One thing I have learned since grooming school is that grooming is not just about a haircut and a bath. Yes, we spend the day with brushes and combs in our hands, but not much is going to happen unless we get our human and canine clients to cooperate. I am sure you will agree that some of the things that groomers do everyday do not make their furry friends jump for joy. This includes the cleaning and plucking of ears, trimming nails, washing faces, de-shedding, drying and getting a haircut. I have found that developing a relationship with my customers and bringing them onboard with home care is the solution to creating a happy pet that enjoys being groomed.
Pet stylists know for a fact that handling skills are a huge part of grooming. How can we get these tasks done in a timely manner? It is even more important if you are a mobile groomer (like I am) where time is of the essence. Here is a suggestion. One of the things I do when I meet a new customer is to tell them I want their dog to enjoy being groomed. Owners need to know that grooming their dog requires a “team approach”; especially if we see their pets every four weeks, every six weeks or perhaps even longer. Dogs that are brushed and combed by their owners at home and are professionally groomed on a maintenance schedule must accept being touched from nose to tail. Consistency translates into a positive grooming experience!
In addition to handling skills, it is a good idea to make sure Fluffy’s Mom or Dad is using the correct tools. The average owner does not know the difference between a slicker brush and a pin brush. I have even seen some of my customers with gimmick tools sold on infomercials. I doubt it would even occur to 99% of our pet owners to pick up a comb after they brush their pets. We all know the comb is the ticket to grooming success!
I always tell my customers the best time to work on home care between appointments is on the same day the grooming took place because their dog does not have any knots or tangles. This is the time to sit with their furry friend and go over them with the proper brush and comb and praise, praise, praise, and treat! Set yourself up for success! This success will reflect on the relationship between the groomer and the dog on your grooming table. I can tell you that most of the dogs I groom are brushed and combed out the night before I arrive. The dogs are happy to see me because grooming has become a positive experience for them. This makes my job a pleasure. Grooming creates a special bond between the owner and their best friend. Grooming can and should feel good! This translates into a pet that is happy to see you. Grooming is about feeling love. Explain this to your customers. I do!