Going to the Groomer
- First of all - bring a photo
of your dog in the clip you liked best in the past or print-out one or
two pics in the style you would like to see your dog or pup in. Here are
some suggestions for starters, but also check dog and breed magazines,
and of course do a search online.
- If at all possible discuss the trim, clip or style with the groomer that is actually working on your pup, not the receptionist or bather who might be checking you in. S/he can tell you if your pup/dog has that type of coat texture and length to make it happen, and should also check the coat condition for matting or pelting, which may limit what clip or look can be achieved with it at this time.
- Do not let your vanity get into the way of establishing a pleasurable grooming session for your dog or pup. If you don't brush and keep the kids' coat in top condition, there is only so much dematting or combing out, a groomer can do without causing pain in the process. If the coat is a mess and has gotten away from you, it is kinder and less stressful for the dog/pup to get it trimmed really short and start all over with new hair.
- For a pup going into the
adult coat change - do everybody a favor and go short this time. It will
grow back quickly in the new crispier texture, and not look like a
bedraggled little rat while it does its transitional thing, LOL. A simple short trim is a fair introduction to the grooming table for a wriggly pup that has to learn to stand still for grooming [which is a challenge to many adult dogs too].
- If your groomer says it can't be done or won't look right, they are probably right - unless they are new at their profession or incompetent. You are paying a professional for their experience and advice - so take it! Absolutely ask questions, but also allow yourself to be guided by their suggestions and recommendations.
expect perfection on an inexperienced pup or difficult to groom adult
dog for the first 2-3 trips.
The groomer and your dog are still getting to know each other, and you are still working out communication issues with what you would like, and what is in actuality realistic.
- Don't go to a different salon or a large box store shop where your furkid gets serviced by a different groomer every single time. Develop a relationship with your groomer, and allow your dog to do the same. If you are frequenting a fairly large grooming salon, feel free to request a particular groomer that has been good to your dog, and whose style you liked in the past. Your furkid should want to go there "happy in and happy out", or at least not fighting you going in, LOL.
- Don't hover and transfer your uncertainty towards the pup - poodles and poodle mixes are very smart and they will pick up on your anxiety, and that gets them scared and worried too. Make it a quick and painless, yet upbeat drop off, and be excited and pleased when you pick them back up - they will learn to anticipate your pleasure at time of pick-up and will learn to enjoy their spa day just like we ladies do :o).
- Don't come early for pick-up, don't knock at the window where the dog can see you, be quiet [and don't talk on the phone!] if you need to wait in the lobby while your kid gets the finishing touches or is still on the table getting worked on. Getting the dog excited, thinking it is time to go, increases the potential for injuries [they do run + play with scissors there, LOL] and can get a perfectly nice groom ruined by the dog jerking and being unruly, because it sees or hears your and wants to go to you. In cases of very difficult or temperamental dogs that are liable to injure themselves in their impatience to get to you, the groomer is well in her right to stop working on your dog and still charge you full price for the services provided.
- Be punctual during drop off - if you have an appointment - please be on time! If you are running more than 10 minutes late, then call them to see if it is still ok to drop off or if you need to reschedule your appointment. If you are late or miss your appointments a lot, don't be surprised if they require you to pre-pay at time of booking, or if you get a "no-show fee" attached to your next bill... Most grooming salons work by appointments only, and they can only schedule so many dogs a day - having a "no-show" is a loss of revenue, that could have been filled with a paying client that actually showed up.
- Be there on time when you are supposed to be for pick-up, or promptly head back to pick up your pup, when you get the call that it is finished and ready to go. You should not use the trip to the groomer as a free dog sitting excuse, unless they have a dog daycare attached to the grooming salon and it is part of the service offered. This is especially important if you have an unsocial, timid, easily scared or aggressive dog that does not get along well with other canines!!!
- If you use a mobile groomer - be there when the groomer is showing up!!! Mobile groomers work one on one with your dog[s] at a location of your convenience [your home or business], and if you are not there - they have wasted time and gas driving to your place [those grooming vans are gas hogs!], and lost the income they could have earned, if they had taken another more reliable appointment! A "no show" for a mobile groomer is more difficult to fill in, than for a salon establishment that may have a back-up waiting list or accepts walk-ins, as they need to work one on one with their clients locations, schedules and availabilities...
- Tip your groomer! A lot of folks don't know if they should or not - if you are pleased with the results, or if they have accommodated your schedule or bent backwards to make you happy to fit you into their busy schedule, and especially if your dog is hell on 4 paws to groom and everybody else puts the Closed Sign in the window when you show up - TIP THEM! A good professional groomer that makes your furkid clean, comfortable and presentable, and that your pup enjoys visiting with, is what makes the difference between "just a dog" and a "Wow! Will you look at that!" head turner when you take him/her out for a walk or a trip! So be generous - minimum $5, $10-20 or more for large and extra large dogs, extravagant or time consuming breed styles or creative/japanese or korean trims, color jobs, difficult/multiple dogs from the same home...
- If you are not happy with the results at time of pick-up, then say something right then and there. Most groomers are happy to take a bit more off, or take notes for the next time around to leave a bit more here or there and make you happy with the end product. If your dog comes home covered in nicks, cuts and scrapes and is normally a laid back, easy going type - or you never had complaints about his behavior while with a previous groomer - then perhaps look for someone else that is a bit more relaxed and patient, allows more time for your dog, or has more experience.
- If your dog has been heavily matted or pelted, it may have covered a multitude of skin problems, rashes and oozing or sore spots underneath all that mess. Oftentimes the dogs will scratch and scratch and scratch afterwards, because they finally can get to all of the itchy spots and because it just feels so good! In the process they chew or scratch themselves until the skin gets irritated even more or even starts bleeding. With heavily matted and neglected dogs, a medicated or soothing shampoo and conditioner is recommended, and while that may give some relief, it does not mean the dog won't scratch or itch afterwards. Don't blame the groomer for your neglected coat care and the dog's response after getting rid of that felted mess!
- If your dog is difficult to
groom, a biter, fighter or hell on 4 paws on the grooming table, be sure
to let the groomer know right from the start. A severe bite on the face or hands
can finish a well going grooming career in no time or put him/her in the
hospital and out of work for weeks at a time. Loss of income, pain,
rehab for hand/finger mobility is just the beginning of it. Flexible
hands and fingers are a groomers most valuable assets, and a bite can
permanently damage or reduce their working capability! Expect your biter
and fighter to be muzzled during the groom. You have no business on
letting an unsuspecting person take the brunt of your difficult dogs
aggression or ill behavior!
- Last but not least - PLEASE WALK YOUR DOG - prior to dropping off at the groomer. It nicely wears out a pup and takes the energy edge off an adult, gives the chance to empty bowels and bladders and avoids having the clean dog taking a dump or leak on the grooming table or in the crate while it waits to get picked up by you. Don't let your dog go potty in front of the grooming establishment, unless they have a dedicated potty area [in that case bring your baggies and clean up after your pooch!]. Control your male in the lobby - some boys get excited and feel they have to lift a leg. If your dog pees on displays or merchandize - you own it! Or you should anyways!!!
- Oh - one more thing! If you
have children along during drop off or pick-up - keep them quiet and
under control at all times. Rowdy or noisy kids that play all over the
lobby, bang on the grooming windows or destroy merchandize &
displays, are a distraction for the groomers and dogs being worked on,
as well as cost the store money either in destroyed merchandize, by
taking longer to calm down the dogs to being able to continue to groom
them [time is money!], and if another person's dog gets injured because
of your hooligans, are you going to pay for that vet bill and loss of
reputation? So keep the kids under wraps while you are there...