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Leerburg's Q&A database has 3318 entries from multiple categories.

 

Categories: Behavioral Problems , Health

Q. My dog gets stressed out when we need to handle him for flea treatments or baths, do you have any advice?
Hi Cindy,

I have used some of your videos and they are great.

I have a 3 year old Shiba Inu and I am having problems with putting flea treatment on him. I know that you are not advocates of flea treatment, but I haven't been able to control the fleas through other methods. Last time I put frontline on his neck he was very distressed, snapping and crying. I think its fear rather than aggression.

Overall, he is a well trained dog, very polite, and a pleasure to live with. He was stubborn as a puppy but he is much more mature now.

I have also considered bathing him with flea shampoo, but he has been hydrophobic since being a puppy. He used to refuse to walk on wet grass and on one occasion didn't urinate for 2 days because it was raining heavily outside. He whimpers and panics during baths and you can feel his heartbeat sky rocket. He refuses food and other distractions, same as when we were putting the flea treatment on. Any ideas of what I can do to make it less stressful for him?

A. You might want to desensitize him to the restraint needed to do things like apply medications, etc... Practice this in small bits, long before you need to actually apply the flea treatment.

We have a video called Relationship Games for You & Your Dog. One of the games is about teaching a dog to accept restraint for grooming and things of that nature.

I would recommend watching this 3 part video on fear periods in dogs and how to condition them to things that make them nervous.
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Cindy Rhodes

  Response:

Thanks so much. I think your advice and these videos have given me some ideas of things I can try. Thank you also for all the tips that I have gained in training my dog. I am so glad I chose to get some of your DVDs. I can see myself in a very different situation if I had not come across your advice on pack structure and marker training when my dog was still a pup.
  
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