4 Months 1 Day- A Grooming Training Session

Oct 29, 2004 | Stitch's Story

I give Stitch a hand signal to Stand, then my admonishing-finger stay signal. She Stands up and remains standing.

Then I fix her feet a bit, give her a voice cue to stay, and she stays in the Stand for 10 seconds. Wowzers. What a silly thing to be so excited about!

To celebrate, we start working on Paws Up. Bending over is very difficult for me. Scuba stands up with her paws on me on cue so I can put her collar on. All this bending over to pick up Stitch is killing me. And, like most puppies, when I reach to pick her up, she leans away. We have to do something about this, and soon. I sit on a chair next to the grooming table, and lure her to jump her front feet up on my knees (yes, I’m teaching my puppy to jump on me). Once she’s up, I click and treat her for leaving her paws up while I hold her ribcage/elbows as if I’m going to pick her up. Paws Up and stay up X 50.

Finally I pick her up and put her on the grooming table. We do a few Sit-Down-Stand, and a couple of Sore Paws. She offers me Sore Paw several times while she’s lying down and we play with that for a while because it leaves her lying with crossed paws – the Princess look.

I spend 30 trying to lure her over onto her side, but she can’t get past her elbow. It’s sitting there holding her upright. Finally I give up and roll her off it onto her side. Immediately she remembers to relax her neck and rest her head on the table. I play with her feet X20, then figure, as long as I’m here, I might as well do something useful, so I get my scissors and see if I can get them near her feet with her relaxed. X20, and I can, so I start scissoring one hairy front paw. It takes 30 to keep her relaxed while I do it, but by the time we run out of kibble, she’s got one very large front paw, and one remaining humongous great whomping front paw. I’ll do the other one at supper.

Scuba was very touch-sensitive as a puppy. It took months to get her to accept me scissoring her body coat, and she’s still not happy having me work on her feet. She’ll stay while I pet her with my foot, but only under command, never voluntarily. My Giant Schnauzers have all been much calmer about touch, and I’m thrilled to see the puppy is more relaxed as well. Not to mention that even a week ago I wouldn’t have put money on her lying on a table so I could scissor her toes.

I was there and I STILL don’t believe it. She’s 16 weeks old, she’s lying on her side on the grooming table with a few kibbles near her front paws. I’ve just finished scissoring her feet. She’s totally relaxed but not sleeping. Just for Heaven’s sake don’t tell her this behaviour leads to toenail cutting…