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Old 04-01-2009, 02:31 PM
v-girl v-girl is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 34
Default Fear of a Brush

I have a husky/lab mix who has lab fur, but has a thick husky undercoat. He's been back with us (he is from one of our litters) for almost 4 months and was abused and I doubt was ever groomed. He let me brush him the first couple of times, but now he runs when he sees the brush. He will do ANYTHING for food, but will not come near me when I have a treat and the brush. I started using a groomers mit, (which has rubber tips on a glove) and I am able to massage him with it working up the loose hairs and brushing some of it out. So far this has worked out pretty good, though it doesn't reach deep into the undercoat as well as I'd like. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to combat this fear and make a brush a positive thing?

I have thought about carrying the brush around or having it clipped to me to help with the desensitation and giving treats, would something like this help? And where would I go from there? He still has some strong insecurities and this is the strongest reaction I have gotten about anything new I have introduced. God help me, when I have to give him a bath!

Any ideas would be great. Thanks
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Old 04-02-2009, 06:16 AM
aliceluo aliceluo is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 24

nothing a big idea. just get use to it .dogs are afraid of it . it's normal.
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Old 04-02-2009, 08:55 AM
Athebeau Athebeau is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 663

Continue desensitizing and make good things happen when the brush is around. Make sure you are properly line brushing and not hurting the dog. With my new rescue dogs to desensitize them to certain things I wait until I am relaxed and they are relaxed. I don't look at them and think hey your nails need to be done and grab the clippers same with the brush it's all in how you present it Your body language speaks volumes. Start by being relaxed perhaps while watching TV sitting beside him on the coach. Have your brush in your pocket. Rub the dogs belly making him very relaxed, massage the legs then put the brush down in the line of vision continue massaging etc. Next time massage then brush a bit, and have plenty of treats. Take it slow and build up. Some people to distract the dog will smear peanut butter or cream cheese on their fridge and start from there. I always use a positive upbeat manner, showing the dog I am confident I know what I'm doing I use an upbeat tone of voice and make it playful (just don't start allowing him to start play biting at the brush that can turn into a nightmare all on its own). Sometimes distraction techniques can help as well. If your dog is really interested in squeak toys have someone squeak one to distract.

When you need to bath him for the first time I would go to one of the u baths as they have a tether in the tub for your dogs protection. This way the dog is secure in the tub and when you start to bath do not bring the nozzle up over the dog start from the legs upwards never over top. There are all kinds of tricks for the bath tub that can be used, when it comes time let me know LOL I work as a bather at my Sisters grooming shop and have taken some pretty wild I hate water dogs (especially husky's seem to hate water) and with positive confident manner have brought them around to being calm.

Just to add as well, at my Sisters grooming shop she has many clients who cannot brush their own dogs. Many times these dogs pick up on their owners fear, hesitations etc. My Sister has no problems brushing these dogs as she gives off so much confidence. Plus, they are in an unfamiliar place, on a table which is a huge help.
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Old 04-04-2009, 01:27 AM
v-girl v-girl is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 34

Thank you Athebeau, I really appreciate your insight as I am sure half of it is in my body lauguage. Sometimes I just jump right into it not really thinking of him, just that it's got to be done. And the last time I did it must have really scared him. I tend to give baths the same way though this past year after having a litter of pups has made me look at the way I have handle myself around my dogs and especially with training and learning new things. It has helped me to really slow down and focus with them.

Thank you for your thoughts. And I will be calling on you when it comes close to bath time!
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Old 04-04-2009, 04:10 AM
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Jadens_Slave Jadens_Slave is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Phoenix Arizona
Posts: 91

Does he like when you actually brush him? I mean is he scared of the brush itself or the brushing? My dogs LOVE to be brushed, but im sure he has his reasons to be scared. How about this.

Use your method with the groomers mit. Get him really relaxed. Before you sit him down have the brush hidden but in your reach (behind you or something) and once hes relaxed and even not looking, swap the brush and start using that. See if he notices the difference? I would give it a shot..sorry i couldnt be more help. Ive never had a dog afraid of that..they usually beg me for more!
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