Hug Your Dog Groomer!

When is the last time that you have trimmed your dogs nails yourself? How about brushed their teeth? Brushed their coat? Given them a bath? A fur cut?

If you have ever done these things on your own chances are you may realize just how difficult and time consuming it can really be. Not to mention stressful. Perhaps you’re one of the lucky ones who have a dog that will just completely relax and allow you to do whatever you might need. For many clients this is only a dream!

Now, just to be clear, I am NOT a dog groomer. I have expertly trained staff with loads of

vancouver dog grooming

Kaori taking a break while working on Mila the golden doodle

experience to handle to all of our shops grooming needs. I am however a canine behaviour therapist and trainer with experience to boot!

I watch all of our grooms closely whenever I have the opportunity, and let me tell you  that it is not easy!!

Typically a client will bring their dog in and request a style, remember, the dog that you know and see on a daily basis may not act like you’d expect when you’re not around. I’ve seen growling, spinning, biting, barking, and even pooping while dogs are being groomed! We make every effort at our shop to keep the environment calm and clean and as stress – free as possible, but on occasion our groomers will have to undo some bad associations that dog’s may have had from previous groomers at other shops. The process at Dharma Dog Daycare & Grooming is usually a smooth one and on occasion so relaxing for the dog that they actually will fall asleep!

I guess I’m really writing this in appreciation of our grooming staff and all groomers who are calm, relaxed, and are able to cope in their high pressure industry.

The next time that you visit your local grooming shop (hopefully it’s ours 😉 ) Just remember that it isn’t an easy job and to say thank you to the hard working groomers out there!

 

Separation Anxiety and Rescue Dogs

Meet Chalu, a recent member at Dharma Dog Daycare and Grooming.

He’s a shy little guy who doesn’t really have a good sense of comfort with his surroundings yet. We don’t know too much about his past life, but he came to his owners John and David* in the last month.

They love this little guy!

He has made such great strides in becoming more confident, and here are some of the steps that we have taken at Dharma Dog to help him become a better balanced dog.

Originally we limited his interaction with EVERYONE! I just wanted him to get a feel for our shop and listen to and smell all of the excitement and dogs.

Gradually we established trust amongst the human members of Dharma Dog and were able to very gradually expose him to one dog at a time. This was a very slow and methodical process as we were hoping to build fun and calm interactions.

Eventually Chalu was ready to join the group of dogs and was very much the wallflower. He would often choose his kennel as a secure area to hide and watch the group from a distance.

His curiosity continued to peak until he finally decided that he wanted to voluntarily meet the other dogs.

After 4 weeks of Chalu attending we can comfortably leave him amongst the group where he chooses to romp around and play! He still needs his space on occasion and most of the dogs will gladly oblige.

A small victory, but definitely one of the feel good reasons why I like my career.

Keys to success with shy dogs:

1. understand them

2. earn their trust

3. be patient

4. prevent stress

5. reward the great decisions

6. repeat!

*names changed for privacy

 

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Proper Dog Waste Disposal

As a dog owner, I should always pick up my dog’s business when he decides to relieve himself on a walk or anywhere in public for that matter. I know this and I do this – as a matter of fact, I don’t think I could ever leave the poop. Well, alright, there have been a few times that I forget a bag and leave the poop for a moment to run home, grab a bag, and return to pick up my dog’s pile.

It always amazes me when I see dog poop that is not picked up, or if I see someone walking their dog who then walks away from the dog poop after the dog clearly just went on someone else’s lawn, on the park grounds or on the public side walk! I want to ask them, did you forget a bag? Do you think you are above picking up your dog’s poo? And then give them a few extra bags or call the city and report them. Unfortunately, I usually just give a disapproving expression and a little glare, my passive aggressive way to deal with someone else’s rude and inconsiderate (not to mention illegal) behaviour.

There was a great post by Vancouver Sun on May 19, 2012:

“First off, nobody knows precisely how many dogs populate the high-density urban landscape [of Vancouver]. However, if estimates of 145,000 dogs are correct, then applying University of B.C. scholar Stanley Coren’s approximation (published in a recent Psychology Today article) of an average production of about 340 grams of fecal matter per dog per day, simple arithmetic indicates man’s best friend must deposit about 50 tonnes of excrement on the city every 24 hours. Over a year that totals about 18,000 tonnes — more than 1.5 times the weight of BC Ferries’ biggest ship.”…Read more.

Now that’s a lot of dog poop! There are many options of what to do with your dog’s doo-doo besides leaving it on the path, school grounds, side walk, street, beach or park where other adults and children may see it, step in it, smell it, or otherwise frown upon it. It does not just disappear with the rain folks!

First of all, always have bags ready. Even better, have biodegradable doggie bags. Tie them to your leash or buy one of those leash doggie bag dispensers.

If you’re picking up your dog’s waste in the backyard, how about flushing it down the toilet? Can I do that? Yes, you can! Flushing down the toilet eliminates your dog poop into the city’s sewage system and is completely legal. However, you do not want to flush the bag as this will most certainly cause plumbing problems. Using a shovel or bucket would do the trick.

What if I live in an apartment or condo? Call a collection service! Search the web for dog waste collection and you will see there are several companies that offer this service.

Build a dog waste compost! Dog waste will decompose and relatively odour free if you build a composter in your garden or backyard. Be careful not to use this compost on a vegetable garden or to store it too close to a stream or river.

Throw it out. Even though pet waste is prohibited for garbage in the City of Vancouver, you are allowed to have it in small amounts if double bagged and placed in the garbage can for regular collection. Technically, this is not considered a good disposal choice as the landfills do better without dog waste, which actually produces methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, and is also hazardous to the staff there.

As a side note, did you know that cat feces is NOT flushable? For all our cat owners out there – even cat litter marked “flushable” does not mean you can flush the feces itself, which will clog the plumbing and city sewer.

Getting back to dogs… If all these options aren’t enough to encourage you to pick up your dog’s business, maybe the fines will! Vancouver’s animal control bylaw allows the city to levy a fine between $250 and $10,000 if a dog owner fails to pick up after their pet. That’s enough incentive for me… well that and it’s plain common courtesy.Image