactive at all when I brought her back from walks. I don't take the leash and harness off. I just let her stand there and said "wait". I find it very easy to brush her at that time and then I let her go. Perhaps find an occasion when she is less likely to react and make it a routine? For me, it's the last walk of the day, the night walk. Her back is short right now, so not much work, but her legs are fluffy so I brush her while she stands in the kitchen waiting to be released.

B) She has gotten a lot better with the clippers. When it is grooming day and she is on the table, I don't yell at her, but I make sure she understands I mean business. The head and paws are the biggest challenges. One stern look in her eyes and a firm voice and she stops. She will squirm and show her dislike of the clippers again, but I hold her face, give her a stern look and say "stop" or "no" and it does work. She looks away because she knows I ain't messing around. Earlier on, I did give her a little treat when I was done with the face. I think they are more nervous/less confident or comfortable at the groomer's, so they act like angels there.


What should I tell my groomer so that Ramona's back and legs stay nice and neat while her coat is growing?

I don't know! Maybe show a picture of a cut you like? Ask her to just trim the legs a bit with scissors, not clippers, so they can keep growing, but stay neat? It takes a lot longer, so she may not want to hear that!!

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Cici - 8 years old (Gotcha Dec 14, 2013)
Raleigh, North Carolina


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 Post subject: Re: Puppy Show Coat/Growling Advice
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 10:26 am 
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Gromit didn't like the slicker brush either. Actually, she does best if I just use a comb.

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Gromit (blk & tan, 5/7/09)
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 Post subject: Re: Puppy Show Coat/Growling Advice
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 11:12 am 
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I had the same issues with Jennie until she was about a year old. Then her puppy coat fell out and her lovely adult coat came in. What a difference! Her puppy coat was very fluffy and cottony and brushing it was a pain for both her and me. Her adult coat is much smoother and the brush seems to glide through it. That being said, she still doesn't like slicker brushes. The only one that she will tolerate is a little one from Li'l Pals that has tiny balls at the end of each tine. I got it from Amazon and bought the extra small size (because she was extra small then). I still use it on her legs and around her tail. The tines are a bit more flexible than my 'better', more expensive brush and don't seem to pull as hard. The Li'l Pals one was less than $7.00.

And like Darra said, I usually do better with a comb for getting mats out. I use an Andis 7 1/2" steel comb with round tines and I use GloCoat to make the hair slicker and easier to detangle.

As for the towel thing, Jennie also attacked them whenever I approached her with one. She thought it was a great opportunity to play Tug-a-war. I decided to give her a couple of old wash cloths to play with and then taught her that she could not play with MY towel but could play with HER "baby". Then I would give her a "baby" to play with while I towelled her dry. That works to this day. I'm careful not to rub her with the towel, but blot her instead so I don't pull her hair or create mats.

Good luck and looking forward to those pictures!

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Mom to Jennie, born 4/24/2014, Gotcha Day 6/20/2014
Gone, but not forgotten: Honey, Punkin, Lady, Dusty and Chief


"If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers


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 Post subject: Re: Puppy Show Coat/Growling Advice
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 10:10 pm 
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Another thought to add... you didn't say "where" you are grooming her, and I think with many dogs that makes a difference in how they behave. I got my first cocker when she was 5.5 months; she had been raised in a family environment with 3 little girls combing, brushing, playing with her hair. I could do anything to her, any where.

The baby I have now was a rescued dog, and she is perfect for grooming _on a table_ but I cannot brush her on the ground (like, before we leave the park) or the floor-- she firmly believes that being off the table means its playtime!! So I have her trying to bite the brush, avoiding the comb, pulling her head away, and pawing at me for more!!

(PS - I do love that small Li'l Paws slicker brush)

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Mom to
Cricket, home 1-29-2012 - 3-29-2017, 5 yrs, 2 mo of Love
Sophie, 10-22-2015, home 9/19/15-
---------------------------------------
Maggie Mae: home 9/1/2014 - 3/31/2015, 7 mo of Love
Feather: 3/23/1994 - 11/17/2011, 17 yrs, 8 mo of Love


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 Post subject: Re: Puppy Show Coat/Growling Advice
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2015 3:25 pm 
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Fantastic advice, everyone! I bought ball-tipped slicker and she is already tolerating it better.
Ill try putting her on the counter next time, see if that helps.

I'll post pics soon

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-----------------------
Ramona (Black) 4/26/15
Eddie (huge cat, black) adopted 9/10/2012
Stella (buff, my mom's dog) 7/1/2003
Over the bridge: Livvie, Maggie, Sadie


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 Post subject: Re: Puppy Show Coat/Growling Advice
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:39 pm 
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a nonstick surface like a rubber bath mat or even some shelf liner also helps them feel more secure.

Also, I know that groomers want dogs to be groomed standing up but I also like to get them relaxed enough so that we can sit on the couch and watch TV while I brush them. My first cocker had to be brushed an hr a day so I always sat and watched TV while we did it.


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