A guide for basic grooming and new owners
Dog grooming is a hard work but a satisfying and rewarding job, most days it is exciting to get up and go to work. The hard part of the job is standing on your feet most of the day, picking up heavy dogs or bending down - but always remember the owner looking delighted when collecting their dog from your salon.
Working in the dog grooming world is fun and varied but there is still the risk of dogs who can scratch, bite or just generally be nervous, but in general the love of wanting to work with dogs outweighs any of the negatives associated with being a professional groomer.
Depending on your skills and specific styles, the number of dogs that can be groomed in a day is on average 4, as it is approximately 2 hours per dog, of course depending on size, condition and style of the dog.
Grooming Salon Visits
To maintain a dog’s coat in good condition, a visit to the grooming salon should be every 4 - 6 weeks - again depending on coat type and pet owner capabilities. However, this is the general rule.
Dog grooming is a qualified profession, which takes training and experience and like any other professional career, is an ongoing learning curve.
Dogs will come into the salon and the pet owner will ask for certain styles and it should then be up to the groomer to assess the condition of the dog’s coat and advise accordingly.
Dog shampoos are manufactured with a different PH level to human shampoo. So never use human shampoos on any dog breed - it is important that a dog shampoo is used to protect the dog’s epidermis layer, which is far less than a human.
– Pets 7.0-7.52
– Humans 5.2-5.5
Always follow the dilution rates as per the instructions on any product you are using.
The secret of a good groom is the prepping i.e. a good wash with a suitable shampoo for your dog, a gentle brush and to be able to comb the coat through without it pulling on the fur.
A dog will be in the bath with a gentle neck aid or a Happy Strap for safety. Properly supporting a dog is just as important when it is being dried on the grooming table. There should never be any pressure on the dog’s neck nor the dog left alone.
How to Groom a Dog
9 times out of 10 grooms, a dog will go straight to the bath and be bathed with an appropriate shampoo for that coat, so this is usually the first step for any groom. Washing and massaging the shampoo onto the dog in sections so not to miss any part - it can be divided into 3 sections - rear, middle and front and lastly the head. Wash the head last, but rinse the shampoo off the dog’s head first, with warm water (do not use water that is too hot or will burn the skin) in sections again, but the head first, making sure all suds are removed to make drying easier.
If a dog is being hand stripped, the dog will be washed after the bath, some groomers will not wash a dog for a couple of days after the hand strip.
After the bath, when it will be towel dried and then dried with the appropriate dryer, a light mist of Fast Dry spray can be applied to speed the drying time.
The dog will be brushed and combed to ensure tangle free - Glide Spray will help to condition the coat and to brush and comb without pulling.
The dog is now ready for its cutting and styling by the groomer.
Cutting & Styling
This is not something that can really be conveyed with a blog post, just like normal haircutting, experience and training dictates a groomers ability to cut and style a dog. It is always better to leave styling your dog to a professional groomer who has been trained and is able to use the correct clippers or scissors for tailoring the style required. The dog will be placed on the floor when finished and have a shake and can then be sprayed with a dog perfume cologne spray.
The overall experience for the dog should be relaxing, if a dog is acting nervously, dogs can be kept calm by the groomer using an assuring gentle voice and it's always possible to take short breaks in the grooming session.
Dogs will feel better after a groom, especially if it has been left too long between grooming sessions or washed many times at home and not dried and brushed through afterwards. Coats tend to tighten up and matt when not properly brushed or combed correctly after washing, which will cause discomfort to the dog, this can lead to needing to cut short, as it is the kindest and most comfortable way of releasing the pressure on the dog’s coat.
If you have any questions or need advice on getting started with dog grooming, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.