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Pet Groomers Exrtraordinaire

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A Question about Nail Quicks [30 Dec 2013|11:45am]

A new client contacted me recently about her dog whose nail quicks have grown too long.  Her vet told her that she would have to have the nails cut back often over the course of time until the quicks receded, and she was referred to me by a friend.

However, it has been my experience that to get quicks to recede, you have to actually cut the nail back.  As in, they are going to bleed, a lot, and it's best done under the care of a veterinarian.  Is it possible that just frequent nail trims will really cause the quicks to retreat? Or is that just a good way to bleed a customer for money (not my goal, and I would rather educate them than take their money)? Or is it possible to do it with a grinder, but not nail clippers?

Any advice you have on this is appreciated, so I can best help my customer.
4 comments|post comment

Photos [08 Nov 2012|07:48pm]

It's been a while since I've shown any photos and I just took a bunch at work recently. So here goes...

Read more...Collapse )
4 comments|post comment

Getting ready for halloween [11 Jun 2012|05:02pm]

So, we've decided that Rommel is going to be a dinosaur for Halloween this year.  And that will be accomplished with hair.

He already has a mohawk, so we are growing it out all the way down his back to the tip of his tail.  The plan is to eventually cut triangles into the back mohawk like a stegosaurus and make it green.  I've also decided to document this process over the next 4 1/2 months each time he gets a haircut.

This was the cut I gave him at the beginning of May.

It's a #10 lamb clip.  The legs were basically untouched, about 5-6 weeks grown out from a #5.

This is what I started with today, about 5 weeks later.

To get the line down his back, because I am so OCD about wanting this straight, I used 2-in painters tape to set the pattern.  Barely stuck to him, which is why I picked it, stayed in place just long enough for me to set the line.  Otherwise, I did a #10 lamb clip and again didn't touch his legs.

And some questions, since I don't have any books.  I used to groom, was learning as I went.  Rommel is probably the 6th poodle I've ever touched and the first standard I've ever worked on (probably would have had a much easier time learning on standards), so my poodle experience isn't much.  I'd only done a lamb clip a few times before, and the legs were much fuller and the body wasn't as short as I like to do with Rommel.  I'm having a really hard time blending the front legs with scissors.  I don't have tons of different shears to choose from and use mostly my 8in curves and 10in straights, though I do have some shorter straights.  Last time I blended with my clippers and I still had a hard time on the front legs, especially at the chest.  Any tips with blending?  I can use all the help I can get!  It's completely possible I feel like I'm having a hard time because of how the #10 makes his coat look compared to the longer legs.

And then feet.  (Once again, no book to reference)  Rommel HATES to let me do his feet.  I love poodle feet, but if I could get away with not doing them as often, I think he'd be happier and I'd be less frustrated.  I currently use a #10 to do his feet.  What do you normally use for feet?  He's otherwise amazing for grooming.  He just doesn't want me messing with his feet.
5 comments|post comment

shampoo [26 Apr 2012|07:01pm]

any thoughts on top performance shampoo?
thank you!
8 comments|post comment

[10 Apr 2012|10:06pm]


It's been a whole whopping 2 1/2 weeks since Rommel's last groom and I am already itching to groom him again.  For those of you that have pets of your own that require grooming, however often do you do it?  It's driving me nuts that he's growing out, but I'm trying to wait until at least 4 weeks.

Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.

3 comments|post comment

[02 Apr 2012|07:12pm]

Hi there!

I am no longer a professional groomer (I just don't have the stamina or patience to do it as a job).  I am here because I just adopted a poodle a week and a half ago.  He's a gorgeous standard and we are already so in love with him.  I've joined because I don't have a ton of poodle experience (and hadn't even touched one in 2 years) and figured this would be a great place for help and ideas if I need it.

The day before I brought Rommel home, his original owner had him groomed in a beautiful but far too froofroo town and country clip.

Pictures!Collapse )

I definitely want to play around with his coat and have fun grooming him.  The boyfriend even agreed on poms (I never even dreamed of bringing it up to him.  LOL)

Hope to get lots of info and advice from you guys.  Have a great day!

ETA: If any of you are in Dallas (and I mean Dallas Dallas, though I am willing to go to Arlington as I train a dog there once a week), I am looking for recs for a sharpener.  Help please!
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Thought I'd share this with you guys. [27 Feb 2012|10:43am]

I hadn't seen one of these made for groomers yet, so I went ahead and made one.

4 comments|post comment

Disinfecting blades, etc [28 Jan 2012|10:51am]

What do you folks typically do when dealing with a dog with bad skin? Rashy, crusty, smelly, etc...

As far as washing is concerned, my salon has separate sponges and towels for dogs with bad skin.

As far as blades, combs, brushes, tabletops though... I typically use a coolant or spray disinfectant on my stuff after doing a dog with bad skin. For the table i use either dilute bleach spray or some sort of pet disinfectant (parvosol or something similar?) sold by the typical catalogs..

Barbricide is not an option for me because i carry all of my stuff back and forth (the salon i work at provides the sprays).

What do you folks typically do? What have you learned NOT to do? What rusts blades, etc...
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Shoes for grooming? [31 Aug 2011|09:36pm]

What shoes do you all wear while grooming? I work at a kennel/grooming facility so there is water and hair around me at all times. I currently wear a pair of Hydroslips, which I can barely find anywhere now... they were very dusty on the store's shelf. These I've had for barely two months and they're already scratched up, so I'm looking into others. Normally I just wear rubber boots. Got a "fancy" pair of Bogs for Christmas and hair gets all over the fabric part so I had to literally vacuum them every night before going back to work.

Anyone wear those Vibram Five Fingers shoes to work? I would worry about hair getting stuck in the fabric like the "fancy" pair did. I may just stick to rubber boots again or get another pair of "fancy" boots that don't have the fabric on top. Thanks for your advice and experiences!

Edit: Found some more links with grooming shoe info if anyone else was looking

22 comments|post comment

Skunk Dogs [25 Aug 2011|12:51am]

Can we talk about de-skunk methods?

We had two skunk-dogs come into the salon today. The one on my schedule was a golden doodle (thankfully, clipped quite short). We use Espree brand shampoo in our salon, so I started out with their baking soda odor neutralizing shampoo. Didn't cut it. So next I tried a eucalyptus mint scented shampoo and that worked surprisingly well. I was quite impressed. Still slightly skunky; but mostly just minty. I followed it up with Espree brand De-Skunk formula which works sorta like a leave in conditioner....supposed to let it dry on the dog.

So between that and the eucalyptus mint stuff, the skunkiness was mostly gone but I could still definitely smell it a little bit.

Any tips or hints on how to get rid of that last lingering bit of skunkiness?
5 comments|post comment

Matted Dogs [04 Aug 2011|08:12pm]

The first time I ever groomed this poodle was last November. She was pretty matted, but after following a 10 Step Demat process, I was able to give her a cute lamb trim. Sadly, I don't have photos of that. Being a first time customer, they were educated on proper grooming and brushing and encouraged to prebook their next appointment.

They didn't listen to any of my advice. Not that this hasn't happened before, but yesterday they finally returned to the salon (about 10 months later!!!). I doubt they brushed her even once. I almost referred them to a vet instead because I was horrified, but I agreed to try (for the dog's sake). Although we do get matted pets in every couple of days, I have never seen one this bad.


More PhotosCollapse )
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Seeking Advice in Caring for Our New Dog [12 Jul 2011|08:36pm]

My family and I just adopted a three-year-old poodle/Maltese mix from a local shelter. Sean has the appearance of a miniature poodle. His coat was badly matted when he was found as a stray, so the shelter shaved him pretty short. (As you can see in the photo below.) His fur has now grown out to about 1 inch to 1 1/2 inches long. It's a length we like, and we're not planning on letting it get too long before we take him to a groomer.

In the meantime, what advice can you give me in caring for our new boy's coat. We've been brushing him (with a brush similar to this), but should I be using a different type to prevent matting? How often does he need it? Any problem areas I should pay special attention to?

Any advice on food? Shampoo and/or conditioner?

I really appreciate any advice. All my previous dogs were labs or lab mixes, so I've never had a long-haired dog before. He's a sweet dog, and I want to do right by him.

Photo of Sean taken at the shelter.Collapse )
8 comments|post comment

trade show [25 Jun 2011|06:58pm]

went to the petquest in wilmington today. it was rather pathetic when you compare it to the one in hershey! we had walked around all the venders and i was surprised it wasn't even one yet. it was nice that it wasn't so over crowded and the venders actually had time to speak with you, but then you also felt the pressure of BUY! BUY! BUY!

i bought some 4420 curves at hershey that i love and i wanted another pair for when those needed sharpened, but they didn't have a spot there. the vender i found with some were horrible! i ended up buying some super expensive shark fin curves, gold line. what helped me decide is they're sending me a pair of thinning shears..guess noone brought enough supplies for such a small show. everyone was out of just about anything they were selling. wanted some laube blades too, but they had NONE left..and the show is still open tomorrow. =/

definitely not as much to see there, but it was WAY closer, and i got most the tools i was looking for.
2 comments|post comment

Befores and afters. [24 Jun 2011|04:41pm]

Hello everyone!

I've been a lurker on this list for some time and always enjoy when you all post pictures of your work, so thought I'd share some of my own. :) I tend to take pics of the dogs I groom (not always befores, but lots of afters) so have a TON on my cell phone. Here are just a few from over the years:

Here be dogs...Collapse )
11 comments|post comment

Another field cut [23 Jun 2011|09:51pm]

[ mood | hopeful ]

This is Dudley, a recently rescued American Cocker who's only been into my salon twice so far. I groomed him both times, even though the ownere hasn't specifically requested me... yet.

I know a lot of groomers aren't fond of cockers, and even I must admit that there are some unique qualities to the breed that make them less than ideal on the table... Everything from nervous peeing, and pooping on the table, and almost all "pout" while being groomed. They drop their heads and force you to constantly lift their snout to shave them.

I have owned two Cockers so far and started grooming them when I was just 13... not that I would brag on my unrefined skills of my backyard days... but it sufficed. Maybe because the first dog I ever groomed was a Cocker, or the fact that I've owned two of them, but whatever the reason, I love them. I love the cut, and I love grooming them. Maybe that's why I get so many repeat Cocker clients... that or perhaps because I seem to be a rarity among groomers who love them.

Am I alone? I know every groomer is different and we all have our favorite breeds, but I haven't met any other Cocker lovers besides myself...

3 comments|post comment

anyone magical?!? [23 Jun 2011|05:50pm]

the real question is in the 2nd paragraph. just summing up the event.

so, i groomed these huskies the other day..one of which went very, VERY bad. she's old and terrified of everything. i was washing her after she was boarding to get the kennel smell out of her..though i'm sure she smelled awesome when she came in..well, almost immediately, she started flipping out. she didn't start having a nose bleed until she was all soaped up and i needed to rinse her! couldn't leave it on!
so after rinsing off the soap and trying to keep her standing (eventually a bystander walked into my room and helped me) and out of her poo..and having to rewash her backend..i took her upstairs to the vet area so they could keep an eye on her.. her nose HAD slowed down, but the journey up there made it bad again..she stayed all night because when we got her back out, her nose started up again!
(i got a lot of harassment by people at work about me beating dogs  =/  )

by the next day, most the blood was gone, but i got a call today saying she smells like sweaty feet. soo the question is, is there anything the owner can use on her to try and fix the smell? she might be able to try the "dog o mat" and wash her on her own, but this soon after that whole situation is most likely pushing it. i suggested the waterless shampoo..which i don't care for much, but not much choice here..and baby wipes.
anyone know of any miracles i can suggest to her? =/
6 comments|post comment

Talk about half-finished... [22 Jun 2011|06:14pm]

[ mood | cranky ]

What you are looking at here is a Maltese... in rather poor shape, I must add. It took a #10 and an hour of shaving to release this poor baby from the mess of fur covering him. I was about in tears the entire time, and so mad at the owner I could spit fire. I didn't take an after pic. It was naked, needless to say.

10 comments|post comment

Field cut [21 Jun 2011|03:53pm]

[ mood | curious ]

During the dog days of summer, there are so many pet owners wanting their dogs shaved down unneccessarily to cool their dogs down... It's 97 degrees outside! Of course they're hot! It's something I struggle with as a groomer.

I, of course, am more than happy to do what my clients want within reason, but sometimes I just want to smack these people. I had a client come in the other day after taking her lab to the dog park and running her for an hour and complaining that her dog was panting excessively. I just wanted to scream at her. It's not the hair!

Anyway, what can I do? A friend of mine used to say to me, "Don't worry about it so much. Just take the money and run." But I sincerely feel like the solution is education. I could shave all 10 or so inches of hair off my head and not be any cooler. Instead, I would have to worry about getting a sunburned scalp. But some people seem unable to learn or otherwise obstinate that they are right and I don't know what I'm talking about. Fine. You bring your dog to an expert for a reason, but I can't do anything more if they refuse to take my advice.

My personal pets, a long-haired Chihuahua named Zukko and an American Cocker named Koda, beat the heat by jumping in the pool or playing in the sprinkler. Of course, all the water means trouble for Koda's curly coat. My solution? A field cut. I'm particularly proud of this clip and I've turned a couple of my clients on to it as well. I first saw the clip about 2 or 3 years ago. I had to talk to the groomer who did it and she told me what it was. Without the skirt on Koda, it takes half the time to brush him out after those pool adventures. ((It helps keep ticks and burrs out of his fur, too.)) I don't keep the cocker crown on him because he looks like a "fuzz head" after a couple of days.

I'm up for comments and/or critiques. ^.^

6 comments|post comment

Grooming Associations, Clubs, & Societies [24 Mar 2011|09:27pm]

[ mood | curious ]

There are SO many different associations, clubs, and societies out there. Which is the best? Is it a good idea to join one at all? Which one? All of them? None of them? They all seem to have their own agenda sometimes. It's hard to sift through sponsors and product placement to find the truth.

Is anyone here a member of any of these groups? Is it worth it? Does it make a difference to the clients to know that you're a paying member of an organization?

IPG Inc.
The NAPCG (creative grooming)
The NCGIA (cat grooming)
The PCGAA (cat grooming)

Are there any other groups?

What are your thoughts?

4 comments|post comment

Thoughts on Double K Shampoo [23 Mar 2011|04:11pm]

[ mood | curious ]

I got some free samples of Double K shampoo when I went to the Groom and Kennel Expo in Pasadena. So far I think they've worked really well. However, my only experience with shampoos is limited to The Paw Brothers and Hydrosurge lines while working at Petsmart a few years ago.

Now I work at a vet and we use Vet Solutions Aloe Oatmeal Shampoo. I've been using it for a little over a year. Its really thick and creamy so I dilute it some. So far I think it does a decent job. I've never had a pet react badly to it. But I feel like I could do better. I definitely noticed the difference in coat softness and cleanliness when using the new shampoo. That is was prompted me to start looking into possibly adding to my inventory of shampoos.

What are your thoughts on shampoo brands? Specifically Double K? Do you have a favorite?

Any suggestions on what brands to try?

Thanks for your input! :)

EDIT: Anyone know the difference between Midnight White and Alpha White by Double K?

7 comments|post comment

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