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He bites. A lot. Is that OK with you?

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  • He bites. A lot. Is that OK with you?

    Yesterday a walk-in came into my shop holding a miniature poodle in bad need of a good grooming. This woman had a look on her face as though she were carrying a grenade that was about to explode. I told her I was totally booked for the day but would be more than happy to set up an appointment. There was a lot of tension in her voice and some borderline hostility when she said, "OK. But I want to ask YOU some questions first." I said, "I'll be glad to answer any questions you have." She said, "He bites. A lot. Is that OK with you?" I very politely explained my policy regarding agressive dogs, e.g. I go only as far as I can without risking my safety or that of the dog, and that the charge will probably be higher than normal as the process usually takes longer and there are more risks involved. She fairly well bristled at the mention of a higher charge and said she would just take him back to his previous groomer who knows him. I said that would probably be best, and she left.
    I'm wondering why she was looking for a new groomer in the first place. Sound familiar? Been kicked out of several groom parlors maybe? Wants someone to put up with the nippy little monster but doesn't want to pay that person for their time and for risking an injury? I should have said, "Sure. I'll groom him for next to nothing. I love getting bitten. But, hey- how much would you charge me to let me bite YOU on the hand?"
    I just opened my shop last May and I'm fairly busy, but I don't need business badly enough to accept a client with that attitude. I don't mind the occasional dog that gets rowdy or gets a little creative with his teeth, but I do charge more for it. Most people understand and are just very glad to have someone who will groom their pet. Thanks for letting me vent.

  • #2
    I tell you, everytime someone comments about the price or whatever of their last groomer, I have to seriously bite my tongue from saying, why aren't you still going there then?!
    And I think that it's funny that she was so nasty about not even wanting you to work on her dog without asking questions, and her dog is a little monster, lol. She should be thankful you would be willing to work with it.
    Ah well, you are probably better off...if her other groomer wants to work with a snobby owner and biting dog for less money so be it!
    Scratch a dog and you'll find a permanent job. ~Franklin P. Jones

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    • #3
      I think you handled it well. I would charge extra for aggressive dogs, too. At least the owner warned you instead of trying to give you a surprise.

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      • #4
        [QUOTE=Indogtrinated;9424] I don't mind the occasional dog that gets rowdy or gets a little creative with his teeth, but I do charge more for it. QUOTE]


        LOL that made me laugh...A little creative with the teeth. "hmm...what shall I do to the groomer today? Just a couple holes in the finger, or shall I go with a chunk out of the wrist?"

        I will never understand people.... Would that be ok with you?? lol Like you said..sure..I love being bitten.

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        • #5
          No it's not ok, but I will try to work around it. UGH, the nerve of some people. Good for you standing your ground. I am glad I don't have much of this problem. I am also glad no one can "walk in" my shop.
          If your dog is fat, you are not getting enough exercise!

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          • #6
            Ha Ha! It's so funny how somebody comes in holding a dog like a hot potato or hand grenade, visibly scared of their own dog, but gets pissy when you won't groom it on the cheap!

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            • #7
              Oh, sure! Here, hand over the little cutie pie... is he a fear biter or just plain aggressive? I bet he's cage shy, too, huh! This is great... wow, yes, thank you for this awesome opportunity...

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              • #8
                Oh that is nuts.

                It reminds me of the man who brought in his chow mix, I've told this story before, but for those who've never heard it, here goes:

                Tammy: Has he ever bitten anyone?

                Owner: Yes, he bit the landlord once. He bit his finger off.

                Tammy: OFF?

                Owner: Yes, but I warned him first.

                LOL

                Tammy in Utah
                PS: I successfully groomed the dog but (thankfully) haven't seen it since.
                Groomers Helper Affiliate

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                • #9
                  I bet her regular groomer went up on the price so she decided to do a little bargain hunting.. Very glad you stood your ground, and I like the "creative w/his teeth" comment too...
                  SheilaB from SC

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                  • #10
                    I got one the other day like that, over the phone, "he bites" I said well I'll try. I got there. Dog was blind, deaf and severly matted, I tried plucking the ears first, ha! Bad move, I went back in to discuss the groom, told her about him trying to take off my hand when I got near his ears, she replies w/oh yeah he does that, he has to be taken to the vet for his ears. I told her I was sorry, maybe just a bath for right now and ill scissor the face and feet. Told her of the extra charge for aggressive dogs. I decided I would get him in the tub first, he handled that well, handled the blow dry well. I pick up the scissors, dog goes off. I took the dog back in and referred her to the vet for the next groom. I still have all my fingers.

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                    • #11
                      Had a lady bring me in a Bichon-lied about everything. Dog was matted to the skin everywhere. Tried to hydro-clip in tub, transferred to table with the groomers helper. The dog was NUTS. Could not touch any of his legs, let alone try and touch his feet. My sister came to help me and this dog was crazy! Customer comes to get dog, I explain what I just went through and she tells me your the 4th groomer I've taken him too and surely one of you can do this dog. Told her she needs to take him to the vet and have him sedated to be groomed. No way, there has got to be a groomer good enough around to groom her dog. What a bi----. She does not care at all about our safety.

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                      • #12
                        I had a nasty shih-tzu in my shop a few months ago, soon after I first opened. I was fairly desperate for customers so I agreed to attempt to groom him even though his owner warned that he bites (everyone, including his owner at home). Didn't look promising, but I got through the groom even though the last 20 minutes he was desperately trying to eat my hands off.

                        I didn't charge extra but if I ever groom him again I definitely will. As it was, the owner asked up front what was the charge and then immediately threw out that he was on social security and couldn't afford to pay much. Oh ok, well we charge on a sliding scale proportional to your income so you're in luck! Ha. I love when people say stuff like this. Anyway I told him our price, then when he came to pick up his monster he tries to pay me $8 less than what I quoted him, claiming I had told him a lower amount. Amazing. But he paid up.

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                        • #13
                          Why are there so many bad dogs

                          Ceasar Milan where are you when we need you. He needs to run a special on grooming bad dogs, and having the owner watch it. Most of these little teeth monsters start by biting their owners when they brush then they think it is cute and then they get nipped so they stop brushing I want to yell from the skies Don't STOP brushing! Once you let them get away with it once it is all down hill. I try to educate my clients by telling them this with their new puppies. I think maybe 5% actually do it.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by SpikeyTheYorkie View Post
                            Oh that is nuts.

                            It reminds me of the man who brought in his chow mix, I've told this story before, but for those who've never heard it, here goes:

                            Tammy: Has he ever bitten anyone?

                            Owner: Yes, he bit the landlord once. He bit his finger off.

                            Tammy: OFF?

                            Owner: Yes, but I warned him first.

                            LOL

                            Tammy in Utah
                            PS: I successfully groomed the dog but (thankfully) haven't seen it since.
                            Wow, tammy, lol, I can't believe you still groomed the thing after that!
                            Scratch a dog and you'll find a permanent job. ~Franklin P. Jones

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by amysue2638 View Post
                              I had a nasty shih-tzu in my shop a few months ago, soon after I first opened. I was fairly desperate for customers so I agreed to attempt to groom him even though his owner warned that he bites (everyone, including his owner at home). Didn't look promising, but I got through the groom even though the last 20 minutes he was desperately trying to eat my hands off.

                              I didn't charge extra but if I ever groom him again I definitely will. As it was, the owner asked up front what was the charge and then immediately threw out that he was on social security and couldn't afford to pay much. Oh ok, well we charge on a sliding scale proportional to your income so you're in luck! Ha. I love when people say stuff like this. Anyway I told him our price, then when he came to pick up his monster he tries to pay me $8 less than what I quoted him, claiming I had told him a lower amount. Amazing. But he paid up.
                              Don't ya just love when they try to swindle ya out $$? It's just so refreshing, I guess it keeps us on our toes. I've had a couple calls where the owner tells me the dog has always been sedated before to groom, but now they're looking for a new groomer. I'll always ask why they were sedated, it's always becuase of agressive behavior in my case. I usually will tell them I can give it a try, but can't promise I can complete the groom if the dog is on the attack. Most of the time they haven't called back, unless they're desperate. I do have a couple regulars that the owners pay extra (& very willingly) to groom their ticking time bombs. The one dog in particular is so cute and so happy to see me when I pick him up, but as soon as his feet hit the tub or table - the war is on. He can't help but love me, but he seriously hates to be groomed. He adds lots of color to an ordinary day!

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