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Thread: Grabbing at hands, advice needed please.

  1. #1
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    Question Grabbing at hands, advice needed please.

    Ellie is now 9 months old, and a very strong willed young lady.
    She has always hated being brushed, but I used to give her another brush to play with while I brushed her, and so it was never a big problem and I only used to brush her about once a week anyway.
    But now her fur is long and silky ( beautiful) and she is moulting a lot, so I need to groom her more often, and I am having a real problem because she keeps grabbing at my hands. Her fur isnt matted so I dont have to tug at her, but as soon as I get round her tail end she starts to grab . I give her a FIRM NO and carry on brushing, but she is getting worse. She isnt biting but I am afraid it might lead to a bite.
    She also has a bad habit of jumping up at visitors, and she grabs at their hands too. I have always told friends who come to ignore her until she calms down, and they do.....but as soon as they fuss her she gets very excited, and has started hand grabbing.
    I have never had a dog do this before,always letting them know who is top dog in the house, and really apart from this problem Ellie has never been any trouble...
    Sorry for the long posting , but I need some advise please for my girl.

  2. #2
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    The jumping up is a training issue -- and will take time eg training when people are not there, rather than being frustrated by trying to address the issue only when they arrive, as that won't really work). In short: you need to be able to put her into a sit or downstay when people arrive and she needs to be able to stay like this while she accepts attention. That means first you will need to have her able to do a reliable sit/stay. If you can put a dog into a sit or downstay, the jumping won't happen. So in other words -- you need to work on her other skills til she is totally reliable on these commands. Until then, I'd put her in another room when people visit if she is a problem to manage. I know from personal experience that many people dislike leaping dogs!

    On the brushing -- if she is snapping and biting it is most likely because the brushing hurts, even though you are taking care not to have it hurt.

    There are three approaches --

    * first to check to see if there is an underlying medical issue especially in her tail/hindquarters. This could be anal glands, some mild syringomyelia (neurologically based) pain, hip pain, patellas, anything that makes that area sensitive.

    * second to modify how you groom her. It is very easy to really hurt these dogs by pulling on their hair especially the long hair on the hindquarters and tail. It sounds like maybe this is what is happening? I'd ask for advice from a professional groomers on how to position and handle her. My dogs are ALL hyper-sensitive in these areas and I have to be extremely gentle and hold the hair at the base near the skin so there's no pulling, ever.

    * third, consider taking her for a professional grooming regularly to avoid this discomfort as much as possible and ask them for guidance on home grooming. As she grows accustomed to the professional grooming she will be much easier for you to groom.

    Saying 'no' to her for reacting if she is in pain will only be very frustrating to her and may indeed push her towards biting, as she cannot 'not' feel the discomfort she seems to undergo when getting groomed. It is a difficult issue. Good luck and let us know what ends up working for you!
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

  3. #3
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    Thanks Karlin for the advise. I will try to be more geltle when brushing her, I think maybe cavilers do seem to be very sensitave than most dogs??.
    She loves having a bath and loves me drying her with the hairdryer.
    She has been to puppy training classes and passed with flying colours, and I can get her to sit/stay when we are alone, but it all goes out of the window when she gets excited ....I can place a treat on her foot and tell her to 'leave' and make her wait until I say OK before she will eat it.
    So in most ways she is very easy to train....

  4. #4
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    I have the same problem with Chester when I am trying to groom him & cuts his nails. He isnt aggressive, he just mouths at my hand & wont sit still. I still use the baby brush on him as he really doesnt like the wire ones.

    I have got him a little muzzle for when I groom him now. This seems to calm him down instantly & once I have finished he gets a little treat. He is getting better all the time & I can now groom most of him without his muzzle... but forget about cutting his nails. There is a pure art to that!
    Kelly, Mum to Chester

  5. #5
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    That's why training has to continue outside the class, in real world environments that are more distracting. It is pretty easy to get dogs to sit when it is calm all around. The thing after classes is to continue the training at parks or busy places where you gradually up the distraction level so you know your dog will also listen when there are other enticements and distractions.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

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