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.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


I need to take a moment of your time.

I want to know if other groomers have the same problem we have been having lately.
It really does not have anything to do with actual grooming.

It does have everything to do with trying not to look like an idiot in front of your customer.

What the heck am I talking about?


Yes, I said harnesses.

You know those crazy contraptions that you spend 10 minutes trying to get back on the dog when it is wiggling like crazy to go home.

When I first started grooming, I don't remember ever seeing very many harnesses.
I think owners were using vines then.

Nooo, I am not that old yet.  :)

The first harness that I remember was the H shape harness.
It had one buckle around the neck, and one buckle around the belly.
It was pretty simple to put on.
I do not even see those type anymore.

Do you know why?

Because they were easy to put on.

Next came this type of harness.

It was a fairly easy type of harness also.

You only had to put it over the dogs head, tuck one leg in, and snap it shut.

I used this type of harness for years on two of my small dogs.

This type of harness was around for a long time.

There were some anti-pull harnesses out, but you didn't see them very often.

Now... in the last couple of years, there seems to have been an explosion of different harnesses.

I personally think that there is someone out there thinking up all kinds of different harness contraptions just to be a pain in my bu**.

Some aren't too bad.

This one you just hold one black strap and one blue strap in each hand and slide it over the dogs head.

Then you put the dogs front feet between the black and blue straps.

If you did it right, the fuzzy black straps should come down the front of the chest.

Oh, and remember the square hook thingy needs to be on top of the dogs back.

Got that?
Simple right?

This one, if I remember correctly, is a seat belt harness for the car.

It is fairly easy to put on after you spend 5 minutes getting it situated in your hands before you try to put it on the wiggly dog.

This one...this one looks simple doesn't it?

Well, yes, I will admit that it is simple to snap shut.

The fun aggravating thing about this harness is, that the dog must step in it for you.

Ya right.

You lay it down in front of the dog.
He looks at you thinking to himself "Bahaha, she really thinks I am going to put my two front feet in those to holes."

So you reach froward and place one foot in one hole.
Then you reach for the other foot.
As you put that foot in the other hole, the dog lifts his other foot out.
You do this a couple of times before it dawns on you, just pick up both front feet at the same time and place them in each hole at the same time.

Great right?

Until... you reach down to grab each end of the harness to clip it shut.

The second you take your hands off of the dog to grab the ends, the dog hops back out of the harness.
Estimated times that you have to put the dogs feet in this harness before your fast enough to grab the snaps before  the dog jumps out...100 times.

Estimated time to get this harness on the dog...2 hours.

This harness is similar to the one above.

The trick to putting these on is, to hold one clip end in your hand.
Put the foot that is on the same side you are holding, in that hole.
Bring that side of the harness up, and the snap over that side of the dogs back.
While still using that hand, hold the dog still while you put the other foot in the the other hole with your other hand.

Got that?

It didn't make a darn bit of sense to me.

Then there is this one.

This one may look like it is confusing, but it is fairly easy to figure out.
That is if you pay attention when you take it off.

It's one of those harnesses that you look at and think,'good grief.'

But, once you figure it out, you think, 'that wasn't as hard as it looked.'

How does it go on?

The gray part snaps around the neck, and the black snap goes around the belly.


Right....I think...maybe...

Last but not least.

I am sure that there are more out there.
They just haven't found me yet....but they will.

This harness has been an embarrassment to me.

The first few times a regular customer of ours came in with this harness, we forgot to take note of the way the harness went on the dog.

The first couple of times we took it up to the owner to put back on the dog.
This owner was not happy with us.

So, the next few times we put this harness on the way we thought it was supposed to go, because, of course, we kept forgetting to take note before someone took it off.

Then the time before last, the customer ticked me off a little.

We put the harness on, and I was 99% sure it was right.
When my daughter gave the owner her dog she said, "we're pretty sure we got the harness on right this time."
There was another customer in the lobby at the time.
The owner turned to my other customer and said in a discussed tone, "they never get it on right," and walked out the door.

I know we had it on right that time.
Give me a brake, it is just a harness.
You don't pay me enough for the aggravation of putting a harness back on.

The last time this customer was in I did not let anyone take that darn harness off until I could look at it and make a mental note of how the owner had it on the dog.

That harness was put back on the same way it came off.

I did not say anything to the owner, and the owner did not say anything about the harness to me.

This is another harness that the dog steps into.
The leash hooks in the front, at the chest.
The gray part goes under the belly.
The black snap part snaps over the top of the back.
It is supposed to be an anti-pull harness...not.

I know, I should take all of these harnesses off at drop off and give them back to the owners then and there.

Let the owner bring the harness back with them, and I can watch them put it back on, because I will tell you, I have seen the owners put those darn harnesses on all mixed up also.

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. OMFG YES!!!

    Harness are my nemesis.

  2. Oh yes, I also have that problem...another one is getting a collar off that has a new plastic latch.

  3. I am ok with harnesses, it's the gentle leader type thing that goes over their snout that confuses me!

  4. i have a client who has her golden on a harness. SERIOUSLY! HARNESSES are for pulling! guess what she does. I have seen her twice, her dog will not come out of the car, the owner will stand outside of the care begging for her to come out. dog knows better, stays put. the owner CLIMBS into the car with the dog and pushes her out. I am like LADY! GIVE your dog a YANK and pull her out of the dang care!! BUT if she had a gentle lead, like her daughter has on her lab, you can get her out of the car.. SOME PEOPLE! I hate harnesses, I had collars, I LOVE when someone has their dog in a travel crate. Piece of cake, just open the door and dump the dog out. LOL.

  5. I am a new groomer and just found your blog. I havn't been able to stop reading. You are so generous to give so much help, and time to help other groomers(and the dogs they groom) with all your experience and tips. Thank you!!
    I had to laugh at this post. At times it has taken 3 of us to work out how to get the latest harness on. And don't we feel silly!?! What about when you struggle to get the "slippery" dog in the harness and you go to do the clip up on the back and realise it's inside out and have to start again.
    I think what I hate worst is when the harness/collar is so filthy, I can't bear to put it back on the clean dog. I have to grit my teeth as I know the dog isn't allowed to travel in the car without it. Sigh....