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  • Don't give her a bath?

    I have had a few requests from customers to groom their dogs but they don't want me to give them baths. One of the requests was somewhat understandable because the dog is an extremely old chow mix (she requested to be there for the groom to help me hold/support the dog -- coming next week) and she didn't want her put through any unecessary stress. But I think the rest of them are just cheap and are hoping to get a discount because I'm not bathing. One said that she just gave the dog a bath so he doesn't need it, and another said she doesn't want me to bathe her poodle because she doesn't want a dryer used on him! Trying to understand the issue, I asked her if the dog doesn't like the dryer and she said "no, I don't like the dryer!" I tried to tell her that he would be hand-dried, no chance of over heating, etc. and she was adamant but couldn't tell me why she didn't want it. Just kept saying SHE didn't like it.

    What do you do in these situations? My prices include a bath and I don't plan on discounting if they don't want a bath. But would you groom a dog without bathing? I feel like grooming a dirty dog is unnecessary wear and tear on my equipment. Would you just tell customers this?

  • #2
    I tell people up front ( am mobile) this is a package price. There is no a la carte. I do not cut a dirty coat because it is hard on my equipment and does not look good.
    If your dog is fat, you are not getting enough exercise!

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    • #3
      If I have a client that doesnt want me to bathe their pets, I don't discount the price and I make sure that they understand that the haircut wont look as nice. And yes the reason I give them for no discount is the wear and tear on my equipment. Although I only have one dog that I clip down with out a bath, because he is old and has a very bad heart and both the owner and I understand that he wont be with us much longer, anyone who is just cheap or doesnt have a medical reason I wont just clip down with out a bath, they seem to always turn into those "high maintence" clients that I dont have the time or patience to deal with anymore.
      Tammy

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      • #4
        I had a woman call and ask if the price would be cheaper if she gave her Cocker a bath herself. I didn't hesitate to say "No". That was the end of that. She brought the Cocker in a few days later and the dog got a full groom. At full price.

        I have one dog that I don't bathe. He's a seizure dog and the owner bathes him right before she brings him in to me. The owner stays while I do a quick #7 shavedown. She clips his nails and cleans his ears. I do charge her less then a full groom, but I don't plan on making a habit of that with other clients. I want the dog to be clean before I use my equipment.

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        • #5
          You cannot give a proper haircut on the dog without a proper dry, particularly a poodle or other curly haired dog. If she doesn't want the dog to be dried by a dryer, ask her if she would like it dried in a kennel? Explain the process and importance of drying, that it is part of what you do, just like in any other upscale salon---they're not going to cut your hair without having washed it first.

          Oh, people sometimes just don't understsand. Perhaps she can be there while you dry it? Let the hand dryer motor heat up for a little bit while you're still finishing the bath and towel drying so that by the time the dog is to be hand dried, the air will be comfortably WARM (not hot), and maybe if it's a smaller poodle, only use one motor if you have a powerful HV (that would scare a lot of owners who aren't used to that).

          Tammy in Utah
          Groomers Helper Affiliate

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          • #6
            oh, these ppl are a pain.........

            I do a cocker that I USED to JUST clip, but I was just starting, and needed the business......anyhow, the owner would bath the dog herself....This dog would be so poorly bathed that it was just rude. So I said to the owner one "I'm going to bath Jessie.........free, I really want to go at those ears and see if I get rid of the smell" So that's what I did, and you know what?? Jessie now comes for a FULL groom............every 8 weeks. It worked out well for me. Now, I don't think I'll do a dog that the owner has bathed.

            Vicki

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            • #7
              First of all I wouldn't charge less than full groom price just because you are not bathing the dog. Make that clear to them and that should take care of the cheapskates. Chances are the dog wont be as clean as you would get it and as a result WILL be more wear and tear on your equipment and on you. There could also be live fleas. Why should you have to work on a dirty dog. And in the case of the chow you could be dealing with tons of undercoat that could have been removed in the bath and or blown off. Also tell them that you will make the final decision based on the condition of the dog when it arrives. Just be honest with them about why a dog must be really clean to be groomed. If it shows up feeling grimey refuse them. We actually have a couple of dogs we clip without bathing however. They are all long time customers that wash their dogs well. As a matter of fact one is an old chow mix like you mentioned that the owner washes several hours before the appointment. We finish drying him as quickly as possible and clip him short and off he goes. We don't do this with any curly coated dogs though. I would probably turn down the poodle lady.

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              • #8
                I would not discount either. I've had those request also. It just doesn't look as good without a fresh bath...I would just do what she wants and tell her how you feel about it...maybe she will change her mind...who knows..some peeps you just can't reason with.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by diamienono View Post
                  I tell people up front ( am mobile) this is a package price. There is no a la carte. I do not cut a dirty coat because it is hard on my equipment and does not look good.
                  Amen. I'm not mobile, but that's the same way I see it too.

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                  • #10
                    I just tell them I don't do it. I had one dog at my last shop that I groomed for 4 years fine and then she started seizing every time she'd go in the tub. Her mom didn't have a problem at home so I let her bathe it. When she'd come in I would spritz her and blast with HV to try to straighten it some. I didn't discount her though because she took me just as long anyway.

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                    • #11
                      I just had to give an old shi mix a bath and haircut but the owner told me not to wash his head because his ears were infected. So I gave him a nice puppy cut then I just did what I could with his head even though it was all greasy. I trimmed his bangs, the top of his head, scooped his eyes and just shaped his head. That was fine with me because this little guy was 14 and his ears were really sensitive so I didn't want to mess with them too much. I charged him the same price though

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                      • #12
                        I agree, no discount. This is something I only do for severe medical reasons, generally only on very old dogs when the customer and I agree it may be the last groom. Most of the time people think they will save a few dollars. I like my dogs perfectly clean and fluffed -- heck, I rarely have a bather because I am fanatic! Clients are notriously very poor bathers! LOL

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                        • #13
                          Ditto here

                          Originally posted by scrubapup View Post
                          I had a woman call and ask if the price would be cheaper if she gave her Cocker a bath herself. I didn't hesitate to say "No". That was the end of that. She brought the Cocker in a few days later and the dog got a full groom. At full price.

                          I have one dog that I don't bathe. He's a seizure dog and the owner bathes him right before she brings him in to me. The owner stays while I do a quick #7 shavedown. She clips his nails and cleans his ears. I do charge her less then a full groom, but I don't plan on making a habit of that with other clients. I want the dog to be clean before I use my equipment.

                          I tell people no on the discounts for not bathing, although I do have a client's dog that they wash first- elderly, owner waits, and I give a small discount. I have also done maternity clips and such while the client waits for pregos that are getting close to their due dates. ;-)

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                          • #14
                            Discounts? Shoot, I'd charge MORE. It's more work in the long run to fix the "damage"---how can you HV and brush the hair and tangles (and mats) apart?

                            I have had ONE man bring his dog in pre-bathed, no discount, the dog is probably no longer alive (it was about 6 months ago), and I was actually glad to not have to bathe it---I'd have had to held her up. It was a wirehaired pointing Griffon. Nice dog, he wanted some ridiculous haircut--like an airedale, he even wrote the instructions down. When he came to pick the dog up, he said it wasn't what he wanted, then I pointed to his instructions and he was sorry! LOL But the dog smelled like Strawberry SHortcake (the doll), from the shampoo he used, lol.

                            Tammy in Utah
                            Groomers Helper Affiliate

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                            • #15
                              Edited.
                              Last edited by pamperedpups; 02-20-07, 12:27 AM.

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