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Holding dog by skin of neck & ear for drying

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  • Holding dog by skin of neck & ear for drying

    I just recently (3 weeks ago) got out of grooming school and just got a job at a local shop. I feel really fortunate because the 2 groomer's there have about 30 years experience and this is probably a great opportunity for me to advance my grooming skills. The problem I'm having, (they want me to be a bather for 2 weeks before grooming) is with the bathers. I might not have been around the grooming world that long so I find some of what the bathers do hard for me to understand. One thing is we always used puppy shampoo for the head, they don't. They hold every dog by the skin of the neck & one ear and have the HV on full blast for the heads. I just can't bring myself to do this. I have the hv on full for the body but turn it down half power for the head. To me it seems that the dogs are really stressed by doing this. Am I wrong and just being a light weight for a lack of a better word. I would really like to know if these are okay practices and I'm just out of the loop. From the DVD's I've watched and what I learned in school, this isn't how I was taught. I would appreciate any responses because I will not do anything that I know will hurt a dog. I was told that this doesn't hurt them.

  • #2
    Im not sure about the puppy shampoo use, we use regular or medicated on the body and head. Then conditioner on every dog.

    As for the HV on the head, I dont use it at all. I use a stand dryer on the head, and on dogs who can't stand a dryer near their head, I tilt their head down and dry the head that way so it doesnt get in the face. It takes longer but works.

    Some dogs might be fine with a full power HV in the face, but I doubt every dog is, and Id rather take the time then stress them out needlessly like that.

    Dry however you find works. Im sure if the dog is dry your boss shouldnt have an issue with it.


    • #3
      Well, I can't say I suggest drying the faces like they do if the dryers are as powerful as ours are. Have you ever blown off your face with one of those things going full power? Not too comfortable! Invest in a set of Happy Hoodies, they make the ears and head dry much faster, so when you go to blowdry there is little to be done. I would also continue doing the blower at 1/2 power, or maybe full power w/o the nozzle on depending on the dog.
      I hope the situation works out for you. Sometimes working with people who have been doing this for so long can be good, and bad. Sometimes methods can be outdated. One place I worked at had very experienced groomers, over the past couple years I've had to reteach things they taught me, because they were wrong.


      • #4
        The shampoo on the head is personal preference. Many people, including Jodi Murphy who is a top stylist in the US, uses tearless on the face. I do not. But I do use a more mild shampoo, and I'm very careful about not getting it in the eyes. Regardless, it can and does happen and I've never had any incidences.

        I rinse the eyes after I rinse the head, as it states in Notes from the Grooming Table.

        As far as drying the head I, too, feel that half power is sufficient. If I have a really good dog, I might pinch the ear closed and use it (from the back of the head forward) but generally I go for half power. If the dog should jerk it could hit the dog's eye, giving it an abrasion. Or, it could blow right into the ear, damaging the dog's hearing. I'd be careful with that one.

        Tammy in Utah
        Groomers Helper Affiliate


        • #5
          I know I have blown it on my face and know how powerful it can be. I guess my biggest issue is holding them by their ears and neck skin with one hand and having them blasted with the dryer with the other. One dog was actually welping today. It's a very busy shop and they want the dogs done ASAP. It does take me longer because I don't do it like they do and take the time so the dogs can be a little more confortable.


          • #6
            Originally posted by dbarcreations<3westies View Post
            I guess my biggest issue is holding them by their ears and neck skin with one hand and having them blasted with the dryer with the other.
            Um... yeah, don't do that.


            • #7
              I always, always, always use "tearless" shampoo on the head and ears. As for the dryer, I never, never, never use the full force of a HV on the head........ I knock down the power and use an open hose, no nozzle, or I use my table stand Edemco dryer. I’m always extremely careful that NO FORCED AIR enters the ear by placing my hand over the opening. As for the body drying, I've almost thrown away the cone shaped nozzle and only use the wide opening nozzle for the animal's comfort. The cone shaped nozzle "hurts" my arm, so I'm sure it is not comfortable on their bodies. The wide nozzle does not take any longer to dry the dog vs the cone shaped one, and it's 10 times more comfortable !!

              Happy Correcting your Mentors !!

              Dolly's Barking Bubbles, LLC



              • #8
                I use South Bark's Blueberry Facial which is tearless and a wider water shed tip on lower setting to dry the face.
                "We are all ignorant--we merely have different areas of specialization."~Anonymous
                People, PLEASE..It's ONLY a website!~Me


                • #9
                  I use Blueberry Facial on everyones face...sometimes use my Griminator on ears (esp. cocker ears or others that tend to be greasy). As for drying, I judge the dog. Some are fine with the hard nozzle but I always go from behind the head and hold onto the chin hair to keep head down...or I'll knock off the cone nozzle and use full power but "softer" air. I have actually been using it without the cone nozzle more often lately. Just more relaxing for most and really doesn't seem like it takes much longer. It actually works better on the longer haired dogs, the more powerful cone tends to twist the hair and get it tangled. I have to admit, I have one westie that I've been doing since he was 4 mos and he's now almost a year (horrible, with a capital H in the tub)...I've tried everything to calm him down in there but there are times when I need to hold him by the scruff just to be able to do him. It's actually safer for him becuase he flails around so bad. Now, last time, I tried my happy hoodie again (tried when he was younger but he would pull it right off) and he actually did much better...only tried to eat the dryer once or twice and then only half-heartedly. Now if I could only get him to let me do his nails!?? He freaks about almost everything.


                  • #10
                    At our place we use whatever shampoo we want its ok,I like to use everyday shampoo but I aways use safe eyes first .Iput the dops in the eyes ,then the step 1 powder in the ears then I bathe the tail and work towards the head and so on.
                    I have never and our groomers have never scruffed dogs by neck skin...thats odd.dont they have a noose in the tub? Did they say why that is the best way to do it?


                    • #11
                      No, no, no!!

                      Holding every dog like that and blasting full power on the head and face is inhumane. Of course it is stressful! You are right to question, even though that won't be welcome in such a place where that is considered normal and OK.

                      The best practices of good grooming are NOT about restraining the dog and getting the job done as quickly as possible no matter what. There have been many discussions about this here.

                      My basic opinion is that if the dog is trusting and relaxed, you will not need a "scruff and ear hold" in order to blow it. That is not what a "hairdo" should be about, in my view. Taking longer for a groom is necessary on some dogs, and that is what humane grooming is about - doing what is needed for the comfort and present AND FUTURE well-being of the dog.

                      Sorry you are in that situation - if these people all want speed over the dog learning to cooperate with grooming and bathing, you will probably be fired or have to leave. I hope you find a more compatible place that cares more about the dogs.


                      • #12
                        Your way is the more correct, safe and NICE way to do it. Do it your way, and don't let them get after you about it. Putting yourself in their shoes, I wouldn't want to be handled that way, and I'd be afraid every time I went for grooming if I was being caused stress and pain.
                        I get adult dogs sometimes who jump straight into the air, turn into an armadillo, and then literally tuck their heads under their front arms when I turn on the HV--this is one way I can tell they've possibly been carelessly blasted with the HV or manhandled- no offense, gentle men out there. Holding by the scruff can cause bruising of the skin, deep muscle bruising and pinching and pain, and holding by the ears can cause broken ear cartilage and damage to the ear itself--up to an including damage to the inner ear as well. Too much risk, and NOT NICE.
                        Last edited by windywaycavaliers; 11-27-09, 10:00 PM.
                        Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt


                        • #13
                          I also dry from the front of the head to the back.
                          "We are all ignorant--we merely have different areas of specialization."~Anonymous
                          People, PLEASE..It's ONLY a website!~Me


                          • #14
                            I use reg. shampoo on the face, being careful not to get the soap in the eyes. I have been grooming a long time, and I have seen just about everything. IMO it is not ok to hold a dog by the ears and force dry the face. I try to be as gentle as I can around the head. Some dogs dont mind the dryer, others do. I would just use my best judgment.


                            • #15
                              Yeah there's a noose in the tubs, they just automatically hold by the scruff of the neck and 1 ear everytime a dogs head is being dried with the dryer full force one or two inches from the ears, eyes, etc. I basically wanted opinions on if this is something that is done & I'm out of the loop cause I have never seen this done and I wasn't taught this way. I was actually taught in school never to do this. I hate watchng the dogs that this is being done to (which is every dog that is bathed that I don't do) because they are obviously hating it. You can't believe it when you see a 4 lb yorkie on the table being blown away. They think I'm a lightweight cause I won't do this and will take off the tip and have it on half power for the head. I just feel that I want to make the dogs experience as positive as possible when they come in to be groomed and blowing them off the table isn't my thing. I don't think these are cruel people, they honestly believe that a dryer full blast in a little dogs face is no big deal. I'm going to try and make it through. I really need this job since I'm just starting out. It's only been my 3rd day and I guess my nerves are also getting to me. When I actually start to groom in a couple of weeks I will feel better. The one lady who has been grooming for over 30 years is really great. The 3rd groomer is the other groomer's son & he is okay but that is all. Time will tell.