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. :)