You guessed it.. not my most fun day at work.
Sadly.. it was one of those days that could be avoided.. if only people would become educated!!!!!!!!!!!
So, sorry to all you educated pet owners who read this blog, I know you don't need this info, but pass it along, any time you get the chance.
This is a story of 3 dogs. All were a huge pain in my behind today. All could've been no problem at all, if only their owners would've brought them in for grooming as a young puppy. A puppies first groom should be no later than 3 months old. Even if it's just for a bath, brush and a face/feet trim. It is the most important haircut of a dogs life. At that age, we can work with the puppy, help them over any fears, or attitude problems they may have, before they get out of control. Most people think that is far too young. They would be wrong.
First we have Dog A. Dog A, is a Miniature Schnauzer that doubles as a shark. Anything she doesn't like about grooming, her teeth talk first, and she asks questions (or makes more demands) last. Sadly, she had the unlucky timing to be ready for her very first puppy groom during the winter. Why would that be an issue??? Well, of course it is too cold to groom your puppy in the winter, so you just wait til spring. By that time, this little darling, who was obviously already a bratty diva who runs the house, missed out on that all important 1st grooming at an age where she may have been more willing to learn something. Oh, and did I mention that her owner never brushes her.. so that first haircut was not so fun for this puppy, she was beyond matted. She continues to be worse each groom, and is now around two years old. Today, I predicted that she will end up a sedate to groom. I hope I'm wrong, but there is only so much we can do.
Then, there was Dog B. This guy was a 2 1/2 year old Irish Setter. A huge doofy, happy-go-lucky boy. Beautiful dog, at least he would've been if he had been getting proper care. Sadly, he was extremely matted. Worse yet? He had never been groomed. EVER. Thankfully, his amiable temperament worked in my favor. He took to the clipping and standing on a table pretty well, though he was constantly in motion. Not too easy to get a smooth, clipper-mark free look to his coat. I was forced to shave him, leaving only his ears and tail. The degree of matting would've caused much pain to him, if I was to brush it out. It's not his fault he wasn't cared for. So, off his beautiful red coat came, and Irish Setters do NOT look cute in this cut. They are gangly and lean and leggy. Oh well, hair grows. This was a case of "this is my kid's dog, I'm just taking care of it while they are furthering their education". I couldn't be upset with the parent.. his adult child made the choice to buy this dog, and they were taking care of it as best they could. He was obviously loved, a brush just needed to be applied. Setters are notorious for being "bald" for their first year, the coat just doesn't come in until later. This causes many owners to say "why get him groomed, he doesn't even need it". Again, bare miminum grooming as a puppy would've helped alot.
Then we come to Dog C. Dog C was obtained by his owners 3 weeks ago. He is 7 months old. I can hardly blame them for what he missed. He is a Miniature? or Standard? Schnoodle (mix of a Standard Schnauzer and a Mini Poodle), from our local Doodle "breeder". Super curly coat, and tons of it. Very sweet dog. No self control or training. If I thought Dog B was wild, this one made him look sleepy. Wow! When I spoke with them this morning the wife asked me "How do you ever keep them still?" I replied "with alot of patience." She just looked at me sympathetically and patted me on the shoulder. The dog was constant motion, happy, happy puppy. He came to me via one of our wonderful Vets, who sent me in to have a consult with them when they came in for Vet services. They thought "that kind of dog" didn't need grooming.. they were very surprised. An older couple, the dog's owners did take the news that they will be paying at least $55 every six weeks for the rest of their dog's life very well. Kind of a surprise if you were told otherwise. They also bought a brush, and a comb~! I even believe they will use them!! There is hope for Dog C!!
I'd love to see Dog B again, but since the Dad is footing the bill right now, I'm not sure if that will happen. I'd love to make him look as beautiful as he could be with a real setter haircut. Dog A.. well, I know there is not much hope for her, she will continue her bratty ways.
I wish I could get through to everyone who gets a new puppy. We give free "facial trims" to any puppy under 5 months that walks in our doors to see a Dr. Sure, I hope to get a new customer out of the deal, but at least that puppy heard my clipper, and had some training at an age when it's most important.
A large Golden/Labradoodle (not sure which) puppy was getting walked by our boarding staff the other day, and as I watched it walk by, I said, "he better get in for grooming soon". I was informed that his owners had been told it was important, but they declined. They said "we like him scruffy" We are never going to get him groomed. This dog has a thick curly coat. I'm sorry, maybe they are keeping the coat up now, but there WILL come a day when it gets away from them, and they will be knocking on our door, needing a haircut. They won't want it short.. but it will have to be. The dog will be terrified, he's never heard a clipper before. He won't want his feet trimmed.. he's never had his hair clipped between his pads before. Everyone suffers. Me, the poor dog, and his owner, who won't be happy with the groom, let alone the extra charge for difficulty. Honestly.. I hope he goes somewhere else. It all could've been avoided if they would've let us groom him once or twice. SO FRUSTRATING.
Even if you want to groom your own dog, I'm ok with that. Just PLEASE let a professional do those 1st grooms. We are faster than the average pet owner at grooming (which means your impatient pup won't have to stand still so long), we know how to hold a dog safely, and train them for grooming correctly.