Do you know how many times I have been standing there blow drying a dog, that is taking forever to dry, and thinking; if only I could be 'Jennie' from the 'I Dream of Jennie' show, so that I could blink, and the dog would be fluffy and dry.
Actually I don't mind blow drying.
Sometimes it is nice to be closed off in the bathing/drying room, with my earphones on drying a dog.
I like writing books in my head, or thinking about my next blog entry.
Or.... if I really want to be nuts.... I sing to the dog.
The dog would rather that I shut up, think to myself, and most of all, sing to myself.
I have talked before about how important I feel a good bath is to a good grooming.
If that dog is not clean, you can not do a good cut, period!
I feel the same way about blow drying a dog.
It's funny really, because I don't remember blow drying being talked about at grooming school at all.
I can't even remember whether there was a stand dryer in the grooming room.
I can still picture that whole room, but for the life of me I can't ever remember using a stand dryer.
Every dog was shave before the bath and put straight under a cage dryer.
I groomed like that for the first two years that I groomed.
Most of my dogs were dry when I got them out of the kennel.
Of course, I did eventually use a stand dryer.
If the dogs were still a little damp, I only used the stand dryer to dry the damp areas.
I still remember the very first time that I dried a dog straight from the tub.
It was my own little TerrierX.
It was the end of the , and I was waiting for customers to pick up their dogs.
I had been grooming for two years and was working for a friend (big mistake..long story)
Anyway, while I waited, I gave my dog a bath, and decided to blow dry her right from the tub.
I remember being amazed at how fluffy she was.
I even took her up to show my boss how fluffy I had gotten her.
Something clicked that day.
I still kennel dried most of my dogs, but I would get them out when they were still kind of damp and try to fluff them up with my hand dryer.
I noticed, that very quickly, I started to get complements on my grooming.
I moved on to another grooming job where I was allowed to set my appointment times.
Since I did not like all of my dogs coming in in the morning and staying all day, ( I got so many complaints from owners about their dogs taking all day to groom) I booked my dogs to come in through out the day.
I still had not discovered the blessings of having a HV dryer.
I was very close minded to new things back then.
I was still grooming with a kennel dryer and a stand dryer.
I would have two dogs come in at a time.
I would clip and bathe one, put it under the kennel drier for only 10 minutes, just enough to leave the dog fairly damp.
I would clip and bathe the second dog, put him under the dryer and take the other dog out to fluff it up with the stand dryer, and finish it.
Grooming the dogs that way made a difference from when I would let the dogs dry entirely under the kennel dryer.
Boy, did the owners notice.
I really managed to build up the clientele at that pet store, and it was all from word of mouth.
I was still clipping like I had always been.
The only difference was that I was fluffing up the dogs.
Of course, once I finally opened my eyes to using a HV dryer, and learning how to use it right, I became obsessed with getting my dogs as fluffy as I could.
I can't tell you when the last time was that I used a kennel dryer.
Well, that is not true.
I do have a few elderly dogs that can not handle the HV dryer, and because their coats are so thick, we do put them under the kennel dryer for about 10 minutes so they won't be dripping wet while we hand dry them.
But, that is only two dogs.
As those who have been following my blog know, I have been grooming another groomers dogs while she has been out on maternity leave.
After grooming a few of her dogs, I started to suspect that she kennel dries all of her dogs.
Because I bathe every dog before clipping, after I HV dried the dogs you could see how uneven the last cut was.
You can not get an even cut on a dog that has been completely kennel dried.
It may look even, but it isn't.
Don't believe me.
Test it out one time..if you have time.
Clip a dog that has been completely kennel dried with a #4 or #5 blade and finish like you normally would.
Now take that same dog back in the tub and wash it again.
This time HV dry and fluff it up.
You will find uneven spots, and this time your finish will be nicer.
Just about every customer of the other groomer, has commented on how fluffy and velvety their dogs coats have been when I take the dog up to them.
I have actually had a few of them just stand there rubbing their dogs saying over and over again; "What do you do? His coat has never felt like this before."
Or "He looks so velvety and fluffy, I have never seen him look like this before!"
I am sure that the other groomers grooms are nice.
Her customers have only good things to say about her.
But, they have noticed the difference in the quality of the grooming.
The only thing that I am doing different from her seems to be the blow drying.
Can you imagine not blowing the curls out of this dog?
Can you imagine how curly he would be if his hair dried totally in the kennel.
You can not get an even cut on a curly dog.
He was actually a pretty quick blow dry.
The baking soda rinse really helps to speed up the drying time.
A nice plushy finish that the owner noticed.
Even the elderly owner of this elderly Standard noticed the difference in his dogs grooming.
He was very happy that the legs looked fluffy, and especially that the topknot was nice and high on the top of the head.
Sorry I cut the top of the head off in the picture.
I had to take it quickly because I didn't want to be away from her.
I have found out that the other groomer works by herself, and grooms about 12 dogs a day.
She takes all of her dogs in at 8am and everyone picks them up at 5pm.
This is according to one of her customers.
It must be true because most of her customers are surprised that we have their dogs done so quickly.
You can not get through a day like that without kennel drying most of your dogs.
Been there, done that.
If I was in her shoes, without a bather, and grooming that many dogs in one day, I would still try to fluff up my dogs.
I would quickly run the HV, without the pointy nozzle, all over the dog.
Just enough to separate all of the hair, and pick it up away from the skin.
I would place the dog under a kennel dryer for no longer than 10 minutes, depending on the size of the dog and the length and thickness of the coat.
Then I would bathe another dog, do the same with the HV dryer, place that dog in a kennel and get the first dog back out and quickly finish HVing it, and then brush through the coat.
Repeat till I had all of my dogs bathed.
The dogs would not be fluffed up the way I like them to be, but I bet she would notice a difference in her grooming.
So would her customers.
I have thought about going to see her after she comes back to work, but I have learned from experience that other groomers do not like to be told how to groom.
Not that I want to tell her how to groom.
I just like to try to help when I see something that I know could be better.
Okay, it's none of my business.
She has a good following, so she has been doing fine on her own.
I have no desire for a fellow groomer to think that I am sticking my nose in her business.
Remember, customers do notice the qualities of your grooms.
If you offer something that other groomers around you don't offer...like a good, fluffy blow dry, they will talk.
They will tell other dog owners, and your clientele will grow. :)
Happy Grooming, MFF