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My Tobin is just not happy when it comes to grooming. He is particularly sensitive behind his ears and will not let me get the chunk of hair cut. Any suggestions?

I don't want a stranger groom him but I am close to giving in. Thanks setter friends.

Tobin and mom (Patricia)

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You could try clicker training to desensitise him to that area.  You would need to first condition him to the clicker (that is, "click" then a food reward - if he is food motivated - over and over again until the point where as soon as he hears the click, he is looking for the food).  Then work on getting the scissors closer and closer to his ears over a week or so.  Start by having the scissors nearby, then click and treat him ONLY when he shows no interest or relaxes.  Slowly move the scissors closer to him, using the same click and reward method.  You must click instantly when he relaxes, or it will not be effective.  You should soon be able to get the scissors to touch his ears.  Then move to making ONE cut.  Then two, etc etc, clicking and rewarding each time.


I managed to turn one of my dogs from a holy terror from hell to a calm, relaxed angel, by using this method to trim their nails.

thank you Melinda, I can't wait to try. he is food motivated on other tasks, let's hope it works here as well.


Melinda, thank you for your advice, although I didn't post that question.


Got he same problem with Gina. She hates to have her ears done (and her tail).  It's so bad, she hides under the bed when she sees me with the brush in my hand. Or the bottle with ear drops. And she knows that I can't reach her under the bed, clever little devil!


But I'll try your method. She loves her treats. And good luck to you, Patricia.

I have a devil of a time with Cash and his daily maintenance.  He also will hold my hand (not bite, but firmly) while combing and brushing his coat.  His tail is his sensitive spot and he freaks out when I even attempt it.  We find containing him in the bathroom helps.  He can't hide in there.  He will let you bath him everyday if you wanted to but just becomes crazy with his nails or brushing.  It only takes one time to hurt them, and they will NEVER forget it.  I suppose last summer when he got caught up in a burr bush and required hours of work to try to save some coat did him in.  He was fine with nails until the quick got cut, from then on he is impossible.  I do sometimes let someone else do him and he is much better about it.  And we never try anything until he was exercised first.  He is calmer and has less fight in him.

Thanks everyone, one hour and 15 minutes later I succeeded today. He got a lot calmer the longer it took. He is a huge setter, 95 pounds and I am by myself. But after lots of treats and kisses later, now the majority of the chunks behind his ears is gone. Some small trimming is left. And then the cookie jar which held the treats dropped onto the carpet and the fun was over. 

He is sleeping now and I need to vacuum, or not because that will just wake him. :) 


Tobin and Patricia say thanks for your nice comments and help!





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