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"Reward" for good behavior.... - Ember - 11-27-2017

I failed the concept over the weekend.

Ember needed a bath. Desperately. It's been over 6 months, and she is finally on the tail end of shedding. She didn't stink, per se, but still - she needed a bath.

I found a local Pet Supply that has $10 self-service groomer style bathing stations. I cannot change the heads on my showers at home to add a long hose, and rinsing Ember any other way doesn't work for us in the tight bathroom space. So I bit the bullet and took her to get "groomed" - at least it would be by Me and not a stranger. And I had set myself up to make it up to her big time, including canned food and a spa session at home afterwards. I also planned to power march her in to the store and get in and out as fast as possible so she wouldn't have as much time to think about it.

Get her through the door. She LEADS me in. Doesn't shy away from the sliding doors. Nose to the ground - then to the shelves, the bins, the register (had to pay first). In the first 5 minutes no less than 3 dogs walk past. She greats them all with a tail wag, gives space where requested, and greets one on that one dog's terms. While in line, she greets 2 humans who line up with us - neither of whom try to touch her.

She DID try to get me out the door once, which is her normal behavior in these cases. However, the difference was once taken down an isle, she went from lagging behind to plowing forward, nose to everything. Greeted another 2 dogs on the way to the back of the store.

I should have bailed. I should have left on a good note. I even thought to do it. But I didn't. And she got a very not-wanted bath.

I'm going to be going back several times this week to rebuild her confidence, and to assess just how much she will be affected by getting a bath there (will she hesitate before entering? try harder to leave?). I'm taking liver (highest of high values), chicken, and our new Play Way in our arsenal. I WILL make it up to Ember, this sweet little girl who is suddenly trying so hard to be normal.

RE: "Reward" for good behavior.... - Gideon's mom - 11-27-2017

Poor baby! But as good as she is doing, she will be over it in no time. Have you tried the trick of smearing peanut butter all over the wall so she can lick it off while getting her bath?

RE: "Reward" for good behavior.... - Trifan - 11-28-2017

(11-27-2017, 06:27 PM)Gideon\s mom Wrote: Poor baby!  But as good as she is doing, she will be over it in no time.  Have you tried the trick of smearing peanut butter all over the wall so she can lick it off while getting her bath?

I tried this when I groomed Max the other day and it worked a treat. In spite of all my efforts to desensitise him, Max has remained a little sensitive about his rear end and he has quite the fluffy butt. He is fine with most brushing but very sensitive about the tail, directly under the tail and between the hind legs.
I have a grooming table of sorts in my workshop and the front of it abuts another taller bench that has a marble slab on it. Using a butter knife I smeared peanut butter on the marble close to his head so he could reach it and WOW did I get a good go at brushing out the butt area. He seemed completely oblivious to what I was doing. Three dips into the peanut butter and I achieved the best grooming session ever with no fuss. That particular jar of peanut butter now resides in the small fridge in the workshop labelled "dogs only" Haha.

RE: "Reward" for good behavior.... - Ember - 11-28-2017

I've never gotten her to eat peanut butter until today, tried after reading this. She isn't "nuts" for it at all, but given a kong and some space, she licked about half of it out. Hmm... Might do better with a meat paste LOL!

RE: "Reward" for good behavior.... - Ember - 12-15-2017

I took Ember back to the store today. She was understandably nervous but also loose - she was definitely shouting at me to leave (pulling towards the door). She never pulls, but I did have her on a harness this time to promote exploration, so I kinda asked for that.

They have a nice training area and a large empty area right in front of that. I took her over there and just sat on the floor. This unnerved her for a bit as me standing has a chance of leaving implied, but sitting means we aren't going anywhere. I just let her explore on her 50 foot line and called her in when anyone passed - it was a very quiet night there tho and no one bothered us. I also brought her liver treats which she ignored at first.

Then after a few minutes, I made a clicker sound with my mouth and tossed a treat on the floor. Finally she took notice and hoovered it up. I then waited for a glance and repeated, and got a wagging tail in response.

Within minutes I had her actually working using the clicker sound of my mouth. And she had a wagging tail. I was then able to walk around the store and even grab a cart (her first experience- but I was gift shopping for her and Anya and my hands were full). And she would take treats very well. She did pull constantly towards the door but other than that she was fine as long as no one approached for a pet.

I'm so proud of my girl.