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  • My first time ....

    Well, I did it. I had my first official dog this evening. A friend's dog, one who knew me, and she said go ahead, practice all you want!! You're helping ME out. So that was great. Still, I was professional and did the whole process to the best I was able. Thing is it was HER first time, too. Her first time being groomed, although they DO brush her out and give her baths regularly. She's a 10 month old Pom and I had been told she had a few mats behind her ears and on her tush, so I was ready. I got her all brushed out and got out most of the mats. The big one had to be clipped out, which she (the pup) was none too pleased with. She HATED the clippers and no amount of getting her used to them was working. I had small safety shears so using my fingers as the guide on her skin and ears, carefully clipped it out. She gave me a kiss for that one, so I know even though I would rather have not used shears, it was the only option and she appreciated it.

    I slowly got her used to the dryer. She didn't like it, but by the end she was slowly getting better at it. I was able to do one foot of nails (no trimming). But I made sure that she ended on a good note. We didn't do the full groom -- she was getting way too stressed by it and her little nipping was going to snapping. So I calmed her down while still brushing and combing, and continued very gently and slowly until she calmed down and was relaxed, and then let her off the hook.

    For her first time she did great. Sure, it would have been nice to have one of those statue dogs for a first groom, and be able to do the full groom, but ... ya know, this was really a great time for me. I got to test out my skills a bit, practice with a newbie puppy, and one that wasn't a heavy clip. But this is real life and I got started.

    The best part, aside from the kisses she gave me afterwards, and how she even ran up to my lap and hopped in after we were done, was her mom ... wow, she's NEVER looked this fluffy and soft and shiny before. And their son said wow, I didn't know she was THIS black, I thought she was smokier.

    So it was a great start all around. And next time we'll get a big further... both of us will.

  • #2
    Way to go. Soon you will look back at that groom and wonder what the big deal was. It is great to get off to a good start.

    I remember my first real groom...I was still in grooming school but home for the weekend and my neighbor asked me to do their itty bitty yorkie mix. I had all the equipment and did it in my kitchen. It took me 3 hours! And I still wasn't completely finished....they came to get the dog because they were going out and couldn't wait any longer. Talk about embarassing. I was so petrified of doing a bad job that I just took forever. Now I do that dog in 30 minutes and that is taking my time. I can't imagine what it was that took me so long, LOL. They probably thought I was insane.

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    • #3
      Glad it went well for you!(and the little pom). Good luck with everything!

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      • #4
        You did the right thing not to push her for the full groom. I always tell my clients w/puppies that I will do as much as the dog lets me for the first or second groom. Some of them are great and you can do the whole thing, others are terrified and if you push it you have potentially scarred them for life. If I am not able to do the complete grooming because the pup is so freaked, I tell the owners if they can, to bring her back as often as possible (usually 1or 2x a week) so I can work on her some more. I have had great results w/this and I am suprised how many people are devoted enough to take this much time for their dog. BTW I don't charge for the "mini" grooming sessions since it is as much to my benefit in the long run as it to the dogs!
        SheilaB from SC

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        • #5
          Congratulations

          Yay Idoonan!! Don't ya just feel like smiling now. I remember my first dog, it was a poodle that belonged to the groomer that was teaching me, I was 17 and she hoovered over me the whole time. I had been watching her groom for over a year and I knew what to do, but when I had those clippers in my hand I was shaking almost uncontrollabley. It was SO scarey! The rest of that groom was a blur. You sounded much more in control with your first groom. Good luck to ya, sounded like you did a superb job with the pom!!

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          • #6
            great job. Here is a hint. Stuff cotton in ears and then wrap a towel around her head so she does not hear the dryer as much. That sometimes has a calming effect. Just don't forget to take the cotton out. I have found that those that hate nails can tollerate dremmel much better.
            If your dog is fat, you are not getting enough exercise!

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            • #7
              Puppies are Harder.....

              I carge more to do puppies...Shih, Lhasa poodles... so lil and delicate. More risk...and those poppy eyes on a lot of them, worry me.I get half of the big buck for them, same as adults. Taks longer too. Sophie, Malti-poo scares me ea time In can do near her eyes better.. Client member of church. Herb house ...Mansion intima dates me. Can;t spell today.y dog is playing w/ a childs learning toy..push buttons..getting good at it. In background here it.."Hug me," Ear, ruff,reff ABCDEFG she's learning the alphabet......Yellow...foot.keeps biting program changes. Likes abc song.

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              • #8
                Thank god for friends, Most of my friends have dogs so I was able to practice alot while I was in school and it gave my poor dogs a break LOL
                My dogs started hiding when I would get home from school.
                When I finally did my first real customer I felt pretty confident. So thanks to my friends
                "Whoever Said That Money Can't Buy Happiness Forgot About Puppies"
                Nancy

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                • #9
                  I grew up with a cocker spaniel so she was my practice dog. She was very well behaved. The poor thing. My mom had her groomed every 6 weeks anyway so she was used to it. I'm so glad I got into grooming. )

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                  • #10
                    Congratulations! Like everyone else has said it sounds like you took control and did a good job. One that was best for you and the pup. I used to show Poms, I know they can be little skittish twirling machines sometimes. I'm glad you got to work on this dog and not a "statue" dog, as those are really few and far between. You will have these kind much more often. But, if you work as well with them as you did here you will be making your own statue dogs!!! Keep up the good work.
                    Shannon

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                    • #11
                      How Fabulous, and hopefully each time the pom comes will be better and better. Many times we are NOT just groomers, we are teachers teaching the pets how to behave.

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                      • #12
                        That's exactly how you start.......make it fun for both of you! NO STRESS!
                        You'll enjoy life Much better without it. You started of on the right foot,which is so important............keep it going!

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                        • #13
                          Thanks everyone. I was nervous but calmed down when I saw how nervous the pup was. I tried to finish and caught myself, repeating the mantra -- it has to be a good experience for the dog. I will definitely try the cotton and towel (those heads do not dry quickly!), and the crusties by the eyes came out with careful soaking with a face cloth.

                          I am touchy around the faces of all dogs. Mine are bigger dogs and they've been my practice dogs, but they're rough and tumble bath dogs. (3 Malinois so I get a LOT of practice with the double coats and the acrobatic moves and a Great Dane who is a total spa dog and LOVES to have his nails done.) But I've experienced ear and eye infections in dogs, so I've always done the faces with soppy face clothes. Easier on both of us.

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                          • #14
                            If you happen to get water in the ears, just follow up with a few drops of alcohol. That will evaporate the water. I have done this for years with my labs because of swimming on a daily basis for field trial and hunting training. Never had an ear infection on any of them. And they swam in some NASTY water.
                            If your dog is fat, you are not getting enough exercise!

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                            • #15
                              Great advice!! With mine if any of 3 of mine get their ears wet, Tanya (my Avatar) just cleans them out for them. When hers get messy she gets extra ear cleaning then some Oxy and then some more drying. She definitely gives that expression we have when the qtip gets in there just right! (no, I don't use qtips in their ears.)

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