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Thread: Grooming a Puppy

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Macedon Ranges, vic
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    Default Grooming a Puppy

    Hi, I've just got a 8week old maltese x shih tzu puppy. I'm wanting any advice and tips on were to start training as far as grooming is concerned. Being that this is going to be a daily requirement, I want to be able to make it as pleasurable for her as possible. Also when do you think I should her her first bath and how often?

    thanks.

  2. #2

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    Hi dodge & Cindy

    I have a staffy myself so pretty low car in terms of coat unlike your little one! But will offer what i can.

    I tried to get Leo used to having his mouth/paws/tail/ears touched/lifted/stroked so it wasnt a hassle for the vet when we went, he is pretty good at these things now. I wish i had tried the brush with him more! Being a short haired breed i figured it wouldnt be to much trouble, but he does need a brush every so often and tries to eat a brush, thus i use wet old exfoliating gloves! But i would think with your maltese x shih tzu puppy you would want him to get used to this pretty quick. I just used lots of praise, telling him what a good boofa dog he is, such a mummys boy, look at my GOOoooD boy! Being a staffy he is such a people pleaser so he loves being cooed and fused over! LOL If your having trouble try some treats as well as praise instead

    I gave Leo a bath a week after he got home (Around 11 wks), as advised so he would get used to it. Unfortunatly he hates bathtime still! He loves water and swimming still though! He has a bath every 2 months or so (sometimes 2twice in 2 weeks if he has rolled in smelly stuff but then not again for another 3 months or so) They say not to bath them to often as it effects the oils on their skin and Leo has a lovely coat with the routine he has. Also as I apply advantix so I would rather not bath him to often as the oils on their skin help to distribute the liquid and act as a barrier I suppose between skin. I do give him a wipe down with a wet one every now again again though if i think he's smelling a bit 'doggy' (And then smell his bed to make sure its clean, i often find when i wash his bed, after sleeping in it for 2 days he smells so fresh and clean! )

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Northern suburbs of Cairns FNQ
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    Have you seen those very soft little brushes used for young human babies? First time I groom a puppy I use one of these. The pup can barely feel the brush but they get used to you holding it and using it on their coat. Later you can use a firmer brush. Grooming should always be a pleasurable experience for the dog. Train your pup to stand still while she is being groomed. With a small dog it's best to train her to stand on a raised surface like a coffee table. Much easier on your back. You can't groom a dog properly while it is sitting on your knee so avoid doing this with your pup.

    As for bathing. Bath when she needs it. Some dogs get dirtier than others.

    If I have raised a dog from a puppy it is never a problem to bath. With bathing as well as grooming it's very important to make the first experience a pleasurable one.

    I put a small amount of luke warm water into the human bath and then put in some toys and last of all the puppy. The pup plays in the water with the toys and if it seems confident I gently wet it. Sometimes I use a bit of shampoo during the first bath. Other times just water. Depends on how confident the pup is.

    This method really works for me. My dogs are quite happy to jump in the bath and usually the tail is wagging throughout the whole process.

    Taking that little bit of extra time when grooming and bathing a youngster really pays off.

    Hope this helps.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
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    Hi Dodge&Cindy

    All your training starts as soon as possible, like right now. But in baby steps. So you can teach things like "sit" now but agility jumps need to wait until the body is more strong ie 12 months.

    As far as grooming goes - try everything now - just in very short bursts. Our vet / puppy school teacher (are you doing puppy school?) said file one toenail per day - just a little bit. I have a dedicated emery board - one of those cardboard based ones - just in case she eats it. I confess I've given up trying to file but I do play with her nails and feet every day. Puppy (pre) school at the Vet's covers a lot of useful stuff besides socialising your dog - it would be a good place to start.

    Also have a good look and sniff in each ear - every day, vet showed us a technique for stuffing a tissue down an ear to get any gunky stuff out for a look. Major stuff and stinkiness means a trip to the vet.

    Also getting your dog to stand and be felt all over, and then roll over and same again - is helpful at the vets or the professional dog washers. Get any visitors you have to help. Ie your dog needs to be comfortable being felt up by friendly strangers.

    Lots of praise and treats would probably help.

    Washing is another way to practice the feeling up business. I use johnsons baby shampoo and conditioner in 1 but I don't do it very often - once a month maybe or when puppy gets stinky. Shampoo is probably optional. Just get a bucket or two of warm water and in a waterproof place like the backyard or bathroom, use a scoop (chinese rice container or plastic cup) to pour the water over. Make sure you thoroughly dry after - a chamois (shammy) leather or lots of old towels helps.

    Warm water is important. Cold water will just put your dog right off bathtime.

    And if you can get your puppy used to a hair dryer that helps dry the fluffy dogs. Initially you may only be able to turn it on for a few seconds and turn it off, and build up to pointing warm air directly at the dog. It doesn't need to be wet for you to practice this.

    My mum used to bath the Aussie terrier in the shower with her (have lots of old dog towels available). Your dog might enjoy that too.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Manly West, Brisbane
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    As for blowdrying, try and get them used to the sound and feel as early as you can and that way they won't find it so bad when they go to the groomers. My little Maltese x shih tzu Benson, now loves the blowdryer so much that he will sit and wait at my feet each morning as I'm getting ready for work and he loves to have a quick little blowdry even though he isn't wet...lol If I forget to do it, he sits there barking at me until I get the message.

  6. #6

    Default

    I think they've got it covered!!

    Just make sure you get practice in on the senstive areas like face and feet. With her breeding she will have lots of hair on her face, and it's hard to brush if it gets knotty!! Make sure you keep at it. and if it gets long around her mouth and eyes trim it or use some little hair bands to tie it back. If you do though, make sure you take them out an re-do them every two days or they will also knot up!

    Brushing it quietly while she's sleeping in your lap after a meal or when she's worn out is a good start.

    As she gets older you may want to find a professional groomer you trust to give her a good tidy up trim every six months or so. They can show you tips and tricks for keeping eyes, mouth, feet and bottom respectable!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Macedon Ranges, vic
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    Thankyou so much for the tips. There are some great ideas. I've groomed plenty of adult dogs for friends and trimmed their coats but just didn't what to stuff up with a puppy and have issues grooming her for the rest of her life. lol Will definetly try out these ideas. Thanks again.

  8. #8

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    Hi, as a Groomer I can say start as early as possible with getting ur dog use to grooming, it makes it easier on the Groomer & most importantly the dog. Start with witha few minutes at a time and always end on a good note, stopping b4 the dog gets too agitated. Remember they r puppies they have short attention spans!
    Ensuring the finest toothed comb u can find, can get thru all parts of the coat will let u know if u have brushed the dog properly. Under arms, face , behind ears and under tail are the most commen place for knots.
    Also make sure u are using a shampoo that is as close to a dogs ph as poss. Not many ppl realise but most dog shampoos are just not suitable for dogs skin as the ph is way off.
    Hope this helps!

  9. #9

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    Oh also I forgot, as u have a dog that will need to be regularly clipped, using an electric toothbrush and sliding it all over the dog to get it use to the sound and feeling of a clipper will really help in making it not so scary for your dog when it comes to its 1st clip!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Macedon Ranges, vic
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    Thanks Heaps Alex, the electric toothpaste idea is great, didn't think of that.
    What age would they normally require their first clip?

    We gave her her first bath the other day, using some of the great advice it went really well. She still wanted to get out a couple of times, but distracting her with a toy and talking calmly helped. Does not like the hairdryer though, will give it time, won't push this one.lol

    Thanks again guys.

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