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Training

Finding the Right Trainer for Your Clients

Behavior Clips
Many of your clients need training services and ask you to help them find a qualified trainer. Trainers that come to your salon may solicit that kind of recommendation. They will undoubtedly sell themselves in the best light possible – an understandable and normal thing to do. This is where it gets interesting.

From Pack to Play Group

The last 30 years of dog training lore revolves around the connection between wolves and dogs. You can buy 100 books that prattle about dogs being descended from wolves; animals that voluntarily live in groups, called packs. This perspective invariably assumes that dogs are likewise “pack animals”. The underlying implication is that dogs possess the same wolf-like ability to live in harmony with their own kind.

Recognizing Fear & Aggression In Dogs During Grooming

There is nothing worse in a full day of grooming than being bitten by a client’s dog. Having to deal with dogs that do not enjoy grooming is par for the course but being bitten is oftentimes rare, painful, and can set you back for hours, if not days.
As groomers, I feel like we are excellent animal wranglers. Collectively, we’ve managed to get more things done to dogs in the name of hygiene than anyone else.

Puppy Power

Grooming Tips for the Pet Stylists
I love grooming puppies, but they can present a real challenge for a pet stylist. Since grooming is a new experience for a puppy, it can be hair-raising. Puppies want to play and investigate. Everything is fun and games.

A Barking Matter

Barking is a problem for just about everyone other than New Zealand shepherds. They use “Huntaway” dogs to drive sheep with incessant barking. For them it is functional. For the rest of us it is problematic. People can be driven from their apartments or condos because their dogs bark incessantly. Shelters have trouble featuring adoptable animals because they cannot hear amid barking dogs. OSHA noise level standards require kennel workers to use hearing protection.

10 Steps to Housetraining Success

Behavior Clips
The Background: Once, at the Everett Animal Shelter in Everett, Washington, we got in about twenty 12-week-old German Shepherd pups at the same time. I think they were seized from a breeder but the source really isn’t important.

Behavior Odds and Ends

Behavior Clips
Here are a few “odds and ends” of training advice that can be shared with your clients or used in your everyday life:

A Groomer’s Guide to Target Training

Training for veterinary care, grooming, and handling procedures can greatly reduce stress, and make the job easier for all involved. Target training is widely used in zoos, aquariums, and with domesticated animals of all species. Animals can learn to hold their nose to a target while having blood drawn, and during other veterinary procedures.

Reading Body Posture to Avoid Aggression

As all experienced dog trainers and behavioral specialists will tell you, when dealing with behavioral challenges, you must address their root causes if you realistically expect to eliminate or reduce the actual behavior. This is relevant for groomers.
Dogs who try to bite you are typically doing so for two—possibly three ­—reasons:

The Secret Power of Once

About ten years ago I worked on an artificial intelligence project at MIT. One of my first experiences there was to stand in a small room full of all kinds of devices. The professor that invited me to participate handed me a music conductor’s baton and asked me to move it in any repetitive way – side to side, up and down or circles.

Grooming Cut Short

One of the blessings of dog behavior is that you can change it. One of the curses of dog behavior is that it can change.
For instance, I was working with a dog yesterday who gets violent if you try to groom his rear end. He is remarkably like Bear, the Mini Schnauzer I recalled in a previous column. If you try to touch this dog’s rear end, he’ll bite you. We have made great progress with this little guy and decided it was time to go to the groomer to test our progress.

Fitting Hand to Glove

Most people think that Darwin created the phrase “Survival of the Fittest.” He didn’t. Darwin himself attributed the phrase to Herbert Spencer. Darwin’s encapsulation of evolution is slightly different:
“In the struggle for survival, the fittest win out at the expense of their rivals because they succeed in adapting themselves best to their environment.”

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