Top 3 Dog Grooming Questions Asked of Groomers

Some people are very comfortable asking their groomer questions, and others are not. For that reason I decided to answer three of the most often-asked questions. I hope this helps open up the dialog between you and your dog's groomer, and don't ever be afraid to ask a question about your dog's care!

How do I tell my groomer that I am not happy with my dogs groom?

Many people are uncomfortable asking this one, and it's understandable. I am the same way with my hairdresser! But the worse thing you can do is not say anything and be unhappy. Groomers aren't always able to see things as their customers do. For example, "short" to your groomer may not look quite the same as "short" does to you. The sooner you and your groomer can reach a mutual understanding about how you want your dog groomed, the better your relationship will be.

I explain to my clients that if they aren't happy with their dog's groom, they can bring him/her back within 2 weeks for a free trim up. If it is the first groom, it can sometimes take 2-3 sessions to get the style "just right." If you know how you like your dog styled, be as specific as possible with your groomer. I often refer to AKC pictures as a starting point so that I can make visual references to length and style of a breeds cut. It's great for getting folks on the same page. I've also had clients bring in pictures of their dog after a groom, which illustrates exactly how they want their dog to ultimately look.

How does my dog behave during the groom session?

This is a great question, because most of you will never see the behaviors your dog exhibits on the grooming table at home! Unless you perform the same procedures on your dog at home, you couldn't know how he/she behaves. Most dogs don't like being groomed, and that's perfectly normal. Some dogs have learned to tolerate the grooming process for the treats (or positive attention) that occurs during or after a grooming session. Other dogs have difficulty with some (or occasionally all) aspect of the groom. Unless a dog's behavior prohibits me from completing a good groom, I'll rarely let a client know. Why? Because your dog is not being bad - he's just being a dog! They don't sweat the small stuff like we do. But if you really want to know, feel free to ask. Remember - no dog is a "bad" dog!

Should I tip my groomer?

As with your hair stylist, waitress at your favorite restaurant, or newspaper delivery girl, tipping for grooming services is an accepted practice. It is customary to tip the person who provided the service, so long as you are satisfied with the service you received. Tipping is a great feedback mechanism for your groomer, telling him/her that they are doing a good job and that you are satisfied with the work they have performed. Tipping is also appreciated when your dog may have been especially matted, dirty or needed special attention of some sort. While a 15 - 20% tip is customary, groomers know it is a particularly tough time for some, given the economic climate. It is important to keep your dog groomed - for his/her comfort and health - so don't ever avoid a groom because you can't leave a tip. Like some of my clients have done, you can always bring some homemade cookies or offer some other gesture to show your appreciation and that you are satisfied and happy with your groomers work!

The Artful Canine offers affordable, fashionable designer dog collars that are unique and comfortable. These handcrafted dog collars and leashes are durable, washable, and available only through The Artful Canine.
The author, Joanne Wood-Ellison, is a professional dog groomer and designer of dog collars, martingale collars, dog leashes, dog harnesses, and other dog accessories.
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