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.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Matted Messes

I broke my own rule today.
Today started out with a matted mess, and ended with a matted, psycho mess.

What rule did I break?
I did not take pictures of the second matted dog.
I make it a rule to take pictures of matted dogs so that an owner can't come back to me and complain that I took their dog too short, or that I put a sore on the dog after I find sores under the mats.

I fully intended on taking picture of this dog, but once I got my hands on him there was no stopping to take pictures.
He is 7 or 8 years old. (the owner was not sure)
He has never been professionally groomed, they had been clipping him at home.
You could tell his body had been clipped before, but his legs were cement mats.

I was warned that this dog was a biter.
That was an understatement.
Every time you touched this dog he acted like your fingers were hot coals, and he was going to rip those hot coals apart.
I muzzled him right away.
I am not quite that stupid.  :)

As soon as the water hit him he freaked out to beat all freak outs.
He flipped and flopped and slammed himself into the back wall of the tub.
All I could do was hold on and try to calm him down.

I have to say, for a minute there, he scared the sh*t out of me.
Not because of the biting, I was afraid he was going to hurt himself if I could not get him to calm down.

After soaping him up I decided to wet shave him.
It took me around an hour just to get the cement mats off his legs, and he had a lot of sores under those mats.

I could not take my hands off of him for a second.
I had to keep the muzzle on the whole groom.
He would calm down, then have another melt down, then calm again.
This happened at least a dozen times.

I saved his face for the very last, by that time he was letting me pet him and hug him, but I still did not trust him by a long shot.
I think if he started to get groomed regularly, he might come around, but his owners said that he doesn't like anybody.
They could not believe that he was letting me hold him.
The owners made another appointment for 6 weeks, but I have to say, I am not holding my breath.

That was my last groom of the day...this was the first groom of the day. 

These two dogs were like night and day.

This little guy was very calm, laid back and very matted.

Unlike the other dog, this dogs mats were large and a lot looser.

I bathed him in Best Shot shampoo and Creme Rinse, and HVed the knots apart and away from his skin.

What in the world is this supposed to be?, you ask.

Not to be too gross, but there is supposed to be a penis in there somewhere.

It is so tightly matted and covered in...something, that I have know idea how this poor guy has been peeing.

This is his belly after the bath.

I let the mat on his penis soak in medicated shampoo, then I worked the mat apart and got as much of the 'stuff' out of the hair as I could.

Now I was able to clip the mat off of his penis easily.

I was also amazed that his penis was not red and raw.
I think if I had tried to clip it before the bath, there may have been some clipper irritation no matter how careful I was.

This is him after the bath and blow dry.

I think he feels better already.

There are a couple more things that need to be taken care of.

 His nails!

This poor guy has been walking around on these nails.

I had to clip his legs and feet first, because the mats were tangled all around the nails.

 Luckily, I was able to clip them pretty short, and he was so good about it.

Now for the back feet.

One of his back nails fell off in my hand as I was bathing him.

This nail had grown back between the toes, it was pressing against the skin but, had not punctured the skin yet.

The mats were far enough away from the skin to use a 3/4 blade.

Body and Tail: clipped with a 3/4 blade and scissor.
Head: #4F on the top of the head, blending into the neck.
Face: Repair owners scissor job around the mouth. Scissor the side of the face short because of matting.
Ears: #15 on the inside, #4F on the outside and scissor.



Okay, I am tired.
Matted dogs.
Biting dogs.
Matted biting dogs.
I am getting too old for this.

Did I mention that I was tried?

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. Great job I bet he felt 10 pounds lighter, I would have been scared to death if I had to clip some nails like these

  2. Hi Jessica,
    Thank you. This is when you really feel good about being a groomer.
    You would be surprised how much easier it is to clip nails like this then it is to clip nails that are already pretty short. Give yourself time. It will get easier the more nails you clip.

  3. That last dog is so adorable! If he was mine, I'd groom him often, just to keep that teddy bear floppy eared look! (I love floppy ears, my baby can flop them or keep them up and it makes me so happy!)

  4. My dog is like this - he's a doodle and came to me badly matted and terrified of any grooming - he will now permit a certain amount of grooming but not enough to stop the matting - ok in bath but terrified of brushes and will writhe and 'freak out' when i try to groom - he must be so uncomfortable so just having to persevere -poor thing!