When and If you had to choose a groomer to groom your pet, what things would you consider?Some of the best groomers are self taught.If they do an amazing job but they are generally unfriendly do you choose them because the job was great?Do you choose an ok groomer who has your pets best interests at heart?Does your pet hide when it comes home from the groomer?Has there ever been any accidents?Is their experience in grooming more important than their experience in handling dogs? Have you ever been treated badly?What kind of costs have you paid for grooms.Do you trust your groomer?
i'm curious about one comment- does your pet hide when it comes home from the groomer. when i was growing up my cousins had a poodle that would hide whenever it came home from being clipped. they said she was embarrassed. why do they hide?
I prefer an ok groomer with my pet's best interests at heart. my pet doesn't hide (yet) and we haven't experienced any accidents (yet). i have a short-haired, so i mostly just get her bathed and claws clipped which has costed me about $20....
I've heard often that some dogs hide after their grooming,dogs aren't aware of themselves to say look in a mirror.Perhaps its the change in the owners behaviour in response to the clip.I do groom pets on a daily basis and I heard an owner ask the receptionist what I did different than other groomers, because her dog stopped hideing after the grooms.so I guess I'm curious about what goes on at other places because I pretty much do my own thing.I've never worked for a salon just the vet clinic.
Woo Hoo Sue, a fun one for me to answer!! Prepare yourself, I wish every pet owner would ask many of these questions before choosing a groomer and this is exactly my passion!! Educating the public!! First of all... lol, I'd like to say I'm the nearly perfect groomer. The real thing, not a wannabe:) I had already spent several years working side by side with vets and animal control so had excellent animal knowlege and handling skills before I ever started grooming. When I gave my notice of quitting to the city one of our shelter volunteers suggested to me that I would be perfect as a groomer (she knew me pretty well) and if I would complete grooming school, she would hire me full time at her groom shop. I still adore her for helping me find my path. That was about 20 years ago. From the very beginning of my grooming career I sought certification, attended many grooming seminars and contests across the country so that I could learn as much as possible and see the best in the country. Did my fair share of winning, but after winning the first "Compassionate Hands" award at a national competition in Burbank I decided I would never compete again as I could not top that award or the honor that came with it. It was awarded to the one competitor throughout the entire competition that demonstrated exceptional handling skills when working with the animals. I am pre-booked weeks in advance with standing appointments, and have a waiting list of potential new clients hoping to start bringing their pets to me. I do NOT keep clients that do not have their pets best interest at heart either. I don't beat around the bush much anymore and am painfully honest most of the time with everyone in my life.... this includes everyone reading this post!! Time is extremely precious to me and I do not like wasting it so some that do not know my heart, truly must think I'm a royal B! Above all else, to be a good groomer they MUST have your pets best interest at heart. It does not matter how long a person has been grooming......... I've seen horrible, bitter old groomers that have been at it 20...30... and more years that continue to groom only because that's all they know how to do and lack the brains to acknowlege they are no longer doing a service to pets. These groomers should get out of the business. I've seen brand new groomers joining this profession because they believe they are going to get rich and it's only about the money. You really won't see many of this type though, they are very short lived in our industry. There is another group of very nice groomers that are fleeting, when the reality of how difficult this really is in the long run, there is a burnout period. We lose so many potentially great groomers during this period. 5 years or so, plus or minus a couple years..... it's too bad, it's right about the same time frame that groomers really start becoming skilled at the higher levels. This is very hard work, it's not for everybody..... and it's not all pretty. About the third time a dog is presented with maggots coming out of open wounds for grooming you either know you're going to make it or not. I've seen completely inexperienced bathers just starting out exhibit such a natural handling skill with animals that in 6 months time I would hand any one of my personal dogs over to them for qa complete groom... and of course, if you can find one of the oldtimers like me that just keep plugging along because we know that we ARE in a unique position to really have an effect on these pets lives that we work with from day to day. When you first run into one of us, you may feel like your facing the Spanish Inquisition. I screen potential clients now before even offering them an appointment... and if the appt involves a hair cut they have at least a 3-4 week waiting period. We are booked in advance year round. btw, I do accept most special needs animals for grooming, so long as they are not too large anymore and rarely turn them away and I share this because owners of special needs pets will usually have a much more difficult time finding "me", lol, or appropriate groomer. To find a new groomer keep your eyes open for pets in your neighborhood that appear to be groomed appropriately and are "happy" little dogs. Ask them where they take their pets for grooming, most people love it when strangers ask them in public about their dogs. LOL, I know.. my clients tell me that all the time. It's really a great way to find a groomer. Ask your vets..... AND/OR the staff working for local animal hospital. Even though I rent space from my vet, if new to an area I would call clinics without groomers. Perhaps it might just be a little less biased. OTOH, it could be a great groomer at the hospital and they are afraid to lose potential client too. Yellow pages are a good start, don't pay much attention to the size of the ads. I have made mine smaller and smaller each year and now have only a single line in the largest book in our area. For new businesses, yellow pages advertising truly works!! Call all of them, until you have found one that "feels right". Please, describe your pet honestly to us when asking for information about grooming your pet. If your dog has been difficult to groom, or your vet requires a muzzle for exam or for any reason you think your pet may be more difficult let us know up front. A truly good groomer will know their own capabilities and hopefully politely refuse your pet and save both of you wasted time, and hopefully be able to refer you to someone that IS capable and willing to work with problem children. Let me tell you..... there are a LOT of dogs that are kicked out of many groom shops because they are "bad". In all my time I've only refused to groom 2 dogs because they were just too plain dangerous for me.... I did groom them, under a general anaesthetic later. This is where the experience comes in handy for groomers... if you have a potential problem dog do look for someone with experience.... and maybe then (hehehe) some of the new groomers gathering experience will have a lot more pleasant ones before having to start tackle some of these tough ones. Then they can stay and help us old wenches out as we start breaking down!! Sorry... I am thinking about the groomers/potential groomers out there as I write this diatribe..... Ok, you talked to the groomer on the phone and described your pet well. At this point.... ask the groomer what services they offer and what would they recommend for your pet. This is the opportunity for any groomer to let you know what separates them from the rest and to give you confidence that your dog will be treated as an individual. If your pet has medical needs it is important that your groomer is prepared to work with you on them. If your dog does not have special needs, and it's very important to you that your dog is groomed to breed standards go to local dog shows. Many awesome groomers working in the show circuit. Some are just helping out big time handlers, others could be small time owner/handlers. Be prepared to spend more for this level of grooming, and be aware that most of us doing full scissor work will not work on coats that are not maintained regularly. We'll clip them short and try to help get you started over again letting you know your part of the partnership in keeping your dog looking their best. I would prefer my dog get a crappy haircut, but come home spic and span clean with appropriate products used and happy than super spiffy and obviously stressed by the experience. Grooming should not be stressful to your pet. Go to the person that will be good to your dog.... and let me tell you...... brushing and combing all the matts out of your dog is NOT usually in your pets best interest!!. As a groomer I'll only dematt a dog once. On rare occasions I've done it a second or maybe a third.. can't swear to the early years.... but nowadays... lol, you don't even want to know how bad I'm going to ding your pocketbook for my time. Brush your dogs or learn to like them short or bring them in more often so we can brush them for you. To any client that presents me with their dog in despicable condition the first time I never berate them or try to make them feel bad. They KNOW their pet has been neglected and it takes guts to finally face someone like me with a pet like that. There is always a story, I try to cut it off gently if possible and just say something directly to the dogs like.... Hey Buffy, aren't you glad your mom/dad found me? If you make the owners feel like crap..... just how long do you think they'll wait before they come in the next time? If the owners really meant whatever they said in their "story" the dog will never be this way again and I will try to help educate them on ways to help maintain and to be able to afford to keep their pet groomed. I don't care if you or I groom your pet... so long as it gets groomed!! That's the important part. Whether a groomer went to a school or was self taught doesn't matter. Personally, I like to see a groomer that has gone to one of the groomer organizations and gotten certified. This tells me that they have more of an interest in skilled grooming than where they learned how to groom. Good groomers learn from so many different sources.... seminars, dogs shows, grooming competitions, books ....... Good groomers will NEVER know everything!! or say I've seen it all!! LOL. I'm thinking hard about whether the groomer should be "friendly". I love being friendly and sharing knowlege but.... time is also extremely valuable to me. The clients know I'm booked solid and if I'm talking to them, I'm neglecting the dog on my table. So, I think that there needs to be some boundaries. I want to be friendly and come across as friendly at all times..... I KNOW I come across short though when I've got my nose into my work. I'd say that if you had one "bad/rude" experience that was maybe misunderstood I would suggest to call back and see if you have similar experience. If you do, don't bother taking your dog to a rude groomer.... if they are rude to you, they'll be rude to your dog. AND... to all the pets that hide when coming home from grooming.... it is generally a combination of two things. If they're coat is radically different than when they went in they FEEL different!!! I believe they don't really know exactly what to think when they find themselves naked!!! I can assure you though that if their teenage friend comes home from school, sees the freshly clipped dog and laughs at it and how different it looks... that dog is not going to know what to think and just knows this is not the loving partner they are used to. They are looking for acceptance is my belief.... so no matter how crappy your dog may or may not look when coming home from the groomer look them lovingly in the eyes like you always do and tell them how beautiful/handsome they are. Tell them how happy you are to see their pretty eyes, those freckles they forgot about or whatever.... I guarantee you, your dogs will have a much different attitude about having it's hair clipped in the future. Accidents.... oy vey.... we work on live, moving animals... some that move very fast.... with very sharp tools...... accidents can and do happen. They should be very infrequent and it should never be because of groomer neglect. That would be something like setting a dryer on high for a short faced breed. Leaving a dog unnattended in the tub or on table. It matters HOW your groomer handles accidents..... no matter how minor that should be of more importance than whether or not accidents have happened. In twenty years I've only cut two dogs that required stitches. Both were about an inch long. Both were on very sweet dogs that were in fairly ragged condition and I was trying to save length of coat by whacking off excess with scissores. Bottom of a cocker ear, and elbow of a toy poodle..... both of those clients stayed with me until their pets passed away of old age. The cocker didn't really have too much time left. You don't know how hard it is to call someone at work and ask their permission to put their dog under anaesthesia to repair a cut. I've never killed an animal accidentally. The worst accident I know of that is unforseeable... medium sized dog on groom table being scissor arount the back of ears and head (ala bichon style)... owner walks in behind the groomer dog goes to jump off table to see it's mom... and impales itself directly in the chest on the groomers 10" shears as she jumps to catch him in near mid air. Dog lived, but it was not pretty. I would still take my dog to her any day too. I would not be showing up early before scheduled "done" time either!! Pet Peave folks!! If you need you pet done by a specific time, let us know when you schedule the appt. I try to keep pets from single dog homes no more than 2-3 hours. Senior dogs even less time. Good groomers will work with you on this. I require some more difficult dogs longer... they're usually no longer difficult past their third groom with good groomers. Then they can be in/outs if the owner wants. You should be able to trust your groomer. If you don't, continue looking until you find one you can trust. Be prepared to pay a fair value price. My somewhat higher than normal price includes any medicated shampoo/conditioners/nails trimmed and filed smooth (dremel tool) anal gland checked and expressed if appropriate, ears thoroughly cleaned and hair removed if appropriate. Privates, feet, face trimmed, most dogs blown dry by hand. Styling is done with clippers, blending shears, stripping knifes and an assortment of shears that cost me way more than the down payment on my home. In my shop it is $35.00 for basic styled clip on a small dog that is regularly groomed. Short all over clips with styled head and tail on regular basis runs $30.00 The majority of my grooms run 30-45 dollars average. I do not do very many dogs over 60 pounds, and only large ones that are well maintained and well mannered. I'll groom your large dog, I just don't have the energy to train them anymore. Bath tidy's on small dogs run from $15.00 to $35 ... chihuahua to full coated shih tzu. (in good shape!) I recently charged a good clients son well over $100.00 to brush out and dematt his mothers lhasa that he was supposed to be taking care of while she was getting radiation and chemotherapy treatments for. It took me 3 1/2 hours to groom him that day. Now... don't yell at me... he had the option to bring that dog down to the shop once a week for me to groom it at no charge to maintain it. He was an ass and thought it was funny how matted he could get in only 5 weeks!! He had the money and wasn't afraid to come in his huge SUV to drop the dog off and pick it up. Only reason I even dematted the dog was because I love the mother and I KNOW she is fighting terminal cancer. This old lhasa is 10 years old, never been clipped down, great coat although somewhat greasy..... I did that one for her. I'd rather deal with a bad attitude on a pet any day over a bad attitude with an owner. Don't be afraid to price shop....... but don't let it be sole factor. I love the phone calls I get.... ouch, that much?... I can get my poodle clipped at the shop up here for $18.00 (true story, even now) .... my response is always the same. Oh really? That is a very low price, I'm afraid I can't compete against that one. We offer a different kind of grooming service. It's true... if all you need is the basic hair shaved off, the cheapie places don't necessarily mean that they have bad groomers, they just have groomers that are not being paid very much for their time so they spend as little as necessary with the pets. Doesn't mean that they love animals any less!! LOL, you're still reading this?!!! I think I'll try to end this rambling by sharing this....... From childhood I always got along with animals better than people. I have found a way to work with them my entire life. When I started grooming it was like going to heaven. I got to work with the animals in a much more positive way with people that were now happy to be using my services (the people didn't much like me when I was a dog catcher) and they drop off their dogs all dirty, come to pick them up and they are so happy when the dog is fluffy and wagging it's tail!!! It's GREAT to see this!!!! It's so much fun when you get a new client that will trust you to do "groomers choice" and create a cute look for their new pound puppy. I live for days like that!!!! Grooming is truly a great profession if you would like to work with dogs, are a hard worker and willing to get dirty. aha!! lol... that's enough for a week at least I'm sure!!!
Thank you wench for your long story, It made me feel better about some of my rules.Especially about the matting issue.I won't dematt seriously matted dogs and some people have a problem with that, which does shock me.A man came in some time ago with a shih tzu (I had never seen him)The dog had a top notch that looked like it had been left up for 5-6 months one solid mat and the dog was filthy.He told me to brush it out, it made me laugh and I told him I would make no promises, well he stormed out,(and I waved goodbye)ha ha. He phones me an hour later to apologize for his behaviour.I didn't end up doing the dog, I asked him to go else where, He was not sincere.It turns out a groomer not far from me had been doing the dog since puppy hood and for some reason this guy started calling her a slut and a hore because she wouldn't remove the matting, and couldn't take the dog till next week. I do love grooming dogs but unfortunetly the people spoil it sometimes.In 96 I started some training and have been doing grooming since.I don't think its my life passion, But for me Its about education so I don't regret learning it.My favourite time is when I have time, to really focas on one dog is heaven.The satisfaction to turn the ordinary dog to the show stopper. I have only groomed two show dogs and I was a little nervous because of course they are show dogs.I tend to groom more towards a show style instead of what they call a pet clip.It just may be a little shorter than usual for the typical pet.Before I was a vet Asst and decided to change direction because the job was making me sick.Back then they used alot of sprays and chemicals.I'm very interested in dog behaviour and am thinking of becomeing a behavioural consultant.It comes in handy for most of the dogs I see do have behavioural issues.What people don't realize is that I know how to deal with these issues.A really interesting surprise that I noticed was when I groom I sing (my co-worker tell me quite loud) so many of the dogs like it.I think? But I usually sing when I'm concentrating which means the dog is being good.So my singing is sort of a praise for good behaviour, which settles alot of animals.This does not work on cats unfortunately.
wench, you sound like a great groomer! my little cocker has a wonderful groomer, she sounds much like yourself. She works out of her home, and has a great little shop set up. She is a master groomer, and does wonderful with all dogs. My question to you, my groomer is a client at the vet hospital I work. When my little girl sees her there she is so excited to see her and jumps straight on me to get to her. Now, when we go to her house for the spa day, she just shakes all the way there. She knows where she is going... Perhaps its because she is so dependant on me, because when i pick her up, she has to give kisses goodbye to the groomer. So, can you help me out here? I really hate to see her shake like that.. Thanks