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  • Grooming farm dogs and mutts

    Hi,

    I just introduced myself on another thread and now I'd love to get some advise. I want to get into grooming. I would be working at a vet's office in a rural area. The kind of clients are probably the type most of you would rather not have. You know, the kind who do nothing to their dogs between visits. I would be mostly trying to make dirty, matted dogs look respectable. I need to learn how to groom but I don't see myself as ever being a "real" groomer. What do you all think about the kind of grooming I want to do? Does anyone have suggestions on how to learn what I need to know? Thanks for your input even if it is telling me to leave any grooming to true professionals.

    Bee

  • #2
    Well, even farm dogs need to be clean and comfortable. I (as well as other groomers on this board) do a lot of farm animals and OAY's (once a year) dogs as well when the warm months get here. Even if you don't plan on being a "real" groomer (don't quite know what you mean by this) you still need to know at least the basics in order to safely and effectively work on these animals. I have heard that some of the video's out there are quite effective to use as a teaching instrument. You could also try to apprentice for an experienced groomer who is willing to teach you. Please don't just decide to "be a groomer" w/no experience or schooling and jump in. You could end up injuring yourself or a dog. JMO
    SheilaB from SC

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    • #3
      I agree with Sheila. I live in the Orlando area (no farms:-) but we still get the OAY's and the dogs that stay outside all day all year. To think that those who do these kinds of dogs aren't real groomers it in correct. Whether we are grooming a Kerry Blue for show or a Mutt for the mud puddles we still do the same things. They are bathed the same (maybe an extra time or 2 for the mutt), we use the same scissors, brushes, etc. We also have to worry about the same things; ring worms, furnunculosis, ear infections, etc.

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      • #4
        Hi Bee and welcome! I get lots and lots of farm dogs. And also lots of once a year dogs that may live in town or where ever, but only come in that one time each year usually when it starts getting hot. I don't mind doing these types of dogs as long as the owner can be educated. It can be frustrating though dealing with the owners. Alot of these situations are heartbreaking and can take a toll. There are a couple of local groomers in my area who only work seasonly - mostly to do the once a year dogs. So there is a need there for sure. But even these dogs need a real groomer - so definitely educate yourself. An online school is a good place to start. There are quite a few out there (JKL is on this page near the bottom) - You can also google it to find some more. Seminars and Trade Shows are also great ways to pick up tips and information - you can see if there's one in your area anytime soon (check the calendar at the top of the page). Apprenticing is a wonderful opportunity as well, but may be harder to come by. Wishing you luck in your quest to be a groomer.

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        • #5
          Thanks for the replies. I thought I might get a cold shoulder since I'm not interested in the show dogs. It neat that you guys don't look down on OAY's. What I meant by "real" groomer was you guys who are good.

          I wasn't clear in my original post but I do want to get training. I'm definitely not the kind of person to jump into something and try to wing it. It was encouraging to hear Shelia mention videos and milhassville mention JKL. I was thinking I would need to go to a school and that's not in the budget. Maybe I can start with videos and I think in a couple of years I could afford school. I also saw a new book at Dogwise called "Notes form the Grooming Table". Is anyone familiar with it?

          Bee

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          • #6
            I agree with everyone else. You definitely need to know what you are doing when you handle dogs that are OAY because they may not be easy to handle. They may not want their faces or their feet or something else they decide that they don't want done. In these cases, you definitely want to make sure that you know how to handle these types of dogs.

            I am not saying that every dog is going to act like this, but there are a lot of them that will. Good luck.

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            • #7
              BEE,

              Your attitude is everything. Don't put yourself down because you are starting out at a vet's office with farm dogs. Everyone has to start somewhere. Of importance is: Please realize that the seasonal dogs and shavedowns can be the most challenging grooming being done. Some of the dogs will be difficult because they are not accustomed to it, and with matting, bad skin, fleas or ticks etc, you have a lot of liability as far as possible injury to the dog or yourself. So it is important to get basic training and learn to maintain your equipment to prevent problems. Also you mentioned you are not grooming "show dogs" like the rest of us well, NEITHER ARE WE!!! The fact is the real money in the pet industry is pets not show animals. Groomers get rich caring for pets, the more pampered the better. And regardless of how great our skills are, most of us do some pretty funky looking dogs that look like gremlins, not whatever their breed is, but who are much loved. And we can all relate how we have to follow what the client wants done when we sometimes in our professional opinions would choose a different style to flatter the dog. Continue to get training and as you get more skills and confidence you may find that these farm dogs will become better clients and you can start having them come in more often to help they stay handsome and healthy. Good luck!

              Audrey

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              • #8
                Notes from the grooming table

                is an awesome book!! When in school I started with the All breed dog grooming guide( old version) and picked up Notes a few years ago , I love notes and it has pages for you to make your own observations and notes. The notes book is always a good one to keep on hand for reference IMO.
                Doing those farm dogs and mutts is not an easy task . In alot of cases it takes just as much skill to get though a pelted coat as it does to set a pattern on a bedlington. When I moved out here from the cities that was all I got when I first started out and I can tell you they are still a challenge for me. Not to mention I always mutter under my breath "how can owners do this to you?"
                Good luck in your Venture

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                • #9
                  Look to tthe left of these replys

                  Notes from the Grooming table is our Bible!!!!! I have attended many seminars as far as Cal. is from Penna. I am sort of self tauf=ght with treaining from a b reeder handler at his shop and an assistant for anopther min Schnauzer breeder handler when I was 19. I learn visually and then apply what I see with advice. Maybe I have been grooming too long, but I had confidence from the beginning. Ignorance is bliss I guess. I learned as I went along. I liked it, it was fun, and love dogs so it was a natural fit for me. As an artist whompainted in oil, it was just another creative outlet for me but w/scissors and clippers instead of paint and brushes.I imagine all gfroomers are artiastically inclined. And.....mustluvdogs,haha.

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                  • #10
                    "Notes", is the new Bible for dog groomers. It is a must have tool for all of us. Good luck on your learning. It is best to try and learn from a seasoned groomer. Even they know the tricks of the trade. Its more then run them in shave em down and send them out the door.
                    Stress is nothing more than a socially acceptable form of mental illness.- Richard Carlson

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                    • #11
                      Please excuse my terrible typing!

                      Since I had my Gel nails removed, I have very soft thin nails and can't seem to hit the keys correctly. I see lots of mistakes now and it is hard to read. I still need Murphys' oil soap as Hell suggested. I barely left the house today. Or I am having withdrawls from that party and I don't even drink!

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                      • #12
                        Haha, I was going to say that "Notes" is a groomers Bible.....but I was beat to the punch!! Another thing you can do to get experience is to go to the local shelter and volunteer to groom some of those poor babies. This way you get the benefit of experience w/out the stress of having to make a dog look perfect, and they benefit from looking and feeling much better and increasing their likelyhood of being adopted! BTW, don't do this till you get some training though!

                        Also, I don't think anyone on this board will think badly of you for wanting to "corner the market" on Farm Dogs or OAY's. As mentioned they need skilled groomers too and it will definatly take a special person who is willing and able to deal w/them and their needs on a constant basis.....not an easy job or for the fainthearted!

                        Now if you were coming on this board, like someone in the recent past, w/the attitude of doing no more than stripping poor unfortunate kennel (puppy mill) dogs and doing up to 50 (or was it 250) or more a day....well, that is not a groomer but something else entirely different!! Please don't hesitate to ask any questions or voice any concerns you may have. This is the best place for groomers (new and old) to come and learn and teach!! Good Luck!!
                        SheilaB from SC

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                        • #13
                          Thanks to everyone for posting on this thread. I eagerly check it every day and then find my whole evening being consumed by reading other threads. You all are great! I ordered "Notes From the Grooming Table" I'm sure it will be very useful after I have learned. I'm still working on that--have a couple of leads on people who might teach me and I am hoping to get a video.
                          Bee

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                          • #14
                            Yeah...Audrey has a point. The OAY dogs are harder to groom. shaving down matted dogs is a pain in the you know what...and some can be hard to handle. I dont like or encourage these types of dogs (but i will groom them, i just charge extra for the time to de-mat or shave them). If you get a lot of these try to educate the owner. Tell them about the importance of grooming and tell them how they can simply keep up the coat by just brushing the dog all over weekly. To tell u the truth (this is how it is for me anyway) it is much easier to groom a mat-free dog with tons of hair than to groom a matted solid dog. This is true because with the mat-free dogs all you have to do is brush them out, clip them, bathe, dry and do final trimming (with doing nails, ears etc between of course) but you dont have to struggle with clipping that matted mess. also (most of the time) the dogs kept in good condition tend to be more cooperative (because they are used to being groomed). Just my opinion on the OAYs

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