Achieving Balance and Harmony


An Unfriendly Chihuahua and a Groomers Troublesome Clients

Season 4 | Episode 21 | Peanut and Sunshine, Roxy, & Angus

Meet Shelley and her devil chihuahua Peanut! She recently moved in with her mother, sister, brother-in-law, and their two children, as well as two dogs and a cat -- and Peanut doesn't get along with anyone! Can Cesar restore the peace in this household?

And next, Wes Murphy left his high-paying corporate job to follow his heart and start a pet grooming business. Cesar helps him with some of his more troublesome canine clients.


The Devil Dog

Pack leadership must involve the entire family. Every member of your human pack should be aware of the same rules, boundaries, and limitations. Your dog needs to recognize that all the humans are higher up on the dominance ladder than he is.

One member of your family may already be a clear pack leader, but that does not mean that the dog will share the same respect for the rest of the family. Each of you needs to earn it.

In other words, just because the dog obeys Mom and Sister does not mean he will obey Dad and Grandma. The most effective way to do this is to have a family meeting to make sure everyone understands what is expected of the dog. The “rules of the house” must be held up as law at all times by everyone. Remember that inconsistent leadership will lead to an unpredictable and unstable dog.

Bad Hair Days

When taking your dog to the groomers, take a moment and try to see the experience through her eyes. Dogs don’t know they’re going there to look good. They see beauty from the inside, not the outside. When a dog has a bad experience at the groomers, it is because she went in there fearful, anxious, and against her will.

When those emotions are present for a dog, she will associate everything that happens at the groomers as negative. We want to change that experience for the dog, so that going to the groomers becomes like going to a day spa for a human, where the dog associates the experience with relaxation, massage, and affection. If we can change the context in which a dog goes to the groomers, we can actually make it a joyful experience; an experience that a dog loves.

Changing that context begins with making sure a dog is relaxed before going to the groomers. Take your dog for a long walk before you go, and a shorter walk around the block once you get to the groomers. This will tired him out and make him more relaxed.

Of course, you need to find groomers who understand dog psychology and provide a safe environment and patient environment. Pay attention to the groomer’s techniques. If they’re trying to rush a dog through an experience she isn’t ready for, that can create tension and anxiety. It’s best to wait until the dog is in a calm-submissive state, then reward with a cookie, affection and a massage. That’s the ideal time to start grooming.

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