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  • Discouraged...

    Hello,
    I guess I am posting this for some advice. I quit my corporate job in September, started working at a grooming shop and enrolled in grooming school. I left a job that although I hated, I was very much respected and I was good at it. Now, I am working and going to school to learn dog grooming and I just can't seem to get anything right--my round heads are terrible, my legs are never even, and I am frustrated and feel stupid. I love dogs and grooming but I am worried that I'll just never get it and I have made a huge mistake. Does anyone out there understand? Am I the only one that feels this way in the first year?
    Any encouragement or advice would help.
    thanks
    CuttingBetty.

  • #2
    Oh my goodness CuttingBetty, you're SO NOT alone! What a big switch from the corporate world to the dog grooming world - alot of others here on the board have done the same thing. Grooming, to me, is an art - take the time to learn and don't expect so much of yourself the first year. There is so much to learn in grooming and it's easy to be overwhelmed at the beginning. But you'll get broken in soon, and then things will just become 2nd nature. It seems impossible at the beginning, but it really isn't. Keep practicing those round heads and uneven legs - I still have times when I stand back and look at their legs and think...gosh, what's up with those legs, and I end up getting the scissors back out and start snipping again. You'll develop an eye for it after awhile. You're learning girl, don't beat yourself up. You came to the right place for advice and encouragement!! Hang in there - we're rooting for ya. Keep us posted!

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    • #3
      Please dont give up!
      My mom and I went to grooming school together umm 15 years ago and while she could never get the scissoring and I love scissoring so much I started showing poodles, she is great with small older dogs and her clients love her. So you just have to find your place!
      I remember visting a relative once and seeing their freshly groomed pet and remarking on how horrid a groom job it was (it truely was bad) but my aunt said to me "It may not be a perfect show groom but I know my groomer loves my dog as her own and I trust her, thats why I keep going back to her." That was a BIG lesson for me in client relations, that while I can turn out a almost perfectly groomed dog, if they dont trust me with them they wont come back!
      So practice makes perfect, and I dont think any of us just woke up and were able to groom a dog to perfection with out lots of practice.
      As for your round heads, they are hard to master, I still have trouble with them, but I have learned techniques like using snap on combs on the tops and cheeks. Scissoring legs can be tricky too, I always scissor the hip first, the lower leg (below the hock) second and make the hair in between match, kinda like connect the dots in a way!
      So just hang in there, if you are close to a trade show go! If there is some one your work with that you like they way the do their heads or legs ask them for advice!
      Good luck! and sorry for rambling,
      Tammy

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      • #4
        Oh Betty you are not alone!! I think most of us went through that stage when we were first learning and "newbie" groomers. I know I had a melt down when I was at school because I couldn't get the back legs on a poodle to look the same. I ended up crying my eyes out in the bathroom and feeling like a fool when I had to go back to the class, but that seemed to be my turning point. Don't give up just keep on practicing, learn as much as you can from your school and the other groomers you are working with and visit this board when ever you can!! Feel free to ask any questions or post pictures of your grooms for us to critique! I think we all love to play teacher...lol
        SheilaB from SC

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        • #5
          Betty dont be so hard on yourself. I too am new at grooming and I started in Feb. of 2006. I still need someone to look over all my dogs to make sure I have not missed anything or to make sure that everything is even. I still have a hard time with doing the heads on the drop coated dogs (lhasa's, ect). Usually one side is slightly longer than the other or it is not short enough on the top. What Im tring to say is that 4 months is not a long time. Grooming takes practice and patience. the groomer I currenty work and apprentice with says she is still learning new things all the time and she has been doing it for 15+ years. Keep up the good work and take your time. Remeber practice, practice, practice.

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          • #6
            There is so much to learn, and so many breeds that it can become overwhelming at times. Its not an easy profession. If it was everyone would want to do it right? If you are able to see the things that you say are wrong with your groom you are definitely on the right track. You'll find, so many times, that you don't get something and then all of a sudden....you get it. It may be the way someone explains something, or the way you see someone do it. Don't give up. You've taken a big step, and in the long wrong you'll probably be very happy like alot of us on this board are.
            don't find yourself up a creek without a poodle.

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            • #7
              You Are Not Alone!

              I totally agree with what everyone has said - if you read back in the old message board you'll see how many of us posted very similar messages of despair and got very great encouragement from the experienced groomers! I sure don't think I'm experienced (one year since graduating from grooming school) but I can tell you it gets better and better. Keep remembering why you left your old career and take some pictures - as time goes on you'll be amazed at your progress and things won't seem so bad!

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              • #8
                Keep at it...it does get easier!

                The longer you keep at it, the more your confidence builds. Rather than just picking out what you're struggling with...try balancing it with what you do good at. That way you know where you need improvement, but it is also building on what you do well!! Keep your chin up...we've ALL been there!

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                • #9
                  Don't beat yourself up; it takes time and practice. I started grooming in 1988 but went to school to improve on my scissoring and learn some newer tecniques years later, and did I ever feel rotten at first! I had to unlearn some bad habits and I beat myself up over learning the newer stuff because some of it wasn't coming easily to me. I questioned whether I'd ever be as good as I wanted to be. If you keep trying you will get over the discouragement, and everything you are trying to learn will come to you in time. Just be patient with yourself and hang in there!

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                  • #10
                    thanks...

                    Thank you so much for all your posts! It helps to know that others went through this and you all didn't just wake up one day and grab the scissors and did a show clip on a poodle!
                    Seriously, I was having a bad week and your encouragement helped.
                    I'll keep you posted on my progress...
                    CuttingBetty.

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                    • #11
                      "I remember visting a relative once and seeing their freshly groomed pet and remarking on how horrid a groom job it was (it truely was bad) but my aunt said to me "It may not be a perfect show groom but I know my groomer loves my dog as her own and I trust her, thats why I keep going back to her." That was a BIG lesson for me in client relations, that while I can turn out a almost perfectly groomed dog, if they dont trust me with them they wont come back!"- Petstylist

                      Keep trying to master your skills, but the above is so true. If asked, most pet owners don't have a clue or even care what a "correct" trim looks like, but almost all know what they want in a person who handles their furbabies!
                      Last edited by pamperedpups; 01-19-07, 01:13 AM. Reason: Grammar!

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                      • #12
                        Hang in there!

                        I hope that you don't become too discouraged. I agree with the others. Most pet owners are not looking for a perfect show groom. I think that it is more important as a pet owner, that your pet is cared for by a caring professional. There seems to be alot of us who are switching careers. I think that once the grooming becomes second nature to you, your business experience will give you a huge edge in the grooming industry! Best of Luck to you!

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                        • #13
                          For a quite a few years after I started grooming I would go thru days of thinking that I had forgotten everything I had learned. It was like I just lost the nack of grooming. Than one day it would fall back in place again and I would come out of it grooming better than before. I still have my periods of doing this but I don't let it bother me so much, as I know now it is just a learning thing.

                          Teddy Bear heads was the hardest thing for me to learn, but it might also be because I wanted the purfect head. I look at it this way, as long as it scares you that you aren't learning, although you want to, and are trying to, that means you will, and as long as you think you need to do better, you will continue to do better. Just be open to learning and don't be afraid.

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                          • #14
                            I'm right there with you

                            Don't get discouraged. I trained for 2 to 3 days a week for a few months, and went directly in to mobile grooming. It's been a hard year for me. I'm my own worst critic. I think in the eyes of my clients, I do okay, but I'm constantly thinking I'm not good enough. Most of my clients just want a clean, comfortable dog. I'm sure my confidence will come in time. I am a person who thrives on praise. I was so happy last week when one of my best once a week clients compimented me on their little shih-tsu's face. They loved it. I was beaming for hours. I look forward to the day when I can relax and just enjoy myself.

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                            • #15
                              Betty, I quit a corporate job as well almost a year and half ago. I trained as a groomer many years ago and I think I forgot almost everything I knew except for shaving poodle feet. I've pretty much had to retrain myself over the last year. The grooming industry has changed a lot since I learned too, so I'm having to play catch up.

                              Training and experience earned you the skill and respect you received in Corporate and it will also earn you respect as a groomer, in time. DON'T GIVE UP!!!!

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