Rough Grooming and Rougher Little Girls - Wally's Bad Day | Exploits of an Amateur Dog Trainer: Blog Edition

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Friday, April 15, 2011

Rough Grooming and Rougher Little Girls - Wally's Bad Day

It's that time of year. The weather is warming up and the days are getting longer. This means that Wally is starting to change his coat to his summer coat...

...and makes it ten times harder to keep ahead of the mats!

When they mention about how the Coton just doesn't shed, what they don't mention is that the hair still comes out and just doesn't fall on the floor. It stays in the coat and just makes mats, mats, and more mats. Not just little balls here or there, but clumps of hair that just is a pain (literally in Wally's case) to get out. Luckily, Wally is willing to endure the rougher combing, but it doesn't make it any more pleasant for either of us. It's a necessary evil and a small "glitch" in the grand scheme of things, but twice a year, it shows up - more so in the Spring.

So every other day, it's a comb out and more tangles and squeaks of discomfort. I gave him treats for putting up with it because I know he could act far, far worse (I've seen the fits of protest dogs have put up at the groomer on the few times Wally goes in to Petco for a groom) and I know it's not pleasant for him. Color me soft but I don't think he should just take the discomfort for nothing. Yes, he has to stay there, but he should get rewarded for compliance in spite of the pulling.

On top of that, the warmer weather just brings out more and more kids - which means *cue scary music* rabid attention from every little girl in sight distance. Some of these girls get overly touchy with him and these last few have actually been rough with him, pushing him around, chasing him, pretty much trying to pounce on him. This was one of the few times I've interfered while keeping Wally under control.

What sometimes annoys me is that the parents will say (from a distance) to be more gentle but never actually remove the girl in question. What's with that? If you have to tell her "Be gentle!" five times and she's still harassing and pouncing on the dog, remove her. Please. Fortunately, I never let myself be completely surrounded, so we've had a way to escape so Wally doesn't totally lose his composure and I can take him away without being mean to the kids, especially the calm ones that just want to pet him and maybe feed him a few bread balls if I brought some out.

It's funny because there's one that he'll hang around and be cool with, even if she comes straight at him. (This is the one I think he originally mistook Dora for. She does look a bit like Dora - especially when she wears the same pink shirt and purple pants. Either that or his fetish with Dora has transferred to this girl for the same reason.) With this girl, he'll actually sit touching her and looking at me and the other girls. Pretty interesting.

It wasn't the best of days for him. I bet he'd curse the fact he has long, soft, "pet me!" hair - if dogs could think that way! Doesn't help he's one of the few white dogs in the neighborhood so he's instantly recognizable. We'll just have to get used to it. Wally's not getting any less pet-inducing or girl-attracting, and the "outdoor season" has just gotten started!