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, February 11, 2011


My last dog of the day today was one of my special cases.
I have only groomed him 3 times so far.
He came to me after some bad grooming experiences, and his owner being told not to bring him back because of aggressive biting.
I decided to time myself while grooming my last dog of the day.
I wanted to see just how much time I was spending on one of my special needs dogs.
I tend to do a lot of dogs that have been thrown out, or turned away from other shops.
I like to work with them.
I feel that they are just not understood.
Of course a few are down right inbreed and insane.
Thankfully, I have only run into a couple of those.

These dogs do take time.
I know, I lose money doing these dogs.
I know, I should charge more for them.
I rarely do.

< Before

This is 'Spunky'.
The first time that I groomed him I discovered that he utterly refused to let you do anything to his face.

He also panicked if you held his neck in any way.

But, he loved for you to rub his face.

This was great, because I had a way to calm him if he got upset.

The first grooming I worked very slowly, and every time he started to panic or get upset at something I was trying to do, I calmed him down with a good face rub and a lot of soft talking.

I got through the first grooming without any biting, but he was not going to let me do his face.

Today the bath took me 19 minutes.
He was filthy.
I washed his body and legs twice, and his ears three times.

To save with the drying time, instead of using cream rinse, I rinsed 'Spunky' really well and then I poured a mixture of a gallon of water and 2 tablespoons of baking soda all over the dog.

I did not rinse it off.
It really cuts down on the drying time and leaves the coat very soft and fluffy.

I learned the baking soda trick from a Holistic Vet.

I also kept him wrapped in a towel while I used another towel to rub where I was HV drying.

I got him 95% dry in 21 minutes. 


It took me 11 more minutes to fluff him up with my hand dryer.

So far he was doing really great.
He is trusting me now, and so far has not been the least bit panicky about anything.

 'Spunky' was great on the table.
He did not get upset about anything. 

I am working slowly.

I tell him everything I am going to do before I do it.
Go ahead and laugh.  :)
It works for me.

I love when they trust me.

He was getting Cocker #5f, with a 5/8 blade on the skirt and legs. 

 He got Cocker ears, with the inside of the ears clipped all of the way down the ear with a #10, and the hair scissored up to the leather.

He has that Cocker ear smell.

If you are a groomer, you know the smell.
I could be 110 years old and senile and I would still recognize that smell.


It took me 55 minutes for the clip.
I used a #7f on the top of his head, but you wouldn't know it because I had to skim over four warts spread out on his head.
I left hair to cover up the warts.
He did great.

 And, he let me clip part of his face!

This was big.

The first three times I groomed him I was only able to scissor up his face a little.

Today he let me clip the sides of his face and under his chin before he started to get a little upset.
I was not going to push it.
We had made so much progress.
He was trusting me.
He let me scissor the rest of his face.

The first thing his Mom asked me was; "Did he get aggressive with his face?"
"No, he did great today," I answered.
"I still can't clip his face yet, but he let me wash out the eye boogies and let me scissor his face without any fuss," I explained.
She couldn't believe it.

I seem to get that a lot with some owners.
I feel like they think I am lying when I say that I did not have any problem with their dog.
There have been a few times when a couple of owners actually seemed to be upset that I didn't have a problem.
I don't know.

I am just glad that 'Spunky' is trusting me.  :)
I don't think an hour and 45 minutes is too bad for a special needs dog.

Happy Grooming, MFF

1 comment:

  1. Today I had a lhasa mix who I have groomed a long time....she has a bad back leg and on top of that hates the rest of her legs touched. Also hates her face messed with. I always ended up muzzling with her and fighting to clip her legs (thats how I was taught). Until ive been reading your blog on handling things patiently and gently, talking sweetly to them, using a gentle touch. It actually worked. I never had to muzzle her this time. She growled a couple times but never tried to bite. I was able to clip most of her legs with barely any problems but what I didnt get i scissored. Her face is going to take a few more times to.work on but I was so happy with how things turned out with her today!