Poor Charlie’s owner Amber was at the end of her rope in June 2016 when she brought him to Styln’ Dogs. Charlie was highly anxious with fear aggression. Up until this point, every groomer Amber had visited would have to muzzle poor Charlie to complete his groom. In most cases his groom just could not be completed.
Amber came to Stylin’ Dogs as her final try! If this didn’t work the only other option was the vet and sedation for grooming!
Candace agreed to work with Charlie and turn his fear of being groomed into a positive experience. While his first visit certainly was a challenge, Candace is quite stubborn and would not allow Charlie to beat her!
Together Candace and one of her team members spent 3 hours grooming Charlie. A muzzle was required for majority of the groom and Charlie fought and screamed and tried everything he could to prevent us grooming him. We didn’t give up but we also didn’t push him beyond his limitations. We stopped many times for breaks and praised Charlie the moment he slightly relaxed and simply ignored him when he was playing up.
3 hours with 2 groomers may seem like a lot but this was just the beginning.
Amber agreed to work together with Candace to bring Charlie regularly to desensitise him.
Many people make the mistake of avoiding having their dog groomed if they don’t like it but this doesn’t help fix the problem for the dog or the groomer doing the hard work. Amber understood that the more often she could bring Charlie the faster we could overcome his anxiety with grooming.
The next visit in July 2016, just 6 weeks after his initial visit proved to already show great results.
Charlie was hesitant to enter our grooming salon, however he wasn’t shaking with fear either. Candace spent only an hour and half on his groom that day (yes! half the time the previous groom took!) and she managed him on her own without assistance from her fellow team member.
On Charlie’s 3rd visit, 6 weeks later, Candace was able to remove the muzzle and groom him safely. Charlie had learned to trust Candace!
Now in 2018 Charlie still comes every 6-8 weeks for grooming, along with his sister Lu-eeze. Charlie went from a scared, aggressive dog that would shake, hold his tail in between his legs and try to run away when he entered Stylin’ Dogs to a happy dog that comes running into our salon!
Occasionally, Charlie still does the occasional scream or mouths Candace to see if he can make her stop but once he realises his old antics still don’t work he submits to being groomed and enjoys the cuddles and praise along the way.
Sometimes we can never know why a dog doesn’t like to be groomed. It can be due to a previous bad experience or simply the dog just hasn’t been exposed to the process enough to be comfortable with it.
We are extremely proud of both Charlie for learning to trust Candace and Amber for trusting us to work with Charlie on a regular basis to turn grooming in to a positive regular experience for him.
As you can see from his photo, Charlie sure looks proud of himself too!