Dog-themed reality show, Pooch Perfect, is recreating a steady stream of dogs who haven’t asked for them. We may wonder at the capabilities of professional snow groomers, but what do the dog models do with all of this?
Many dog owners are realizing how regular bathing, combing, and trimming can provide an opportunity to bond with their pets and check for parasites, abnormalities, and injuries.
However, beyond simple brushing and combing, bathing, clipping, and peeling off the coat require significantly more skill and a greater invasion of the dog’s personal space.
How do most dogs like being pampered? Short answer: probably not. Let’s examine why.
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Which grooming trends are practical?
Some owners prefer to keep their dog’s coat in the style and condition traditionally expected for the breed, as set out in the breed standards for purebred dogs.
Wire-haired breeds, like some terriers, are traditionally stripped by hand, with loose hair being pulled out by hand or with a stripping knife. Other breeds, such as poodles, have lush single-layer curly fur. The breed standard for poodles is, “It is highly recommended that you follow the traditional lion clip.”
The lion clip was fully functional for the originally working poodles: so that these retrieving dogs could easily exit from lakes and rivers without their fur becoming too wet. Balls of hair were held back around the joints, supposedly to protect them. From that point on, the amazing canine equivalent of topiary began.
Many breeds of dogs were developed for work roles where the coat was purely functional and required little maintenance. However, the recent boom in the popularity of Poodle crosses (like Labradoodles and Cavoodles) has resulted in an explosion of Poodle-like coats among companion dogs.
There are now ample opportunities for snow groomers to cross the line between looks and comfort. Nowadays, dogs’ coats can be teased, combed, dyed, and shaped into undog shapes.
Dogmanship: Looks like a million dollars
Whether dogs enjoy the experience of being cared for or feel scared depends on how well they were socialized as puppies and how thoroughly they got used to the care.
Grooming for the dog can mean restraint, immersion in water, body manipulation and excessive contact by strangers, as well as painful pulls on the coat if they have knots or mats. And for those dogs who haven’t had the benefit of gentle training in grooming and socializing with strangers, this process can be threatening or uncomfortable.
For this reason, the best professional snow groomers show outstanding dogmanship and treat dogs in such a way that they calm down and minimize the need for strength.
In addition, dogs are olfactory creatures, so they are unlikely to be satisfied with the scent of shampoo that is imposed on them. That said, they can be very much more comfortable when they get rid of a thick coat.
The importance of whiskers
Not all of the dog’s hair has the same function. Facial whiskers are exquisite sensors that every dog should keep.
Dogs can be ticklish in parts of the body such as the back legs, but one area of the dog’s skin that appears particularly sensitive is the muzzle. Dog whiskers (“vibrissas”) are mobile on the muzzle and have a network of blood vessels and nerves at their base to amplify vibrations and alert the dog to the movement of the exposed part of the hair shaft.
We can’t say for sure how whiskers help a dog see the world around their nose. We suspect, however, that information from these receptors may be critical to how dogs play and wrestle with familiar companions. And whiskers are likely to help dogs navigate in low light.
We don’t yet know how to change a dog’s tactile world by cutting off their facial hair (also known as a vibratory amputation), but it’s worth noting that in several countries whisker removal from horses is illegal because of its crucial role in equine spatial Awareness. Yet this practice is common in dogs for cosmetic purposes.
Pampered puppies are likely to be confused, not relaxed
Aside from parenting, play fights, and advertising, dogs devote surprisingly little time to physical contact with one another. Professional grooming duties, as featured in Pooch Perfect, are likely to take much longer than the usual social contact dogs receive from one another and from people, and dogs may not understand the purpose of that interaction.
Signs of obvious collaboration or pleasure, such as B. Still or closing their eyes, the dogs may actually be trying to signal peaceful intentions to the groomer by avoiding movements or eye contact that could be interpreted as threatening.
Recognizing the possibility that dogs are more likely to tolerate than enjoy being groomed provides an opportunity to deal with it.
Grooming salons should exercise minimal touch and restraint, giving dogs regular breaks and copious treats.
Who cares for whom?
All of this underscores our duty to keep our dogs as comfortable as possible.
Our dogs value the time we spend with them. Preparing puppies for care in later life is important, especially as combing dogs can reveal health issues that need treatment, such as injuries, ticks, and tumors.
While many will admire the capabilities of snow groomers, we should all be amazed at the dogs’ tolerance of the primates they live with and the interventions they endure.
This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.