Author Topic: Teeth Brushing  (Read 80 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Moonsong

  • Dog Training Student
  • Old Timer
  • *****
  • Posts: 2283
  • My SD is my Super (hero) Dog
  • Location: Arizona USA
  • Mood: Sad
  • SDC interest: owner-trainer
Teeth Brushing
« on: December 08, 2017, 04:23:20 PM »
Okay, so I've implemented a daily grooming routine for Max, which includes brushing teeth. I got him this toothpaste and these brushes. In the meantime, I've been practicing poking around his mouth with my fingers.

Well, the toothpaste/brushes arrived yesterday. I got all of the dogs excited about the toothpaste ("what have I got for you?! Have I got toothpaste?! Who wants the toothpaste?!" and so on), but each of them immediately hated it. And I got beef flavor, which I know is always Max's favorite flavor of treat. After the first taste, they all immediately refused to take anymore.

Later on in the evening, I tried to introduce the brush to Max. He was completely neutral towards it, until the moment it touched his teeth. Then he hated it and would turn his face away whenever I approached his mouth with it on.


So what do I do now? I thought that the toothpaste is supposed to be the reward for teethbrushing, but he HATES it. It's too expensive to keep buying different flavors until we find the right one. And if he didn't like the beef, I have a bad feeling he won't like any of them.
Max - shih tzu/poodle- SDiT  Max's Facebook Page
Kirby - Pied Cockatiel - official bird of SDC
My YouTube channel (I love receiving feedback on my training methods!)

Offline Solace

  • Active Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 313
  • Location: California
  • Mood: Tired
  • SDC interest: owner-trainer
Re: Teeth Brushing
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2017, 05:50:41 PM »
Can you take a washcloth and rub his teeth with it?  It works pretty well.

Offline Summertime.and.Azkaban

  • Resident Terrier Wrangler
  • Old Timer
  • *****
  • Posts: 1950
  • Holli and Azkaban
  • Location: North Carolina USA
  • Mood: Tired
  • SDC interest: owner-trainer
Re: Teeth Brushing
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2017, 06:23:12 PM »
Honestly it's fairly likely he won't like it at all. I don't know a dog that actually likes their toothpaste.

I use toddler training toothpaste and either a toddler brush or a finger brush. I hold their lips up, secure the head and just brush. It requires a bit of restraint but no one here violently hates having their teeth brushed.

Their ability to accept tooth brushing is important so that I can scale their teeth. I save a lot of money and save them a lot of risk by being able to scale their teeth myself.

It's likely he's not going to love it. I'd shoot for acceptance over enjoyment. You may have to hold his face and just go in there and do what's gotta be done. You can follow it up with high value treats or another reward. It's like nail trims, they don't have to love it but they've got to accept it.
-Azkaban, Rayner, and Chewy-
"I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights" -Desmond Tutu
PM me about being pen pals or receiving a holiday card in the mail!

Offline Arrowcom

  • Loquacious Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 591
  • Location: Nevada
  • Mood: Happy
  • SDC interest: SD partner
Re: Teeth Brushing
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2017, 06:27:06 PM »
I would go to pet smart and get the smelliest toothpaste you can find. Like a good ol' chicken or something similar. My first pet dog was a small bichon, and with advice from my vet, I squished the toothpaste all over my finger, and let him lick it off the first few times. Then when he got excited to have it, I let him lick it off the toothbrush. Then I started brushing his teeth.

Cindi has been unsure of toothpastes before. Sometimes her first try of them will make her smack her lips and turn her head away. But after a few more tries it seems to grow on her.

Hope Max cooperates a bit more as time goes on!
Accept the things you can not change, have the courage to change the things you can, and have the wisdom to know the difference.

Offline OlgatheGSD

  • Loquacious Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 752
  • Michelle and Olga
  • Location: OR
  • Mood: Brain fog
  • SDC interest: owner-trainer
Re: Teeth Brushing
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2017, 07:11:40 PM »
I'm with summertime on this. I use my kid's bubblegum flavored toothpaste and go to town with a regular soft bristle toothbrush. She doesn't have to enjoy it, she just has to not get angry with me. Her attitude so far has been, "why is this thing in my mouth and why are you keeping me from licking it?" Which I take as a positive and carry on. She puts up with so many of my shenanigans. As long as max doesn't learn to resent the toothbrush, he's fine not liking it. They don't have to like getting manicured, either, but it's gonna get done no matter what.

Also remember dogs LOVE disgusting trash so as long as your dog doesn't show a form of repulsion it's likely he doesn't mind the taste and it's the funky texture he's taking issue with.
Potato quality human with a smarter-than-you-honor-student dog.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Olga-the-GSD-1632466706793262/

Offline Moonsong

  • Dog Training Student
  • Old Timer
  • *****
  • Posts: 2283
  • My SD is my Super (hero) Dog
  • Location: Arizona USA
  • Mood: Sad
  • SDC interest: owner-trainer
Re: Teeth Brushing
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2017, 09:31:02 PM »
Okay, so tonight I decided to try again with the toothpaste. He got all excited again when he saw the tube. I put some on my finger and offered it to him. Honestly...the face he made was hilarious! He licked it and his face literally screwed up and he started working his tongue trying to spit it out. There was still some squeezed out on the end of the tube, though. He sniffed at it, and licked it up. He seemed to enjoy it that time. So I put some more on my finger and offered it again. He licked it up and asked for more!

So, in Max's case, it appears that Arrow was right and it was an acquired taste, haha. It reminded me of this: have you ever gone to drink something, expecting one thing, only for it to be something else? For example, you see a glass with purple liquid and take a sip expecting, I dunno, grape juice, but it turns out to be cranberry juice and it grosses you out for a minute, because it wasn't what you were expecting. But now that you know it's cranberry juice, you drink it again and realize that it actually does taste good. I can't help but wonder if something similar happened with Max.

In any case, I'll call it a win!
Max - shih tzu/poodle- SDiT  Max's Facebook Page
Kirby - Pied Cockatiel - official bird of SDC
My YouTube channel (I love receiving feedback on my training methods!)