When I was starting a private behavior practice, I had already trained two working dogs for my municipal animal control agency. I knew dogs. I knew training. To broaden the scope of my services, I spent a great deal of time learning about behavior modification.
I was at a dog park the other night with a 45 pound ABD (American Black Dog). It had the typical medium–length, all black coat and built like a border collie. A couple of weeks ago he pulled his owner off her feet while going after his favorite target—’little white dogs’. He gave no warning before he lunged.
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.
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: