Problem with Grooming

I am a dog groomer and I take great pride in my Tali's ever growing coat. Ever since I got her at a young age I have been routinely (once a week without fail) bathing, stripping, clipping her nails, scissoring and brushing. It has been a constant learning experience for her and I. The thing about Afghan Hounds, is they scream. It also seems that mine is a real diva. Generally she is good, stands nicely and is exceptional on her feet, including nails, unlike many Afghans. However. Her last three groomings have been a screaming nightmare. Her coat is getting long enough to get small mats now. While I can get the mats behind the ears with little difficulty it is the mats she always gets between her two front toes that she gets worked up about. They are just little things, hardly worth the effort but they can not be ignored. If I even touch them with my comb, or even touch her feet, she erupts into a screaming fit. It is like I am killing her and it is so embarrassing and gets my blood boiling (her screams are horribly loud). It also disturbs customers. I can't even use treats or positive reinforcement because she gets so worked up and I do not want to coddle the behavior. I need her to get use to getting pulled on, or when she is full coat, she is going to be a nightmare. I have already considered muzzling her while I do her feet. I don't know what changed in the last few grooming that has put her off like this. I am going to start combing her front feet every day to try and get her desensitized. Any other tips or tricks would be helpful!

  • Tara E.

    I know this might be a long shot, since the post is old, but I will give it a try. 

    How were you able to handle the screaming. I would really appreciate your advice. I have an Oster A5 from here but it is quite noisy. Should I change the hair clipper? What are you using?

  • Stephen L.

    You are doing a really good job that you can do grooming yourself.

    I suggest you to use pet vaccums which do not harm your dog and these vaccums are dog friendly.

  • Caitlin F.

    It has almost been two years since I made this post initially. I have come to give an update on her grooming behavior. Afghan Hounds, in general, are an extremely sensitive breed and mine was definitely on the timid side. During our first year together both of us were under a lot of stress trying to develop a bond, understanding and trust. Now I believe we have that. First thing: puppy coat. It is horrible! Please, whenever you get a new puppy and want it brushed out; don't! If it is a single coat, curly or straight, get your puppy's first grooming a shaving! Hair grows back but it makes the first grooming faster and much less miserable for them. I would fully groom her one day and the day after she would have mats again. I was stubbornly trying to stick to the 'traditional' way of grooming an Afghan under the pressure of a fellow groomer who had two Afghans herself. Pin brushes, combs and stripping stones. Tali hated it and so did I. Much to my co-workers horror I started to use matt-splitters, ditching the pin brush for a slicker brush and the stripping stone for clippers. While that cut down on grooming time and difficulty immensely I was still frustrated. Tali no longer screamed at this point but it was still not fun for me. So. I shaved her. My boss, and Tali's breeder, gave me the idea of putting her in something like a town and country used on poodles. Not exactly the same but close. I also chose to shave very high up her neck, all the way behind her ears but still leaving the characteristic Afghan head. After shaving her I could see all the discoloring from damaged skin and hair from the dematting and brushing. So I kept it short for quite awhile and fixed her damaged hair and skin with supplements and fewer groomings. The shaving removed all of the puppy coat from her torso but we still had trouble with her legs matting for a few months more. Now I am starting to grow back her chest. With the puppy coat all gone I can go without grooming her fully for weeks, with occasional run through with a comb or/and splitter on matts. With additional supplements of omega 3 oil, limited ingredient food and a new high quality cream rinse her coat is growing back and healing beautifully. Her legs and skirt are soft to the touch and her saddle is thick and course. Just the way she should be!
  • Tazza M.

    My dog was like that for a short time, but I eventually held a treat in my hand, showing enough so that she could nibble it slowly, while I brushed her paws. Hope this helped!
  • Caitlin F.

    Shawn. That answer is completely unless to me. Please read posts completely before answering. I am a professional dog groomer and I have been working at a salon for 4 years now. I am not going to take her to other groomers in my area because I know for a fact they are mean. For a groomer to take their own dog to another groomer would be stupid. I would never trust another groomer with my dog, even the groomers I work with. I was looking for tips on how to change the behavior, not avoid it or be made worse by others my dog doesn't know or trust. 

    As for the behavior. The everyday brushing of the feet with a fine tooth comb worked wonders. While she still has a whines and cries on occasion, but no longer screams, if there are any mats between her toes. The preventative definitely makes her weekly 'to the wood-works' grooming sessions much more enjoyable for the both of us. It is a work in progress


Sign in or sign up to submit an answer.