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.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Happy Ending....Thankfully

I have a question.

There are so many different fields of dog professionals.

Dog Groomers, Dog Trainers, Veterinarians, Dog Behaviorists, Breeders, and so on.

So, what is my question?

Why, why can't we all work together?

I know that some of us do....work together I mean.
 I have a Vet that I have worked with for many years.
I recommend him, and he recommends my shop for grooming.

I am sure that there are plenty of groomers out there that also have Vets they work with.
They may also have a Trainer or two that they recommend.

Unfortunately, more often than not, I see and hear stories of pet professionals that do not recommend each other.
Not only don't they recommend each other, but they talk about, or against each other.

Now, I can understand not recommending a Vet, or Trainer, or some other Pet Professional that you know is not good at their job, or you don't particularly agree with the way they do things.
That is fine, you just recommend someone else that you do know is good, or can help.

What I don't understand is when one pet professional will talk against another pet profession as a whole.

Take today for instance. (and this has happened more than once to me)

I had a new customer come in today with her Coton de Tulear.
It was 6 months old.
The breeder that they had gotten the puppy from told them not to take it to a groomer.
(Thankfully my Vet told them to take it to a groomer)

Not take it to a groomer?


I just love the answer. (she said in a sarcastic tone)

Because all groomers do is shave the dog down and do not know how to properly groom a Coton's coat.


This is the information that the breeder is giving their new puppy customers?

How about teaching the new puppy owners how the take care and comb and brush their new puppies coat?
How about explaining to the new owner that if they do not brush and comb the coat properly and often, that the groomer will have no choice but to clip or shave their dogs coat.

Good grief, why are we always made out to be the bad guy?

Yes, unfortunately there are groomers out there that do not know what they are doing.
I have seen some bad groom jobs.
Just today I had a regular customer who lives at the shore during the summer, come in with their Corgi for its regular grooming. (they come to me in the fall, winter, and spring)
Most of the time they come back once in awhile in the summer too to have us groom their Corgi, and go to Doctors appointments, then go back to the Shore.
This summer they took their Corgi to a groomer that someone recommended to them down at the Shore.
Their Corgi is about 6 or 7 years old and we have always given him a bath, de-shed, scissor rear feathering tight, and clip belly only.
He had a beautiful white and dark orange coat.

Yes, I said 'he had'.
The groomer shaved him!
All that beautiful coat gone with a #7 blade.
No, the owners did not ask the groomer to shave their dog.

His hair is growing back, but not that beautiful top coat that he had.

His owners are so upset.

I don't blame them.

They want the dark orange coat that he had before.

There are also areas, like around his neck, that are not growing back.

I am sorry that they had a bad grooming experience.

As I said before, there are bad, or uneducated groomers out there.

There are also bad Hair Dressers. (been to some of those myself)
There are bad Doctors.
There are bad Vets, Trainers, ect.

BUT, there  are also really great Groomers, Doctors, Trainers, Vets, you just have to look for them.
Just because of a bad experience, a person should not think that all people in that profession are bad.

I have seen comments online, when there is a News story about a bad groomer.
People commenting left and right about how they would 'never take their dog to a groomer.'
'The groomer shaved their dog to short.'
'The groomer didn't groom their dog the way they wanted.'
'Their breeder told them not to go to a groomer.'

If only Groomers, Vets, Trainers, and Breeders would work together to educate pet owners.
Educate them on the proper way to maintain their dogs coat at home.
Educate them on the time and commitment that it would take to care for some of the breeds out there.
Educate them on how quickly a coat can mat up to the point that a groomer has no choice but to shave the dog and start over.
Educate the pet owner on the fact that most of them have lifestyles that are to busy to maintain a coat to look like the beautiful dogs that they see on dog shows.
Educate the pet owner on the fact that if they have their pet groomed professionally on a regular schedule, they could keep their pet looking good in a nice, cute, easy to maintain, medium length cut all of the time.

NOT tell the pet owner to never take their dog to a groomer!!

So, what happened with the Coton puppy today.
What kind of shape was the 6 month old puppy in?

Actually she was in great shape.

Or, should I say 'thankfully'?

Thankfully, because if this dog had been matted and had to be shaved, the pet owner would have thought that their Breeder had told them the truth....that groomers only shave dogs.

Thankfully I was able to prove the Breeder wrong.

I gave the puppy a bath, blow dry, and comb out with a light trim if the feet and rear.

The owner did not want anything cut on the face.

She wanted the hair to grow out to be pulled back.

The owner also wanted the hair at the corner of the eyes to grow out long.

I sprayed a tiny bit of freeze hair spray on my fingers and then very carefully wiped my finger over the areas where I wanted to help the hair stay in place.

I pulled the hair back in two small topknots right over top of the eyes, because the hair was not long enough yet to set the topknots back further.

I owners were very pleased. :)

I think that the puppy was very pleased that she could see now.


I was very pleased that I could prove this dogs breeder wrong.

I sure do hope that all of the other pet owners that she sold puppies to did not listen to her, and that they took their puppies to a groomer before they got matted.

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. WE TOTALLY AGREE! One of the worst things a business can do is bad mouth a competitor or gossip about their practices. It can make you, as a business person, seem shallow. Even when dogs with bad hair do's come in and the owner complains about their experience with this other groomer, we try to stay neutral, not join in on any "bashing", and just fix the cut. Good job on you for doing the same!

    1. Thank you,
      As groomers we all need to work together. Maybe if we did, we would not have groomers that don't give the right clips. We could teach each other.
      Lisa, MFF

  2. I think the puppy looks fantastic! We see lots of owners that want their dogs long, but don't bother to brush them at all. We hate telling people their dog has to be shaved, but we have to put the well-being of the dog first. Just yesterday I had someone blaming us for their dog being matted when they only come in every 4 months or so!

    1. Thank you Michele,
      Amazing how it always OUR fault that the dog is matted when they (the pet owner) are the ones who live with the dog everyday.
      Lisa, MFF

  3. Hi Lisa,
    I've never groomed one of these before... what else did you do with the pup trimming-wise?
    Thanks x

    p.s. it looked VERY cute with the top knots

    1. Hi,
      This puppy just got a sanitary trim (clipped the belly, scissored around the rectum) and a light trim on the feet. The owner did not want the corner of the eye cut.
      Lisa, MFF

  4. I so agree! I got this same comment just the other day. I guess I understand though, that people get paranoid when things like taking your Corgi in and it coming out SHAVED happens. So sad.

  5. Looks like a gorgeous well-bred puppy- shame that the breeder is out bad mouthing. I'm fortunate to be networked to most of the nearby breeders on CdTs (they're my specialty), so we have a system. :)

  6. Just thought of this question while reading this post, since you're talking about educating people about the care of certain breeds... Can you tell me about how long it takes you per day to comb out your Standard Poodles when they're in a longer versus a shorter trim? I have seen talk about how often people comb/brush but not how long they spend on it per day with each dog or how long their dogs are kept. I've been looking through my poodle grooming book too and can't find any ballpark figures for how long it would take. I'm expecting the out of print Del Dahl poodle book in the mail any day now, I suppose that may tell but I thought I'd ask you since you live with three with different coat types. I'd also be curious what coat types you feel are easier and which are more difficult. I really like the thick harsh curly coat that the standard calls for. I just love how it feels. Also I've read that blacks and silvers tend to have the best coats, have you found this to be true in dogs you've groomed? Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me.

    1. Hi Tristyn42,
      I have three Standard Poodles. One white, one black, and one red. My red Standard has the worst coat of the three. It is a soft, a little cottony, curly coat that mats extremely easily even when only an inch and a half long.
      My white Standard also has a softer coat, but it has a little harsher of a texture that makes it much nicer. It does not mat easily and if she does get a few mats (from me missing a few days of brushing) the mats brush out very easily and quickly.
      My black Standard has a wonderful coat. Her coat is thick, curly, and has a harsh texture. She brushes out very easily and quickly. (although she seems to get dirty faster than the other two) I can actually go an entire week without brushing her and she will not mat up. I keep them 2 to 3 inches long in the winter and their backs about and inch long in the summer. (legs still 3 to 4 inches long (a Lamb cut)
      Depending on how long their hair is at the time, a brushout followed by a complete combout with a medal comb takes me about 10 to 20 minutes tops, if brushed everyday, or every other day. (Sometimes I don't feel like brushing my own dogs at the end of the day after grooming a full day of dogs.) Of course this is on a coat that is no longer than 4 or 5 inches long.
      Lisa, MFF

  7. the corgi story almost made me cry. I have two corgis myself and would NEVER EVER shave them. it breaks my heart seeing that corgi. if that was my dog and the groomer shaved him without my permission i would have lost it on them! also i love your blog!!