Ok...so I just want to put this out there....I started as a bather in Petsmart about 5 years ago in California making $8.00 per hour. Min. wage was only $6.75...so I got more than min. wage which was nice....I went through an extensive interview about what I knew and then had to take a written test and get 100% on it before I was allowed to even touch a dog. After I passed one of the groomers taught me the proper way to bathe/ brush a dog...clip nails, clean ears...etc...the basics....I told the salon manager that I wanted to be a groomer and she told me that I had to wait until I was a good bather...after a few months she felt I was ready....I went through the grooming academy they sent me too which was 3 hrs away and payed for the hotel and payed me hourly while I was in class. Anyways...the point is that I was well trained...my salon manger insisted that every dog look as perfect as you could possibly do. We treated every dog with the kindness it deserved. We had a whole bunch of rules to follow as far as ever aspect of grooming was concerned so that the dogs would be safe. We had alot of clients that loved us because we did such a fantastic job and were alot cheaper than the private salons in our area which charged a whole lot more but they said that our skills were just as good. I have heard about some salons in Petsmart being crappy and it is true that they tried to make us groom 8 dogs a day...which to me made no sense. I groomed 5-6 and told them to shove it...I cared that the dogs were done perfectly as possible and that they were safe. If it were me I'd shop around and pick a groomer that you like and don't worry if it's a petsmart or a private salon. And Groomers are not underpaid...we make 50% comission and tips. Honestly...I felt that I made good money for something that I love to do!
I work as a bather/brusher at Petsmart. Prior to working there I have been a regular customer and brought both my puppies to their puppy classes and thought by far Petsmart was the best place to go and take my dogs for everything they need ~ even grooming. Well that has all changed for me working behind the walls of the grooming salon. My interview was short but the video and testing was long and you need 100% before you start bathing dogs. The manager gave me most of the answers. Upon my first shift, whatever was mentioned in this video about sanitation, cleaning the kennels between dogs, fresh water ~ is a lie. Dogs being left on a table with a short leash around its neck is an accident waiting to happen. All dogs that have gone into the back are scared. Its loud, you have three or more force blow dryers...Some dogs try to bite the nozzle ~ when this happens I take the nozzle off and it seems to ease the fear but it took twice as long. The supplies are dull and if you quick dogs nails they don't tell the owner. They just put the powder on. Maybe not all Petsmarts are the same but from now on I will bath my own dog and clip my owns dogs nails. You pay for a top dog package and that includes teeth brushing, "special shampoo and conditioner" ear cleaning and nail grinding and bow or bandana...you would be so lucky if you get ALL. Its almost impossible to brush a dogs teeth so they spray this gross stuff in their mouth so its smells like they have and its false advertising. The water bowls are never sanitized and water is never changed in between dogs. If a dog poops in the kennel its removed but rarely ever sanitized. Your supposed to as a bather put eye drops in the dogs eyes. If you were to see the mouth of the bottle cap on the eye drops it would make you sick. I refused to put the drops in. In the end though I quit. I witnessed enough horror. Some of the groomers work is choppy and I would probably get my dog groomed but I will do the nails and bathing myself from now on.
From personal experience, I would ALWAYS recommend using a groomer that owns his or her own business. Generally, you can find a wealth of information about the groomer by word of mouth. I've been using my groomer for over two years now and she is a godsend. I can only imagine the trouble my dog gives her during his shave (he barely allows me to bathe him)! On one visit, my dog jerked and got shampoo in his eye. When I picked up my dog I wasn't thrilled with the news, but my groomer was completely up front, honest and instructed me on how to take care of the affected eye. Odds are you won't get that with a large chain. Find yourself a qualified local groomer and you'll find a friend for life!
As a groom shop owner I'd like to squash this topic or at least give some closure. Not all petsmarts are bad just like independently owned shops... People are going to be people we are all different colors, shapes and sizes. Some of us are wanting work to feed our families...others don't have to work just need to pass time... I've had girls & guys come into the shop that just love animals. A groomer takes a special person because you don't have to just like or love animals, you have to have common sense which most groomers lack sorry, you have to be honest to yourself, other workers, your boss and most importantly your "bread & butter" not just the animal owners but the animal. "Humanity before Vanity", You have to have patience & TEAM work! This field is famous for drug addicts/dealers, alcoholics & smokers..usually if you go to a private owned groom shop they do pay better..personally I pay up to 70 percent & teach to groom and I don't charge you for it...maybe I should but I'm more concerned about animals being groomed right & my help/family as I call them being there for me because we all make more if it's team work. Petsmart gets a bad name because it's a huge pet chain...everyone goes there at least once and from personal experience of correcting mistakes and dealing with traumatized dogs/cats and owners...it does happen. I've never heard one good thing about the grooming but people love the prices because it's quantity not quality. At Petsmart people get into the trade no money down.. other groomers not taught at petsmart learn from other groomers for free and slowly buy their own tools..or steal from others and most people pay with cash! Thats why it attracts "low lifes". You can argue this all you want but grooming in my state and other states it's just how it is everywhere. Not all groomers want to groom but they need the money so they stay thats where most grooming mistakes come from...animal abuse..others are not "animal" smart...just like street smart.. you have to be an animal person. Animals have to like you and you have to know how to handle them otherwise that's why animals escape out the front door and get hit by cars or jump out of a tub or off a table to their deaths.Patience as I said before... Most can be spotted right off the bat like if they smoke or jump around as they talk to you... leads to animal abuse, thievery & being fat liars either today or the near future.Do you want a fun job? Working with animals might seem like "super" fun but surprise!!! It's work. Each animal is different you can't treat them all the same because just like people...animals are all colors,shapes, sizes & temperaments. Never say never! Most animals DO NOT LIKE WATER. If you are a groomer and haven't had this happen to you you're in denial. Or you're not really a groomer. Most of these problems happen at petsmart because most are newbie groomers trusted to do trims only really experienced groomers should do and aren't shown by someone one on one for hours. If your pet makes it out alive be greatful... most small shops are opened by petsmart groomers... I have 4 surrounding my shop alone and the reason they do this is because they learned a trade and "think" they are groomers when the reality of it is they need to stay at petsmart to finish learning. They have a right to live life as they choose but I wish they'd at least know more than 3 trims before becoming a shop owner... them teaching others how to groom would be a joke...is a joke. Most petsmart groomers that I've hired aren't qualified to bathe an animal alone.. they aren't all stupid :)it's just they have a certain amount of time at the grooming school and what you don't learn at the school you just have to attempt to know how to do on the job. I learn things everyday every pet as I said is different, but I was taught how to handle an animal and how to properly brush, comb, bathe, dry & first aid way before I was given nail clippers, scissors or hair clippers. I deal with animal cruelty on a daily basis from animal owners, fungus, parasites and rude people not wanting to pay what it's worth to groom an animal, but I love my job and wouldn't trade it for anything because I'm surrounded by professionals who know how to groom and pass time with plans & cute smocks, new things to buy to improve grooming and when you ask them a question on the phone they can give you a correct answer or refer you to someone who can. It's fun going to work when you have my environment but it's still hard work. I go home every night and have hair in places I cannot even speak about. I don't have a glass window for you to watch your dog get groomed I have surveillance with a screen up front with chairs or You can watch from online... you can watch if you wish to wait and don't want your dog to see you or you can sit at my table in a comfy chair and visit with me as I groom your pet I am experienced enough to feel confident I know how to groom and any mistake I make it's in front of the owner. If you have an environment like this then you should be grooming. If your place you go to or work at isn't like this then leave and find a place like this..If you can't find a place like this then maybe the problem is you and you should consider a different profession! My animals are important to me and just like children I would NOT let someone touch them unless I feel they are qualified to do as I ask..or offer to let me stay..If I'm unable to stay with my animal then you are unable to groom my animal. Good groomers are hard to find..anywhere! People need to remember peace not war and focus on their own problems and help others when they need it most. Hope this helps...
Choco, I believe in most of what you say, but I am very offended about you saying a smoker is a good groomer. it is like saying a blonde isn't a good groomer. I have been grooming in a private shop for the same lady for almost 15yrs. I just quit smoking a year ago. I just decided I wasn't paying $7 a pack anymore.
There are alot of deadbeats in the profession, but to classify everyone one is wrong. There are some good groomers at petsmart and petco, some do come from outside sources to work at those places. I would never open my own shop as I have really hard time dealing with stupid people. I also can't stand those who bring me a matted dog and want it brushed out. So in hindsight I can not deal with people on my own lol.
I love my job, and I love my boss. I now drive 1 1/2hrs to work and back. She is my friend, and we do dog shows together, picnics, etc. I wouldn't give up my job or the person I work with for the world. Each pet owner needs to do their own research and choose a groomer wisely.
I took the smoker comment to mean the owner/employee is smoking in the shop in front of the customer. Which would be unprofessional and a turn-off, IMO. Or in the room with your dog... ( Not sure, though-- maybe she did mean a smoker, PERIOD, since now that I think about it, she did lump smokers in with drug users or drug dealers or something.)
***Edited By: shinyblackpit on 4/27/2010 11:59:37 AM*** Reason: sdfdsafsad
"Be who you are and say what you feel. Because those that matter, don't mind...And those that mind....don't matter."
Hmm... well my husband is a dog groomer. He's not a drug dealer or a cigarette smoker. He went to an accredited grooming school to learn how to groom. He wasn't taught by a shop owner. I think he went to school for a year. I will agree that there are tons of groomers all over, but very few GOOD ones. I do have to say my husband is one of the GOOD ones. And I am not just saying that. He recently left a job he had been at part time for 10 years and the owner called him begging and pleading with him to come back because the woman they were left with, someone who is a piece of dog poo like you described, sucks and the owner is losing business left and right.
Please don't paint all groomers like that because now, everyone is going to read that and think the worst when they go to get their dog groomed and it's unfair.
I agree shiny, smoking should never been done around the dogs, or in the front of the shop. I always smoked in the kennel yard after all the dogs were walked. I always felt it was my choice to smoke, not someone else's. I always asked before I smoked around anyone, and would certainly not do it around a freshly bathed dog. That is stupid.
I cannot believe that people from a private salon have the nerve to talk about petsmart groomers!
1ST off.....95% of the groomers in private salons do not (let me stress that again) DO NOT have any training what so ever! Don't believe me....ask one to show they are certified and see what you find!
What does this mean for your pet.....hmmm how can I begin....Well if your pet is one of the breeds that cannot be kennel dried due to its nose....A groomer that does not have professional training COULD KILL YOUR PET!
2nd....Petsmart does not let any old joe walk in the door and groom. If you have never groomed before you have to start out as a bather for 6 months first and learn the proper safety procedures of handling a dog and thoroughly examining a dog when they walk in. A dog that is aggressive will not be permitted in the salon. In other words.....if the bather can't touch your dog without it biting, a groomer can't groom it!
Once you have established yourself as a bather you can be scheduled to attend the grooming academy. The academy teaches the groomer safety techniques and the business end of the business. You learn to get comfortable with your clippers and learn to build a rapport with the pet as well as their parent. After the academy is completed, you begin your portfolio at your home store. This includes grooming 100- 300 ( cant remember the exact number) dogs under close supervision of a professionally trained salon manager. Once this is completed the portfolio is sent off to be examined and determination is made if the groomer is ready to groom or if he or she needs more training.
I started grooming in petsmart and I must say that it is the BEST job I have ever had! I relocated to another city that did not have one so I had to work in a private salon. WHEN I TELL YOU THAT I WOULD NEVER LEAVE MY PET AT A PRIVATE SALON! For 1 most of the groomers are not properly trained! They just picked up clippers one day and decided to become a groomer! Most do not know proper pattern designs etc.
AT petsmart you learn the entire business. From nutrition to grooming. WHAT GOES INSIDE THE DOG makes a huge difference in their skin and coat! for example......at the private salon I worked in....An older guy had been bringing his dog there for years to get groomed. The dog had horrible flakes. THE untrained groomer charged this man for years a special shampoo that did nothing for the dogs coat. WHen the dog left it was as flaky as it was when it came in. One day I sat down with the man and informed him of the food that he was feeding the dog. Ol Roy to be exact. I informed him that his dog probably had a corn allergy and needed a better food. I gave him a referral for NUTRO lamb and rice. He bought the food and started his pet on it....VIOLA! no more flakes! NO more expensive shampoo that did nothing for his pet!
Petsmart employees are trained to do what is best for the pet! YES they make money, but if they give you a shampoo they inform you of other options to help with the pets well being!
Most private salons do not have proper training to determine why a pets skin is dry or flaky or why cheap dog foods are terrible for your pet!
As for their pay......I'd put my 4 day petsmart check against anyone who works 4 days and I bet mine would be more. JUST think my check is only half of what I actually made so do you really want to go there? I think not.
How long do you spend at the academy learning how to groom? Are you paid hourly at petsmart or are you paid commission? Any experienced animal person, whether they are a groomer, trainer, vet staff,etc. Are taught how to properly handle aggressive dogs which in turn allows you to work safely with them so you don't get bit. I have 1st hand knowledge of how well their "dog trainers" are trained and if the groomers are "trained" in a similar fashion that doesn't leave me confident at all in their skills.
I wonder how many petsmart groomers attend the national groom expos and participate in the competitions. Of those that do I wonder how many of them won?
Like another poster said, people are people. You get the good, bad, and the ugly in every profession though animal related professions seem to attract them the most pound for pound. 1 bad experience with 1 bad petsmart groomer doesn't make them ALL bad.
Unless you are spending thousands of dollar at the the grooming competitions, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS CERTIFICATION FOR GROOMING. You can get a diploma if you go to grooming school, that is it. I am so tired of people claiming they are certified and there is no such thing.
Anyone who owns their own grooming shop has to have a clue or the don't stay in business. No you don't have to go to school, you can teach yourself or be apprenticed. Even when you graduate from grooming school you still have ton of handling and information to learn. How someone learns makes the difference. If they are not willing to put 100% into the job then they are not going to be good. It doesn't matter where they work.
Lastly before you complain about a private groomer killing dogs in drying cages, did you forget it is petsmart and petco who were sued for it? Not a private groomer. AT my shop all the dogs run around and cages are only for those who do not get along with the other dogs. Dogs are hand dried, and only some going into OPEN cages with a dryer on NO HEAT. That is the only way to dry a dog. end of story.
Illusion I wouldn't get so fired up over Sunshine's post lol. She sounds very young in both age and life experience. I think anyone reading the 1st couple of paragraphs will realize that and take the rest of it with a grain of salt.
What a horrible thing to have happen! I hope not everyone will pass judgment on Petsmart without knowing the facts. Many very capable and responsible groomers work at Petsmart, Petco or other big name stores because that's where the jobs are available. I'd bet many fabulous groomers got their start there. (no, I am not affiliated with any of these stores but know people who are.) http://abdo.ca/