How to cross-tie a dog who is difficult to groom.
Some dogs are difficult to groom, especially difficult to trim hair on feet or to trim toenails. One method to make the job easier by removing much of the dog's options for struggle is to "cross-tie" the dog as if he were a horse. The dog should be haltered with a "Halti" or "Gentle Leader" and should be muzled as well if there is the slightest inclination to bite. Then a tie line or leash on each side of the halter is tied to a post of some kind. This photo shows the dog cross-tied between two pillars at the front of my porch. For those using a grooming table, simply put one tie-arm on each side of the table. Using a table will also limit the side to side movement of the dog's body , as he will not want to step off the side of the table.
When doing the grooming, be careful to make it as comfortable as possible for the dog, so that he learns that grooming is not harmful and does not need to be resisted. Because the cross-tie restraint does not let the dog get away with struggle and protest , he will also find that resistance is futile.
This method is intended for dogs who generally have no fears or aggressions about being handled but are simply squirmy or resistant about some one aspect of grooming. DO NOT use this on dogs who have an overall fear or aggresion about being handled, but rather see my article on Desensitization to Grooming and Handling. After the dog has been well desensitized or is in final stages of desensitization, the cross-tie method may become appropriate.
The dog shown here happens to be one who is very squirmy about his feet , especially toenails. Not fearful, but just being a brat.
site author Pam Green copyright 2003
created 10/30/04 revised 10/30/04
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