Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My Dog is Depressed after his Haircut

It is not unusual for some dogs to become embarrassed after a  hair cut.


Here are some of the reasons...

Drastic change: If you don't get your dogs hair cut often, and when you do, you have the groomer cut your dogs hair very short, this can be a very drastic change for your dog.

When your dogs hair is very overgrown or matted....

...then all of their hair has suddenly been removed, it can be a shocking change for some dogs.

Some dogs actually love the feel of a new haircut.

It feels good to them just like it feels good to us after we go to the hair salon.

Then there are other dogs.
Even thought the hair cut may feel good, it can also feel a little strange to some dogs.
Suddenly they feel lighter, the hair is gone from around their eyes, and they don't feel like the same dog.

Another reason....

The owners reaction: Some owners and family members will laugh at their dogs new haircut.
Some customers may be angry that their dog was clipped so short because of matting.
Some owners may also be mad because they didn't get the cut they wanted.

Our dogs feed off of our emotions.

If a customer brings a dog to me and asks for a drastic haircut, whether it is what the customer asked for, or whether it is a short cut that had to be done because the dog was matted, I ask them NOT to laugh at the dog when they see him/her.

Yes, some owners laugh at their dogs.
If they are not used to seeing their dog in a particular cut, they laugh.

I don't think that they laugh to be mean.
Their dog just looks different and it strikes the owner as funny.
The only problem is, that I think that some owners forget that their dogs DO have feelings.

Yes, I truly believe that you can really hurt and embarrass a dog by laughing at them.
Your dog did not ask for the haircut.
They are confused when people look at them and start to laugh.

I had a  relative in the family that would only get their Lhasa groomed a few times a year.
The cut was always very short so that the dog would not have to be groomed often.
The only problem was that the dog would get used to having all of that long hair for so many months, and could not get used to the grooming, because it was done so infrequently.
Suddenly all of that hair would be gone.
She would hide behind the couch of a few days, until she got used to the cut.

Even lovingly making fun of your dog can hurt their feelings and make them feel confused and embarrassed.

I tell ALL of my customers not to laugh.

I tell them to greet their dog as they normally would.
I tell them to praise their dog and tell their dog how nice they look.

Yes, it does make a difference.

If you get your dog back from the groomer and it is not the cut you asked for, or expected, I am sorry.
Sometimes a groomer has no choice but to shave a dog short because of matting.
If you are upset because the groomer did a bad haircut and you don't like it, I am also sorry.
The hair will grow back for the new groomer you will find for the next haircut.

The important thing is that you don't transfer your anger to your pet.
Don't not pet your dog because you don't like the haircut.
Don't tell your pet that you hate the way he/she looks.
Your dog will feel that anger, and think that you are angry with them and be embarrassed.

 Think about it.
You go out and buy some new clothes, get a new haircut.
You go home and your family laughs and says 'what were you thinking?'

Or you work on a project for work.
You work hard for hours.
You take it to your boss, and he tactlessly tosses it back at you, angrily saying he does not like it.

It makes you feel awful, and that feeling may stay with you for days.

That is the same way a dog feels when they see their owners laugh, or are mad.

No matter what you think of your dogs haircut, tell your dog that they look great.
Pet, cuddle and love your dog after their hair cut.
They smell and feel good.

Then there is the dog that gets embarrassed just because they don't like change.
The haircut is great, they look good, but the dog knows that something is different and they don't like it.
There is not a lot you can do but love your dog and let them ride it out.
Don't over coddle this type of dog.
That can also make your dog think that something is really wrong.

Just keep loving them.
Give them time to get used to the change.

A Note From Your Friendly Groomer, MFF