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, November 16, 2011

Am I Wrong?

Am I wrong to refuse to clip certain breeds of dogs?

I can say after 28 years of grooming, that I have never shaved down a Golden, a Sheltie, or a Collie.
I have always talked all of these owners out of shaving their dogs.
I have always tried to educate them on what shaving could do to these double coats.

I used to shave a SheltieX coat because it was recommended to be done by the Vet.
I warned the owner what would happen to the coat, and she understood, but 'the Vet' recommended it be done.
So I shaved the dog with a#5F for years.
For years the coat grew back, a little thinner and sparse, but it grow back.

Until one day...it stopped growing back.
Only it stopped growing back in spots.
The poor dog looked like it had mange.

This was 3 months after the dog had last been groomed.

The owner came in and wanted to know "what did you do to the coat?"

Why is it that the groomer always did something?

I reminded her of our long ago conversation, and she was gracious enough to remember.

I had been grooming for about a year, at a kennel, when we had a Samoyed come in for grooming.
The coat was unbelievably packed with tight under coat.
As a newbie I remember being totally overwhelmed.
This was before HV dryers.
All dogs were brushed out before the bath.
Every bit of undercoat had to be removed before the bath.

I honestly can not remember who made the call that the dog could not be brushed out and had to be shaved.
I worked with another groomer at the time, but we were both newbies.
I am pretty sure that the kennel owner made the call.
He was not a groomer, but he liked to pretend that he new everything about grooming.

That was the first and only Samoyed that I ever shaved down.
I remember feeling horrible about it even then.

The kennel owner did not believe in calling owners and warning them or asking if the owner was okay with shaving the dog.
He believed that you did 'what had to be done.'

I was not there when the dog was picked up.
It would not have mattered anyway, because I was not allowed to talk to the customers.

I was told  the next day that the dogs owner cried when he saw the dog.

He cried!

Can you believe that that memory still bothers me to this day?
I still feel horrible that I shaved that mans dog.
I can not help but wonder how I would have groomed that dog today.
I know for fact that the dogs coat would have had to be pretty damn bad for me not to be able to save it with the tools that I have available today.

I had a collie in the other day.

This Collie was a dog that I used to groom a couple of years ago.
When I first started grooming this Collie, he was suffering from allergies, and his coat was so thinned out that you could practically blow on him to dry him.

After they got the allergies straightened out, that Collies coat came back in unbelievably thick.

The Husband was so happy.
The wife...not so much.

It was going to take a little while for the coat to blow the way it was supposed to.
The wife didn't want to wait, she wanted coat off of the dog.

I offered to shorten all of the feathering to please the wife.
When said wife came to pick up the dog, she was not happy that more hair had not been taken off of the dog for the price that she paid.

That was the last that I saw them until a month ago.
The husband brought the dog into our self-serve for a bath.
They had been taking the dog to someone who was shaving him.

Okay... not my dog.
They want to shave the dog, that's okay, as long as I am not the one doing the shaving.

Turns out that the Husband hates the dog being shaved.
I showed him pictures of what shaving could eventually do to his dogs coat.

He made an appointment.

The Collie came in last week.

He was growing out of his summer shave.

His coat is very thick, but the coat has already changed.

He looked like he was full of undercoat.

Some areas of the coat where not growing in as fast as other areas.

Thank you for Best Shot Ultra Shampoo and Creme Rinse!

I really worked the shampoo into the coat and let it sit for a few minutes.
Then I completely rinsed the dog.

I followed up by very lightly diluting the Creme Rinse and than putting it on the dog like I was shampooing him again.

I really rubbed that Creme rinse into the coat, let it sit for a few minutes and then rinsed well.

I told the Husband that instead of shaving the dog, I would scissor all of his feathering tight to the body.

He was happy with that.
He thought that his wife would be okay with that.

Personally, I have a feeling that nothing short of dipping this dog in Nair would be okay with the wife.

Why, Why, Why get this breed of dog if you don't want the hair.

I don't ever remember seeing 'Lassie" look like this, no matter what scrape she got herself into.

The Wife still thought that we charge too much, but she said that the dog looked nice.

We will see if they come back.

I have a feeling that this guy will be seeing the shave down groomer come spring.  :)

Isn't he a beauty?

Imagine what he would look like with his long flowing coat.

The only thing that I ever cut on my Collie was his feet.

 I think that I will always stand my ground on this subject.

Some coats just are not meant to be shaved.

I want a Golden to look like a Golden.
I want a Keeshond to look like a Keeshond.
I want a Sheltie to look like a Sheltie.
I want a Collie to look like a Collie.
I want a Samoyed to look like god created him to look.  :)

I am not asking for much, am I?

From the general public...

Who am I kidding, of course I am.

If it comes down to the dog shedding all over the house, and the dog keeping his coat, the house seems to always win.  :/

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. I so agree with you! I do shave em down if the customer wants, but I'm always thinking why why did you get a golden when you wanted a lab..sometimes I can talk them into just letting me give the dog a good heavy neaten and that will appease them!

  2. I wonder why these people didnt get a smooth coat Collie...? I dislike shaving breeds like that too and will advise customers & discus other options, but if they decide that shaving is what they want then I will do it :(

  3. Hi Kali,
    I understand. If a customer really insisted, I would clip the dog. I have just always been able to talk them out of it mainly by showing them what will happen to the coat down the road. It is their dog, AND they do pay me, so if I have to, I have to. :/
    Lisa, MFF

  4. Agh, I am not a groomer (yet!) I am actually going to grooming school may 6th! But anyways for now I'm a bather and watching the groomers have to shave a golden or a sheltie, we've even had customers want to shave a husky!! They need the coat you know and in my opinion shaving doesn't stop the shedding it just gives you little hairs all over the place! My store offers a shedding treatment which we usually talk customers down to instead. :)I love your blog I must say it's really helping me prepare for the mentality of being a groomer.

    1. Hi Joanna,

      Congratulations on going to Grooming School!! I hope that you have a great time. Even thought the Grooming School that I went to wasn't the greatest, (didn't know that at the time) and I did not agree with everything they taught me, I tried to soak up everything that I could and really enjoyed it.
      Have a great time!

      Lisa, MFF

  5. I know this is an old post, but I just discovered this blog today.
    I get my mini aussie shaved because he is impossible to keep groomed (but I am reconsidering) I didn't know that his coat could actually STOP growing back. I knew it could "ruin" the coat, but I just thought that meant he would be fluffy. I just don't know what to do with him though. He has a very down, sheltie type coat (or used to) but a very small head and just looks like a goober. I prefer his coat short, like a thinner coated aussie. (my other mini gets brushed a looks fantastic, just gets her "butt fur" trimmed up when it starts looking goofy. This one, not so much). What cut can I ask for that will keep him looking like an aussie, not an ugly sheltie?

  6. Hello there I was wondering what your favorite tools are for brushing out double coated dogs as well as thinning out bulky areas. Have you ever used thicker thinning shears? Are they called chubkers? I'm not sure lol :p anyways any info would help me greatly!