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Unread 05-20-2007, 05:12 PM   #1
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Default Puppy hates being brushed

When my puppy was 4 months old I bought a brush it is a slicker brush on one side and a soft brush on the other. But the first time I brushed her with it she put her nose on the slicker side and one of the bristles went up her nose. So ever since that she hates being brushed. Any suggestions?
Thanks
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Unread 05-20-2007, 06:06 PM   #2
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I'd suggest trying a grooming glove and starting all over from the beginning. If your dog likes to be petted she should love it when you use the glove.

http://www.handicappedpets.com/acc/glove/index.html
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Unread 05-20-2007, 06:25 PM   #3
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I have one a lot like that. It is made of rubber so Colbi's fur gets out a lot better because of the static. You just slip your hand through the strap and brush away! She seems to like that one a lot better than the bristles one.
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Unread 05-20-2007, 06:25 PM   #4
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Thanks. I will try that.
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Unread 05-20-2007, 06:40 PM   #5
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Another option is simply to create a new (and more pleasant) association with the existing brush - we call this counter conditioning. Make the brush a predictor of food. You can utilise the pups usual meal for this.

Bring out the brush and at the same time produce the feed bowl with food in. Just place the brush on the floor near the bowl or hold it far enough away from the pup that she isn't worrying about it. Don't attempt to use the brush at this stage. As soon as the food runs out take the brush away. Repeat until the presence of the brush becomes an established predictor of food. Your pup should start to look happy and possibly even salivate at the sight of the brush coming out. When you get to this stage you can start to bring the brush nearer to your dog, and eventually just touch her with it. If she starts to look unhappy you need to go back a stage. As she makes the connection between the brush and food you can put the brush against the dog, then the food appears, then one stroke with the brush and the food appears, then several strokes with the brush before the food appears. You can then start to decrease the amount of food to just a handful of treats, or a dollop of peanut butter on a cleanable surface like a fridge door.

Once she loves the brush coming out you have changed her emotional response and will have a dog that is happy to be groomed long after you stop producing food.

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Unread 05-20-2007, 07:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaos View Post
Another option is simply to create a new (and more pleasant) association with the existing brush - we call this counter conditioning. Make the brush a predictor of food. You can utilise the pups usual meal for this.

Bring out the brush and at the same time produce the feed bowl with food in. Just place the brush on the floor near the bowl or hold it far enough away from the pup that she isn't worrying about it. Don't attempt to use the brush at this stage. As soon as the food runs out take the brush away. Repeat until the presence of the brush becomes an established predictor of food. Your pup should start to look happy and possibly even salivate at the sight of the brush coming out. When you get to this stage you can start to bring the brush nearer to your dog, and eventually just touch her with it. If she starts to look unhappy you need to go back a stage. As she makes the connection between the brush and food you can put the brush against the dog, then the food appears, then one stroke with the brush and the food appears, then several strokes with the brush before the food appears. You can then start to decrease the amount of food to just a handful of treats, or a dollop of peanut butter on a cleanable surface like a fridge door.

Once she loves the brush coming out you have changed her emotional response and will have a dog that is happy to be groomed long after you stop producing food.
Thanks that is a really good idea i will try that.
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Unread 05-20-2007, 07:08 PM   #7
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I know it sounds complicated and unlikely to work, I thought so too when I read the theory, but have been hugely successful remarkably easily when I used this technique to overcome a hair dryer and nail clipping phobia on one of my dogs.

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Unread 05-20-2007, 07:11 PM   #8
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The part that amazes me the most is that it is now about a year since I stopped the hair dryer / food association (and I only did it for a couple of weeks) and yet the dog who for three years ran out of the room the minute I picked up the hair dryer (to use on me not him) still happily wags his tail and comes to sit right next to me every day when I dry my hair. He is completely confident where he was extremely nervous.

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Unread 05-20-2007, 07:52 PM   #9
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Brush gently those pin brushes hurt,and tell her how pretty she is,your tone in your voice will get the message across,and for a while it's just getting used to the brush that counts, no need to accomplish any thing except her enjoying the brushing.After the soft brushing ,end on a good note "how about a treat",and give her one

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Unread 05-20-2007, 07:58 PM   #10
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mydogs - that wouldn't work on a dog that has a very strong fear or dislike of being brushed as if they choose to run away from the sight of the brush then forcing them to tolerate brushing is most likely to increase their negative association.

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