We have all had them.
The pancake dogs.
The dogs that flatten themselves down on the grooming table, or in the tub.
You try to stand them back up, and they freak, and just press their body harder into the table.
The more you try to stand them up, the more they fight you, or even try to jump from the table.
I used to struggle trying to stand the dogs back up, or keep them standing.
The more frustrated I got, the more they fought standing.
I know that there are different body loops out there that keep a dog standing up on its feet, or keep the dog suspended in the air while you groom it.
These loops help a lot of groomers, but I know that I could never use one.
Now, if you use body loops, please do not get upset with me.
I am not judging anyone, I just know that I personally could not use them.
I can't even stand using a regular grooming loop...they just get in my way.
It is a personal preference.
Anyway, this Tip is about getting the dogs to stand up on your table, and in the tub, without a fight.
There are two tricks to this Tip.
The first and most important is your attitude.
You must not get frustrated, or upset with the dog.
You must not fight, yank, or pull on the dog.
I have found that this trick works for me almost every time.
I say almost because, there is always that one or two dogs that are either unbelievably stubborn, or truly too scared out of their wits to stand up.
This trick is so simple that you probably won't believe it until you try it yourself.
This little lady likes to flatten herself out on my table.
Yes, I let her...to a point.
I do 50% of her grooming with her lying down.
I clip her back, head, face, and ears...whatever I can do while she is lying down.
Why not...who says that she has to stand for the entire grooming?
This Cocker is one of the kind of dogs that if you try to force her to stand, she will freak out.
Her legs will spay out sideways.
She will start to wiggle around, pressing herself down even more.
So what do I do?
I slowly and gently slide my hand under her belly...and I start to tickle.
Yes, you read that right.
I start to tickle her belly, at the same time, in a gentle voice, I chant "up,up,up,up."
I use a tone of voice that sounds like what you would use when you are tickling a baby, or toddler.
You want your voice to sound happy and encouraging.
I hope that that makes sense.
As I am tickling, I apply just a tiny bit of pressure to the belly.
Don't try to do this with too much pressure, or too quickly.
You want the dog to feel like it is their decision to stand.
Yes, I said the dogs decision.
Some dogs will pop right up onto all four feet.
Other dogs, like this Cocker, like to take it slow and sit up first.
I keep tickling and applying just a little pressure along with my up,up,up chant until she is standing all of the way up.
Can't you just see her saying; "why are you making me stand up?"
With a lot of dogs you can remove your hand as soon as the dog stands up.
With other dogs, like this Cocker, I leave my hand under her tummy until I am sure that she feels secure standing up, and will not plop right back down.
Most of the dogs that I groom regularly are so used to me tickling their tummies, that most of the time, all I have to do now is slide my hand under their tummy and they pop right up.
The most important thing is to be patient and give the dog the chance to realize that they are secure, and that it is okay to be standing on a table way up off of the ground.
Oh, one other Tip that I just thought about...if you have a grooming table that the dogs make shake, or vibrate sometimes, as you try to make them stand, press your body, or leg against the table to stop the shaking and secure the table.
Once the table feels secure under the dog, the dog will usually relax.
Also, remember to gently reassure the dog as you are pressing your body to the side of your table, securing it.
I hope that this Tip helps.
Just try it, you may find yourself pleasantly surprised how well it works.
✂ Happy Grooming, MFF✂