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, March 31, 2015


Shih Tzus....

I like Shih Tzus...

I used to own a Shih Tzu (well he was a mix but mostly Shih Tzu).....

A good portion of our clientele are Shih Tzus.

I am sure that most groomers out there also groom quite a few Shih Tzus, so they will completely understand what I am talking about when I say the 
'Shih Tzu sneeze'.

Every groomer has experienced it at one time or another.
More than likely they have experienced it every time they have groomed a 
Shih Tzu.

Now, if you are not a groomer and you are wondering; "What the heck is a 
'Shih Tzu sneeze'?"

Well, just let me explain.

This is a Shih Tzu.

This little ones nose is not as squished as some. 

Many Shih Tzus have very squished noses that are very close to the eyes, with several folds between the eyes and nose.

It takes a lot of concentration to scissor around a Shih Tzus eyes and nose.

The groomer is always saying a little prayer that the Shih Tzu will sit still long enough to scissor the hair from around the eyes safely.

The groomer also always prays that the Shih Tzu will not do this!


A groomers worst nightmare.

You can see why we groomers are so busy concentrating, that we temporarily forget about the 'Shih Tzu sneeze'.

So, picture this....

The groomer holding the Shih-tzus chin.....getting their face close to the Shih-tzus face so they can see exactly what they are scissoring......praying that the dog does not move......or lick its nose.....or jerk backwards.....carefully scissoring away.....concentrating very hard ........when.......


Like only a Shih Tzu can!

Doggy snot sprayed!
Right in the groomers face.
Right in the groomers eyes.
Doggy snot!
Sometimes a lot!

Now, sure, sometimes other dogs will also do this when a groomer is scissoring their face, but a Shih-tzu is pro at it and almost guaranteed to sneeze in a groomers face every time.

It is not like they sneeze all of the time during the grooming.
They rarely sneeze while being bathed, unless the groomer puts their face close to the Shih Tzus face to clean out eye crust.....then .....SNEEZE!
They rarely sneeze while being dried.
They rarely sneeze while the body is being clipped or scissored.

Nooooo, it is bred into them to wait for just the right time to sneeze.
Wait till they are face to face with the groomer.
Wait till the groomer leans in to scissor around the eyes.
Then.....with no warning what so ever.....SNEEZE!

A lot of the time it isn't even a sneeze per say, they just blow the doggy snot out of their noses.

I am convinced that the Mommy Shih Tzu teaches all her puppies to do this before they are weaned.

She tells them; "You are in for a lifetime of grooming my little ones. One day you will be taken to a person called a groomer to give you a bath and cut your hair," she will tell all the puppies. "Now listen closely. Every time that groomer gets their face close to yours, to scissor the hair around your nose and eyes, you just give a good strong sneeze and shoot doggy snot all over their faces. Remember, sneeze only when you are face to face! It is so fun!"

Oh yes, I am fully convinced of this.

If you are a groomer, you are lucky if the Shih Tzu only sneezes once while you are scissoring the face.
Most like to sneeze multiple times.

Just a fun fact I thought that I would share.  :-)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

(Banging Head Against Wall)

I mentioned last week that I was restructuring the way I charge for grooms.

I truly thought that I had come up with a really fair pricing structure that was not too complicated and pet owners would understand.

I was still working on this new pricing structure when.....

This sweet guy came in for a grooming.

I call him my 'toy Old English'.

His coloring and hair texture remind me of an Old English.

His owner says that he is a Maltese/Shih-tzu mix.

I no longer groom as fast as I used to.
This dog should take me about an hour to and hour and 15 minutes to groom start to finish.
He is a hand scissor cut and his owner keeps him in great shape.
All he had were about 3 small mats.
He is an easy bath and a fairly quick HV dry.
The hand scissor should  be fairly quick also, because he has a really nice coat to scissor.

There is just one problem......

 I am pretty sure that his owner has trained him to lay out on his side to be brushed.

Soooooo, apparently he thinks that I should scissor him this way too.

The longest I can get him to stand, before plopping back down again, is about 2 minutes at a time.

Believe me, he has 'plopping' down to a fine art.
He can go from standing, to laying flat out, in a split second.
He just lifts a hind leg, crosses it under him and down he goes.
I mean, all of his bones just turn to jello.

Now, don't bother sending me comments about using grooming loops and belly bands.
First off, I personally don't like them.
They get in my way.
Secondly, this guy would still continually make attempts to lay down and put too much pressure on the neck and belly loops for my (and his) comfort.

I am embarrassed to admit how long it took me to do the finish groom on this guy.
At first it didn't seem like I was taking too long.
I  just spent as much time standing him back up as I did scissoring him.
I probably spent too much time laughing at him each time he plopped down also.
I would rather laugh then get upset at him.

He took me a little over two hours to groom!!

He only stood long enough for this picture because I told him he was done and it was time to go.

He was waiting for me to pick him up.  ;-)

 My next groom went much faster.

I had her completely groomed in less than half the time it took to groom the little guy.

So, back to my pricing structure.....

Here I have two dogs.
Both in good shape.
Both well behaved.
Both basically a hand scissor job.

Even with my new pricing structure, I could not charge enough for the time I put into the smaller dog.
Technically the smaller dog should have been charged more than the Standard.
I personally don't think it is fair to charge the owner extra because her dog won't stand for the grooming.
He was not being a bad dog.
I truly believe that he won't stand because he has been trained to lay down to be brushed at home.
That would be like punishing the owner because she is taking care of her dogs coat.

Sometimes I don't think that we can charge a fair price for all of the work we put into some dogs.

Some groomers may say that I should have charged the smaller dog more because it would not stand, causing me to take longer to groom it.
Some groomers may say that it is my own fault that it took me so long, because I didn't hold the dog up with grooming loops to help speed up the grooming.

Well, I still think my new pricing structure will work for most of the dogs that we groom, but I guess that there will always be a dog here or there that we could never charge enough for the grooming that we do, or the time that we spent on the groom.

I'll keep working with him and hopefully I can train him to stand for me for the scissoring.
Hopefully each grooming will get a little faster. :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

What's in a Name?

Have you ever called a customers dog by the wrong name by accident and then spent the next five minutes apologizing and trying to explain, to the highly offended pet owner, why you called their furbaby the wrong name, knowing full well that they will never forget or forgive you no matter what you say?

I haven't done it often, but I have done it.
Boy, do they remind me every time they come in. 
"Do you remember his name this time?"
"Don't call him by the wrong name again?"
"Oh, you got his name right this time!"

I do have a bad habit of shortening dogs names, or calling them a cute nickname.
Sometimes this tends to offend the owners also.

Sooo, how do I act when they call me by another name?

I have been called Linda.
I have been called Nancy.
I also have one customer, that no matter how many times I have corrected him, he calls me Debbie every time he comes in, and I have been grooming his dogs for years.
Actually, I stopped correcting him a couple of years ago and just let him call me Debbie.
The funny thing about that is, that I have found myself explaining why he calls me Debbie to other customers that over hear him. lol

Then the other day I had this conversation with another customer whose dog we have been grooming for years also.

Ms. Who Cares: "Hi Debbie! Here is 'CeCe'. Just do the usual;" she tells me as she sits her dog on the counter. Suddenly she stops and looks at me...."It is Debbie, right?"
Me: "No, it's Lisa....."
Ms. Who cares: "Oh, I thought it was Debbie;" she interrupted. "Why did I think it was Debbie?"
Me: "That's okay;" I said laughing. "You are not the only one who calls me Debbie."
Ms. Who Cares: "Oh good, okay I like Debbie better anyway, I'll just keep calling you Debbie."
Me: ...... :-p

Oh well, whats in a name????

We had one other funny/strange moment last week.

I groom right next to our front window, but I happened to be bathing a dog when my daughter (who grooms across the room) noticed, out of the corner of her eye, movement at the front window.
She looked over to see two elderly women picking up the bench in front of our shop.
(The bench is ours, and the only one in the shopping center.)
They picked it up between them and proceeded to walk it about 50 feet over to in front of the Beauty Salon on the corner.
My husband popped his head out the door.
Before he could say anything, one of the ladies looked over at him and said; "We wanted to sit in the sun. We will bring it back when we are done with it."
They did.

People never cease to amaze me. lol

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Feeling Annoyed

I am sorry.
I feel like all of my new posts here lately have been full of a bunch of complaining.

Before I start this new post tonight I would like to thank those who responded to my question yesterday.

I will start working on those posts as soon as possible.
I am not sure how often I will post, hopefully 2 to 3 times a week if possible.
We are already book solid for the summer and on top of that I will be remodeling my kitchen in the evenings.
I also plan on remodeling my shop lobby and bathing room this spring, but I will post before and after pictures of that.
The shop is way overdue for a remodel.
We have been in our current  location for 14 years now.  

Okay, back to my annoyance.... 

I groomed a new Wheaton yesterday.
He was a very sweet groom.
The owner wanted short all over, but not too short, and did not want the legs to look like toothpicks, but still wanted them short also.
She wanted the beard off and the mustache very short with no fall.
So I did a #3F blade on the body and a 3/4 blade on the legs (light touch) and followed up with scissors all over.

The dog was one of the best behaved, calm Wheatons I have groomed in a while.
He had a great coat also.
I thought he turned out great....even if I do say so myself. :/
I wanted to take pictures of him but I was running late and forgot all about it.

I guess the owner liked the cut, she didn't really say when she picked up.
The phone call today may be the reason why.....

My husband took the call.
He came back into the grooming room around noon and asked if we remembered the Wheaton from the day before.

"Yes, why? I asked. "Is something wrong?"
"She is complaining about the price we charged her," he informed me.
"There was no quote marked on her appointment," I told him.
"I didn't quote her a price," my daughter added. (My daughter pretty much has a photographic memory)
"She said that she stop by four months ago and was told the dog would be $$,"  my husband told us what the customer told him. "She wants to know why she was charged so much more."
"That is only $3 more than we charge for a small dog. Her dog is four times the size of a small dog. No way anyone quoted that price to her." I said.
You know, even if we did quote a price it is always between $$ to $$ and it all depends on how the grooming goes." I reminded him.
"I know, I know, I am just telling you what she is saying," he told us. "She said that her other groomer does not charge as much as we charged her."
"You mean the groomer that she told me didn't even touch her dogs head the last time she had it groomed?!" I asked a little sarcastically.
I couldn't help it.
I was getting upset.

Well, I would have to say that we lost that customer and she will not be returning.
We try really hard not to give an exact quote on a groom until we are actually working on the dog.
We also try not to give estimations if at all possible, but if someone really pushes for one we give a wide ballpark range. (example Shih-Tzu $47-$60)

The sad part is, they usually only hear and/or remember the first price and not the highest price you quoted.
That is why we try really hard NOT to give a quote.

My husband answers most of the phone calls.
My daughter and I are the only others that will give quotes on grooms.
The customer said she brought the dog in for a quote 4 months ago.
I usually give the 'in person' quotes, but for the life of me I do not remember her walking in, and we don't get very many walking in for quotes.

It is so frustrating when it is your word against theirs, and there is no proof on either side of what is being said.

I know that there are people out there who believe that 'the customer is always right'.
I am sorry, I don't!

I have had other customers come in over the years insisting that they paid a lower price the last time they were in, only to have to actually show them their client cards to prove that the current price we were charging was still the same that they had been paying.
One customer even accused my husband of writing a fake new price on her card just to charge her $2 extra.
She had been paying the same price for two years.

There also seems to be a pet owner mentality that the price of a dogs groom should stay the same for the lifetime of the dogs grooming, no matter how heavy it gets over the years.
How matted it is when it comes in for a grooming, or if they change up the type of cut they want.
No matter how much higher our overhead goes in the possible 12 to 18 years of the dogs life.

I will honor a misquote.
If we made the mistake to quote an exact price only to find out once we work on the dog that it was a lot more work, I will honor the price that I quoted.
Unfortunately, this happened a lot when I first started grooming, that is why we try very hard not to give out a price for the groom before we start the groom.
Even then, I will quote a little high and then adjust the price lower if the dog ended up being less work than I thought.

But this dog, this Wheaton.....the price she was claiming that we quoted was sooooo low.

We apologized for the miss communication and lost the customer.

I could have honored her price to keep 'the customer happy', but I would have lost the customer anyway, because I would have never groomed the dog for that price again and she obviously thought ours prices were too high, so she would not have come back.
A lose lose all of the way around.

Pricing grooms.

It has been one of the most annoying things about grooming over the years.
You charge a fair price for the time and work you did only to have the customer stare at you in shock and then say; "I don't even pay that much for my own hair cut!!  That's crazy, it's just a dog! The other groomer didn't charge that much."

Only to have the next customer come in to pickup and pay for their dog and say; "Is that all!! Are you sure it's not more? You should really raise your prices, that's cheaper than the other groomer I went to."

I have had both of these scenarios happen many times over the years.

As I said....feeling a little annoyed. :/

To try to end this post on a happier note....

I am once again working on my prices. (it has been two years since our last price increase)
This time I am approaching my pricing a different way.
When I finish working on my price formula I will share it.
I am not promising that it will work for everyone, or be perfect, but I am hoping that it will make my life easier, and stop what happened today from happening again. :-)

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A Question For My Blog Readers

I was wondering if my readers (whoever is left after my long absence lol) would be interested in me doing posts on each and every step of the grooming process.

I mean in very detailed steps.
From beginning to end.
One post for each step.

I don't claim to be a teacher.
I am always learning new things myself.
I don't clam to be better than other groomers, but I would love to share what 30+ years of grooming has taught me.
I have had people tell me I am a fool for writing this blog and showing how I groom for free.
I just want to share and help other groomers to groom safely and gently.

My only concern is that dogs are groomed gently and safely.
Some may not agree with some of the ways I groom, but if I can help instruct new or beginner  groomers on some of the safe ways to groom, or maybe even teach a veteran groomer a new trick here or there it would be worth it.

I watched an awful video on facebook last week of a groomer mishandling a dog.
The groomer was fired.
I couldn't help thinking that if someone had just taught this groomer another, gentler way to handle the situation that video would have never happened, and that groomer would still have a job.

If there is an interest in 'teaching posts' from the beginning of a groom to the end please comment below. 
If you are not able to comment, but you are interested, just check off the interesting box at the bottom of this post.

I look forward to hearing your opinions. :)

Monday, March 9, 2015

It Feels So Good.....

....when a customer listens to you and takes your advice.

Six weeks ago I groomed one of my favorite dogs. (I have a lot of favorites lol)
This dog is a little Wesite.
She has got the sweetest personality.
She also has a really nice coat.

This little Westie comes in regularly for a bath and Westie style clip.
She is always very quiet and laid back when she comes in.
She settles right down in the kennel and goes to sleep, or lays down and watches everything that is going on in the groom room.
She never barks.

Six weeks ago when she came in for her grooming, I took her from her owner in the lobby.
She was shaking a little.
Now, of course it is not unusual for some dogs to come in shaking.
So many dogs seem to suffer from some degree of separation anxiety these days.
But, this little Westie does not, and has never shook before at drop off.
Her owner commented that she was shaking but tossed it off as her being cold, because it was so cold outside.

I thought it was strange too.

Her owner left and I took her back in the grooming room to put her in a kennel for a few minutes to wait her turn in the tub.
As I went to put her in the kennel, she instantly turned in my hands and clung to me.
This was not at all like her.
She was so used to the grooming routine that all I had to do was open the kennel door and she would jump in.
I held her asking her what was wrong because she was still shaking.
I held on to her and petted her a while then put her in the kennel.
Instead of settling like she normally did, she turned in the kennel and immediately tried to jump back in my arms.
"What's wrong girl? What is upsetting you so? Don't you feel well?" I asked her while I stood in front of the kennel petting her. 

She finally settled and stopped shaking so much. 
I decided that I was going to watch her for a little while to see if I should call her owner to pick her back up and take to the Vet.
By the time we had finished checking in all the 8am appointments, and I was ready to get her in the tub, she seemed more herself.
I put her in the tub and  started to bathe her.
I just couldn't shake the feeling that something was off.

As I started to soap up her face, she jerked it violently away from me and would not turn her face back to me.
'Somethings bothering her on her face;' I thought.
Then it crossed my mind that that she may have Lyme Disease.
We had gotten a lot of ticks off of her during the summer groomings.
Part of her owners property has woods, and being the terrier she is, she loves to roam in those woods everyday.
Even though her owners use a tick preventative it had not worked very well.

I started to gently wash her face, and even though she did not pull her face away again, I felt her flinch a little when I rubbed her muzzle.
Teeth!! (light bulb moment)
I gently lifted her lip to check her teeth.


They were bad.
Tons of tartar pushing her gums back away from the roots.
Red inflamed gums.
I felt so bad for her.
I was sure that this was what was bothering her.
Her teeth had more than likely been bothering her for awhile, but she most likely had an abscess that was really hurting her now.

I used to check dogs teeth all the time when I groomed and would tell the owners if I thought that they needed to get them cleaned.
But, over the years I have had so many owner tell me that they know their dogs teeth need cleaning but that they can not afford it.
I will admit the prices that Vets are charging for teeth cleaning have tripled or quadrupled over the last 15 years.
Sadly I have kind of gotten away from checking dogs teeth while grooming.

When the owner came to pick up her sweet little Westie I asked her if her dog had not been eating right lately.
She told me that she didn't think so but that she had been snappy with their other dog lately and that was unlike her.
I told her how her dog had been acting after she dropped her off that morning and then I told her about the teeth.
Then I showed her her dogs teeth.
I told her that I felt she should try to get her into the Vet right away, and that I thought she was in a lot of pain with a possible abscessed tooth or two.

I also made it very clear that it was just my guess and that only the Vet could really tell her what was going on with her dogs teeth.
I learned a long time ago not to step on a Vets toes by telling an owner that I knew exactly what was wrong even when I did.
It seems like most Vets don't like to hear "the groomer said....." :(

Fast forward to three weeks later and we get a phone call from the Westie owner.
"Thank you so much for telling us about "Missy's" teeth! We had them cleaned. They had to take a couple out but she is playing like a new puppy now;" she told us happily.

I like the Westies owners, but I have to admit that I was actually surprised that they listened to me and got the dogs teeth cleaned.
I have told so many pet owners over the years about things that I have found on their dogs, and told them to have it checked out by their Vet, only to have the dog come in for its next grooming with the same problem going on, and they never bothered to get their dog checked.

It felt so good to know that I had help that sweet little Westie. :-)


To top that off I had the owner of another dog that I groom every 4 weeks walk in the shop a few days ago.
She stopped by to cancel her dogs appointment for a week and a half from now.
She had taken her dog the Vet after I found a strange lump on his leg at his last grooming.
The dog had had surgery to remove the lump that I found and another one, and could not be groomed for six weeks while he healed.
She came with a check to pay for the appointment she was canceling.

MFF: "Oh, you don't have to pay for that appointment Ms. Considerate Customer;" we told her. "You are canceling well ahead of time and we will have no problem filling the appointment."
Ms. Considerate Customer: "Oh no, no, I want to pay." she said trying to hand over the check.
MFF: "No really it is okay. We have a waiting list and can fill the appointment. So it wouldn't hurt if "Wiggles" misses her next appointment. We just hope she gets better soon." We tried to tell her.
Ms. Considerate Customer: "No, I want to pay. Please take the check. You all have been so good to us and 'Wiggles' over the years." she said very firmly.

My husband thanked her and reluctantly took the check wishing her and 'Wiggles' well.

Such a thoughtful customer.

Again, another customer who listened to me when I suggested going to the Vet.
 A happy ending for each dog.
And, a very nice gesture from a very nice customer.

I have not deposited her check yet.
I still feel funny taking it.
At the same time I don't want her to get upset that I didn't deposit it.

The best thing to do is to pay it forward. :)
I will find a way to pay it forward.

Oh, and I am back to checking teeth again.

Even if only one owner listens to my advice it is worth it!!

Thursday, March 5, 2015


How do we get pet owners to change the way they look at grooming their pets?

How do we change the different mentalities.

The mentality of 'a dog can groom itself.'
The mentality of 'a dog doesn't need to be bathed anymore than once a year.' 
The mentality of 'my dogs hair is not supposed to be cut.'
The mentality of 'my dogs hair does not mat.'
The mentality of 'just wash the mats out.' 
The mentality that 'all groomers want to do is shave dogs.'
The mentality that ' I don't have to comb/brush my dog, that's what I pay the groomer for.'
The mentality that 'grooming  somehow hurts their dog.'
The mentality that 'groomers charge too much to groom a dog, because all they really do all day is play with dogs.'

Then there was the conversation I had with a customer at drop off the other day.

It was the fifth time that I had groomed this particular dog.
The dog is very sweet, and so is its owner.
I also know that she was not being mean when she asked the question that bothered me.

See if you can pick out the question you think I am referring to.

MFF: "Good Morning.... Hi 'Sweety'." (talking to the dog)
Mrs. Nice: "Oh, it is so cold out!"
(I picked up 'Sweetie')
MFF: "How would you like 'Sweetie' groomed today?" (I asked as I was running my hands through her coat)
Mrs. Nice: "It is really cold, can we not butcher her this time?" she asked very seriously.
MFF: "Her coat feels pretty good this time. I only feel a few small knots on her."  I answered trying to ignore part of her comment.
Mrs. Nice: "I didn't think she was bad either. So, you won't have to butcher this time?"
MFF: "As long as she is not matted I can do whatever length you want. So, would you like about half off or a little less than that?" I explained still smiling.
Mrs. Nice: "Oh, a little less than half I think," she said very happily.
MFF: "Okay," I said with a smile.

So, did you catch the question that bothered me?

Yep, it was the 'butcher' comment.
It was said so innocently.
She was in no way being nasty, or intentionally hurtful.
To her it was a simple question.
It was a question that spoke volumes about what she thought of the last groom.

Wondering how I groomed the dog the last time it was in?
Did I shave it down with a #7F blade do to matting?
Well, yes it was matted last time, but it was far from a 'butcher' job.

I am sure other groomers have customers whose dogs come in one time and you are able to do a nice long scissor cut, but the owner does not come as often as they should to keep up with such a long cut.
So, the next time you groom the dog (3 months later) it is matted and must get a shorter cut.

It is not the groomers choice to cut the dogs hair shorter.
It is what has been done, because the matting is too bad and tight to brush out and would hurt the dog.
The groomer now has to use whatever blade will clip safely between the skin and the matting.

This particular dog happens to go between long cuts and short cuts.
It was last in in December.
Yes, it was matted from growing out of a longer cut the time before.

Still wondering what kind of clip I gave it back in December?

A cute little Lamb cut.
I was able to get a #4f under the mat on the body.
Loosen up the mat enough to get the 3/4 blade through the legs and scissor them up, and finish with a cute round face.
I thought it was cute.
The owner apparently thought that it was 'butchered'.

This was the other day.

Three months since the last groom.

Just a few small knots here and there.

It did look like the owners had been trying to keep her brushed out.

I hand scissored 1/2 an inch off all over.

Hopefully this does not appear to be a 'butchered' cut to the owner this time. :/

 Now, I would like to take a moment to address those 'mentalities' listed above.
I know that most groomers reading my blog already know what I am about to write about, but there are many pet owners that also read this blog, so this is for the pet owners out there. :)

The mentality of 'a dog can groom itself.'

The Truth: A dog can lick itself.....They can not de-shed the dead coat from themselves. They can not brush the knots/mats out of their own coat. They can not clean the goo and crust out of their own eyes. They can not clean their own ears. They can not clean caked on poop off of their own bum. They can not cut their own nails.

I have had some pet owners actually say to me; "Well, wolves and coyotes in the wild groom themselves."

My answer to them is; "Their short coats are made for the wild. Their coats shed off on there own as the climates change. Domesticated 'pet' dogs are man made from hundreds of year of controlled breeding. 'Pet' dogs have been bred for many, many years with many, many different types of coats....coats that must be groomed. Coats that don't shed right because the dogs live inside most of the time.  Coats that do mat up. We have made these breeds, now it is our responsibility to take care of them with regular grooming."

The mentality of 'a dog doesn't need to be bathed at all or anymore than once a year.'

The Truth: Sure, there are some short haired breeds that could go without bathing for a year, a few years, or even its whole life, BUT it would stink something terrible. Those dogs could also suffer from skin issues or fleas that a good regular bath with the proper shampoo could take care of.

On a personal note....I don't care what anyone says or thinks, after 30 years of grooming, and no matter whether the dog liked getting a bath or not.....those dogs feel so good and are happy when they are clean.

As for medium to long haired dogs, they must be groomed regularly either by their own owner or by a professional pet groomer. They need help keeping their coats in tip top shape. They need help to keep knots/matts out of their coats. They need someone to brush-out the undercoat so that it does not mat up. They need brushing to help keep their skin healthy. Some need their eyes cleaned regularly, and the hair cut away from their eyes. Some need their ears  cleaned regularly. Some need to have their nails clipped regularly.

Some may say ;"it's only a dog, it doesn't care."

To that I say; "it's a living, breathing soul with feelings and it wants to feel clean, good and healthy also." 

There are many low maintenance breeds that don't need to be groomed often, but there are also many high maintenance breeds that need regular monthly grooming.

As a pet owner, why in the world wouldn't you want your dog to look and smell good?

The mentality that 'my dogs hair is not supposed to be cut.'

The Truth: Yes, there are many breeds of dogs whose coats should not be cut and should be leave natural, but they still benefit from a good grooming. Unfortunately, there are breeders or information on-line that tells the everyday pet owner that the breed of dog they own should not have the hair cut, or that the hair can only be cut one way, because the 'breed standard for showing' states how the dog should look.

I tell all my customers that they should have their dog(s) groomed to meet their live style. If the pet owner has time and knows how to take care of their dogs coat, then go right ahead and keep the breed cut or a long cut, BUT if the pet owner does not have time to care for their dogs coat, or their dogs absolutely hates being brushed, then it is best to keep the coat short all of the time.

Professional Groomers don't only clip/cut dogs coats, they are also educated in the right way to bath and groom long and short coats the proper way.

The most important thing is the dogs comfort NOT the owners vanity.

The mentality 'my dogs hair does not mat.'

The Truth: There are many short haired dogs that do not mat, although I have seen a few short haired dogs, whose coats were uncared for, actually accumulate patches of matted undercoat.

Any medium to long haired dog has the potential for the coat to mat up if not taken care of on a regular bases. Many pet owners think that their dogs coat is not matted because the coat looks fine on the top. They do not realize that there is matted hair against the skin.

Many pet owners do brush their dogs, but unfortunately many do not know the proper way of brushing and they only brush out the top of the coat causing matting to develop under the top coat, close to the skin.

Most Professional Groomers will be glad to show a pet owner how to correctly brush their dog between professional grooming's. 

The mentality of 'just wash the mats out.' 

The Truth: Mats/knots DO NOT wash out of a dogs coat!! Once matted hair becomes wet and is left to dry the mat only becomes tighter. End of story!

The mentality that 'all groomers want to do is shave dogs.'

The Truth: A well educated Professional Groomer will not shave a dog just because. If a groomer recommends that a dog needs to be shaved it is because they are thinking of the dogs comfort. No Professional Groomer wants to hurt a dog in anyway.

Professional Groomers offer many different grooming styles. They can give the pet just a good brush-out and bath, or a bath and trim to tidy, or a bath and heavy trim all over, or a hand scissor cut to any length the owner wishes, or a style clip, or a short easy maintenance cut.

A Professional Groomer can do just about anything the pet owner wants as long as the pet is not matted.

The mentality that ' I don't have to comb/brush my dog, that's what I pay the groomer for.'

The Truth: Hmmmmm....I have often wondered if people think the same thing about their hairstylist. Do pet owners stop brushing and combing their own hair for several months because they figure that it is their hairstylists responsibility to make everything right when they finally go in for a hair cut?

I mean, do I really need to explain why this way of thinking is so ludicrous.

A pet owner is the one responsible for taking care of their pet daily. The groomer may only see the dog once every one, two, three, six, eight months for one day, for a few hours. So, a pet owner who thinks this way should expect their dogs matted coat to be shaved off at each grooming.

The mentality that 'grooming somehow hurts the dog.'

The Truth: Any Professional Groomer worth their salt only becomes a groomer because they love dogs and love working with them. They want to help dogs and make them feel good. The last thing they want is to hut a dog.

The groomer tells an owner when their dog needs to be shaved, because they know that trying to comb/brush those mats out will only hurt the dog. A good groomer will take their time and groom for quality and what is in the best interest of the dog.

Not all dogs enjoy getting groomed. Some are scared to be away from home. Some are scared of water, or a dryer, or a clipper. A good Professional Groomer will take the time to work with a dog to make it feel as comfortable as possible for the grooming. 

One of my children absolutely hated, and I mean HATED having his hair wash during bath time. We are talking blood curdling screaming. I knew I was not doing anything to hurt him. As a matter of fact, I was doing everything I could to make washing his hair as quick and painless as possible. Nothing made him like his hair washed. So, what was I supposed to do, not wash his hair anymore?

Of course not.

So, I washed his hair as quickly as I could safely do it. I listened to him scream and cry. Then I dried him off and hugged him and kissed him and told him that everything was all right. 

Guess what?

He went off and played feeling all fresh and clean and forgot all about his hair being washed.

It is important for the pet owner to make sure that they find a Professional Groomer that knows what they are doing and will work with a dog to make the grooming as comfortable as possible.

The mentality that 'groomers charge too much to groom a dog, because all they really do all day is play with dogs.'

The Truth: Most Professional Groomers don't charge enough for all the hard work they do.

Pet grooming is a very hard, physical job. ~Lifting heavy or overweight dogs. Struggling with some untrained, spoiled, misbehaved dogs. ~Dealing with aggressive dogs that could put you out of work with just one well placed bite, or disfigure you with a bad bite to the face. ~Ruined knees and feet do to 12 hour (or more) long days of standing. ~Ruined wrists do to the repetitive motion of brushing, combing and clipping for hours everyday. ~The  stress and responsibility of working on a moving target (with a mind of its own) with sharp scissors and clippers. ~Dealing with picky pet owners, pet owners who don't take care of their pets, rude pet owners. ~Working everyday with no lunch break because everyone wants their dogs done now. ~Being used as a dogsitter when the pet owner has something to do. ~Being rushed when the pet owner made other plans on the same day as their dogs appointment. ~The stress of grooming an elderly pet or special needs pet. ~Spending hours grooming just one dog to get the groom just right only to have an owner complain that you took too long. ~Finding health issues on a dog that needs attention only to be ignored because the pet owner doesn't think you know what you are talking about.  ~Dealing with people who don't respect you or think you have a real job. ~Dealing with the people who think that all a Professional Pet Groomer does all day is play with dogs......

No, Professional Pet Groomers don't even come close to charging enough for all that they do.