About Me:

I am a professional Pet Groomer. I have been grooming for 28 years. This Blog is a kind of diary of my work. I wish I had started years ago, writing some of the experiences I have had while grooming. Most days are fun, some can be sad, some can be just down right crazy. If you are a pet owner and come across this blog, I hope it helps you understand how your pet is groomed. If you are a Pet Groomer, I hope you can relate to some of the stories. Maybe even learn a grooming tip or can leave a friendly grooming tip for me. There is always something to learn, no matter how long you have been grooming.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Decision made

I have been struggling for a while about whether to continue grooming large dogs.
I really do not mind grooming large dogs.
I have a few that I really enjoy doing.

I am terrible at being a business owner.
I am a wimp.
I have no back bone.
Let me change that.
I have no back bone when it comes to charging what the groom is worth on a large dog.
I have two standards myself, and I know that I would have a hard time coming up with the money to have them groomed the way I like them.

I know. I know.
I am not the one who bought the dog.
I did not tell the owner to buy a high maintenance dog.
I still have a hard time charging 100 to 120 beans for a St. Poodle, Labradoodle, or Goldendoodle.
Yes, the work is worth it.
Especially, because just about every Doodle I do wants a Hand Scissor cut.

Most of the Doodles I groom are the size of small ponies.


'Bailey' here, used to get a total Hand Scissor cut.
She now gets what I call a Puppy Cut with a 3/4 blade, and I still follow up by Hand Scissoring her.


Doodles are also many different hair types.
Some are very easy to groom, some are harder.


All of them are very time consuming.

Some of the Doodles I groom could pass for Royal Standard Poodles.

These two sisters are in Lamb Clips.

They each get  a #C3F on their bodies followed by scissoring, and a 3/4 blade lightly on the legs followed by scissoring.

'Lacey' & 'Elcee's ears and faces are always a little matted.

Unfortunately, I do not come close to charging what I should on these two.

This is 'Dooley'.
He is one of the largest poodles I have ever groomed.
Or seen for that matter.

This picture just does not do him justice.

He is a gentle giant.

He is one of two, and again, I do not charge enough for them.

Doodles and Poodles are not the only time consuming grooms that do not get charged what they are worth.

About 80% of the Goldens that we do are huge, and have massive coats.


 Most of my Golden owners want the coat short but not shaved.


 We hand scissor all of them.


So far this week, we have groomed 2 gigantic Goldendoodles and 2 St. Poodles.
One was 'Dooley'.


 These two Goldens are do in tomorrow.
Their Mom likes them scissored as tight as we can get them.

As of this week, we are no longer taking new customers with large dogs.
We will continue grooming the large dogs that we have been grooming.
I have been grooming many of them for years.
Most of these pictures are from last year.
Don't get me wrong, I do really like grooming large dogs, but from a business stand point I feel I can no longer take them.

In most cases I can groom up to four small to medium size dogs in the time it takes me to groom one Gigantic Doodle.
Can you charge that for a large dog?
I just can't.

I won't even go into the down right goofy instructions my Doodle owners bring me.

So, my husband has his instructions.
He is to turn away all new large dogs.
He is not to come tell me about any, mainly the St. Poodles.
I have a weakness for St. Poos.
I just can not help myself.
I love grooming them.
You don't charge enough!
I know. I know.
I am doing the right thing. I am doing the right thing. I am doing the right thing.

We will see...

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. You are absolutely right! Unless you charge double to triple for a large dog what you charge for a small dog, you LOSE money! For many years, that has been one of my beefs with grooming, so I stopped doing big dogs.

    A note about your comments on the Goldens - why don't you just use a snap-on comb to speed up the groom where you "scissor as short as possible"? A #2 or #1 Wahl stainless steel comb would look as good and cut your finishing time by about 75%, I think. (Just a suggestion.)

    Since you are a Standard Poodle "specialist", you should be getting a good $150 for a St Poo done every 4 weeks. And the owners pay more if they stretch it longer, and pay for a missed appointment with no notice. That's the only way to do it "business-like".

    Wish I could scissor like you....

  2. The Golden Retriever owner should have got a Labrador if they want a short coat.