I AM a dog groomer in Charlestown and in Grooming 101 we were taught to interpret dog behaviour, a vital part of the trade for our safety and the dogs’.
Trust me, there is a huge difference between the two.
Most of my first-timers are fearful, as they don’t know me and are in unfamiliar surroundings.
Letting them run around to sniff and sometimes mark their new territory is the difference between a good and bad grooming session.
Forcing them to comply against their will usually ends with either a bite or an injured dog.
The RSPCA temperament test sends shivers up my spine. If a dog cowers or growls at a tester, is it then needle time?
Even my own dogs, when I mention the word ‘‘bath’’ run and cower behind the lounge, and a trip to the vet becomes a mission to get them through the front door, followed by barking and growling. Would they be put down also?
Spending a few minutes observing a dog in a cage cannot determine its true behaviour. If a dog is petrified it will growl, whimper, urinate and, if pushed, bite.
Megan Foley, Charlestown