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.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Using a Grooming Loops..Not

I don't use any type of grooming loops.

Well, that is not totally true.
We do have Grooming Loops in our tubs, but I do not use them for every dog.

I do require my Self-Serve customers to use the Grooming Loops in our Self-Serve tubs.

The Grooming School that I went to had homemade tables with no Grooming Loops.
There wasn't even a place to put a Grooming Loop if you wanted to use one.

The owner of the school believed that you should be able to keep your dog on your table.
God help you if she saw your dog jump off that table.

I only had two dogs jump off of my table.
Thankfully my instructor was not in the room either time.

I have talked before about the little white poodle that jumped off and took off out the back door into the fenced yard.
I tackled her half way across the yard, and got my first bite in the process.
That little stinker could have bitten me all day, there was no way that I was going to let go of her.
You better believe I didn't let anyone open that back door during grooming for the rest of the time I was there.

The other dog that jumped off the table was a Spaniel mix that jumped off of my table half a dozen times within 5 minutes.
I was in tears.
The receptionist came over and held the dog on the table for me.
(That was another thing that the teacher did not like...other people helping you.)
He was one of those types of dogs that would have jumped even with a Grooming Loop.

Sorry, got off track.

I have nothing against using Grooming Loops, or The Groomers Helper, or The Lips system.

Well...that's not all together true.

I am not that crazy about The Lips system, but I don't knock other groomers for using them.

I have been surprised at how many groomers get upset at me for not using a Grooming Loop.
I very rarely have a dog jump off of my table.
Of course, my grooming back board keeps most dogs from even trying to jump.
I like having three sides of my table closed off.

What about the open side?
Well, that may be the only good thing about being a full figured woman, my dogs have a hard time getting past me.  :)

I don't like using Grooming Loops simply because they get in my way.

I am always turning my dogs.
I even have most of them trained to turn on command, even the big dogs.
I just tap the table were I want them to turn and they turn for me.

I don't mind them sitting while I groom.

I don't mind if they sit on my back board while I groom them.

They can even lay down if they want to.


They can do what the Portuguese Water Dog I groomed today did.

They can roll over onto their back.

This was the only way that she would let me pluck her ears.

 She actually stayed still lying like this.

When I tried to pluck her ears while she was standing or sitting, she kept jerking her head away.

When I let her lay down and roll over, she let me pluck the ears.

Go figure.

I am all for working with the dog, and doing whatever helps the dog feel comfortable.

I like not using a Grooming Loop.
I am very careful with my furry friends.
I have seen dogs try an jump off of a table with a Grooming Loop around their neck.
It is enough to take 5 years off of your life.

If you use a Grooming Loop, don't become over confident that your dog won't jump.
They can still jump and hang.

I even take the Grooming Arm and Loop off of my table when I compete.
I haven't gotten in trouble with the Judges yet.  :)

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. I just so love your attitude! You work with the dog..what a concept. boy, would you get flamed on the forum boards!!

  2. LOL Deb,
    Thanks! You are so right. The first time that I ever commented on a groomers forum I was flamed for how I felt about clipping double coats. I did not comment again for a very long time. I still read the boards all of the time, but I rarely comment. I like writing the blog because I can write what I want, and if someone wants to read it they can, if they don't they don't. :

  3. I also groom without a grooming loop, I have one for the pets that are 'bonkers' (puppies, blind, or just... you know) Within 6 months of learning how to groom I put my table against the wall, within another 6 months I put a mirror behind the table and track lighting directly over the table. I try to take at least one picture a day of my favorite grooming job, or most challenging... most pets try and take advantage of my having to take a step back to frame them into the shot... I got a picture of a flying poodle 4 years ago then started at least putting the loop on them for the photo. The little bitty ones can't handle the loop on their tiny necks, so I go around the waist.
    I groomed a German Shepherd today, she was 8 years old and was unable to stand... I had to carry around this 75lb dog like she was a tiny puppy... needless to say I now have lower back pain. On the table she just laid there, staring at me while she was lying on her side with her head flat on the table, she had these big sad eyes. The owners said she drags herself around the living room, never going more than 10ft without stumbling and going back to scooting with her front arms. They said the shedding had become a nuisance and begged me to SHAVE this dog... I had to use a #10 with the grain head to toe, with a 4f on the head to blend and the same on the tail... I begged them to let me furminate her tail, even with a 4f I knew it would still look like a giant rat tail :( and it did...
    I had to do her laying there like that, she didn't even try to pull when I held her legs to groom, I had to scoot her and roll her over... without any help from the poor dog, and keep going on the other side. I found almost a dozen tumors, her glands were dripping, her legs looked like the back ones were staring to atrophy. I wonder how long they will let her go like this...
    I'm usually really upbeat, I'm in the back of my shop in my room with my dogs and my favorite music... I did 6 dogs singing and dancing, smooching pups. This dog really brought the mood down, I turned the music off so she could relax, I really felt bad for her.
    I can't get the image of her out of my head, I even refused to take a photo because I had a feeling this would haunt me...
    I think I'll be able to forget it tomorrow, 5 shih tzu's and 4 yorkies... it always happens in clusters... why is that? It's like a bad joke, too many yorkies in a row and I'm scratching my head. "Who is this one? What clip was this again? Why are they all named Precious or Princess... and she's a biter?" I designed my own check-in slips, they are nearly fool-proof... if my husband fills them out. I still have to go to the front and pull up their file on the 123Pet software, to double check my earlier notes. He tends to forget if I noted last time that this dog either bites, pees when you've just finished drying it(for the bather), poops into your apron pocket, or cannot even see another dog without foaming at the mouth. I have some fun furry customers :)

  4. I am very sorry to hear about that Sheppard. Sometimes customers just don't have a clue. I wonder if they know that there are companies out there that make really nice harness wheels for dogs that have really bad hips, knees or bad legs. One of those karts would make that dogs quality of life so much better.
    5 Shih-tzu's and 4 Yorkies...yep, had those days. :)
    Lisa, MFF

  5. Feel so sorry for the german shepherd :(...that water dog is too cute i feel like kiss and hugging him :)

  6. If that was in Australia I swear it was my Portie..... Absolutely identical.... (behaviour and appearance)

  7. Hi! I just found your blog yesterday...I LOVE it! I was very interested in the pictures of your three sided table...how clever. A large part of the reason I became a groomer was because I had a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with Syringomyelia. She could not tolerate anything on her neck, she never wore a collar. I had a horrible time finding a groomer that would agree to not use a loop on her. I trained her to stand on the table and started grooming her myself and before I knew it I was in grooming school:) I do use a loop on most dogs the first few times I groom them until I feel like I know them very well, and almost all of my dogs end up trained to stay on the table without it. :)

  8. Hi Mindy,
    Thanks for reading my blog. If you would like to make your own backboard for your grooming table, I did write a post on how to make one. You may have found it already, but if not copy and paste the link below.


    My backboard not only helps keep dogs on my table, but also helps MY back.

    It's funny how just one thing in your life (not being able to find a groomer for your dog) can start you in a whole new career. :)

  9. This is great. Love your confidence. Most dogs are much more calmer with a calm, confident human touching them. They have picked up on that and are well behaved. Well done! X