The In's and Out's of Mobile Grooming

When I started my mobile grooming business 18 years ago I really knew nothing about the business. It was all based on trial and error. I soon figured out what was working and what was not. My business took off very quickly and I became so busy within just three months that I had to turn away new business. After four years in business I moved to another state and was able to start over and make changes that would help my business run smoothly as well as become more profitable. I improved my scheduling and routing, I changed my price structure and really improved my business overall.

After just two years in business I again had to relocate. Believe it or not I still found room for improvement and again was able to start over and implement more changes.

Not everyone has that opportunity. It is very hard to make changes to your price structure, routing and schedule procedures, etc. once you become established without losing good customers. I learned so much over the years. I also realized that people are the same no matter where they live, west coast, mid west or east coast. They all love their pets and want what's best for them. There are so many important topics to talk about when it comes to mobile grooming. I want to share with you a few topics that I feel are very important to know.


The most common fear that groomers have when wanting to go mobile is not getting the client base that will pay the higher rates for mobile grooming.  I feel their pain as I, myself, was there at one time in my life.  I can understand completely, but in a second breath, it makes me laugh because I know that three to six months from now those same groomers will be telling me that they are so busy and can no longer take on new clients! 

Mobile groomers fill their client base very quickly.  It is so important to keep track of how many clients you are taking on.  When working 5 days per week while grooming 6 dogs per day you will only need approximately 120 clients if they are on a 4-week schedule.

When working 5 days per week, grooming 6 dogs per day that are on a 6-week schedule, means you can take on approximately 180 clients.

Taking on too many clients can create scheduling issues and unhappy clients.  If someone wants to book an appointment in four weeks and you find that you have no openings, you may have taken on to many clients.  Scheduling clients for three appointments at a time will allow for you to see what the availability is for adding new clients.  My clients are only aware of their next appointment even though I have them tentatively scheduled for three appointments.  Having one appointment at a time in your book makes it difficult to tell if you have openings for new clients. 

Keep yourself in a comfortable place where you will continue to enjoy your business and not feel overwhelmed.

Your goal should be to get everyone on standing appointments.  This is why it is important to give appointments out at every visit.  When your clients have an appointment for their scheduled week, you will always be able to switch them around during that week if they find they have a conflict that arises.  Accounting for everyone on the week they are due is crucial to keeping happy clients.    

Most mobile groomers are booked solid within six months of starting up their business.  It happens very quickly.  This doesn’t mean that this will be your clientele forever.  Clients may come and go.  You may even let people go who are just not working out for you.  It will take up to a year or two to really get the clientele that will most likely stay with you for a long time.  After several years of starting your business you may want to condense your route and really fine tune your clientele. You may have chronic offenders of being a "no-show".   If your phone is ringing and you are turning away clients you may want to start letting go the clients that are a problem and start taking on new clients.

 It is very common that most people that start out in mobile grooming travel too far.  Remember, we don't get paid for driving.  Once you become in demand you may want to redefine your route to where the majority of your clients are located.  It's hard to let good clients go that you have taken on several years ago.  Although if it is costing you money to drive outside of your area then you have to make a business decision and let them go.  I have had people offer to meet me within my route just to keep my services.  This is why it is so important to define your route before you start your business because it can be very difficult to let good clients go that you now have a great relationship with.

The benefit of mobile grooming is that you can be very selective as to what breeds you take on.  If you only need 110 to 180 clients, then why not make them the breeds you enjoy grooming?  Some groomers only want to groom small dogs, where other groomers love to groom large breeds.  If you prefer not to groom Bernese Mountain Dogs, German Shepherds, Old English Sheepdogs, Keeshonds, Malamutes, and similar breeds, then don’t do them.  The large breeds can be hard to maneuver.  They can be difficult to get into the bath tub, especially by yourself.   Everyone has their own specialty.  This is your business.  Why not make this what you want it to be and enjoy every day of grooming.

Climate Control

 Summer Months

The summer months can be challenging to keep things running smoothly.  There are several things that I would like to share with you to help get you through the heat of the summer.

Keeping windshield sun screens in the front cab of your vehicle will help keep the heat down inside your truck.  If you have a pass-through door from your cab to your grooming area, your a/c will always be compromised by the cab heating up.  Always crack the windows in the cab area so the heat can dissipate.

If you have a generator that is mounted in a box, you may want to open the box door during hot summer days to let fresh air into the generator to prevent overheating.  Just don’t forget to close it before you leave your appointment.

Many vehicles have a passage door from the cab to the grooming area.  It is next to impossible for dog hair not to get into the cab area.  When using the air conditioning in the cab area, never turn it on the re-circulate setting.  This feature allows the cool air in the cab to be re-circulated throughout the vehicle.  This will draw dog hair through your a/c system, which can cause damage over time.

Grey tanks can develop a sour odor if they are not deodorized, especially during the hot summer months.  You can use bleach to deodorize the grey tank.  After emptying the tank, add a couple of gallons of fresh water and a cup of bleach, and let it sit for about 30 minutes, then drain.  Taking a quick drive around the block will swoosh the water around.  Vinegar is another form of deodorizer that you can use that is noncorrosive.  I have also heard that some groomers use bromine, which is the same chemical that is used in hot tubs.

Vehicles that have the HV dryer located in the back may tend to blow at a higher temperature during the summer.  The back of these vehicles will heat up due to the high temperature outside.  In most vehicles the a/c has no way of reaching that area.  The HV dryer is pulling hot air from the van and re-circulating it through the motor.  It heats up very quickly and can become very uncomfortable for the dog.  Opening the back door to the vehicle while working to allow fresh air in will keep the HV dryer running at the proper temperature.

Winter Months

During the winter months when temperatures drop below 35 degrees, you must plug your shore line into your home in order to run space heaters when you are not working.  This will prevent the plumbing in the vehicle from freezing.  Over the years I have used a ceramic heater in the back of the van where the plumbing is located and also in the grooming area to regulate the proper temperature.  I found that I was replacing ceramic heaters at least twice throughout the winter.  This is because ceramic heaters run with a fan and heating coil.  The fan pulls in dog hair, so these heaters quickly burn out.  I started using an oil-filled heater many years ago.   Because these heaters are filled with oil, there are no fans or electric coils to burn out.  This type of heater will keep your van nice and warm throughout the night.  Oil-filled space heaters run on a thermostat which you can set to whatever temperature you choose.  I will use this heater during the day when it is extremely cold out while I am grooming. It does pull a lot of amps, so you must remember to turn it off when using dryers.  This heater projects a nice natural, even heat that really warms you to the bone.  They are available in a low-profile model which I prefer, as it stays put behind my grooming table without having to secure it in place.

You should always keep hot water heaters on during freezing temperatures.  This will prevent them from freezing, which can cause extensive damage. 

Weather can be a challenge for mobile groomers.  Being prepared and taking precautions will help make things run smoothly and will prevent down time.

Finding the Right Trim and Schedule

The first thing I like to do when starting with a new client is look at the trim the dog is in.  Is it flattering to the dog?  If it is a pure breed dog, was it groomed correctly per the breed standard?  Is there something that I can do to make the dog look cuter?  I will talk to the client about the dog and make suggestions that I feel would benefit the dog.

When you prepare a dog properly, the trim will last longer for the client.  When dogs come back in 4 to 6 weeks and you wash and dry them, they should look just like they did at the last appointment, just longer.  That is when you know you have done a good job.  If their coat looks very uneven, then you know you need to work on your preparation and scissor work.

Look at the dog’s schedule.  Is this a good grooming schedule for this breed?  Is it a good schedule for the trim that you are doing? Cocker Spaniels, for example, are one breed that can be difficult to maintain unless you have them in nice short cute trims and they are on a 4- to 5-week grooming schedule.

If the client likes the trim and the dog is coming back matted, then you have to change the schedule and recommend the dog be on a 5-week schedule instead of a 6-week schedule (or whatever schedule you have; just bump it up a week).  If the client does not want to change the dog’s schedule, then the trim should be modified.  Tell the client that you will tighten the trim to make it last a bit longer so you won’t have any problems with matting.  You can also spot condition.  If you see that the dog is matting behind the ears or tail, you can condition those areas heavily.

Make sure you are not leaving too much hair in the wrong places, especially behind the ears of Bichons, for an example.

Look at the lifestyle of the client.  Many breeds love to be in the water during the warm-weather months.  Many people love to bring their dogs to the beach and even camping.  You have to take all these things into consideration when putting trims on their dogs.  In these situations I will tighten my trims for the warm-weather season.  Leaving hair in the wrong places will only contribute to matting.  You can add style to your trims by leaving hair in the right places and taking hair off in the right places.

I like to have summer trims, winter trims and vacation trims.  I will change the trim a bit based on what is going on.  During the winter months if we are getting a lot of snow and the dog’s legs and feet are coming back matted I will tighten the trim up a little.  If I know the clients are going out of town and the dog will be boarded, I will tighten the trim.  If I am going away and I know the dog will have to wait a week longer than normal, I will tighten the trim.  During the holiday rush I will tighten everyone just a bit in October/November so I am sure I will be able to get in and out of my stops quickly during the hectic month of December.  All of these things go unnoticed by the clients.  They never realize that I have done anything different.  They trust me 100% and let me do whatever I feel fit.  That’s the great thing about this business, which you will see.

The bottom line is if the owner doesn’t want to change the pet's grooming schedule to eliminate matting, then you must modify the trim.  If the owner likes the trim just the way it is, you should recommend a more frequent schedule.  You must do this to prevent you from de-matting at every visit. Maintenance is the key here; maintaining a good trim is my goal. 

Adding style to your work is easier said than done.  It takes an artistic eye.  It also takes time, experience and practice to develop that artistry.  It is very important for groomers to visit dog shows to see how these breeds should look as well as how the breeds are being stylized in the show ring.  Just as our hairstyles are always changing, so are the breeds’ styles. 
The show ring is where all the new trends are happening.  Dog shows are fun to watch and you will most likely see breeds that you have never seen in person before.  It is a great learning experience. Bookoftheyear

My new book, "Dog Grooming Simplified" includes full color photography of actual dogs. It is a great reference manual that is available at

The most important thing that I have learned in the contest ring is to be methodical when I groom.  Always start in the same place and end in the same place on every dog.  If you tend to jump around, you will lose time.  When you have a system when you groom you will become faster and the dogs will know what to expect every time.


Everything from bathing systems, dryers, clippers, blades, brushes and scissors all play a major role in your efficiency. Investing in good equipment is vital in grooming.  Bathing systems will save you time, shampoo and water and are worth every penny.

Keep your equipment sharp and in good repair.  If you are fighting with faulty clippers, dull blades and dull scissors, you are wasting valuable time.  Be sure you always have backup equipment in case you need it.  I always carry at least three or four of each blade with me.  I have several clippers, several combs and a huge variety of brushes.  I have many shears as well.  If you ever drop your shears by mistake, they may become nicked, so you will need a backup.

Quality shears will improve your grooming time.  Shears can be expensive; however, they are one tool that will make or break your finished product.  Shears are something that you really need to invest in.  If you ever use a good quality shear, you will see the difference immediately in your work.  Inexpensive shears will not do your work any justice.  Your work is only as good as the equipment that you are using, so save your money and invest in good equipment.

JMUR-Book-CoverWe sell our business as being convenient for our customers.  When your grooming appointments become lengthy, you will lose money and your service becomes inconvenient.  Having the right equipment will help you to be efficient.

For more information on Mobile Grooming please visit

Everything you need to know about Mobile Grooming  is available in my book "Mobile Pet Grooming" and Mobile Grooming DVDs.

Good luck and drive safe!



To Clip or Not To Clip.....That is the Question!

As groomers we tend to think that when a dog enters our salon for a haircut we immediately pull out our clipper. However, there are many breeds and mixed breeds that have a flat natural back coat that needs nothing other than a little carding and thinning shear work to polish the appearance.

Breeds like the Irish Setter, Longhaired Dachshund, Cocker Spaniels, Brittany Spaniels, Sussex Spaniel, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Field Spaniel, Boykin Spaniel , for example, have this type of coat.

Ckc-ndgaaWhen these breeds are clipped the coat can change texture and become very thick and wooly. If this is the case, clipping may be the only option.  If clipping has previously been done, removing undercoat in conjunction with clipping will help the blades glide through the coat with ease.

Surprisingly there are dogs that have been clipped in the past and yet their coat will still remain flat and natural. In this case clipping the coat is not necessary.  To shorten the length of the back coat on these breeds, backcombing and tipping the ends of the coat with thinning shears can be done for a natural appearance. When using these techniques on these breeds it not only saves time by unnecessary clipping it also saves time from blending the clipped lines into the longer furnishings. Carding and thinning shear techniques will give a beautiful seamless appearance.

Acs-ndgaaWhen puppies come into the salon for the first time their coat type should be evaluated. If the back coat appears flat and natural….don't clip it! They are your clean slate to begin these techniques on.

Carding techniques are very important  for dogs that have a double coat like many Sporting breeds. Undercoat is defined as the short, soft, dense hair that supports the outer coat or guard hair. The term “carding” describes the technique of removing undercoat from the follicles with the use of a stripping knife. Keeping undercoat at bay by using carding techniques is beneficial to the skin and the appearance of the coat.

This technique will promote healthy skin and coat by clearing the follicles of excessive undercoat. Undercoat is soft and dull in color and can prevent the skin from breathing if it becomes excessive. Once the excess undercoat is removed, the coat will shine and the skin will be able to breathe and will be healthier.

When using a stripping knife it is important to hold the skin taut with one hand while combing through the coat with the other. If the skin is not held taut it will move with every stroke, which can be uncomfortable for the pet. When the skin moves the tool will not be productive. The stripping knife should be held almost flat to the skin.

Carding - Copy

When dogs are not carded, blades will often leave track marks in the coat. It is common to want to shave them with very short blades to ensure a smoother finish. However, the undercoat is what causes the blade to leave track marks, almost like the look of corduroy. Carding techniques will eliminate the corduroy issue so a longer blade can then be used which will result in a more natural appearance.

Carding techniques take very little time and will be beneficial in the end for the groomer and the pet. Maintaining a flat natural back coat with the use of carding and thinning shear techniques not only saves time, but will give a beautiful, shiny and natural appearance to these breeds.

On The Road With Jodi and Danelle

Last year at Groom and Kennel Expo Danelle German and I had dinner together.  We laughed about the fact that I don't groom cats and she doesn't groom dogs and how fun it would be to do something together.  Since I'm a mobile groomer, Danelle and I thought it would be fun to go on the road together for a day of mobile groomining.

Cat grooming is foreign to me.  I have never been a cat person.  I like cats and absolutely love my cat but I just felt that you really need to feel comfortable handling cats in order to groom them.  So I choose not to!   Danelle, on the other hand is a "cat person".  She is definitely more comfortable handling cats than dogs.  In fact, when we were on the road I was trying to pry a leash out of a golden retrievers mouth in the van and  she was a little nervous that I would get bit.  She didn't realize how common it is for Goldens to love to carry things in their mouth.  It's amazing how differ our comfort levels are.

Danelle came to New Jersey and I scheduled a day with three of my regular client dogs.  Since I don't groom cats I had to "round up" some cats.  I asked a local mobile groomer, Patty Mitchell, to help me out.  She lined us up three of her client cats to groom that day.  We spent an entire day grooming cats and dogs together.  I was able to drill her with questions that I had about cat grooming that I'm sure she felt were elementary.  In return, she questioned me about dog grooming in the same respect.  This day on the road was a learning experience for both of us. 

The day was going pretty smoothly and I was feeling more comfortable with the cats.  She made it look so easy.  At one point she asked if I could help her scruff a cat while she stepped away to turn on the dryer. I was thinking to myself "do you really trust my scruff?"  One fast move and I'm sure that cat would have been dancing on the ceiling!  So I said "You scruff, I'll turn on the dryer!". 

By the end of our day on the road Danelle was feeling pretty confident that she could help me with the Golden Retriever.  I had her scissor the feet and she did pretty good for the first time!  Although I remember when she was working on the long haired cat I asked her if she was going to scissor the feet nice and pretty and she said "NO!  You never want to scissor toe tufts!"  OK so why does she want to scissor my Golden's toe tufts?  That's not fair!  We had so much fun doing this DVD together and I'm sure you will all enjoy it as well.  Danelle's camera girl even snuck in a blooper section which I'm sure will make you all chuckle (at our expense)!

We discussed so many important topics throughout the day including, routing, scheduing, pre-booking, the importance of regular grooming, handling techniques, client relations, educating clients and so much more.

This full day on the road with Danelle and I is available in a two dvd set.  

On the Road DVD part 1


The Most Comprehensive Mobile Grooming Book is here!

"Mobile Pet Grooming" the book is now available!


I am happy to announce the arrival of my first book "Mobile Pet Grooming", "The most comprehensive guide to starting and maintaining a successful business".

This book covers all aspects of starting and maintaining a mobile grooming business.  Over the past 15 years I have started and successfully operated three mobile grooming businesses in three totally different areas of the country - the south, the mid-west and now the northeast.  After just a few months of starting up each business, I was unable to take on new clients and have had long waiting lists, allowing me to pick and choose my clients.

Making the right decisions when starting a new business is vital.  Maintaining your business properly is just as important.  Grooming tips and techniques will be discussed that will help you be a more efficient groomer.  I will share with you experiences that I have had with clients and with my van that have taught me valuable lessons.  For all you cat fanciers out there you will surely enjoy the chapter written by Danelle German, "Grooming Cats in a Mobile Unit". 

The book retails at $59.95 plus $4.50 shipping/handling.  Orders can be placed via email [email protected] for $49.95 plus $4.50 shipping/handling until January 1st!






Finally Professional Apparel For Groomers!

My Grooming apparel is now available on my website at Finally a reason to say no to smocks! We all know when we look good we feel good. Look nice and professional and your clients will notice. Tops for all shapes and sizes. The best news is there is much more to come! This is just the beginning of a great thing! This line was designed by groomers for groomers.  I am always open for suggestions on styles YOU want to see. Together we can change the way our industry looks.  Here is just a glimps.....

 Pants-capripic         Skortpic

   Shortsleevepic     Apparel line pic

Available at these upcoming shows:

All American Grooming Show

Pet Pro Classic

Groom Expo

Fun In The Sun

New England Pet Groomers Association

Hope to see you soon!


Dog Days Of Summer

Summer is here and the heat is on.  Our clients are very concerned about keeping their pets cool and comfortable.  If you are having trouble removing the undercoat from those double coated breeds be sure to check out “Deshedding: Theory & Techniques” on DVD.  My techniques will not only save you time but will keep the hair from flying around your shop or grooming van as well as in your lungs.  These techniques will prove to you and your clients that shaving down these breeds is not always the answer.  Educating your clients is the first step.  In the theory portion of this session I will explain why it is important not to shave them as well as explain the shedding cycle.


In the end, the client is always right so if they insist on shaving these breeds be sure to check out “Smooth Road To Shavedowns” on dvd which will help you get a smooth finish on your shavedowns.  I demonstrate shaving a double coat, a poodle coat and a spaniel coat.  Shaving dogs is not as easy as it seems.  Learn how to get rid of that corduroy look and how to achieve a smooth finish.


When temperatures are pushing the 90’s it is difficult to keep our shops and vans as cool as we would like so be sure to give the dogs a cooler bath.  Always be cautious with your dryers.  Dogs can overheat very easily.  Be safe this summer and keep our dogs safe as well.


For a complete product line visit my website at


Have a great summer!




I am very pleased to announce that JKL has now incorporated my Instructional Series DVDs into their curriculum to bring the highest level of education to the grooming industry,   This program allows people that are not able to attend grooming school for various reasons to learn at their own pace.   JKL is a Certified and Internationally Accredited program.   Joy Waters of JKL and I have been working together to bring our two programs together over the past year now. I have had the pleasure of talking to many of JKL’s students and met several of the students at various trade shows.  They have all been extremely pleased with the program and were ecstatic that JKL has included the DVDs into the program.  If you are looking to become a professional groomer be sure to go to  JKL is also a proud sponsor of 

Winding Down 2009

Another year has come and gone for trade shows.  We are such a small family and look forward to seeing each other at all the shows.  Some of my very best friends live hundreds of miles away and I only get to see them at shows.  We talk on a weekly, sometimes daily basis and when we finally get to see each other, while months have passed, it is like we just saw each other yesterday. 

This fall ended the year with a bang with several back to back shows.  It started in September with Groom Expo in Hershey, Pennsylvania.  Hershey is always an exciting show.  It is very hard to walk by all the chocolate filled fountains but you just have to think about your hips and keep walking!  Hershey always brings a great crowd, especially all the groomers from  It's so nice to finally put faces to names.  I was a little under the weather after flying in and out of Vegas from Superzoo within 48 hours to get to Hershey.  I had terrible bronchitis and just about made it through the show.

From Hershey Pennsylvania we were off to sunny Orlando Florida with National Dog Groomers of America.  I had a huge crowd in my scissoring/thinning shear all day program which was a lot of fun.  It was so nice to see new groomers as well as long time groomers learn about shears and technique.  Thanks so much to Lindsey Berry for supplying me with some awesome dogs for the program.  I worked for Andis the rest of the weekend and did demos in the booth with Murphy (LOL) the Bichon.  He was such a great dog and a real  crowd pleaser.  The show was on Halloween weekend and Jeff had a halloween party that was a blast.  The weather couldn't be more beautiful.  Dave and I spent the next four days after the show in Siesta Keys thanks to a local groomer who gave me the hot tip of where to go.  We basked in the sun during the day and ate dinner on the beach at night.  It was so relaxing. 

From sunny Florida I was off to chilly Canadagrooms in Toronto.  Pet Supply House has a fabulous show every year.  I really look forward to seeing all my Canadian friends.  On Sunday when the show came to a close at 5:00 we had a cocktail party with hordourves and wine in the trade show.  It was the perfect end to a busy first day!  The Canadians are always so appreciative and thirsty for knowledge.  I just love them as their enthusiasm is so contagious. 

No sooner did I get home from Canada when I already started getting calls and emails from show managers for next year!  Wow, they never rest!  Always planning for their next show.

Trying to wind down from the shows only brings me to the holiday rush at home.  No sooner did I turn around and Thanksgiving was upon me.  I try really hard to keep my client's on their regular schedule so I don't get far so good! 

The DVD business is booming as always.  I try to do my best to get orders out in a timely fashion and return emails as soon as I can.  Thank you all for your patience.  The winter months are approaching.  It is the best time to catch up on your skills with popcorn and a movie!

We have a great holiday special this year, Buy 3 Get 1 Free so don't forget to place your orders before the 17th if you would like your orders for the Holiday.

To end the year we have developed a payment plan to help groomers be able to afford my Instructional Series.   Three $200 payments plus one $25 sh/h charge...take up to 6 months to pay!  Email me for details. 

A payment plan is now available on my thinning shears; Three payments of $200 plus $25 sh/h.....take up to 6 months to pay!  Email me for details.

We have had so many people take advantage of this offer.  I am so happy to be able to help groomers become their best!

Thank you all for all your kind words on  I appreciate all your support. 

Keep checking my website as I have so many exciting things going on for 2010 starting with a bunch of new releases coming out in January/February.

Happy Holiday!  Be safe!



Knowledge Plus Confidence Equals SUCCESS

Certification is a great thing.  Even though certification is not mandatory I have certified with two organizations.  The first time I went through certification testing I was a fairly new groomer with only two years under my belt.  I certified with ISCC which took me two years to complete at my own pace receiving my Master Pet Stylist status (MPS).  I gained so much knowledge from the program that it just made me so eager to learn more.    Just this past weekend I certified with NDGAA at Intergroom 2009.  I took all my written tests, practical tests as well as my Master written test in one weekend.  It was grueling but it was well worth it.  I am now a National Certified Master Groomer (NCMG) as well. 


I know what you’re thinking, why do it again?  Why?   Well, it’s just another feather in my cap.  I like feathers!  I look at it as a personal achievement.  Certification testing forces you to read the breed standards.  That is such an important part of our jobs as Pet Stylists.  I decided to certify with NDGAA just about a month ago.  Intergroom is practically in my backyard which was the incentive for me to do the testing.  It was convenient for me to bring my dogs or my client’s dogs to the show to certify on. 


I began to study.  I started going through the AKC Complete Dog Book.  I found myself reading every day.  I was discovering so many things that I had forgotten as well as things I did not even know about the breeds.  I started comparing one terrier to the other, one sporting dog to the other, one hound to the other…..I was amazed at what I was learning. The AKC book describes the dog, it’s history, utility, structure, coat types, lengths, colors etc. I am so glad that I decided to certify again.  It was not only a great refresher but also another learning experience.   


It is so important to be able to identify every breed and to know what group they belong to.  How many times do your clients ask you about puppies?  What should I buy?  What dogs are good with kids?  What dogs are good watchdogs but yet are great family pets?  What’s the difference between a beagle and a foxhound or a Miniature Schnauzer and a Standard Schnauzer?  Knowing your breeds and temperaments is a great thing to bring to your clients.


Terriers may be good for one family and not for another.   Herding breeds, hounds, working dogs are all great breeds but knowing the utility of the breed will help you guide your clients to a breed that will fit into their lifestyle. 





Let’s look at the Portuguese Water Dog.  The standard states:



Known for centuries along Portugal's coast, this seafaring breed was prized by fishermen for a spirited, yet obedient nature, and a robust, medium build that allowed for a full day's work in and out of the water. The Portuguese Water Dog,  referred to as the Cao de Agua (dog of water), in its native Portugal, is a swimmer and diver of exceptional ability and stamina, who aided his master at sea by retrieving broken nets, herding schools of fish, and carrying messages between boats and to shore. He is a loyal companion and alert guard.


This highly intelligent utilitarian breed is distinguished by two coat types, either curly or wavy; an impressive head of considerable breadth and well proportioned mass; a ruggedly built, well-knit body; and a powerful, thickly based tail, carried gallantly or used purposefully as a rudder. The Portuguese Water Dog provides an indelible impression of strength, spirit, and soundness.


An athletic, active breed, the Portuguese Water Dog requires daily vigorous exercise. He is very intelligent and responds well to obedience training. His profuse coat is hypoallergenic, but requires regular maintenance. It may be kept in the lion clip (the coat on the hindquarters and muzzle are clipped to the skin) or the retriever clip (the entire coat is clipped to one inch in length and follows the outline of the dog).



Is a Portuguese Water Dog a good fit for the Whitehouse?  What do you think?  I would like to hear everyone’s opinions.  I hope they have a lake nearby! LOL.  Bo is a beautiful dog.  I love this breed and have competed with the PWD for several years.  I can only hope that the demand that will be made on this breed from pet owners will not hurt the breeds temperament.


 Back to certification. . . . .


Did you know that Boston Terriers come in two sizes and do you know which dog is known for it’s spectacles?  How about which breed is known to be the clown dog?  Do you know which breed has bat ears or the breed that has butterfly ears?


If you have ever thought about certification….do it!  It will bring you so much knowledge.  My motto is Knowledge Leads To Confidence, Confidence Leads To Success.  This is what certification is all about.  The more knowledge and confidence that you display to your clients, the more they will respect you and look up to you as their pet care professional. 


I am always so eager to learn and know everything that I can possibly know about in this industry.  I never want to stop learning.  When I stop learning I should stop grooming dogs.




If you decide not to certify for personal reasons, do yourself a favor and read the AKC Complete Dog Book and my new book Dog Grooming Simplifiied  from cover to cover.  This is your profession.  Be the best you can be. 




When I teach I keep the breed standards in mind.  My instructional series in conjunction with these books are great learning tools.



April Showers Bring . . . . . . . . .

This is the time of year that we see all the dogs that haven’t been groomed since the fall.  These are the dogs that I like to call “birthday dogs”.  They only come once a year and the older they get the less you look forward to seeing them.  This is the busiest time of year for most groom shops.  We are inundated with Labs, Shepherds, Akitas, Goldens, Samoyeds, Huskies, well, you get the picture.  This is your opportunity to educate your clients.  Change those two times a year grooming dogs to six or eight times a year grooms.  The only way you can do that is if you have the tricks of the trade and the knowledge under your belt.  Understanding skin and coat is vital in this industry.  The more knowledgeable you are the more respected you will become in the eyes of your clients.  Our goal as pet care professionals is to get all of our clients on a regular grooming schedule.  Clean skin and coat is healthy skin and coat.  If you are bathing those breeds, putting them in a crate with a dryer and not deshedding them properly I can guarantee you that those dogs will not be back in 5 weeks.  People want to see a difference in what you can do from what they can do at home.  If their dog goes home and is still shedding they will think that it is a waste of money and they can put their dog in a baby pool in the backyard all summer and do the same thing.  However, if they get their dog home and they notice that they don’t have to vacuum for days even weeks you can bet your bottom dollar they will be back and they will be loving it.  My client’s tell me that they know when the dog is due because right around that five week mark they are starting to see tumbleweeds.  Starting to see tumbleweeds at five weeks!  Build your clientele by building your knowledge, learn the tricks of the trade.  Happy clients will bring referrals.  Your business will blossom.  More so than ever in these hard economic times it is crucial to provide a service that can be justified.   If you are having trouble with deshedding those large hairy breeds or having trouble getting a smooth finish on your shavedowns this is the time to educate yourself.  All the information you need is available at your fingertips.  Just click here and get a jump start on Spring.