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Catherine&LyraTheHav
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello everyone!

I am new to the forum, but have been reading posts here for a while. I just got my sweet girl Lyra early in October (2020); she is a dark chocolate particolor Havanese. She's currently around 3 months old. I wake up every morning so grateful for her and the light she brings to my life. I am excited to get chatting on this platform and learn more about the experience of raising a Hav!

To kick things off, does anyone have tips or tricks to helping condition their dog to enjoy the experience of being brushed? I started super slow, introducing the brush and detangling spray little by little and heavily rewarding with high-value treats and lots of encouragement. I do a combination of holding her while brushing to reassure, and having her sit and getting as much brushing in as she allows (usually not much). Lyra seems to tolerate being brushed but in general she gets pretty keyed up (attempting to bite/play with the brush, jumping around, etc). Any tips on how to help make it a calm and enjoyable experience for her? I know Lyra is young and very much a rambunctious puppy still, so I am sure things will get easier with age as well, but I figured I would ask!
 

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Hello & welcome :); no answer here as I'm a to-be hava-mum. Lyra looks super cute & wonderful name too!
 

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:welcome: She is a beauty! When Molly was a wiggly puppy I used a trick given by a member of this forum to get some grooming time in. I froze a jar of meat or fruit baby food. I would put it on the floor and Molly would stand there and lick it like a popsicle. I could get a lot of brushing done while she was busy with her treat!
 

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Metrowest, MA
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I am not positive you can always get them to "enjoy" it. You CAn teach them that this is part of "life as a Havanese", the way I, as a little girl with fine, long hair, had to learn that having my hair brushed and braided every morning was part of getting ready for the day. :)

You need to be kind and gentle, but firm and persistent. Just don't take "no" for an answer.
 

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Owned by a Havallon
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Mia absolutely hated to be brushed at first. She would run at the sight of a brush. However, she now tolerates it pretty well. She definitely does not love it and she has her ideas about how long a grooming session should last, but I can now get the job done. What helped me was finding a brush she liked and keeping grooming sessions short and sweet, gradually increasing the time. She also gets a few treats during the session. For brushes I use the CC brass fusion brush and the CC ice slip brush. Mia does not like slicker brushes. I would start with very short sessions, be gentle and end on positive notes. I also have a grooming table which really helps too.
 

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Molly's idea is a really good one.

If I could do it over again, I would not lazily brush Shama in my lap. My little lap dog avoids my lap! I have a little rotating table (which she uses like a treadmill), and I keep meaning to use it, but then I end up just brushing her in my lap.

All this to say, I'd recommend having a dedicated grooming area and a dedicated safe lap where all your puppy gets is love (if you would like a lap dog, that is ...)

Good luck, and welcome!
 

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Metrowest, MA
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Yes to everything Mudpuppymamma said. Patience is very important, but starting with good equipment will make it easier on both you and your puppy!
 

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Metrowest, MA
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Molly's idea is a really good one.

If I could do it over again, I would not lazily brush Shama in my lap. My little lap dog avoids my lap! I have a little rotating table (which she uses like a treadmill), and I keep meaning to use it, but then I end up just brushing her in my lap.

All this to say, I'd recommend having a dedicated grooming area and a dedicated safe lap where all your puppy gets is love (if you would like a lap dog, that is ...)

Good luck, and welcome!
More excellent points!
 
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Owned by a Havallon
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:welcome: She is a beauty! When Molly was a wiggly puppy I used a trick given by a member of this forum to get some grooming time in. I froze a jar of meat or fruit baby food. I would put it on the floor and Molly would stand there and lick it like a popsicle. I could get a lot of brushing done while she was busy with her treat!
Great idea. I have heard of licking mats. I have never used one but wondering if they would work similarly to this.
 

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Metrowest, MA
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I cannot believe how long I waited to get a grooming table...! Great investment.
I LOVE my dedicated grooming table, but sometimes, with a little creativity, someone can find something else that works as well. I have a couple of friends who clamp a grooming arm on the end of their counter, put down a memory foam bath mat and use that.

Before I got my grooming table, I used the too of our washer and dryer for a LONG time! I clipped a grooming loop to an eye hook in the cabinet above, and put a non-slip mat on top for Kodi to sit on and it worked very well! The important thing, I think, is to have a dedicated place for it, that is NOT (as Annie said ;) ) your lap, if you want a lap dog! Annies's experience with Shama was a good reminder for me. I DO have a grooming comb in my bedside table, (What? You do't ALL have grooming combs in your bedside tables? ;) ) and I had kind of gotten into the habit of just automatically grabbing it to remove any small mats I found in Panda at the end of the day. She was very good about it, but I realized that when I got into bed, she was moving to Dave's side of the bed. So I took a page from Annie's book and stopped that IMMEDIATELY. She doesn't mat easily anyway. So now, if I feel something, I just try to note it in my head, and remember to get it out the next day.

I STILL like having my comb there, though, because occasionally they come in from their last potty run with "plant debris" stuck in their coats that I definitely do NOT want in the bed with me! LOL! But that gets removed on the floor and put in the trash, not on my lap in bed!
 

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Owned by a Havallon
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I LOVE my dedicated grooming table, but sometimes, with a little creativity, someone can find something else that works as well. I have a couple of friends who clamp a grooming arm on the end of their counter, put down a memory foam bath mat and use that.

Before I got my grooming table, I used the too of our washer and dryer for a LONG time! I clipped a grooming loop to an eye hook in the cabinet above, and put a non-slip mat on top for Kodi to sit on and it worked very well! The important thing, I think, is to have a dedicated place for it, that is NOT (as Annie said ;) ) your lap, if you want a lap dog! Annies's experience with Shama was a good reminder for me. I DO have a grooming comb in my bedside table, (What? You do't ALL have grooming combs in your bedside tables? ;) ) and I had kind of gotten into the habit of just automatically grabbing it to remove any small mats I found in Panda at the end of the day. She was very good about it, but I realized that when I got into bed, she was moving to Dave's side of the bed. So I took a page from Annie's book and stopped that IMMEDIATELY. She doesn't mat easily anyway. So now, if I feel something, I just try to note it in my head, and remember to get it out the next day.

I STILL like having my comb there, though, because occasionally they come in from their last potty run with "plant debris" stuck in their coats that I definitely do NOT want in the bed with me! LOL! But that gets removed on the floor and put in the trash, not on my lap in bed!
I think the key thing is to have a dedicated area for the MAJORITY of grooming, particularly longer sessions. The grooming table works for me but other ideas like the washer could work too. As far as short combing or brushing sessions outside of the grooming area I think that is fine too. What I like about the grooming area is when we go there Mia knows I mean business and she seems to psyche herself up for it!
 

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Keep doing what you’re doing :) You are doing a great job, it just takes time to see the difference you are making. She may never love it, but it will pay off down the line as she becomes less and less wiggly during grooming time. When mine was “done,” I pushed the time a couple of minutes longer but I didn’t push too hard by going for a mat or anything. I think it’s okay to push her limits a little bit to teach her, just carefully so it doesn’t backfire.

I did use lots of treats cut up really small. I started stretching them after a while. Now he gets a treat when we’re all done. Or if I accidentally pull a mat. If I hit a mat or tangle going too fast he’ll lift his head up expectantly, haha. That’s leftover from the blowing coat stage.

The benefit of grooming often (aside from overall taking less time compared to skipping days and dealing with tangles) is it makes the groomer faster! For me, it worked out really well that I became faster and better at grooming as my puppy was a bit older and started to settle down during grooming, because that’s when grooming starts to become more important for the blowing coat stage.
 

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I do have to say, however, that I love looking into Shama's sweet eyes after I put her hair up and she's leaned back against my legs (when my knees are bent and my feet are on the footrest of the recliner). And the moment just before that when she finally stops struggling because she sees the clips coming and realizes that the end is near. It's really funny, because when I finally do put the clips in, she's usually perfectly still.

Lately, immediately after grooming, we've either gone for a walk or practiced our tricks (= received lots of treats), so it is cute how she jumps down from being groomed, then jumps up onto to the coffee table and looks at me like, "Now that I'm all pretty, what are we gonna do, Mommy?"

Her latest trick is getting into a suitcase to play hide and seek. I keep meaning to finish all her tricks (she's at about 60% on most of them) and make a little video to post in the forum. We were halfway through the Intermediate Tricks class when they decided to shut down again for COVID.
 

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Desi’s Mom
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Welcome, Lyra is a gorgeous little girl. I let Desi chew on a bully stick while he is being groomed. It’s the only time I give it to him and he gets really excited to see the combs and brushes. It might not be the best way but it certainly has saved my fingers.
 

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Metrowest, MA
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Welcome, Lyra is a gorgeous little girl. I let Desi chew on a bully stick while he is being groomed. It's the only time I give it to him and he gets really excited to see the combs and brushes. It might not be the best way but it certainly has saved my fingers.
Hey! Whatever works! LOL!
 
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Member (Teresa)
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Welcome Katherine! You’ve already received great feedback and don’t give up hope. Our boys are in puppy cuts but Jodie’s hair is longer so she needs daily grooming. Puppies don’t need that much grooming because their coats are soft and slick. As I moved to daily grooming Jodie became more and more attached and connected to me like the boys. It was worth waiting for❣ Lyra is adorable, what is the correct pronunciation?
 
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