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.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I could have written a book by now if I had kept a record of all of the excuses customers have given me over the years for their dogs being matted.

Some I have heard were...
* He went out in the rain and got wet.
* I lost his brush.
* He chewed up his brush.
* He doesn't like the brush.
* The kids didn't brush him.
* He didn't have any mats last week.
* We went on vacation and no one brushed him.
* I got a new job and have not had time to brush him.
* He walked under our car and got matted.
* The new puppy chewed on him and matted his hair.
* He likes to roll on the floor and get his hair all knotty.
* He's matted? I have to brush him?
* What is a mat?
* He's not matted!

The list could go on and on.
There is one excuse that I have always hated to hear, and have had to learn over the years to just let it go and ignore it.

What is the excuse?
I bet some groomers can guess.
I am sure that some of you have heard it more then once.

Okay, okay I'll say it.

"He's matted because I had to wait for this appointment."

I have heard this excuse more times then I can count.
It does not matter if the customer had to wait a week for the appointment or a month or more, it is apparently my fault.

I had one in on Saturday.
This customer had used our Self-Serve before to bathe her Bichon.
After I clipped her dogs nails and she saw the pictures of my grooms on the wall, she wanted to make an appointment with us.
That was back in the beginning of December.
We were able to fit her in early in December.
You know, those couple of weeks after Thanksgiving and before the Christmas rush.
She called a few days later wanting closer to Christmas.

Out of the question for a new customer.
The two weeks before Christmas had been booked for over a year by my regulars.

"Can you call me if there is a cancellation?" she said.
"We can, but there is already a waiting list, and I rarely get a cancellation at Christmas time." we explained to her.
"Okay, call me as close to Christmas as possible," she finished.

Needless to say, there were no cancellations, and she did not get a call before Christmas.
She made another appointment after the Holidays, but did not keep that because it was not a Saturday.
She had to wait till this past week for a Saturday appointment.
I could tell as soon as she walked in the door that she had not had her dog groomed since using our Self-Serve.
November till February...way too long for a Cock-a-Poo. 

As I picked the dog up, I could tell just how matted it was.
I put her dog on my counter.
"How do you want her groomed? She is matted." I informed her.
"I know. I usually get her groomed on a regular schedule but, I had to wait since November to get in here, that's why she is matted," she told me.
"Do what you have to. I know she will be short," she finished.

I just don't understand people.
There are at least 5 other grooming salons within a ten mile radius of my shop.
Why let your dog get so matted?

I understand that you would like to start coming to my shop, but take your pet somewhere else while your waiting for the appointment with me.

She could have taken her dog to another groomer at the end of December or the beginning of January and still kept this appointment.

I was able to HV the mats away from the skin enough the get a #4f blade through the coat.

 It is sad to me that an owner will let their dog get this matted, and then use me as an excuse for why the dog is in this condition.

During the busy times, when we are booking 3-4 months out, we make a point of telling people to get their dog groomed somewhere else if their dog needs it before the appointment they scheduled with me. 

  The Groom

Body & Legs: #4f blade
Head: Dematt and scissor round.
Face: scissor round face, short around the mouth but not too short. (owners instructions)

The owner really liked her dog, and was pleasantly surprised that her dog was not shorter.

She made an appointment for 6 weeks from now. I hope she keeps it.
No more blaming me for the matting.  :-)

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. i have a customer that said to me "the dog is matted because the last time i bring him here you did not brush it well... it is a shih tzu, and they haven't sent the dog to de grooming saloon in 3 1/2 months... and not brushim him a single day :S
    ... even if we brush him just perfectly... in 3 months he will be matted anyway

  2. Hi Nikole,
    Don't you just love when they blame YOU for THEIR dog being matted. Unfortunately, those customers will never GET IT. I am sure they are the type of people that never take the blame for anything.
    I try to brush those types of comments off. It is extremely hard. I admit that I let those people get to me. I will take up for myself, but not defensively. I will say something like "I am sure that I removed all of the mats the last time he was in, because I take a comb through every dog that I groom to make sure, but I am only human, and no matter how well I comb out your pet it will not stop him from matting up again if no one is brushing him between grooms. I am sorry that you think that I did not do a good job last time. I understand completely if you wish to find another groomer. I will miss "Fluffy". He is such a nice dog", all of this said with a nice smile on your face and NO sarcasm at all. Because I truly do not want someone to come to me for grooming if they truly think that I did a bad job on their dog.
    Two things could happen. They will either get mad and walk out, or if they are just a bully (and most are) they will fumble all over themselves to have you continue to groom their dog.
    I hate when customers like that ruin my day.
    I try not to let them. :/
    Lisa, MFF

  3. I've been grooming for 20 years (just realised this recently and it was a shock lol). Thanks for writing your thoughts/experiences! Not enough out there for our profession. I really like your writing, although I must say the center justified text is a little hard to read - not sure why!
    Again, keep it up - love it! Your work is gorgeous, too. Really high quality scissoring!
    Cheers - Katie from Seattle

    1. Hi Katie,
      Thank you for all of the nice comments. It IS amazing how fast 20 years can fly by isn't it? :) I still shake my head sometimes when I think about how long I have been grooming.
      Lisa, MFF

  4. Oh, the excuses for dogs being matted!

    Some I've gotten are: 'He's matted because he's part Poodle'
    'She's matted because she's old and that's just how they are'
    'She's matted because she plays a lot'
    'They're matted because it keeps them warm in the winter'
    'Max is matted because I heard it was best to let them go natural'

    Doesn't it make you just want to *facepalm* ? :P

  5. I like to say, "What would happen if you didn't brush your hair everyday?" well I would :) My boss is quite kindly about that stuff. I have yet to have a customer be in denial about their dog, but I've only been grooming for a year! Let's keep our fingers crossed that owner's will man up to their mistakes!

  6. I once had a customer a couple of years ago tell me, "It is my fault. I did not take care of 'Fluffy' properly and now he is matted." I looked at the person in disbelief, and thanked them for being honest to me. I was sure surprised! I think they were the only honest customer I have ever met about matting!


    1. Hi Cortney,
      It's funny....every once in awhile I will get a phone call from an owner wanting to make an appointment because their dog is so badly matted. Then they come in and the dog has a couple of tiny mats that the owner could not get out. lol
      Then I have the customer that asks for a price quote, and I ask if the dog is matted...'No'....sure enough the dog comes in and is matted to the skin. (shaking head)
      People never fail to amaze me.
      Lisa, MFF

    2. So thankful that my groomer today understood how awful I felt that My two had gotten matted. She gave me a hug which I appreciated. I told her that I knew she had heard all of the excuses and that I was going with "Aliens landed in the middle of the night and tangled up their fur".