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, March 15, 2012

Why Do They Wait?

I have never understood why customers wait to call for an appointment when they notice that their dog is becoming matted.

Call before the mats get so bad that the dog has to be clipped short.

Today I had a Wheaton come in that is only a little over a year old.
The dog had been groomed before.
Actually, it had been shaved before because of matting.

He was very overgrown now.

But, I could tell that the owner had been trying to keep him brushed out.

That was the sad part.

He wasn't matted solid.

The problem was, that where he was matted, was bad.

All four legs had mats.

Some could be easily brushed out.

Others were very large and tight.

The cheeks were solid mats.

The beard was a solid mat.

His mustache was matted, but easily brushed out.

 I clipped his beard off with a #5F blade, leaving a goatee on the front of his chin so that it looked like he still had a beard.

His neck, chest, between his front legs, and all of the way down his belly had to be shaved out with a #4F blade.

There were also large, tight mats here and there on his body.

It killed me to have to clip this dog short.

Even with all of these matted areas, I could tell that the owner had been trying to keep him brushed out.

The hair most likely got too long and got out of control.

As soon as the owner started seeing mats he should have made an appointment.

Even though the mats were large and tight in some places, they had a nice airspace between the mat and the skin.

I was hoping that I could get a clip comb through him.

Nothing like trying to use a clip comb on a matted dog.

Chop, chop, chop.

It's a good thing that I like to scissor.

I was able to get a 3/4 clip comb through most of his coat.

He had a few choppy areas where the mats were tight to the skin.

I blended those areas the best I could.

The little triangles show where all of the tight mats were.

After I took the picture above, I went over the choppy areas with thinning shears to smooth out the choppy areas.
I forgot to take another picture. :(

I blended the sides of the neck with the front of the neck where I clipped with the #4F blade.

I clipped the mats out of his cheeks with the #4F blade.

His ears covered up the shaved out areas.

I de-matted his mustache, and shaped it up.

The goatee on his chin helped made him still look like he still had a beard.

 After all of the hair he had on him when he came in, I am sure that the owner feels like he was shaved.

I wanted to talk to the owner about putting him on a schedule so that he would not get so overgrown and get out of control again, but the Nanny picked up the dog.

Sooooo, I not only didn't get to talk to the owner, but I have know idea if the cut was okay.  :/

Hopefully, the owner will call and get him groomed sooner the next time. :)

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. Hi, I like your blog very much. I live in Europe, in Slovakia and reading your blog helps me a lot. So Im writing to you to send you my big THANK YOU and a big HUG. Your job is wonderfull!!! first thing i check everytime i work on internet is your blog. :) Your articles answer a lot of my questions i have about grooming and i tried few of your tricks and they really work. so once again THANK YOU very much for your time and energy , which you spend with writing your blog and trying to help to another groomers. Your blog is a treasure for me. bye
    Ildiko Pocs, Slovakia, Europe

  2. Hi Ildiko,
    Thank you very much!! I love that you read my blog. I am so glad that I could help. Please keep reading. :)
    Lisa, MFF

  3. Wow! You did an amazing job with what you had to work with!!! Again, your clients are extremely lucky to have someone that will go the extra mile to save their dog's coat. It is the one piece of education in my 23 years of grooming that I can't get through to clients. IF you bring them in more often, they don't have to be short! Their mentality is always.. I don't want to bring them in because you always cut them short! GRRRR. So frustrating.

  4. I LOVE your blog, i manage a big box store and talk to my groomers about your blog and it really does bring perspective to my clients and makes me realize that we are all in the same boat together. I love how proactive you tried to be with this client. I have had clients call me and tell me that they brush their dog every day and there is NO WAY they could have been matted. Your blog make me understand how to better approach this client, yes they are brushing, but unfortunately it is the mats that they are brushing. I know that big box stores get a lot of grief for not caring, and most managers dont want to deal, but i care about the animals and want what is best for them.

  5. Thanks D!
    I actually like trying to save coats, but I get a hard time about it from other groomers sometimes.
    You are so right, it is SO hard to get people to understand that we can do any length they want if only they would just bring the dogs in a little more often. (shaking head)
    Thanks again!
    Lisa, MFF

  6. Hi Paisely,
    I have to say that I don't envy you working for a big box store. I would hate the big wigs upstairs telling me how to do my job.
    Whenever a customer comes in and complains about our local box store, I always tell them that it is not the groomers fault, it's the big guys upstairs telling them how to do their job. I don't like to talk down about other groomers, even if it is one that I know does a bad job. I just tell people to keep looking till they find a groomer that they like.
    Your customers are lucky that the store you work for has a manager (you) that cares. :)

  7. I just found your blog. I love it . I am always interested in other groomers experience. Your pictures are great. You do great work.

  8. Hi Anonymous,
    Thank you very much. I am glad you like it. :) Thanks for reading.
    Lisa, MFF