For the last year, my daughter and I have been training my son to be a bather.
He is doing a great job.
He is very good with the dogs.
He is gentle and caring.
He is pretty good with drying.
There are just a few things he still needs to work on.
It is driving Jess and I crazy.
We just can not get my son to develop a ROUTINE!
My son is a nice, sweet, caring young man, BUT he does things HIS own way and at HIS own pace.
Really, could anyone look more relaxed as they are drying a Golden?
Don't get me wrong, I am glad he has a laid back personality, but there are just some times I want to give him a good swift kick in the bottom to get him moving just a little faster.
I have been telling him that if he just developed a good routine, that he could use on every dog, it would automatically help him to speed up.
I can not tell you when I first developed my routine with grooming.
I may have read it somewhere.
I know that I learned pretty early on in my grooming career that a routine made my life easier.
My routine has changed a few times over the years.
Two things that helped me were, routine and timing myself.
This is what I am trying to get my son to understand.
I do not expect him to use my routine to a tee, I just want him to use some kind of routine.
That way if he stops in the middle of a bath for some reason, he can always pick up again and know what he has done already and what he hasn't.
This is my routine:
I always soap up the face first.
I like to let the face soak.
It helps to soften eye crud, and any food and dirt that is around the mouth.
Then I soap up the body, followed by the legs and feet.
I also do the Anal Glans at this time.
I then do a quick rinse.
I am just rinsing some of the dirty shampoo off.
I always rinse the face first, so that the soapy water will wash down to the soapy body that has not been rinsed yet.
I pick out any eye crud and food at this time.
Then I repeat everything again for a second bath.
I rarely have to shampoo a dog more then twice.
Every dog is different, depending on how dirty they are.
After the shampoo is rinsed off, I creme rinse or do a Hot Oil Treatment.
I dry the dog in the tub with an Absorber towel, then I follow up with a cotton towel.
I always start HV drying at the bottom of the back leg.
I have found, especially on dogs that don't like the HV dryer or have not had it used on them before, that starting at the very bottom of the dogs back leg, as far away as possible from the head, helps the dog get used to the dryer faster.
Boy, was that a mouth full.
I hope that made sense.
I then work my way up the back leg, up the sides and back, and then back down the front leg.
I slowly work up the neck and HV the head only if the dog allows it.
If not, I don't push it.
I hand dry the head if the HV really upsets them.
Then I continue to dry the other side of the dog.
When I finish HVing, the dog is usually 95-98% dry.
I move the dog to my grooming table, and then fluff dry with a hand dryer and brush.
I use this time to thoroughly brush out any mats the dog may have.
After drying I run a comb all through the dog.
With most dogs, I start clipping at the back of the neck, about 2 to 3 inches from the head. ( it depends on what kind of head I will be doing)
With Schnuazers, I always clip the head first, because I like the blade to be as cool as possible.
I clip or scissor one side of the body and legs, depending on the style I am doing.
After the one side is clipped, I then clip the underarms, belly and, sanitary.
I do all of this with a very light touch.
Sometimes, depending on the dogs skin type, I will only skim with the Moser set on the #15 blade setting.
Next, I clip out the pads of the feet and do the nails.
Now I scissor the feet, legs and touch up the body.
After I have finished the one side of the dog, I powder, pluck and clean the ears.
Next I finish the head.
I do this now, before I clip the other side of the dog, for two reasons.
One, it gives the dog an opportunity to move their head around while I am grooming the other side of the dog.
Then when I am finished the body I can go back to the face and see if anything needs fixing.
Again, I hope that made sense.
The other reason I do the head now is that if the owner comes early, I don't have to fight the dog while they are jerking around, because they know that their owner is there to pick them up.
After the head is done, I follow my routine again on the other side of the dog to finish.
This is just my routine.
My daughters routine is a little different.
Your routine, if you have one, may be really different.
I believe you should use whatever routine works for you.
I get called away in the middle of some of my grooms to talk to customers or clip nails in the Self-Serve.
My routine helps me know where I left off in the grooming when I return.
One day my son will understand what I am trying to say and teach him.
Maybe when I am dead and buried.
I will keep trying.
Every time I ask him if he did something, and he says, 'I can't remember' and has to wash that area again, I will try again!
I will try once again to get him to understand why a routine is good, smart, and the right thing to do.
AND, I will once again pull my hair out of my head when he says, 'My way is fine Mom.'
This is 'Abby'.
Her Mom likes a Schnauzer cut with no skirt.
Head: #7F against the grain.
Ears: #15 w/Moser inside and outside
Body: #7F, no skirt
Legs: Scissor 1/2 off
Happy Grooming, MFF