1) Its 60%technical skill but 40% dog whispering.
The thing a lot of newbie groomers and pet owners alike struggle with is not finding the right equipment, or learning the steps, but learning to interact with the dog in an assertive, calm manner to get the job done safely! Remember your dog reads everything about you through your body language, muscle tension, tone of voice, even how you are breathing or making eye contact, and if he senses apprehension, nervousness, or frustration, he will react accordingly! When it’s time for your grooming routine, make sure you interact with her in a calm and sweet, but also very firm and confident manner so she can sense from your movement that what you are doing is both non-negotiable and okay because you are her caretaker and you love her!
2) Some of the grooming steps are uncomfortable the first few times for your pet.
They may be uncomfortable, or just downright awkward, but they are important, and after a few times he will enjoy (or at least tolerate) those things. Brushing tangles out of a little tenderheaded puppy can make even the most seasoned groomer wince. They may carry on like you are torturing them, in hopes not to have their tender hides pulled on, and I agree in some cases it is uncomfortable. But the fact is, unless you are prepared to have a very short clip from now on, brushing will be a fact of life. Even if you do opt for a short clip, brushing your pet stimulates the blood vessels in the skin and distributes their natural oils to keep a good, healthy skin and coat, so it’s still best to brush often. You need to be prepared for a bit of dramatics while you establish this as a routine for their own well-being. We often talk in the salon about how miserable humans would be if we followed the same hygiene routines we allow our pets, not brushing our hair, trimming our nails, or brushing our teeth for eight weeks or longer! Set good hygiene rules early despite any protestations so you can keep your pet healthy and comfortable for his whole life!
3) There is more to grooming than just bathing and brushing.
A good stylist will shave between the pads of the feet to keep them dry and free of irritating debris, pluck the hair from the ear canal to keep it dry and free of bacteria, check the anal glands to be sure they are not overfull, clip and file the toenails, shave the privates to keep clean and prevent uncomfortable matting, and if desired, clip the entire coat into a cute style. These things are often beyond the scope of what a pet parent is willing or knowledgeable to do, and that’s where your trusted groomer comes in.
An experienced groomer also sees every aspect of your dog during her visit and so can alert you to potential health issues such as odd-looking moles or growths under the coat, infected ears, irritated skin, painful joints, even uneven nail length which can signal a limp or painful limb.
Groomers are always happy when owners take an active role in their pets daily care; we consider it a pet owners duty, and it makes us so happy to see the happy, healthy dogs such involvement results in. I do hope you also take the above-mentioned things into consideration as well and choose an experienced professional to help from time to time! Thank you for reading, and Happy Grooming!