Thursday, March 03, 2011

Doggie Drama

So it's that time of year...shedding time. The time when all German Shepherds slough off their winter coats of fur. Murphy, being a German Shepherd, has an undercoat of thick winter fur that would make a sheep turn green with envy.

So yesterday, I sat Murphy down on the deck and began to brush him. And it quickly became apparent that Murphy has probably never been brushed before. Let us just say that he did not take it well.

First, he tried to pull away from me. I had a good hold on him, but he was really putting the wiggle on, trying to keep me from brushing him. I managed to get him to lay down, though, and then it was a bit easier...until he decided to pretend to bite my hand. He kept reaching back for my brush-holding hand like he was going to bite, but then he always stopped short. Murphy knows who the Alpha is here, and he won't actually lay teeth on me. And I knew that he wouldn't bite me, so I called his bluff and kept brushing.

So when neither of those things worked, and the brushing continued, he resorted to sympathy ploy #3: he began to cry. And he didn't just cry--he shrieked, he wailed, he screamed. Only thing was, I wasn't actually touching him with the brush when he started in, but only with my hand.

Nice try, buddy. The Oscar for best dramatic dog performance is all yours. However you need to realize that, while this is the first time that you've been brushed by me, I've been brushing other dogs for decades, and I know that you're not in any pain.

So now we're working on brush tolerance, a little at a time, and more each time. And Murphy my friend, we're going to get through this. Because the alternative--a house full of loose dog hair twice a year--is worse for me than the brushing is for you.


  1. van de graff generator and a large plate for him to stand on....

    Works well for hair removal.

    Of course, you need a big one.

    Worked for my Husky.

  2. I collected all the hair from one of my huskie in a grocery bag (paper kind). I had complained that my old airport car, the Buick, didn't have much in the way of safety features. I crawled in it one day to find a member of my family had taped the full bag to the steering wheel. It was labeled - DRIVERS SIDE HAIR BAG.

  3. OK, now that's just funny!

  4. LOL- brushing is ALWAYS fun... and yeah, they DO generate a LOT of undercoat! The other option is the vacuum, but we know how that would work out...LOL

  5. Speaking of sheep, today's post. . .

  6. Believe it or not, I have a Roomba and when I had a dog it performed admirably at the task of keeping the hair at bay. Never mind you can hack one to do other stuff!

  7. Boy I remember that though - we had GSD's when I was growing up, and we used horse brushes to get it out. You had the big tufts that you would pull and pull and they never seemed to end. They were outside dogs though - Mom didn't want them in the house - so we didn't have too much problem with the hair.

    Ours seemed to like being brushed, to the point where when they saw you with the brush in your hand they would come right over and let you have at them.

    They didn't like the spring baths though :)

  8. Murph's been taking lessons from my Nicky - When all else fails, carry on like you're being killed...
    One day the police are going to show up and I'll let them brush him!!!

  9. Kota is the same - Ranger loves a brushing but Kota has been very sensitive to touch of any kind. Worked her up to love petting but that Furminator is her enemy.

    I go with tiny bits of Pupparoni (sp?) as a bribe and can get in about a dozen licks of the brush before she tires of it.

    I understand Benadryl helps, too.


  10. If you don't have one, check with your vet, boarding kennel or pet mega-mart for a Furminator. Brushes come on three sizes and are the best I've found for Husky grooming (and their undercoat makes a German Shepherd unprepared for bad weather)

  11. Got one on order now, Ed. They are wonderful tools.