Sunday, February 20, 2011

Hear the buzz

I'm going to give Mika a haircut for the first time. Probably next weekend. She just gets so stressed at the groomer's that I'd like to start doing it at home.

I started introducing her to the noise of the clippers on Thursday. First it was casual, by accident; I just walked into the bathroom to look for the clippers and Mika happened to follow. When I found them, I let her sniff them and she immediately ran away. This dog is my master generalizer; I've never clipped her in my life, but she knew right away that it was the same thing that the groomer used!

When we had our actual training session on Thursay, Mika knew that we were training and didn't run away when she saw the clippers. First I threw a bunch of treats on the floor, then a bunch more, and then turned on the clippers. Mika started to shake even as her tail continued to wag wildly (you should see this dog during all our training or trick sessions; her tail wags so fast throughout our sessions that it's almost a blur). She stopped shaking as I continued to throw treats on the ground, and that tail kept going. She realized that I wasn't going to clip her, I was just rewarding her for hearing the buzzing noise. And she was fine with that!

We did the same thing in our first session on Friday. In the second Friday session, I threw treats on the ground as I brought the clippers close to her back. She was completely fine with that. In fact, she's loving our "pre-clipping" sessions; all she has to do is hear the buzzing noise and she gets piles of treats thrown on the ground!

I think Mika will be fine. I just don't know how I'll be, concerning my lack of :) Be prepared for a disaster!


  1. I think it's a fantastic idea to groom Mika yourself - not just her stress at the groomers but the cost of it! If I had a dog that needed to be clipped, I would totally learn how to do it myself and not worry if my first few tries ended in a less than immaculately groomed dog - LOL! Good luck!

  2. I brush Eva everyday but send her to the groomer once in a blue moon if she needs any major grooming. Otherwise, I use scissors to trim her paws as Eva doesn't like the electrical clipper either.
    Good luck for your home grooming!

  3. I bet Mika will be just fine. You will have to let us know how it goes. :)

  4. Good Luck! I have problems just doing toenails so I let the groomers do Tucker and Beckett.

  5. Good luck and how smart to prepaire before and go slow!!!

  6. You'll be able to trim Mika no problem. Sounds like she's getting the idea too. I know Abbey is MUCH less stressed now that I groom her myself instead of sending her to the groomer. She is also much more well behaved. She stays right there and can't wait to get all that fur off. I bet you Mika will be the same.