12 June 2009

Working on Good Grooming

Molly does really well with being groomed these days. She is patient and lets me use both the flea comb (because they like it better than most brushes, not because they currently have fleas) and the shedding blade. She is also generally agreeable to a variety of positions, especially if DH lends a hand to praise and pet her while I groom the annoying spots.

Shawnee, however, has a tendency to flee if she sees a comb. She will only barely tolerate the flea comb and not the shedding blade at all. She is now starting to shed and getting to be a big girl, so today I devoted some time to working on it.

I settled down on the floor with my clicker and treat bag. Both girls know what that means so came running. I put them into downs and alternated who I worked on. Molly would demonstrate with a few strokes of the comb followed by a click treat, then it was Shawnee's turn. By keeping her turns really short and sometimes doing multiple click-treats in each turn, I finally got her to the point of accepting 2-3 long strokes of the comb on her back per treat. She likes having her belly combed more, which I find odd. Even now it is only on certain occasions that Molly wants her belly touched. She tolerates it when told it is necessary but only for a short time. Shawnee, however, seems to love all sorts of attention to her belly.

I am really proud of Shawnee's progress today. As for Molly, a few more treats and good experiences in the bank will make her more patient next time she needs a good grooming.

I will keep this up regularly with Shawnee for a little while. She needs to get much more handlable and groomable. Although she is a smooth BC (has short hair) and I've already given her a hygiene trim, she tends to get bits of poo stuck in her fur. Probably mainly because she doesn't give herself the time she needs to potty. But in any case, it is very annoying and she needs to learn to be more accepting of clean-up and able to be hygiene trimmed safely. It is really annoying to go after that bit of poo with a paper towel only to end up also cleaning up pee dribbles when she panics.

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