Loki’s First Trip To The Groomers
I’ve always had a hard time clipping dogs nails. After clipping too short with Odin a few times, I decided to only file nails from then on. Filing was definitely what Odin preferred and I was able to keep his nail growth pretty well under control.
Then came Loki…
Loki absolutely hates being restrained. He even shies away from his harness and leash while being excited to go for a walk. If I had to pick his top trigger, I would have to say that being restrained is tied with a threatening male stranger. Needless to say, I have taken very small baby steps with him when dealing with his nails. I have introduced him to his nail clipper and file while rewarding him with abundant, smelly & chewy, treats. I have held and rubbed his paws & nails all while rewarding him. Yet, he still isn’t comfortable enough to allow me to properly groom his nails.
They were getting out of control. So, it was time to take my stranger reactive kid to a stranger who would restrain his paws to trim them.
So, I knew I couldn’t take him just anywhere. Petsmart was definitely out of the question! They don’t want you to be with your dogs while they’re being groomed and that wasn’t going to work for us. Luckily, I found a local groomer who did a great job with my moms dog, Coco, so I have them a call.
Aubrey, the groomer who took care of Coco, spoke with me and listened while I explained Loki to her. She was receptive to a “stranger danger” dog, to a muzzle being worn, etc. I spoke with her again the day I planned on bringing him in and she remembered our previous conversation.
I told her to pretend that Loki didn’t exist when we came in. A strange request I’m sure, but she honored it.
She asked whether he would do better on the floor or on the table and was more than happy to comply. Something our old Vet didn’t even do. She even asked for direction on when to acknowledge him. I told her to stand near me, ignore him, and just let him check her out. It went very well. I gave her a treat to let him take from her hand which, also went beautifully.
Then, we proceeded with the trimming.
He didn’t eat he head collar on so, she said she could use his leash instead. She not only let me stay with him, but encouraged me to be as close as I wanted to.
Did he struggle? Yes.
Did he growl a little? Yes.
BUT, he also took treats out of my hand while she worked. His muzzle is one size larger than needed so, he can still pant a bit and take small treats from me. I did that on purpose. He could nip if he wanted, but he could full on bite and he won’t overheat as easily as he would if it was the size he is meant to wear.
At any rate, his nails could have been clipped shorter and I skipped the filing opting to smooth them out myself at home. But…
Aubrey did great with him and she even said that he was the easiest “big dog” nail trim that she’s had!!!
A huge win for Loki :-). I am so very proud of him. And, I am very happy with Aubrey and Crystal’s Dog SPaw.
And, there is icing on the cake…
Loki got to sniff the dogs waiting to be picked up through the kennels. He did great with them. He is also welcome to come back to sniff the dogs and just say, “Hello,” any time I want.
We now have a new ally in our mission to socialize.
It was a great day in Loki Land :-).