Exclusively Setters

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Hi all

I have a 2 year old Irish setter who loves fuss and being stroked etc. We moved house 6 months ago and opposite my house is a huge area of forest to play in, he absolutely loves it and runs around loving life for hours. My problem is now the bad weather has arrived the area has got pretty muddy, therefore i am needing to wash and brush him etc more often. Being bathed he is OK with, doesn’t particularly enjoy it but stands fairly still and tolerates it. Brushing his back, ears, head and tail he’s also ok with, however now he’s getting a lot more dirty he is also getting his feathers far messier and in some areas a couple of matts have appeared, i worked the majority out with a comb and conditioner again he was ok, however what we have all noticed is that when we go to brush him or even touch around the folds of his groin area, he hates it, growls and snaps, this is where the small (ten pence piece size matts are) they must be pulling on his skin and i totally emphasise with why he is reacting the way he is to them, he seems to have made an association with anyone touching there and pain. I’m not sure if when being groomed he’s been hurt, or someone’s caught a Matt while stroking. Its only recently started happening.

I’d cut them out if he let me anywhere near there. I could restrain him and do it, but then i fear he’s going to become more fearful of that area being groomed going forward. I also dont want to traumatise him. 

Any suggestions anyone? Does any of you have a setter that isn’t keen on being groomed? 

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