Handling – How to help your dog

Getting your dog used to being handled

Helping to understand what a dog experiences when at the groomer will help you prepare your dog.

Picking up

I need to be able to be pick your dog up to be put into the bath and carried across to the table. Is your dog happy being picked up?  Look for stress signs and work on happy handling.

Jumping – It would also help if your dog is able to jump into the bath (baths can be lowered to around the height of a sofa or car footwell). Or, if they cannot jump, be able to pop their front legs into the bath and I can then lift their back legs in for them. 

Washing and drying

Being comfortable being washed with a shower, including being able to stand whilst being lathered with shampoo and being rinsed off, lifting up each paw and cleaning in-between the pads.

When on the table for drying and trimming, one of the trickiest parts is usually drying and brushing through.

Stand! 

We are very good at teaching our pups and dogs to sit.  This is a lovely exercise for you and your dog and it teaches control and good manners, but do take the time to also teach a Stand command.   It is one of the most time-consuming efforts for a groomer to keep gently encouraging a dog to keep standing, and must be tiring for a dog to continually sit, stand, sit, stand for half an hour or more!   

The stand command is also very useful for when you are at the vets and they need to be examined, and also have their temperature taken… can you imagine sitting down with a thermometer in a delicate place! ouch. 

You, your dog, your groomer and your vet will thank you for teaching a stand command. 

Brushing 

How much brushing your dog will need will depend on the type of coat and length of coat they have? Whether you have a pug or a husky, all breeds will benefit from a regular brush; it helps not just the coat, but also your dog’s skin and tightens the bond between you.  

In addition, brushing can help you identify potential problems, keep an eye on pests, and your dog will find their groom with me much easier. A happy dog equals a quick no-stress groom. 

It’s a win-win for you and your dog. If you are not sure about your dog’s brushing needs, please ask me.

Depending on your dog, you may like to watch my YouTube video about line brushing – brushing a long wool coat – eg poodles and poodle crosses. 

Puppies – Introduction 

  • The whole world is new to a puppy, so I always recommend letting puppies sniff, smell and look at all new equipment.
  • Introduce the brush early – don’t let it become a game where they try to get away from the brush or play fight it!  I suggest using treats or lickki mats or kongs to keep them occupied and to help them relate brushing to something ‘nice’.
  • Keep your handling sessions short – little and often.
  • Use it as training and bonding time
  • Teach a ‘stand!’ command.
  • Introduce noise gently, if you don’t have clippers, an electric toothbrush is a great realistic alternative to the noise of clippers.
  • If you don’t have hair dryers, think of other noisy machines they can get used to, eg hoovers, but do this all slowly and controlled. 

You can find my blog on introducing puppies to grooming here:

 A puppy’s first grooming experience – Stylish Fido,

For all dogs

  • Practice inspections of ears, eyes, mouth and nails at least weekly.
  • Lift up ear flaps, hold muzzle and lift up lips to see teeth regularly to get your dog used to it. 
  • Handle paws and handle gently each nail and pads. – there is also a YouTube video on nail clipping for small and big dogs, white and black nails.
  • Groomers and vets often need to hold a dog’s muzzle, and this is sometimes tricky for a dog to tolerate at start.  Imagine trying to trim around the delicate eyes on a moving target.

…and did I mention teaching a stand command?! 🙂

2017 Tellington TTouch Workshops

NEW DATES FOR 2017

Saturday May 20th (10am- 4pm)

Sunday June 11th (12noon – 5pm)

Sunday August 20th (12noon – 5pm)

Saturday October 21st (10am – 4pm)

Venues and details the same for each workshop as detailed below, however Saturday workshops are £60, Sundays are £50, spectators £40 on either days.

Introduction to TTouch including Touches, Bodywork and Groundwork.

Will involve inside work and outside exercises. Open to all ages of people and dogs. A relaxing day learning about how to calm and positively influence your dog.

Suitable for all dogs, except those with dog on dog aggression, but please contact me to discuss.

Please bring lunch, coffee and biscuits will be provided.

Places limited to 5 dogs, so please contact me if interested.

£60 (saturdays)  or £50 (Sundays)  per person with one dog.

Spectator places £40 each.

The Cowshed Studio
Hammes Farm
Washington Road
Wiston
Steyning
West Sussex

BN44 3DA

September 2016 TTouch workshops

I will be holding two more workshops in Steyning.

Saturday 3rd September 10-4pm

Sunday 18th September 12-5pm

Introduction to TTouch including Touches, Bodywork and Groundwork.

Will involve inside work and outside exercises. Open to all ages of people and dogs. A relaxing day learning about how to calm and positively influence your dog.

Suitable for all dogs, except those with dog on dog aggression, but please contact me to discuss.

Please bring lunch, coffee and biscuits will be provided.

Places limited to 5 dogs, so please contact me if interested.

£50 per person with one dog.

Spectator places £40 each.

Feedback from TTouch workshop (July 2016)

“The thundershirt has arrived and he has had it on for a short time to get used to it.
Tried the ear touches before flyball and were a great help.
So pleased I signed up for your workshop.”

“Caroline was really clear with her explanations and very understanding with my dog… I enjoyed the lead walking and Body Wraps” – July 2016

“..(The workshop) helped with ideas for my dogs stress and problems… There were opportunity for clarification after each topic was introduced”

“Nice to have an excellent venue and the opportunity to work inside and outside… Really enjoyed the day”

” (The workshop covered) Harness work, line work, different touches, lead work.  I enjoyed the proprioception exercises and working on calm lead and harness…”

“Well presented and explained and demonstrated”

” (I particularly enjoyed)… Groundwork and interrupting my dog’s barking with Touches.

TTouch Workshop May 2016

I will be holding an Introduction to Tellington TTouch on Saturday 21st May 2016.

Venue: Cowshed Studio, Steyning Hosted by Caroline Still P1 Practitioner

Changing behaviour through posture – Learning skills to help calm, relax, and give confidence to your dog or cat”

Suitable for calming excitable dogs, teaching puppies manners, dogs that pull on the lead, dogs with fearful tendencies, calming dogs reactive to noise (eg fireworks) and much much more…

I will be teaching you about this holistic, respectful way of learning, training, behaviour and communication with your animal, the day will consist of individual and group sessions and slow outside groundwork exercises for your dog, nothing strenuous or difficult!. Available for all ages and abilities, puppies or older dogs. (no dog-to-dog aggressive animals please. Contact me for details on individual sessions.)

£50 per person with maximum of one dog per paying person. Spectators £40 welcome.

Price includes tea, coffee, biscuits, please bring your own lunch.

Places very limited due to small class size, please book now, a deposit will be required to hold your place.

All enquires and bookings through Caroline please on caroline@stylishfido.co.uk
or call 07940 080980

A puppy’s first grooming experience

I have been lucky enough at Stylish Fido here in Steyning to have quite a few new puppies in for their first groom.

Thought it might be interesting to share how I approach their first experiences in a salon.

Dogs use all their senses to understand and learn about their new world they are experiencing for the first time, so I work with them at all times.

When they sit/stand on the table (which is very similar to a vet’s table, so they are often ok with this kind of experience), I try and treat them with their favourite treat brought with them, or little pieces of cheese (often a big hit), I show them first the brush I might be using on them, and its very important for them to be able to sniff the brush/comb/clippers.  Puppies don’t like equipment being used on them they haven’t seen or sniffed.  Once they are sure it can’t (or shouldn’t) be eaten, I can start to brush out the dog.

If I am clipping the dog for the first time I always let them sniff and feel the clippers not switched on, then switched on, but sitting on the table.  The vibrations of the clippers is probably nothing like they have felt before.  I also use the clippers like a brush and move it (turned off) along the back of the dog and down the legs.  I have had very few dogs that have not allowed me to clip them first time after first preparing them in this way.

During the groom, I make sure there are lots of treats.

During the groom, I make sure there are lots of words of praise.

During the groom, I make sure there are lots of cuddles (if required), if the puppy needs assurance, then I will stop the groom and give them some time and space to assess the experience.  Sometimes just stopping for one minute, having a cuddle or a play in the garden can help them understand that a groom isn’t a traumatic experience and it will stop!

If the puppy is having problems coping with one aspect of the groom (say brushing out the legs), I just change and come back later to that area, lots of little changes can really make the difference.

The main objective I aim for is to stop when I am ahead and not seek utter perfection on a puppy’s first groom.  if this means the ears are left natural, but the puppy has been 100% happy and not bored for 1.5 hours then I will stop.  Puppies can’t concentrate for too long, and I would rather do most of a groom and have a happy puppy than a perfect looking one, but one that is in need of a break and upset and won’t come back through the door next time it is due for a wash.

I must say, all my puppies/young dogs are keen to come to the salon for a biscuit/cuddle and groom.  I think this says it all !

hope you enjoyed the little insight into what I do here.  hope to see more puppies soon, I love their cuddles!

Caroline

Avoiding dog disputes/good manners

Welcome to my July blog about this unique, holistic and positive method of working and bonding with your animal friends.

My name is Caroline Still and I am a local dog groomer and TTouch Practitioner for companion animals here in Steyning.

Developed by Linda Tellington-Jones over 30 yeas ago, TTouch uses simple body movements (Ttouches) to improve circulation, behaviour and co-ordination.  These touches help to reduce tension, promoting an overall sense of wellbeing and calm.

T-Touch influences the nervous system with highly effective techniques that not just owners, but care-givers such as vet nurses, groomers and dog walkers can learn and use on a daily basis.  T-Touch is non-invasive, and can be used alongside other car

This month:  Avoiding dog disputes 

Teaching a dog early on that he can’t visit with every dog he meets is one good way owners can prevent lead aggression and teach good dog manners. Teach the dog not to pull on the lead, and to sit and wait for permission before greeting another dog. Basic obedience training and behaviour modification with positive reinforcement can help prevent fights and disputes.  Allow your dog 3 seconds to say hello then encourage his focus back to you and move on.  Many dogs need their space for various reasons, and being polite with greetings will teach excellent manners and help keep the peace.

To show your animals there is a different, more positive way to be, will be the first stage in a miraculous journey for you both.

 

Pulling on the lead

TTouch, changing behaviour through posture

Introduction to Tellington TTouch

Welcome to my second blog about this unique, holistic and positive method of working and bonding with your animal friends.

My name is Caroline Still and I am a local dog groomer and TTouch Practitioner for companion animals.

Developed by Linda Tellington-Jones over 30 yeas ago, TTouch uses simple body movements (Ttouches) to improve circulation, general health and co-ordination.  These touches help to reduce tension, promoting an overall sense of wellbeing and calm.

TTouch influences the nervous system with highly effective techniques that not just owners, but care-givers such as vet nurses, groomers and dog walkers can learn and use on a daily basis.  TTouch is non-invasive, and can be used alongside other care.

This month:  Dogs pulling on the lead

A simple solution to a common problem can be to swap your flat collar for a harness and walk your dog with two points of contact.  This stops the opposition reflex response that allows the dog to pull, it literally takes away the ability to pull.  Alongside groundwork and Ttouches, dogs relax into walking calmly very quickly.  No tricks, no gadgets, no pain to your animal, just changing your dog’s balance – and yours!

To show your animals there is a different, more positive way to be, will be the first stage in a miraculous journey for you both.