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.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Drying.. Answers to Questions 1-10

Here are the first 10 answers to the Bathing True and False Test.

Once again the answers are based on my 27 years of grooming experience. 
As you could see most of my questions were about HV drying.
In other words; a forced air dryer.

I guess I should alter the above statement, because I didn't start using a forced air dryer till 1998.
The sad fact is, I saw one for the first time in 1985 at the first Intergroom I ever went to.
When we walked by the booth and the salesman showed us a dryer that looked like a vacuum, I remember thinking 'how in the world do you dry a dog with that!?'
Then he turned it on...it was sooo loud.
Then he told me to put my hand in front of the hose and feel the pressure of the air.
That air hit my hand and slammed it backward.
I remember thinking; 'Holy crap, that would blow a dog right off of the table!'

I wasn't sold.
Maybe if they had actually demonstrated it drying a dog, I may have saved myself years of brushing out a dog while using a stand dryer.
I could have been using a HV dryer 15 years sooner.
That just makes me want to cry.
15 years of cage drying, and fluffing with a stand dryer.

Have I ever mentioned that I absolutely hate stand dryers.
Maybe the stand dryer just didn't like me.  :)
I was always tripping over those darn long feet on it.
I had one that only had 4 feet on it, and every time I tried to move it around, the darn thing would start to fall over on me.
Yep, they didn't like me.

To top it off, that darn dryer arm was a pain in my bu**.
It had a mind of it's own sometimes.
I would aim it where I wanted it, and it would slowly start to either go down or push itself backward away from the dog.
No matter how much I tightened that darn knob, that dryer arm would do what ever it damn well pleased.
If a dryer could laugh at you, that one was laughing at me all of the time.

So when did I finally brake down and start using the HV?

In 1998 I went to an all day seminar at Groom Expo.
The speaker demonstrated how to use a HV correctly, and to your best advantage.
I also had two groomers sitting behind me singing the HV dryers praises, and telling me that they could get a Keeshound dry, straight from the tub, in 15-20 minutes.
To top that off, they also told me that there would hardly be any undercoat left to brush out.

Now, I had been grooming old school for so long that I was having a very hard time believing what they were telling me.
I wanted to believe them, really I did, but I just could not see that dryer doing what they said that it could do.
But, I was going Mobile at the time, and I needed tools that would increase my speed in the van, so I broke down, and after 14 years of grooming the old school way, I bought my first HV dryer.
It has turned into my favorite grooming tool.

Okay, enough about how stubborn and hard headed I was.
On to the answers.

Drying.. True or False Answers:

1) Cage drying is no longer acceptable in the grooming industry. 

FALSE: Yes, Cage Dryers have a very bad reputation in the grooming world, but they can also be a very necessary tool in the grooming shop. When used correctly, they can also be a safe way in which to dry a dog. Notice that I said 'used correctly'. 
When a Cage Dryer is being used, the dog should never be left unattended, you should use a timed dryer, and for extra safety also use an extra timer at the groomers table just in case the timer on the dryer itself fails to turn the dryer off. Also never use the hot setting on the dryer. A good rule of thumb is to set the dryer for 10 minutes on, 10 minutes off, and repeat as long as needed.
I, myself rarely use a Cage Dryer anymore. As a matter of fact, we only have one in the shop.
Some reasons that a Cage Dryer may be needed:
~ For an elderly dog: to keep warm if they are still shivering after you have blown them dry.
~ For dogs that are petrified of the HV dryer: use the cage dryer to dry the dog 1/2 way before hand drying the rest of the way.
As I said, I don't use my Cage dryers very often. Sometimes mine goes weeks without being used, but it has come in handy sometimes.

2) High Velocity drying is not dangerous.

False: Every grooming tool has the potential to be dangerous, especially when you are working on a moving target.  A HV dryer uses forced air to dry, because of this the air is coming out of the hose at a very high rate of speed. (The K-9 II dryer has an air flow of 58,329 fpm) The air should never be blown directly into the dogs nose, eyes, mouth, or ears. It should also not be directly blown on a dogs privates.
The longer a HV dryer runs, the hotter the motor gets,which in turn causes the air to get very hot on some dryers. Keep the dryer in a well ventilated area. Sometimes placing a small fan directly behind the dryer filter can help keep the motor cool.

3) Placing  a cotton ball in each ear while drying helps most dogs accept the drying process better, by muting the loud sound of the HV dryer.

TRUE: Placing cotton in the ears helps to mute the sound of the HV dryer, helping the dogs relax while being dried. This works really well to help elderly and nervous dogs accept the HV dryer.

 4) You can use a HV dryer on a wet, soapy dog to help remove some of the undercoat.

TRUE: After soaping up a dog that is full of undercoat, you can use the pointy, small, round tip to blow some of the coat out. Doing this while the coat is still soapy keeps the coat from flying all over the place.

5) Taking the pointy, small, round blower tip off of the end of the dryer hose can help remove mats, undercoat, and can help fluff dry.

TRUE: By taking the pointy tip off, you can put the wide end of the hose directly against the skin, and the forced air will push the mats out and away from the skin.  Sometimes HVing will blow knots right out of a coat, other times it will only loosen them and move them away from the skin just enough to safely get a blade between the skin and mat.

 Placing the large round end of the dryer hose right up against the skin will work the undercoat out from the skin out.

*Note: Using a face mask is recommended. Hair will be flying everywhere.

Using the large round end of the hose, up against the skin, in a circular motion will fluff up most coats.

6) The pointy, small, round blower tip is best used for removing some undercoat, and excess water off the coat.

TRUE:  The pointy, round blower tip (I really have to come up with a simple name for that thing) works the best for blowing excess water off of the dog and removing a lot of the undercoat.
I have noticed that a lot of dogs do not care for this dryer tip. I only use it on large dogs at full speed. I turn the speed down for medium size dogs. I don't use it at all on small dogs.

7) Every dog can be HV dried.

FALSE: Some dogs are down right petrified of the HV. They do not like the sound or the high air pressure. Or both. Do not push it. It is not worth it.  Either hand dry the dog with a small dryer or use a Cage Dryer to dry them a 1/4 of the way and finish with a hand blow dryer and brush.

8) You can not completely dry a dog with a HV dryer.
FALSE: Yes, you can completely dry and fluff a dog with only the HV dryer.
Once you have finished HVing the dog by moving the wide end of the hose all over the dog, you can tuck the hose under your arm and use the dryer hose like a stand dryer. Tuck the hose under your arm point your body where you want the air to blow and brush.

 You can also hold the hose, in one hand, away from the dog, and brush with the other hand.

I like to HV dry and fluff dry double coated dogs in the drying room so that all of that undercoat is not flying around my grooming room.

Any dog can be completely dryed with a HV drier, when you also use it like a stand dryer.

9) Placing a towel over a dog while HVing can reduce the amount of water and hair that flies around the room while drying.

TRUE: Placing a large towel over the back of a double coated dog will help keep a lot of the hair and water from blowing around the room and up into your face while HVing the dog.
The good thing about HV drying, you don't always have to see what your drying. You can go by feel under the towel.

10) Placing a towel on the drying table, for the dog to stand on while drying, will help the feet dry more quickly.

TRUE: Especially with dogs that have long, thick, fluffy feet. While they are standing on the towel, being dried, the towel will soak up the moisture from the feet.
 Tomorrow I will post the answers to the 11-20 questions.
Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. Where I work, we call the pointy tip the nozzle. :)

  2. We call the pointy tip a "Condenser Cone", the round hose opening just the "Hose", and the flat/wide attachment a "Diffuser".

  3. Hello. im from Perus o im glad to find you blog because its very dificult to get profesional information about grooming here. i always read your blogs and i use your tips with my clients.Well Ive been groomer since 2 years ago and i have been drying with hand dryer but now im decide to buy a pet dryer but i dont know which would i buy? im sure you could recommend me one or give some references about any model. Actually im thinking to buy a Air Force® Commander® AFTD 2 Speed by metrovac or a Challengair Airmax® Portable, Dual Motor Forced Air Dryer by double k company. I would like to know which s better or what is the different betwen them? or if there any other good model that could you recomend me? i hope you can answer me . greetings from Peru.

    Pd . english is not my native language so excuse my grammar.

  4. Can an air compressor be used for a forced air dryer?

  5. Hi,
    Is it forced air dryer is good to use for drying purpose because i have not used
    that here before.

    Nice writing efforts, keep writing.