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.

Why?

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

24 comments:

  1. I read your other blog, although I am not a groomer I really enjoy reading all your stories and have learned a lot about how to properly groom my own dog. I am happy that now you will write for the rest of us.

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  2. Thank you so much for the advice , my dog is always embarrassed after her haircut!

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  3. Hi, thanks for this blog, I learned so many things about the feelings of a dog. My dog, a mix of shi tzu/japanese spitz recently had his haircut, so short that he seems did not like. He always hide under our sofa and maybe felt embarrassed on his new haircut. Also he had some rashes on his private parts maybe the cause of razor. I hope that he will soon overcome this.

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  4. We brought Dobby to the groomer for the first time. He was a rescue and we've had him two years. Before the grooming, he was wildly friendly. He's a herder and he would herd me to bed every night, nipping at my toes. Since I brought him home from the groomer (5 days ago), he's been actually depressed. It's breaking my heart. He's so cute. I never laughed. I told him he was beautiful. But he won't eat. Even his favorite treats. Poor baby. My other two babies go to the same groomer and HAVE been for nine years, so I'm sure it wasn't her. He's just very upset.

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  6. Hi.I took my Pekingese for a wash and shave 2 days ago.instead they shaved all his hair.I told him u luk great but since this morning he doesn't want to eat or play.he has been sleeping in his bed.even if I call out his name he just looks at m a continue sleeping.I'm worried will h b okay and will his hair grow.I'm very worried..

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    1. Hi. I saw your post and just wanted to know what the outcome was as my dog is doing the same. Just had a cut quite short. She keeps hiding from me and just runs quickly from furniture to bed. Doesn't want to be on the floor. She looks so sad all the times and just stands there and stares She's not responding when I call her and hasn't eaten this morning Any advise would be great

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    2. I went to the groomer and they shaved my husky when I asked them just to trim it but the girl shaved it all off. Ever since then my dog is not acting the same. She seems depressed isn't happy about things she used to be...and she had nothing to do with me for 3 days after the haircut. I'm a therapist and I was sensing my dog was displaying symptoms of depression. I guess I was right! I definitely reacted in a not great way when I saw her so I feel so horrible now. It's been over a week since she got her haircut and she's still depressed. I hate seeing her like this!

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  7. It feels good and no worries after i read your Blog.. Many Thanks! More power and God Bless.

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  8. It feels good and no worries after i read your Blog.. Many Thanks! More power and God Bless.

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  9. It feels good and no worries after i read your Blog.. Many Thanks! More power and God Bless.

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  10. Hi there, ever since the haircut from the groomers a few days ago, my dog has been less active. Sometimes he is very happy to see us but sometimes when we come back from home he just sits there and stares at us with these sad eyes. Before I read your blog, he was laughed at because of his haircut. And I think that's what made him so upset. This was the second time he had his haircut. The first time he had when he came back he acted the same as usual and when he was fluffy again he was even happier. But just a few days ago, after that he was a little bit upset. Not entirely, but just upset. Maybe it's not the reason but he has been whining lately. So I'm not sure what is wrong. But thank you for telling me this. I will make sure my dog is never laughed at anymore

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  11. Hey i cut of my malties pet hair since 2 days and he is trying to hide him self now and he is upset all the time he is not active anymore and i miss my old baby now im really sad about that and i wish him to be like the old days although our barber did 2 lesion on his leg and thigh and he is also sad i think abou that plz tell me what to do

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  12. Nice information, you people can also take help from the various sites to know how to pamper and care your lovely pets. You can laso take help from the Pet Grooming Tips to know what your pets need to be happy and healthy and stay long for longer hours.

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  13. I rescued a Shih-tzu 2 years ago. He had just gone thru a buzz cut from long, all tangled/matted hair.) He had cuts on his body from the razor. I didn't groom him for a long time, but I could tell he felt bad, but I didn't know why until now. I had gotten a "thunder wrap coat" for his fear of loud noises, so I put it on him a couple of days after his hair cut,and he ran around happy. I have to keep his hair short due to skin problems. I bought a couple of "shirts", not for vanity, but because he loves them and feels safe wrapped up a little. Thanks for the blog!

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  14. I rescued a Shih-tzu 2 years ago. He had just gone thru a buzz cut from long, all tangled/matted hair.) He had cuts on his body from the razor. I didn't groom him for a long time, but I could tell he felt bad, but I didn't know why until now. I had gotten a "thunder wrap coat" for his fear of loud noises, so I put it on him a couple of days after his hair cut,and he ran around happy. I have to keep his hair short due to skin problems. I bought a couple of "shirts", not for vanity, but because he loves them and feels safe wrapped up a little. Thanks for the blog!

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  15. Thank you so much for this information.l had no idea that dogs could feel that you are upset when you first see all of their hair gone as I was...he is embarrassed here at home...hiding..not playing as he always does..looking and acting real strange. 4 pound Yorkie beautiful coat he had..was cut bald as he was severely matted..I was shocked to pick him up bald like that and I was upset .until I read all of the comments here..now I understand..Thanks everyone for sharing..

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  16. Thank you so much for this information.l had no idea that dogs could feel that you are upset when you first see all of their hair gone as I was...he is embarrassed here at home...hiding..not playing as he always does..looking and acting real strange. 4 pound Yorkie beautiful coat he had..was cut bald as he was severely matted..I was shocked to pick him up bald like that and I was upset .until I read all of the comments here..now I understand..Thanks everyone for sharing..

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  17. Your article was a breath of fresh air. Thank you for the advice, and helping to see this from my dogs perspective. My 4year old Yorkie-Poodle just had a full service treatment today, and came out looking as though he was being drafted into the military - poor thing has a crew cut throughout! Nonetheless, he's acting a bit awkward; however, I'm giving him just as much love & attention to bring him back to normalcy. Thank you again!

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  18. I took it upon myself to give my puppy his first hair cut and received many compliments. Even his vet asked where I got it done cause she liked it! Problem was Ernie was what I thought "mad" at me for the next three days. This happens everytime I cut his hair which is only about four times a year. After reading your post I've decided that I'll increase his cuts to try to get him more comfortable! I treat him as if he was my human child so I hate the thought of embarrassing him :)

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  19. How could you possibly know what a dog is feeling? Dogs don't have a sense of humor and therefore would not understand when someone laughs that that is a negative thing. I am dumber for having read your article. Man/Woman is the only animal that blushes, or needs to.

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  20. What will I do my puppyhave s new hair cut ,after the hair cut he seems to be upset dont want to eat and drink , what will I do?

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  21. Incredible blog! I just had my dog's hair cut. My mother said he didn't like his look because she was used to see him with long hair. After arriving home Bruno got a bath. He later felt so embarrassed of himself. He went and hid in my closet. I took him and started showing love to him. It was too late since he already felt shy.

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    1. Next time I am going to remind my mother about this due to this blog :).

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