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.

Friday, March 8, 2013

How Many Dogs Do You Groom?

I hear this question all of the time.
It seems to be the number one question for many groomers.

It is also the same question many employers ask....unfortunately.

I say unfortunately, because I feel that many groomers are pushed to groom more dogs a day than they safely should.
Sometimes they are being pushed by a boss/shop owner.
Sometimes they are pushing themselves, because they are paid by commission and they need, or want to make as much as they can a day.

This puts so much unnecessary pressure on groomers everyday.

It started right after grooming school with me.
The owner of the school asked me to stay on and work for her after I graduated.
She told me that I would be responsible for grooming any dogs that the students did not get to during the day, and I would be the only groomer on Saturdays.
I was ecstatic.
I didn't have to go out and look for a job.

The next grooming class was not to start for 2 weeks and the owner of the school was going out of town for those two weeks.
She was leaving me with a receptionist and kennel helper, who was to become a student in the up coming class.
I was so scared to be left like that right after graduating, but the owner told me it would be no problem; "just groom as many dogs as you feel comfortable with."
She also told me that she would check in on me everyday to see how everything was going.

I was about to get my first big lesson in what it was like working the in 'world of pet grooming'.

I graduated in early May of 84.
The first few days at my new job went went very smoothly.
I was grooming about 5 dogs a day and was very proud of myself.
Then the temperature shot up.
Suddenly it was in the upper 80's and the phone started to ring off the hook with people wanting to get their dogs hair cut....right now!
So I decided to try to groom 7 dogs a day.

Meanwhile, the owner had not called everyday to check on me like she said that she would.
She did finally call three to four days after she left.
She ask the receptionist how everything was going.
"Everything is going great, we are so busy that we are turning people away."

Boy, was that the wrong thing to say.

To say that my new boss was pissed is putting it mildly.
We were not to turn anyone away.
We were to take everyone who called.
The kennel help girl was to bathe for me.

So for the next week and a half I had my baptizum into the world of grooming during warm weather.
To say that I became a 'chop shop' groomer is a understatement.
Between me and a bather, we groomed between 25 and 33 dogs a day.
Yes,  the most dogs that we groomed in one day was 33 dogs...all clips.
(I don't remember what time we finished that day)
I truly thought that I was doing a great job at the time.
Looking back, I am 100% sure that those dogs looked like crap when they went out the door.

Every dog was a clip down, or strip (however you want to describe it) with the #7 (skip tooth) blade.
I would clip every dog before the bath.
I would clip them clean so that there would hardly be any hair left to clip and scissor after the bath.
Every dog was kennel dried.
Then every dog got a 5 minute scissor finish.

I still cringe thinking about what those dogs must have looked like.
I truly did think that I was doing a very good job at the time.
I didn't know any better then.

I will tell you, I got fast very quickly.
I could strip a dogs coat in 10 to 20 minutes depending on the size and condition of the coat.

That was my first lesson in learning how a shop owner did not care one whit for me or the dogs, only the money.
Boy, did she clean up too.
I was a new groomer, right out of school, so she was only paying me 30%.

Okay, okay, I didn't know any better then.

My next couple of grooming jobs were a little better, but with every job came the pressure to groom a lot of dogs each day.
The last job that I had before opening my own shop was in the back room of a pet store.
They started me a 40%.
My pay would go up to 50% if I groomed more than 11 dogs in a day.
I averaged 10 to 12 a day without a bather.
I just could not groom anymore and still do a good job.
I am happy to say that my grooming had improved 100% by that time, since leaving school.

When I opened my own shop and started to hire groomers, I would never book them more dogs than they could groom by our closing time.
I groomed any hard to handle dogs.
I did not want my groomers bitten.
I did not want my groomers to be under pressure while grooming.

Accidents happen when people rush, or are under pressure.
I did not want any accidents happening on my watch.

I personally think that groomers should be paid on a salary.
I wish that the grooming industry would change to salary.
The amount of salary based on the number of dogs a groomer could safely groom in a day.
Then you wouldn't hear groomers asking how many dogs do you groom a day?
Or, how many dogs should I be grooming a day?

I lost a groomer once, because she felt that she had to compete with me with the number of dogs that she was grooming a day.
She would get so frustrated when I finished my dogs before her, because I was grooming 4 to 6 more dogs than her.
I kept telling her to stop getting upset.
I had been grooming longer than her.
She had only been grooming about a year.
I thought that she was doing good for the time that she had been grooming.
She didn't.
Everyday was like a race. 
She eventually quit.

Now the rolls have reversed.
My daughter is now faster than me at grooming.
I have slowed down.
I groom so many special needs, difficult, and old dogs that I have to groom slower.

I will admit that it gets to me some days.
I have so many special needs, difficult, and old dogs to groom, that I rarely get an easy, quick dog to groom.
To be honest, I am not even sure how fast I could groom a normal dog anymore. lol

So, what do I tell groomers that ask me how many dogs that they should be grooming?
I tell them that  they should groom the number of dogs that they are comfortable with.
The number of dogs that they can safely groom in an 8 to 9 hour day.

How can you put a definite number on a job the varies everyday?
When you don't know what condition the dogs with be in that you will be grooming?
When you don't know how the dogs will act on the table, in the tub, with the dryer?When you don't know if the owners will show up on time for thier appointments?

In my entire grooming career, the only time that I could defiantly say how long it would take me to groom a dog was when I was grooming out of a van.
I was booked a year in advance with nothing but regulars, every 4 to 6 week grooms.
Everyone of those dogs I could have done from start to finish in 45 minutes to an hour.
Only two dogs took me an hour and 15 minutes to groom and they were Cockers.

Be careful what you wish for....
I used to get bored sometimes grooming all of my regulars everyday, in that van.
There was no challenge.
I would wish for a hard to groom dog just to break up the regular grooms.
Well, now I would give anything to have some of those regular, easy days back. :/

So, what am I trying to say after all of this rambling that I have been doing?

I am saying, that if you are a new groomer, groom the number of dogs that you are comfortable with.
Your speed will pick up with time and experience.

Your boss is pushing you to groom more?

I wish that I had an answer for that.
Maybe you need to ask the boss if they would rather you groom 5 dogs safely and beautifully, or rush to try to groom 8 dogs and do a crappy job, or accidentally cut a dog because you where forced to rush.

I also had a question about what to tell customers who want to know how long it will take to groom their dog.

First a groomer needs to have at least a rough idea of how long it takes them to groom a dog.
Time yourself for a couple of days.
Keep a notebook by your table and record the start and finish time for each dog that you groom.
Time the bath.
Time the blow dry.
Time the finish.

If you know roughly how long it takes you to do each step of the grooming, you will be able to give an estimated pick up time if an owner calls while you are still grooming their dog.
You still have the head to scissor, and the owner is on the phone wanting to know when they can pick up their dog.
You know that that it takes you about 10 minutes to scissor the head.
Tell the owner that they can pick their dog up in 20 minutes.

I always add 10 minutes just in case I have to stop to answer the phone, clip walk-in nails, help with another dog, or any number of other things that might back me up.

If you know about how long each size dog,  or style of clip takes you, you have a better idea of when to tell an owner to expect their dog to be done.

Whenever I get a new customer/dog in for grooming and the owner asks me when their dog will be done, I give them an estimated time, but I also follow that up with; "because I don't know your dog and your dog does not know me. I will groom him/her at their pace. Meaning it will be up to your dog how long it will take me to groom him/her. If your dog is nervous about something I will go slow, or stop and give them a break. So if you have not heard from me by (such and such time), give me a call and I should be able to give you an exact time then."

This way you are giving them an estimated time to watch out for, but at the same time you are not guaranteeing that time.
If you do not think that you will have the dog finished at the estimated time that you gave, you should always call the owner and let them know that you are running behind.
If you can help it, don't let that owner come over to pick up and then make them wait in the lobby while you are still grooming their dog.
The dog hears the owner.
The dog gets upset and wants off your table.
You get upset because the dog won't stand still anymore.
The owner gets upset because it is taking you forever to finish their dog.

Most of the time pet owners are very appreciative of the fact that you saved them from having to wait for their dog in your lobby, and the understand that you are running behind....most of the time. :/

Okay, I have rambled enough.

I have probably written about this subject before.
I don't remember anymore.
It's been a long week.
One more day.

And, guess what....I have a new dog tomorrow morning.
He has been thrown out of other grooming shops.
According to his owners, he is a biter and will not let anyone groom his head.
He is a Shih-tzu.
I don't know, maybe it is time for me to start turning some of these dogs away........

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. 6 years ago I was taught how to groom by a shop owner and she led me to believe that a normal day for groomers was only doing 3 dogs a day with a bather and getting to leave about 1pm everyday. We would all come in 8am and all 3 or 4 of us groomers would stand up front talking and waiting for our dogs to show up. My boss would ask all the important questions about the groom and write on the index cards and then us good little groomers took the dog back to the bathing/kennel room and wrote them on the board for the bathers. Then finally anywhere from 9-10am I would have my first dogs ready to be groomed. Now this seemed completely normal for me because it is how I was taught and I never did any research to see how everyone else groomed. Then my husband got laid off for almost a year from his job and started a different career which took awhile to get started so I felt a lot of pressure to try harder so I started doing 4 to 5 dogs a day and complaining about how hard it was haha. Then about 6 months or so before I left them I was doing a flat 5 or more depending on the type of dogs or behaviors. When I finally applied for a different job because we needed health benefits the groomer that I was going to replace was grooming 13-16 dogs a day with a bather and was usually only working 7:30 am to 3:30 pm. I thought that was impossible and had no clue how I could even come close. A year later and I am comfortably grooming an average of 11 dogs a day with a bather although I am usually not done until 4pm sometimes much later. I can do about 8 dogs without a bather. I don't want to push myself any harder because I am still young and already feeling it and would like to have many more years ahead of my career. I am very happy where I am at right now I feel no pressure from my boss or my husband who in fact praises me and babies me when I get home most days.

    1. Hi Peggan,
      I can't even begin to tell you all of the things that the grooming school I went to taught me that were wrong. Or all of the things that they didn't teach me. It was embarrassing when I went out to get another job. It didn't help either that the school had a reputation and most shops would not hire groomers that had graduated from there.
      I agree with you, stick with grooming the number of dogs that you are comfortable with. I have so many different body aches now from grooming too many dogs for too long it scares me sometimes. I want to be grooming for a long time yet. :)
      Lisa, MFF

  2. One of the (many) reasons I left PetSmart is because they were insisting I groom 8 dogs a day with no overtime. I kept butting heads with them, saying, I can do 8 dogs a day OR I can work 8 hours a day, but I can't do both safely and with any semblance of quality. I also refused to work off the clock like my coworkers did. Sorry, I refuse to break the law because of your stupid policies.

    I'm so glad to be in a place that lets me dictate how many dogs I can do each day!

    1. Hi Jennifer,
      It sounds like you are in nice place now. :)
      Lisa, MFF

  3. I love this post! I am a new groomer (fresh out of school and just started grooming in November 2012) and can only do 3-5 full grooms a day, with bath dogs, too. I bathe all my dogs and can do a total of six (grooms and baths) comfortably in a day. One day I did 9 (the last was an Akita mix) and wanted to die at the end of the day!

    1. Hi Marge,
      I know those days....the days that once you finally sit down, you feel like it would take a crane to stand you up again. lol
      Lisa, MFF

  4. I must admit you read my mind. Thank you for the post. It helped me to clear my mind. Your posts always DO.

  5. Sadly I has no groomer or helping hand :/ Kinda had to take a page out of your book with dogs on no leads, because my boss is too cheap to buy me a table and an arm for it ;) I'm using a surgical table right now XD. No HV dryer, hand dry, no kennel dryer either (I know you don't like kennel dryers but it would save me some time and pain), I'm doing about 6 dogs a day. I want my HV dryers back! I miss my nice grooming tables ;( Done ranting, I feel comfortable doing a base of 6 dogs, and am in no rush ;) No overhead yet, I just need to make enough for U tuition, so 4k in 3 months is all I need!

    Never rush, take it slow! Enjoy your work ;)

    1. Hi Tong,
      I can't even imagine working without my HV.

      I am not totally against kennel dryers. I used them for many years before I discovered HV dryers. It is just that I love the way the HV fluffs up the hair that I could not possibly go back to kennel drying dogs unless I absolutely had to. :/

      I hope that your boss breaks down and get you a HV. Even a cheap one would be better than none at all.
      Lisa, MFF

    2. I doubt she's gonna help me :) She's not making enough money (poor advertising, not even using word of mouth well and too many discounts). She's attracting not very good clients, I've finally got something possibly lined up, very excited, hope I can get this new job ;) Even if I kennel dry, I always fluff up and finish with an HV, I feel that it saves me time, since I have no bather and never know what my schedule is going to be like!

    3. The shop I work at (and which got me started in the grooming industry)is owned by someone with NO grooming experience. She expects all the groomers to be able to groom at least 10 dogs a day, regardless of how long it takes them. I am mainly a bather there and only groom a couple dogs a month. The main reason I don't actively try to groom more dogs at the shop (I groom from home as much as possible) is because I feel that I would be expected to groom far to quicly for me to do a good job and keep the dogs comfortable. I don't want to get frustrated every time a dog moves because I don't have a moment to spare between dogs. So for now I just watch and learn as much as I can from the groomers at the shop and take what I learn back home to the dogs I groom there.

    4. Hi MammaPie,
      I give you a lot of credit for wanting to take your time and get it right. You can learn so much from just watching... the good and the bad. :)
      Lisa, MFF

  6. I LOVE this article. I am a new groomer, and I travel to people's houses. I did not go to school, I am just kind of teaching myself, and the customers I have had have all given me wonderful tips and praised my work. I thought taking an hour and a half for a dog was horrible, even if it is good money, because I have heard of people that can do immense amounts of dogs a day.
    Not anymore! So glad you tell us to go at our own pace. The dogs I get are fidgety because they are in their own home, and their owners are usually present. I have only groomed one cat, and it was an amazingly easy cat to groom.
    Anyways, I'm still learning, but I appreciate articles like this. I have my own business and have been doing this for about a month, but I like the work.

    1. Hi Enya,
      I am glad that my blog can help you. :)
      Lisa, MFF

  7. Hi, I am new to this blogging stuff and not sure how to do my own post....I am hoping to get some feedback on opening up a grooming spa. I just did a week at our local grooming academy. I couldnt stand it. It was dirty and nothing was gentle about it. I am considering opening up a spa and hiring other groomers iinstead of attending the school. I have the capital and have opened up businesses already. I am good at creating beautiful atmospheres and know the spa like atmosphere with gentle and organic practices would go over well in my town. Just curious on the going rate for a experienced groomer would be...id rather do salary than commission. Also wondering how many dogs we would need to average a day based on 700/month rent and a salaried groomer , leaving something for myself..... any help would be appreciated!

  8. I honestly don't know if I would be able to handle the work that you do. It's just amazing on how many dogs you can groom in a day. I feel like I would just get overly stressed and end up leaving the next day. Keep up the great work, because the world really needs good people like you.

  9. I'm a new groomer - I'm very impressed with everyone and their speed. It is taking me 4 to 5 hours to brush etc., wash, HV dry and style. I went to grooming school but I'm soo slow, will I get faster? Any suggestions? Just found this blog and I want to thank-you and everyone for their comments.

  10. I'm asking your opinion here....I've just now found this post from you. I am 60 years old and still grooming up to 15 dogs a day, 5 days a week. I am paid as contract labor. I've told the shop owners over and over again I don't want more than 3 big dogs a day....meaning anything over 50-60#. My back is in bad shape from grooming dogs for 31 years now. I had stopped grooming large dogs about 10 years ago because of it, and I also stopped grooming cats 15 years ago, once one put me in the hospital from an infected bite/scratch. They just are not worth my health in my opinion. But, at this shop, I am the only groomer, so am doing large dogs again and cats! The appt times are set up for dogs to come in every 30 minutes. I do NOT have a bather. I answer the phone and book appts during the day while I'm there. I checkin/out dogs all day long.....I do all of it by myself. I usually put in 9-10 hours a day. I do NOT like the appt system at all. People call in at the last minute and cancell or no show, and you can't fill that appt time, since it's already come and gone. But, the shop owners will tell people calling in 'sure, come on it' regardless of who elses appt time they show up at , causing me to get behind, and having customers getting upset with me because their pets aren't ready at a reasonable time. ONE pet is to be booked per appt slot. If someone has more than one pet, then the appropriate number of appt slots are suppose to be filled for the number of pets that they have. They won't listen to me, and still are booking 2-3 dogs in ONE appt slot.
    Resulting in over booking me, and still causing me to get behind. They still book more than 3 large dogs in a day too!! I am tired of working 9-10 hours a day, and exhausted from it. It doesn't take me that long to groom 15 dogs, if they all come in, in the morning when I can get them all bathed and start finishing them once they're dried. They want to take walk in's also. I can't make them understand that I can't do an unlimited number of dogs each day, and they can't have an appt system, walkin in's, and those who just show up whenever, regardless of when their appt is. They just don't 'get it'!!! They've tried to find another groomer, but haven't had any luck. I'm tired of complaining about how they do things, and they're tired of my complaining but still don't want to turn anyone away. Any advice? I don't want to quit. I make good money there, and it's close to home. I know this blog hasn't been viewed in over a year, but am hoping someone can give me some advice here. I don't care what I say to them....it doesn't matter, and all they can see is another appt, which means more money. Ugh!

  11. Hi,
    I am not sure that I can be of any help. It sounds like you are working for non-groomers. They will NEVER understand what it is to be a groomer and the hard work that is involved. They may think that they do, by just watching you, but they never will until they actually do the work themselves. Maybe you should ask them to be your bathers for a week just to get an idea of the work that it takes to be a good groomer. It sounds like they have a goldmine in you and are using you to the max.
    I can say this because I have been where you are. They will never get it or understand. They see you getting the dogs done everyday so they see no reason why they can't just continue over booking you.
    I see that you say you are paid as 'contract labor', I assume this means that you are paid a 1099. If that is so they are paying you illegally. 1099 MUST meet all of the IRS requirements. If you are being paid a 1099 YOU are supposed to have control over the hours you work, and the amount of work that you do. Please, please check into this.
    Many grooming shop are getting into big trouble over paying and labeling their employees the wrong way. If you are a true contract laborer, YOU contract with the shop owners on your hours, YOU make your own appointments, YOU collect the money and pay a table rent. As a contract laborer YOU are paying all of the tax and the shop owners are not paying their fair share to the government. This is why the government has been cracking down on 1099's. As a matter of fact, California just passed a law that all groomers must be w-2 employees.
    As a shop owner myself, I have always paid my employees a w-2. I also only booked them the number of dogs that they could comfortably groom in a day. For the groomers and the dogs safety.
    In my humble opinion, YOU have the upper hand here. You say that they can't find another groomer to help with the amount of dogs that come in. The fact that you are doing so many a day tells me that you are good and the customers keep coming back. Well, if they want to keep you they better make some changes, or they won't have ANY groomers and NO money coming in from grooming!
    You say that you are a contract worker....Sooo, write up a contract! State the number of dogs you want to do in a day and your hours. Set up the way YOU want appointments to come in. Be very clear and specific. For example, no more than 10 a day, no more than 2 large dogs, or NO large dogs and NO cats. No walk-ins without your approval. Name your days off, the number of vacation days (with ample notice) I would also put in a penalty for when they overbook, such as, you get paid 75% for every dog that they overbook and 80% for every large dog over the 2 stated. I know this sounds extreme, but hitting them in pocket hopefully would make them avoid overbooking you. If they where paying an hourly employee they would have to pay double overtime.
    I have been where you are and unfortunately nothing I did helped me. I had to quit. I eventually opened my own shop.
    YOU ARE VALUABLE! It is so hard to find good hard working groomers. Believe me. If they are smart, they will want to work with you to keep you. I no longer hire. I got tired of trying to find a good, caring, hard working groomer. It is just my daughter and myself now. Don't let them take advantage of you. I don't think that any of the things that you are asking for are unreasonable. Sit down and talk to them. Don't let them over work you and make you hate your job. Oh, and check out that link and do your own research. You may be making good money, but I bet you are paying way too many taxes.
    Good luck,
    Lisa MFF

  12. Hello. I haven't gone to grooming school yet because the only school near me is too far of a commute and is apparently infamous for their mean professors. So I thought I'd get a job at a groomer and get some hands on experience until I can move somewhere where I can go to a good school. About a few months ago I was hired at a small local groomer. At that point I had been bathing dogs at a boarding place for somewhere around 3 years. The boss of the groomer I work with told me I would be bathing during the week and on the weekends she would slowly train me to groom. It was going alright for the first few weeks, but then she began really insisting I pick up my speed. I have to rush every dog I bathe and shave. I am not allowed to take my time cutting nails even though I am uncomfortable doing it any faster because I don't want to cut the dog. Pretty much every move I make, including walking to get a dog to put on my table, I have to rush. I have been yelled at for walking too slow. At this point I've only really been trained to do ears and nails, and shave the body and legs of a dog. But I haven't really even been trained well to do that, they gave me a 2 second explanation and I had to roll with it. And then when I make a mistake I get reprimanded even though she hadn't told me I should be doing it differently. I only know how to shave with a #5 and #10. We are a very small shop, and there are only three of us there, including the boss. She doesn't do appointments, only walk ins. I don't know why. When I'm shaving dogs, I shave once before the bath, then another time after that. Then a 3rd time by the boss. I think they think I'm too slow and make too many mistakes to teach me to do the face and finish a haircut. I'm only allowed to finish the sanitary baths which just require ears and nails and brushing. I don't even know how many dogs we do a day. Sometimes there are up to 20 dogs and I have to work so fast that I'm starting to question my career choice. If I take more than 5 or 10 minutes on a dog, my boss will come back and reprimand me, telling me "I already finished 2 dogs and you are still on one" "you're taking WAY too long" and when she does that she doesn't even let me finish the dog, she just tells me to put them back and do something else. The other day I thought i was really improving on my time, and barely took any time at all brushing a dog. I had done her nails before I brushed her and even though I didn't time it I probably took less than 15 minutes. But my boss then came back to tell me I was taking way way too long and I said "I thought I did pretty well this time" to which she answered, "No." when I shave a dog, I also have to be really really fast. Which makes me scared I will cut the dog sometimes. She will reprimand me if I "take too long". Its gotten to a point where every single day, more than once I'm being told I take way too long and am told off for it. It makes me feel useless and like maybe I'm not right for this career. A lot of the time my co-worker will tell me to brush a long haired dog with a certain brush and my boss will come back and yell at me for using that brush and to use a different one. Like they can't agree and I get stuck in the middle. She doesn't really tell me much of anything and yells when she thinks she already told me to have the dog ready by 10 but she had never said that. I don't know what to do at this point. Is this what it's like to be a dog groomer? Am I doing it wrong?

    1. Hi,
      First, let me just say, that the fact that you are even asking about your speed and worrying that you may injure a dog going too fast tells me that you would make a good groomer.
      Sadly there are some shop owners out there that are only worried about one thing, and that is the amount of dogs they can do in a day to get as much money as possible. Don't get me wrong, I am a shop owner also and I understand having billings and overhead to pay each month. BUT dogs and groomers should not have to suffer to make that money.
      I suggest you try to find another shop. A shop where the all mighty dollar does not come first. My shop is also a small business. We work by appointment only so that we can control the amount of dogs that come in and also control the time we spend with each dog. Some dogs we groom very quickly, because they are easy grooms. Others take more time, because they are matted, or old, or scared, or their coat may just be difficult to work with.
      I don't know how fast you are bathing, but it sounds like your boss is not being very reasonable. She is also not honoring and taking the time to train you like you were told when you were hired.
      Sadly, some shop owners do not treat their employees well. I worked in several shops like that when I first started out grooming. I didn't know any better. Like you I thought that that was just the way it was.
      Speed usually comes with time. The more comfortable you get at doing something the faster you get at it. The dogs comfort and safety should ALWAYS come first.
      By taking only walk-ins everyday your boss must constantly rush to get everyone done in a reasonable amount of time and that is not fair to anyone, dog, groomer, or owner. Taking appointments helps control the day and also allows a shop owner to have more control over their budget. This is just my personal opinion and what works for me. I have a feeling that your boss would not agree.
      I never rushed my employees. I worked with them and helped to show them ways that they could safely groom quicker when needed.
      (Also my personal opinion) The bathing and drying are the most important parts of the grooming. If the dog is not clean and dried correctly then the cut will look awful. We bathe and hand dry all of our dogs before they are touched with a brush or a clipper. This process can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 30 minutes, with every dog being soaped up and rinsed at least twice. The average groom (bath & cut) takes @ an hour from start to finish (some may take a little longer depending on the dog and coat) and that is without rushing the dog.
      Don't give up, but don't stay in a situation where you are treated badly, and you ARE being treated badly.
      I have been grooming 33 years and still love it.
      I wish you luck. :)
      Lisa, MFF