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OT: Grooming Meanies!!!

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So I have a question regarding grooming. This is soooo OT that is doesn't concern the BC, though "my" 10-year old princess cat that lives with my mother.


We just went to take her to the Spa for a treatment. Very outdoor cat with a pretty big mat in her coat. As we were there I heard some bad yelping in back. It sounded like a nail cut too short or snipped with scissors. No comforting of the pet following that encouter by the staff. Though we did hear several times this very stern "no" and "stop it" from the staff working in back. I politely said that we would like to cancel our appointment and my reasoning. The woman was very defensive stating that in grooming you often have to speak to animals in that tone to brush and groom. She stuck to her belief.


I personally knew that my cat was already terrified and didn't want someone that would treat her in such a manner grooming her.


Was this unreasonable? Groomers out there, is it better to be stern or use positive reinforcement to modify that grooming behavior? I am pretty sure I will be writing a letter to the owners, though wanted to make sure I wasn't unreasonable.


Thanks and sorry for the OT posting.


Jaime, Eeva & Tuuli

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And you wonder why they "have to" talk to the animals that way? Scare the begezus out of them, cause them pain, then instead of comforting, yell at them.


Good for you for walking out. And do write that letter. The owners need to know why they lost your business.

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I have to point out that if you didn't actually SEE anything happen to the dog, it may have been crying out of fear and nothing else. Many dogs who have not been properly desensitized to being handled will will "ki-yi" and positively SHRIEK, even though the human is being quite gentle and not causing the animal anything other than mental discomfort... 1)especially if they are in an unfamiliar, noisy environment with a lot of strange dogs, 2)especially if they are not used to being restrained, 3)especially if they're not used to standing on a small table, 4)especially if they're not used to being groomed (and therefor possibly matted, making some discomfort almost unavoidable) and 5)most ESPECIALLY if they are not used to feeling their paws are "trapped" (as you would hold them to clip nails). In this case, a "goooood doggie, it's ooookaaaaay" type of response will only reinforce the dog's fearful reaction. When I used to assist as an instructor at an obedience school, we taught our puppy and beginner students how to clip nails and saw this reaction from many dogs, every eight weeks... The best approach in this case is a matter-of-fact one; a professional groomer simply does not have time to desensitize every animal they see on a daily basis (that should have been done by the owner).


I have a few groomer friends and they also see dogs and cats become so fearful that they can become dangerous on the table; either by biting or scratching the groomer, or by flopping around the table in a way that could cause them to fall off and hang themselves. So an animal like this would need to be restrained by an assistant, which might also cause the animal to be vocal.


I am only presenting a scenario in which things may not have been what they seemed. Naturally, I am NOT defending a groomer or assistant who is correcting a dog that actually has been hurt or injured in some way.

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