The Price of Long Locks
The price for long locks
For the average Jack Russell Terrier, the grooming salon is the creepy, abandoned mansion on the threatening slope. A place of morbid curiosity, but not enough to cross the threshold. Especially not after seeing the printout on Penny the Poodle coming out of one like she’d been on the lint cycle in the tumble dryer. There are some dogs who never need to know what is going on behind these doors, but apart from that, caring for them is an integral part of life. Because of this, understanding how to get the most out of your dog grooming experience is important to make it less of a threat.
Your dog groomer will become a close friend over the years, so take the time to find the right one. Like your favorite hairdresser, nail technician, or auto mechanic, you may need to shop to get everything right. Essentially, you want someone who can handle your pet and make them feel safe. Care, let’s face it, is the canine equivalent of visiting the dentist. You don’t enjoy it. A small percentage do, but they are in the minority. As a rule of thumb (or paw), take that your furry best friend doesn’t want to go in and you will feel as guilty as possible. Even with the best dog groomer, they still play the diva card. So don’t be quick to judge the groomer. It’s just the way dogs are. But if your groomer is caring and good at handling dogs, it should show.
What you want to look out for is how the dog groomer handles your dog. How do you talk to them? How are the other dogs in the salon without their owners? Once a dog has been abandoned, they tend to get over themselves pretty quickly. So if the other dogs are running around, playing, or sleeping, you are likely in good hands. Also watch out for the price. When a groom seems cheap, ask yourself why. Is the groomer newly qualified? If this is okay, just take the time to explain in detail what you want so that they have the best chance of getting it right. The care industry is not regulated, which means anyone can take a course and become self-employed. So keep in mind what level of experience you will work with when choosing a groomer.
When you have the right dog groomer, work with them to make the grooming experience for your dog as positive as possible. This means booking regular appointments. Every dog is different depending on their hair type, the length they like to hold, and susceptibility to matting (knots). The average is seven weeks, but it can take a few appointments to get everything right. So work with your groomer and adapt. If you have a good system, book the next appointment while you pick up your dog from his current one. Then you will never let it run too long and face the dreaded sentence. “It’s too matted, I have to cut everything off.” If this ever happens, it can be stressful for everyone involved. Remember, your dog groomer wants to give your dog a nice haircut. Cutting off dull fur that is near the skin is time consuming and on very strong, painful mats. They don’t like to do it so try not to give them any other option.
You can keep your dog’s coat in check between grooms using a few simple grooming tools and techniques. Remember, it’s not just long and curly breeds (Shih Tzu, Yorkshire Terriers, Lhasa Apso, Miniature Schnauzers, Cockerpoo, Poodles, Bacon Frize, etc.) that need to be cared for. Dogs with short double coats (Husky, Golden Retriever, Alaskan Malamute, Newfoundland, Pomeranian, etc.) also need regular salon visits to remove the bulk of the undercoat that is peeling off but cannot naturally fall out through the layers. Note that shaving a double-coated dog will permanently damage the coat and not reduce dandruff. And if you have an especially hairy Labrador who loves shedding all over your house, a professional bath and blasting out the coat will do your upholstered furniture a huge favor.
Grooming will never be your dog’s favorite thing to do, but with your help, implementing these suggestions can make it less scary and your dog will thank you for it.
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