I cut this from other thread so I could respond a little easier. Caring owner writes: my little cocker has a wonderful groomer, she sounds much like yourself. She works out of her home, and has a great little shop set up. She is a master groomer, and does wonderful with all dogs. My question to you, my groomer is a client at the vet hospital I work. When my little girl sees her there she is so excited to see her and jumps straight on me to get to her. Now, when we go to her house for the spa day, she just shakes all the way there. She knows where she is going... Perhaps its because she is so dependant on me, because when i pick her up, she has to give kisses goodbye to the groomer. So, can you help me out here? I really hate to see her shake like that.. Thanks Great question! Think carefully, at what point does she start shaking? do you keep her in long/full coat? How old is she, and how long with this groomer? The way that she greeted her groomer at the vet tells me that bottome line, she's going to the right groomer. She likes her, and if she's going to have to put up with grooming... it might as well be with someone she likes. No matter what the dogs prior history is, let's face it, noisy dryers, clippers, strange people and dogs coming and going, vacuum cleaners, phone ringing... we really ask a lot of our dogs sometimes and if we're just patient and let the dogs learn slowly but surely, that none of these things are a threat they usually overcome any genuine fears of grooming. I've dealt with many, many like this and continue to do so on a regular basis. Some take longer than other, but very few fail to adapt to grooming well. A couple days before taking your girl in for grooming, in your happy, excited voice tell your girl "You're gong to get pretty real soon, ohhhh, I can hardly wait to see my pretty girl again" Tell her that you really love it when she's all sweet and smells fresh, make a fuss for a couple minutes.. it's kind of silly,but this is going to work..... then, when it's time to get ready to go in don't take a long time to prepare, make it short and sweet.... in your real excited voice.... "Oh we finally get to go and get pretty, WOO HOO!!" A little treat would be fine here, (don't feed full meal before grooming either) and just get in the car. Watch her and try to be as quietly upbeat and offer security to her for the ride. When you arrive, try to make the transition between you and your groomer as short and matter of fact as possible. I love a gentle handoff, accompanied by a quick, "I'll see you in just a little while when YOU ARE ALL PRETTY!" LOL, imagine that. She'll learn, you love her all the time of course, but there's just a little extra reward for that time when she's extra fresh. So... don't let her ever know that you are worried about her being nervous for her grooming experience, She'll pick up on that... that is why dogs shake on the way to groomers. The owners are genuinely concerned that their dogs have a good experience and worry about them The dogs suspect that just MAYBE there is some reason to worry?! Get past that, keep telling them they're going to have a great time. Length of coat is important in the fact that if it is long, and she has to be dematted very much..... cockers are very sensitive and can tolerate some, but, I've seen more cockers turn into miserable dogs to work on because of prior dematting experience. I have very few clients with their pets in floor length coats anymore. It is truly a major committment to your pet to keep them long AND happy. Your little girl sounds like a perfectly normal, sweet initially reserve but easy to win over personality that thrives on a sweet touch and friendly word. Get a different association going in her little noggin for the trip over and you'll both feel much more at ease:) I truly feel for you..... some of these poor little shaking kids when I take them from their parents arms.... I KNOW that they will be ok, but it's hard to be convinced.... especially when we know how well canine intuition really can work. That's part of why this is so much fun.... no two days are ever alike!!
wench, thanks so much for your advice. Maye is 4 years old, she is in full coat, and is groomed every 6 weeks. Although I do her myself in between. I dont cut her, just bathe, brush and dry. My husband actually got me a grooming table for Christmas, so I thought this may help her also. My groomer always says she is great when she does her. Maybe I am more concerned than she, and she knows that I get upset when she shakes. I'm pretty particular about her, so she never has any matts. My groomer is so surprised, because most long hair pets come to her matted. She(my little girl) is a princess. She begins shaking as soon as she gets in the car and we turn a different way, other than to work. Boy, are they smart. I do tell her about a couple of days before and up to the day we are going to get pretty.(what we won't do for out pets!lol) I put her in the kennel at the groomers, makes her feel a little better. She usually gets dropped off at 8:30 am and I pick her up between 11:30 and 12. Which I think is pretty good time. This is the only person that has groomed her since she was 12 weeks old. I think the treat will help and then she will associate this trip with a good thing. I never really thought about that, thanks. You would think since I work with pets all day that I would be more in tune to a little special something when they had to do something they aren't so sure of. She is very dependant on me. She won't even go out for my husband. If I leave the house, she will go get on my bed until I get home. Don't get me wrong, she loves him, but wants me there. Little spoiled, but I love her dearly. Thanks again, you sound like a great groomer yourself and very knowledgable.