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.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

So Spoiled

I have talked before about how much I love HV drying dogs, and what a great tool it is for groomers.

I have also talked before about how stubborn I was to start using them.
I still kick myself for not trying them back around 1985, when I saw one of the first  HV dryers at Intergroom.

I vividly remember my reaction when that salesmen at the booth told me to put my hand in front of the hose he was holding.
I put my hand in front of that airflow and it jerked my hand back so forcefully that I my first thought was that there was no why in he** I was going to use that cruel thing on a dog.

It was loud, and all I could envision was, a little Yorkie sailing off the table and across the room as soon as the air hit the dog.
I mean, I was really against those dryers.

Sadly, I spent the next 13 years killing my wrists by hand drying with a stand dryer.

Thankfully my thinking changed after a grooming seminar where the speaker showed, in detail, how to use a HV dryer.
It also helped that two groomers sitting behind me were also singing the praises of the HV dryer.

I bought my first HV dryer at that very same grooming Expo in 1998.
I have been hooked ever since.

There have been a few dogs over the years that will not tolerate the HV dryer, even on a very low setting.
They have all been small to medium size dogs, so it has not really been a big deal to dry them by hand with a small hand dryer.

I don't do stand dryers.
Hate um!

Unfortunately, one of my worst fears have come true.

I have a Standard Poodle that we have been grooming for about 10 years.
He is now 13 years old and very unsteady on his feet.
Late last year he suddenly freaked out while being HV dried.

I have to say, it is very scary when a very large Standard Poodle suddenly has what I call a 'dryer seizure.'

I grabbed him off of the drying table and immediately carried him out of the grooming, room into the lobby, and headed for the front door.
As soon as the outside air hit him he stopped fussing and screaming.
I put him back on my grooming table and spent about 10 or 15 minutes petting him and calming myself down.

I hate those dryer seizures.  :(

That day I finished him up with the small hand dryer.
He was already 3/4 of the way dry.

The next time he came in for a grooming, I debated about trying the HV again.
For 10 years this dog had never had a problem with the HV dryer.
This was also a Standard Poodle with thick hair and he gets a Lamb cut in the summer and a long Puppy Cut in the winter.

The thought of hand drying that dog with a hand dryer and brush made my wrists hurt just thinking about it.

So I packed his ears with cotton and used the Happy Hoodie to try to HV dry him again.
I also only turned the HV dryer up only half way.

It worked.
He got through the drying just fine.

The next time he came in I packed his ears with cotton again and used the Happy Hoodie like before.
Each time I was watching very closely for early signs of having one of those dryer seizures.
I got one leg dry when he suddenly started to stiffen and whine a little.
I turned the dryer off just in time, before he went into a full blown dryer seizure.

Today I didn't even try the HV drier.
It has been my experience that once a dog has a drier seizure, you can rarely ever use the HV dryer on them again.
Since he got upset after only drying one leg last time I didn't even want to take a chance this time.

OMG am I spoiled!

How did I do without a HV dryer for so long?

I dried the Standard with a magnet towel and also rubbed him down good with a regular towel.
Then I wrapped him in a large towel and put him in his kennel, on two more towels, to try to soak up as much water off of him as possible before I started drying.

 I started drying him by hand.


I know, I know.
I guess some groomers would say; "why not just kennel dry the dog?"


I AM SPOILED!!!!!!!!!

I can't even imagine scissoring a Puppy Cut on a kennel dried Standard Poodle.
I must have my Poodles hair blown as straight as possible so I can scissor a nice finish.

 45 minutes later!

We did take a couple of breaks, as much for my wrists as for the dog.

I could have had him totally dry in 20 minutes with the HV.

He also would have been a heck of a lot straighter and fluffier too.

About a month ago I saw a question on one of the grooming forums.
The groomer asked; what dryer did groomers like using for fluff drying?

Or something like that.

I was a little surprised at how many groomers said that they felt the only way to get the hair nice and straight was by hand drying with a stand dryer.

Some groomers talked about only using the HV to get the water off of the dog, and that the HV could tangle up the hair.

I use the HV to totally fluff dry my dogs most of the time.

I used my hand dryer for touch up drying, and drying parts of the dog that they would not let my use the HV on.

I rarely ever use this part of the hose.

I have found that the force of the air coming out of the pointy regulator, and the noise that it creates, really scares a lot of dogs.

The only thing that I find it good for is blowing excess water off of large, hairy dogs.

It is also very important to hold this tool well away from the dog.

I love using the fat part of the hose.

It is much more gentle feeling on the dog.

It rarely tangles the hair.

Even long hair.

 When put up right against the skin, it does a fantastic job of straightening the hair while drying.

 If you have a dog that has really stubbornly curly hair, just slow the movement of the hose.

Instead of running the hose back and forth quickly while drying, slow down and use circular movements, holding the dryer in one area for about 10 or 20 seconds before moving on to the next area.

Look how nice and straight that hair is....without using a brush.  :)

Look at that nice fluffy coat, and I haven't even brushed it yet.

 Boy, I missed using my HV on that Standard today.

Well, at least I have 7 weeks before I have to hand dry him again. :)

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. what brand of hv dryer do you use? btw, i LOVE your blog. :-)

  2. I was lucky enough to learn grooming after the HV dryers became popular. We had to have one for grooming school. I convinced a groomer friend of mine to get one, and she was very grateful.. just the amount of work they save on double coated breeds, blowing out the undercoat is worth every penny.

  3. Hi, i think i should be using my hv more often i tried it but i dont see they dry faster :/ guess its a thing that'll come with practice..i use a stand dryer while brushing with my other hand.. Another groomer that saw me told me that i would dry dogs faster with a hand held human dryer because he could pass his hand over the dog while moving continusly the blower ( i dont think he fluffs dogs or straithens there hair) and that it would cost me less energy because the dryers ( stand or hv) consume a lot of electricity :/

  4. Hi Laura,
    I have used several brands of HV dryers that I like. I really like the Davis HV. Mine lasted for about 8 years before it died on me. Right now I am using the MiniK9 (Fluffer) Dryer with the variable speed control.
    The Davis dryer also has the variable speed control. I personally think that that is a must. It is great to be able to turn the air flow down when needed.
    I will say that I did order a K9II with extra power for those large, hairy dogs. I did not like it and sent it back within a week. It did not have a variable speed control and it got WAY too hot very fast.
    Thanks for reading my blog! :)

    Hi D,
    You are so right. A good HV dryer is worth every penny.

    Hi Jessica,
    It may be the brand of HV that you are using. I know that I tried to dry a dog with a Metro HV one time and it was awful. I would have been there all day trying to dry the dog.
    The brand of dryer DOES make a difference.
    I feel that a wide hose also really makes a difference when you are putting it right up against the skin and drying from the inside out.
    The Standard that I talked about in my post was dried with a small hand dryer and me brushing with the other hand. It killed my wrist.
    As for the electricity, I would rather spend extra on my electric bill using a HV dryer than go back to totally drying with a stand or hand dryer.
    I wish that I could show you how fast you could fluff dry a dog with a good HV dryer.
    Maybe I will do a video on it. :)
    Lisa, MFF

  5. Hi i have been using my hv these past days and dried a short body long legs shih in 8 min ;) today did a 3 inch all over shih in 20 min ( maybe to much ;/) i have a romany eco1 no variable speed and i dont use the nozzle i think the force is too much :/

  6. Hi Jessica,
    I have heard that the Romany dryer is really nice, but I agree there are dryers out there that just seem to have too much force behind them. Try asking at a hardware store about variable speed adapters. It is a switch that you can plug the dryer into and control the speed.
    I took some video of myself HV drying a thick Cocker with full legs. It took about 16 minutes to get her 95% dry and another 4 or 5 minutes to fluff her up completely with a small hand dryer. I will try to post that video in the next couple of days.
    Look for that adapter. I think that you would love working with a variable speed dryer.
    Lisa, MFF

  7. Lol!!! You know my shop is currently inside a hardwhare/agriculture/pet store :) my boyfreind had a hardwhare store and he always wanted a agriculture/pet shop because he has a bachelor degree in agriculture science ( i have a bachelor degree in agriculture science/ pre-vet) when i stayed without work i started learning some grooming tips to maintain my yorkie but started having people ask me where i took her for grooming so that person talked me into grooming her yorkie and refered me to a friend and people started calling i explain i wasnt a groomer but got interested in doing it so i started learning on my own reading, seeing videos, taking notes, registrying in grooming forum asking others thru the internet and all started like that because i really didnt have the money to go to grooming school ( for now i would like to take some classes or at least have someone to teach me) the only grooming school is 2 1/2 hrs away . But i started liking this job because i wanted to be a vet because their suppose to take care of animals but then i saw that usually when you go to a vet you rarelly get checked by him its usually the assitants that See your dogs unless its an emergency and when they do its like you dont see that love for animals ( i dont know if its that they get tough over time or what but for me its heartbreaking when i see ananimal hirt or that has to be put down becuase of something and there like its normal for them. :/ sorry for the rant and thank you so much for this blog i have learned so much :) oohhh something else in monday i had a dog that no one wanted becuase hes a biter the owner didnt say anything when she made the appointment but she did when she left him for the groom so i took special attentions and care for him and he was great the owner was so surpriesed and said i think we got to where we needed to be :) i was so happy and i just remembered about you thanks for the inspiration :)

  8. Hi Jess,
    I understand what you are saying about the Vets. I think that you are right. They deal with so much pain and death with animals that they get hard. I tried training as a Vet assistant years ago. I only last a few weeks. It was way too depressing. I was so happy when I discovered grooming. Everyday I get to make dogs feel good. Even if they don't care for the grooming process, they look and feel good when they leave me.
    I am so glad that the little biting dogs grooming turned out so good. Sometimes a dog just has to find someone who understands and will work with them. I am glad that the owner warned you so that you were prepared.
    Keep learning, because you sound like you are a great groomer in the making! :)
    Lisa, MFF