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PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 12:47 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 2:38 pm
Posts: 20
Don’t Forget Doggy Kindergarten!

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When people ask me what the mistake the average dog owner is most likely to make with their first puppy, I have no shortage of answers. Choosing an inadequate diet, failing to socialize their puppy with people and other animals, and lack of training are all very high on my list. However, one of the most overlooked mistakes is not getting their dog introduced to grooming at an early age.
Brushing is important, but not as much required in shorter coated breeds ( like a Lab). However, dogs that are wiry coated (like a Westy), double coated (like a Husky), and drop coated ( like a Shih Tzu), require frequent grooming, and it is imperative that these dogs experience it at a young age.

The dog, similar to a human, learns most of what he knows about his environment in his early stages of development. The 2-8 month stage in a dog’s life is absolutely critical. This is when he learns how to behave around people and other animals, and how to react to different situations. Grooming, as much as we try to make it soothing and fun for a pet, is not exactly natural. Many dogs do not like that we violate their personal space by picking up their feet and trimming their faces. Many dislike the clippers and scissors, and almost all puppies have a difficult time with their first bath and blow dry (even if you‘ve done this at home, trust me - our dryer is bigger and noiser, and Fluffy is very likely to complain). Therefore, early grooming by a caring professional is a must.
However, I can see how it is easily overlooked. Fluffy comes home from his shelter/breeder, in his cute, fuzzy puppy coat. It requires next to no maintenance, which is unfortunate, because it gets both puppy and owner in the habit of not brushing. Before you know it, Fluffy has been neutered at 6 months, still without his first grooming. Due to the change in hormones, he drops his baby coat a month later. Before you know it, he’s matted to the bone, 9 months old, and completely unruly because he hasn’t been taught what he ought to expect from grooming.

The proper age for grooming a puppy the first time is roughly 2-5 months. He should have his first 2 sets of shots, to immunize him from any disease he may contract. Even the best and cleanest groomers can’t guarantee that a disease couldn’t be transferred to a young pup.

Many groomers will push a puppy through a full grooming on the first visit, but I am not one of them. I believe that since it is usually rather stressful, the first grooming is best kept short and sweet. I will wash a puppy, blow him dry, trim his nails, clean his ears, clip under his tail, trim his feet, and trim around his eyes, if necessary. That way, stress is minimized, and most puppies are ready for an all-over trim the second time.

Lastly, make sure you choose an experienced, kind groomer to take care of your little one. Many dogs I know have been traumatized by a poor first grooming experience. That being said, don’t be surprised if you are sitting in the waiting room and hearing some puppy “drama.” Many puppies scream and howl, mostly for the face or the dryer. If you are concerned, most groomers will be happy to show you that Fluffy is screaming because they are holding his face, not sawing off his limbs one by one.
In conclusion, be sure you don’t forget this aspect of puppy ownership. A clean, grooming-socialized puppy is a happy puppy!

The Groomer Girl is a dog and cat groomer with experience in dog breeds, dog grooming, cat grooming and dog and cat training. Feel free to ask questions and she will continue to post articles. Some of her favorite websites are http://www.akc.org and http://www.humanesociety.org

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Proper Brushing Technique for your Dog


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 6:33 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 27, 2010 9:19 am
Posts: 84
Can a dog have dementia? My dog is 12 , has had a difficult life ,before living here. If so , can anything be done?


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 6:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 2:38 pm
Posts: 20
Dementia is a serious concern; however, just like in people, there is no known cure. The best thing to do for a dog afflicted with dementia of any kind is to move slowly (as not to startle them), give them a very consistent schedule, and make them as comfortable as possible. Whether or not they still remember you, they will know you are making them happy in the moment. : )

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Proper Brushing Technique for your Dog


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