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What would you do???

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  • What would you do???

    I had a client come into the shop where I work part-time today (I also have a shop out of my house). Anyway he comes in with his shihtzu, who was groomed last time in Nov. (just a bath & neaten because he had to be shaved in August) and the dog is matted bad. His back was okay but everywhere else, belly, face, ears, and all four legs were matted to the skin. He tells me that he has been brushing and the dog isn't in bad shape. I proceed to show him all the areas that are matted and tell him that I cannot dematt because they are just too bad. He absolutely refused to let me shave the dog or even clip out the matting. He wanted the dog brushed out as it is too cold in his house for the dog to be shaved (yeah right). I again tell him that I cannot brush that out and even if I could, the dog would probably be bleeding by the time I was done. He then tells me just to bathe the dog, clip his nails, shave his butt and around his eyes. I told him I would not bathe the dog as that will just make the matting get worse. He then tells me to just do everything but the bath. I tried and tried to get him to understand that the matting is just going to get worse and that the dog is probably very uncomfortable and will only get more so as the matting gets worse. He still refuses. Tells me just to clean him up and walks out of the shop. Now had it been at my house (where I am the boss), I guess I would have sent the dog home (even though my heart broke at the condition he was in). As it was I did as he asked, without the bath, and sent the dog home. I feel so bad and I actually feel guilty that I let the dog go in that condition. What else could I have done??? What would you have done???

  • #2
    Shave the dog anyways. So a client get upset. If it was really bad, then keep the fur to show your boss. I did it once to a Cocker that was in horrible condition. It had feces all mixed in with his fur. We tried and tried to convince the owner to shave but he said no, he wanted the cocker cut. Then he said to just bath the dog so the feces gets removed. Well the other groomer and I talked and I shaved the dog down. He was pissed when ge came back, because now he wasn't beautiful. But the owner pissed me off when he put that cocker and another one that had come in with it, that wasn't in bad shape. He put them in the same small kennel and put the dogs in the trunk. I went running out after him but he pulled out extremely fast from the parking lot. He came back a couple months later with a Pek. So we asked how the cockers were doing. He said he never had cocker, yet he gave the same name and phone number he did when he brought the cockers in. Can you say puppy mill. None of them were spayed or neutered and they were all in horrible condition.
    Becky

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    • #3
      Oh my goodness!

      What a bad experience! I feel so bad for dogs who have owners like this! I think that you handled this situation as well as you could have. You stood your ground and refused to do what wouldn't work. You did the most for the dog that the owner would allow. It's so sad that some dog owners are so ignorant and cruel. I don't understand why some people own dogs.

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      • #4
        I would NEVER shave a dog if the owner did not okay it. "So a client gets upset?" Raggs, I don't have time to play in court with an upset owner because I didn't do the service they requested or turn them away because I couldn't. I'd be terribly sad for the poor critter, but I am not the Grooming Police. What I would do is report the owner TO the proper authorities after the appointment and leave it at that.

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        • #5
          Wow raggs you have more guts than me. I would have sent him on his merry way. but I would never do what an owner told me not to do. You can always throw the words animal cruelty out and usually they change their minds
          "Whoever Said That Money Can't Buy Happiness Forgot About Puppies"
          Nancy

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          • #6
            I have a client like that. He has a mini schnauzer that has a very curly coat and he like to leave it long and fluffy but he doesnt like to brush it! So normally I just shave it (#7 strip)if he wants it shaved down or not.I, of course tell him that Im going to have to shave the dog but he always says well if there is SOME way you dont have to... Like Im the friggin' groomin' fairy or something with a magic wand just waiting to make mats vanish at my command! Well last time he came in, same old song and dance, I dont want him shaved, he will get cold,he wont look cute ect ect ect... So I said fine! I will NOT brush this mess out because your dog will be a bloody mess if I do, but I will just bath it and you can deal with it later when I really have to shave it down. Not even 2 days later he calls "Im really sorry will you please shave him down? He looks bad all knotted up and company is coming for the holidays. I should have listened to what you were saying about the mats." so of course I took his appointment and happily #7 stripped his matted dog and charged him a full groom fee!
            Tammy

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            • #7
              I have done the same thing once. A matted sheltie came in the shop and wanted just a bath and trim the feet. I told him that the dog was too matted to do that that it needs to be shaved. I knew it would be to hard on the dog to brush it out, but the man refused saying that the person he took the dog to before would have brushed it out, and I stuck to my guns and would not do it. He asked me the same thing if I could just bathe the dog and told him it would just make the mats worse. So he left and later his friend who's dog I did groom told me the man to his dog down the road and they brushed it out. Well I am glad the dog got out of the condition but I am glad I wasn't the one doing the torturing.

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              • #8
                Just one more reason I am glad to be mobile. I would have handed the dog back and said sorry, but I am not the right groomer for you. ASPCA will not really do anything and if you call them, the owner will know it was you. Then they start the word of mouth that you are the groomer that calls the ASPCA for (what they think is) no reason. That can kill your career quick. You could have put the dog in the bath and used a coat king or you scissors as best as possible to get some of the mats out and then hit him where it hurts with the bill. Even though the dog was not perfect or even close to it, charge for your time and make the dog feel better.
                If your dog is fat, you are not getting enough exercise!

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                • #9
                  I agree

                  I agree with Pampered. I'd hate to be featured on a Judge Judy episode because I shaved a dog when the owner specifically said not to.

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                  • #10
                    I totally agree, DO NOT shave without consent from the owner. That's just silly to say, so what if they are upset. You did the right thing, the only thing you could do without making is worse. Another option was to send the dog home. I've been in business 23 years and have had my share of client that "don't want him/her shaved" but the choices in my salon are...1. shave and go on a schedule to grow out...2. take he/she home and brush it. Most clients go for the shave down and schedule, some take to brushing at home but end up a few days later with option #1. Rarely, but it does happen, the client actually puts the time into brushing the dog and comes in for the fluffly do that they want.

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                    • #11
                      I'd refuse to bathe a severely matted dog if the owner won't allow me to clip it. I'd shave the butt like he wanted, clean up the dog's face, do the nails, and call it a day. I won't put a severely matted dog through a dematting.

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                      • #12
                        I think you did the right thing. We had a similar situation here once. But it was a big husky mix. The dog had so much undercoat that was packed. We did bathe dog and tried to brush and blow out the undercoat but it was so matted it didn't work. So we dried the dog and called the owner to see if we could shave it. She said only shave what we have to, and I told her that would be the whole dog. She said "no way". When she came to pick the dog up she was very mad about the whole thing and did make an appt to come back the next day for a shave down. But she ended up canceling it, I have no idea what happened to that poor dog.

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                        • #13
                          I also wouldn't shave, but I would make my best attept at making the dog more comfortable. I would also try dematting him the most humane way possible,(alot of detangler) and charge the owner an arm and a leg. Only if I wasn't booked up that day.

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                          • #14
                            I think you did the right thing. You stuck to your guns, but still kept the owner happy by doing a brush out and trim. Hopefully when the weather warms up he can be talked into a shave down. If not, then send him elsewhere.
                            I definately would NEVER shave a dog if the owner specifically said not to. I am sorry Raggs, I have to disagree w/you on this one.
                            SheilaB from SC

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                            • #15
                              When I did that Cocker I also worked at the shop for reject dogs. Ones that had to been to every other groomer in the valley and get told to go somewhere else. So we had no choice but to be mean and do what was in the dogs best interest. The owners could never complain because they had nowhere else to go. They'd get upset sometimes, but never did anything about it because they knew only we would groom them. And yes I have a lot of guts. I've yelled at clients before. I used to work in New York, yelling is the only way to get thru to them. I've called the SPCA on several people because of the condition. Always had proof because of my trusty camera I had.
                              Becky

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