Just had a question, whenever I take my cockapoo to be groomed, he pulls back and does not want to go in the door and once inside he begans to tremor. Do you think something bad happens there? I would hate to think I am causing him harm.
yea, i've seen how some groomers (like the kind inside large retail pet stores) treat their client's pets and personally, i would be furious. i think inexperienced groomers get fed up with some dogs who are harder to groom and just start being rough with them. i would watch and see how your groomer handles your dog (and other dogs) especially when he/she doesn't know you are watching.
I agree with the others and you should be concerned with what they are doing when you are not there. However, I have to say that my dog has that same reaction every time I get to my groomer's doorway because he absolutely hates having his nails cut. I am there with him the whole time so I know exactly what happens, but he is terrified anyway and I can't change that. These women couldn't be nicer if they tried. In fact they have more patience with him than I do. So in Max's case, it's just him that has a problem. Did this just start to happen? Is this a new dog or a new groomer?
We have a lot of dogs that come into our shop that way. We are just a small grooming shop, me and my boss. We groom in front of a french door that is where the dogs come in (a few feet behind the main front door). We allow owners to stay and watch if they are worried about thier dogs welbeing. All we ask is if the dog gets upset, they hide where the dog cant see them, but they can still see the dog. I have noticed that alot of dogs remind me of dropping a child off at kindergarden. They pant, cry, tremor, etc. But once inside and mom has left they are fine. Their are some exceptions though.
Unfortunatly not all groomers are as nice as we are, and could care less about the dogs welbeing. Trust me, I have seen in at some places I have worked. My boss and I care more about the dog, and we will tell you so.
Tell your groomer you would like to watch a grooming. It is possible that they will tell you that they can't give him a bath while you wait due to drying time. If he coat is very poodle like, then they should be hand drying. If it is more cocker like, then your dog is probably cage drying. If nothing else let them groom him while you watch and you can bathe him at home. If you have the couple hours to wait(usually 2 in our shop) tell them that, they shouldn't mind you hanging around. If this is a problem for the shop, take off and never look back. Phone them ahead of time, and let them know you want to wait. We have our dogs come in around the same time in the morning, but our waits come later in the morning or early after noon. A large shop will also have a bather, someone other then the groomer who bathes the dog. That is normal don't panic.
You always have the right to try somewhere else, but if it just the way your dog shows stress another shop will not be different. Sometimes it also depends on how old the dog is and how often you get him groomed. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. Good luck
Same problem here! When i drop him off i can't even say more than 2 sentences to my groomer because my dog will be dying to jump back into my arms. My groomer is in a very small store so i'm always afraid to ask if I can watch, because i don't wanna be in their way.
But i think I will ask next time, cuz i really wanna see what's going on when my baby's away for 3hrs.
I think it's natural for dogs to be scared going into groomers. But it could be that something has happen to make the situation worse. I've been told by my dog's trainer as a puppy to rub there ears and feet and toes at an early age and get them use to that touch and it would help when taking them to get groomed. Along with some of the sounds of the dryers or nail grinders or feel of the vibration of the nail grinder, I can understand some scared reactions to the groomers.
I agree with illusion - having worked as a groomer, some dogs instantly react when they realize they are being left away from Mom or Dad and throw a tantrum. That doesn't necessarily mean the groomer is doing something wrong. Asking to watch is always a good idea - do keep in mind, your dog is likely to be very antsy and harder to groom while you are there though (they think Mom will "save" them and they can smell you even if they can't see you - I used to groom a Shih Tzu that was an angel - unless her Mom showed up early and then I couldn't get her to even semi hold still).
ALSO - something for ALL pet owners to realize that take dogs to the groomer - If you didn't start grooming them at home as a puppy (bathing, blow drying, trimming nails, cleaning ears) and you didn't start taking them to the groomer as a puppy your dog is going to be less likely to be comfortable being groomed. Also, if you're taking your dog in when it's matted and it's nails are super long and ears full of hair, eyes matted with hair and eye matter... they are in so much physical discomfort at that point - grooming doesn't feel good. I would groom so many dogs who came in with these huge matts behind their ears, under their legs, between their feet... that there is no gentle way to remove those. Even to just cut them out you HAVE to tug and pull some. Have you ever had bubble gum in your hair and tried to brush/comb it out? That's what a matt feels like to a dog. It's tight, painful, and you can't even really remove it without causing more discomfort first.
I don't know the condition your dog is going in to the groomer in - and don't feel it necessary to defend yourself, because YOU know how often you take him in and how tangled and messy he is when you take him. If you're only taking him every 4-6 months and he's got matts and is starting to get smelly and has long long nails (which are painful for the dog by-the-way - overly long nails put stress on their toe joints and would be like you walking on tip toe all the time - their feet HURT by the time you trim them which is why they don't like their nails trimmed)... then he probably hates going to the groomer because it does feel like torture.
It's important with poodle type breeds to really be groomed every 6-8 weeks at least. They need the hair inside their ears plucked to avoid ear infections - and if he has more cocker ears, those should be cleaned AT LEAST once a month. If you're not trimming nails at home (which really, every pet owner SHOULD do as they should really be trimmed every 7-10 days) then you need to take him in and have them trimmed at least once a month. You should be brushing ears, behind the ears, under the arms, thoroughly at home once a week.
The groomer is not supposed to do ALL your work for you as a pet owner. They are just supposed to "overhaul" and do a thorough job and do body trimming.
I had a Maltese that came in once every 8 weeks... that poor dog had dreadlocks by the time she came in every single time because her owner never brushed her - but she didn't want her clipped down. The matts behind her ears were the size of golf balls. Her nails would be starting to curl back into the pads. She had ear infections half the time... the sweet little girl loved the attention of being at the groomer - but she HATED being brushed, because it actually physically hurt her. There is nothing more tramatic for a groomer than having to brush out a matted dog because if you are a good groomer you FEEL the pain of that dog and you do feel like you are torturing them.
Pet groomers get burned out really quickly. They get bit A LOT (even if your dog doesn't bite at home - if it's matted and in pain, it's going to let the groomer know). They have to deal with other people's spoiled, badly behaved dogs (my dogs are taught to stand and be groomed as puppies so by the time I have a 25 lb Sheltie at 2 years old, I don't have to fight with them). They see "well loved pets" come in in worse conditions than some of the dogs you see in puppymill photos. Honestly, I've groomed more than a few dogs that I've wanted to call Animal Control on the owner because as a breeder, if I kept my own dogs in that condition and someone visited my home, they would call Animal Control on me - but when it's just a pet owner, everyone looks the other way. A lot of people think it's okay, because they pay good money and take their dog to the groomer every 4-6 months that they are a good pet owner even when their dog is matted with sores all over it's body from where they have pulled the matts out themselves... Some burned out groomers keep grooming and lose their empathy for the dogs. Others, like me, just quit doing it because it actually makes you hate grooming - and I've always loved grooming dogs - I'd just rather do my own who are well behaved and kept groomed do it's easy and fun and my dogs love it.
I'm not saying this is the OP's problem - or if it is, maybe not to that degree. But as a pet owner, you have to really look at the condition you're taking that dog to the groomer in. I mean REALLY look at him. Run your fingers through his coat before you take him next time and see if he's well brushed. Smell inside his ears and see if they smell yeasty and gross. See how long his nails are. If he smells, feels, and looks uncomfortable/yucky... THAT is why he hates the groomer...
You can help him by doing simple things at home like trimming his nails more often and doing a more thorough job of brushing between groomings. Give him lots of praise and treats while you're grooming at home. Make it pleasant for him, and take him to the groomer in better shape so that it's not so much torture for him and the groomer can spend more time pampering him and less yanking out matts.
I really like the idea of staying while your dog gets groomed. No groomer would abuse a dog while your watching and your more likely to get the dog groomed how you want. It's very possible that your dog flat out doesn't like being groomed. It's also possible that something bad is going on. Is your dog nervous in general or is this the only time? Have you noticed any cuts, burns or other injuries? Any red marks or bruises around his neck? Is he dehydrated when you get him home? My SIL is a groomer and she has told me about some of the horrible groomers she's worked with and she's told me about owners just like Abbylynne described. That woman with the Maltese should be horsewhipped. I would love to have her address, but I might end up in jail. I can't stand the though of taking my Maltese to a groomer b/c he's a rescue and has "issues." He can be very sensitive and a drama queen(is there such a thing as a drama king?). Plus, it's not like they can tell you what happened. For me it's just a better option to groom my dog myself. If DIY is not an option, you need to research groomers just like vets and breeders.
I have been a groomer for the past 13 years, and it can be a double edged sword. I have dogs that I've been grooming for 13 years who don't want to come to my house and they do the same thing your dog does. I also have dogs that as soon as the owner lets them out of the car they book to me like they are my dog.I am a no muzzle, no stress groomer. When you approach the door of the groomer pick up your dog and give him/her to the groomer with out saying things like "it's OK" ,the less fuss the better. These kinds of statements tell your dog it's anything but ok. On the other side if your not totally comfortable with your groomer,or you suspect that she's not being nice to your dog,definitely move on, but just because your dog shakes and doesn't want to go in doesn't mean that the groomer is hurting them. Most of the time you can tell a good groomer on first meeting them by the way that they approach your dog,and how they treat them subsequently. I hope this helps. The Dapper Dog