The Price of Long Locks - Good Grooming Rituals
The Price of Long Locks
For the average Jack Russell Terrier, the grooming salon is the spooky, abandoned mansion on the ominous hillside. A place of morbid curiosity, but not enough to cross the threshold. Especially not after seeing the look on Penny the Poodle’s face when she came out of one looking like she’d been in the tumble dryer on the fluff cycle. There are some dogs who never need to know what happens beyond those doors, but for the rest, grooming is a regular part of life, and because of that, it’s important to understand how to get the most out of your dog’s grooming salon experience and make it less threatening.
Your dog groomer is going to become a close friend over the years, so take your time finding the right one. Like your favorite hairdresser, nail technician or car mechanic, you may need to shop around to get it right. Essentially, you want someone who can handle your pet and make them feel safe. Grooming, let’s face it, is the canine equivalent of going to the dentist. They do not enjoy it. A small percentage do but they are in the minority. Take it as a rule of thumb (or paw) that your furry best friend is not going to want to go in there and is going to make you feel as guilty as possible about it. Even with the best dog groomer around, they’ll still play the diva card. So don’t be quick to judge the groomer for this. It’s just how dogs are. But if your dog groomer is caring and good with dogs, it should show.
What you do want to look out for is how the groomer handles your dog. How do they talk to them? How are the other dogs in the salon without their owners? Once a dog has been left, they tend to get over themselves fairly rapidly. So if the other dogs are running around, playing or sleeping, chances are you’re in good hands. Also, be careful of price. If a groom seems cheap, ask yourself why. Is the groomer newly qualified? If so this is fine, just be sure to take the time to explain in detail what you want so they have the best chance of getting it right. The grooming industry is unregulated, meaning that anyone can take a course and set up on their own. So be mindful of what level of experience you’re working with when you choose a groomer.
Once you have the right groomer, work with them to make the grooming experience as positive as it can be for your dog. This means booking regular appointments. Every dog will be different depending on their coat type, the length you like to keep them and how prone they are to matting (knots). The average is seven weeks, but it can take a few appointments to get it right, so work with your groomer and adjust. Once you have a good system going, book the next appointment as you collect your dog from their current one and then you’ll never let it go too long and face the dreaded sentence; “She’s too matted, I’m going to have to clipper it all off.” If this does ever happen, it can be distressing for all involved. Remember that your groomer wants to give your dog a nice haircut. Clipping off matted fur that’s close to the skin is time consuming and if the matting is very severe, painful. They don’t enjoy doing it so try not to give them no other option.
You can keep your dog’s coat in check between grooms with some simple home grooming tools and techniques. Remember it’s not just long and curly coated breeds (Shih Tzu, Yorkshire Terrier, Lhasa Apso, Miniature Schnauzer, Cockerpoo, Poodle, Bacon Frise, etc.) that need grooming. Dogs with short double coats (Husky, Golden Retriever, Alaskan Malamute, Newfoundland, Pomeranian, etc.) also need regular visits to the salon to take out the masses of undercoat that sheds but can’t fall out naturally through the layers. Be aware that shaving a double-coated dog will permanently damage the coat and does not decrease shedding. And if you have a particularly hairy Labrador who loves to shed all over your house, a professional bath and blast out of the coat will do great favors for your soft furnishings.
Grooming will never be your dog’s favorite activity, but with your help, you can make it less scary by implementing these suggestions and your dog will thank you for it.
- Pet Life Admin