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  • EEK!

    My boss groomed a dog once a week for like nine years. Every week he was just a bath and blowdry, and then every other month or so he was a haircut (longer comb, I think a D comb). Anyway, they moved to a warmer state a few months ago. Today they came for a visit to family and brought him in for a bath!! It was so good to see him, but we were shocked!
    She's been keeping up his grooming schedule. Well, apparently last time she took him in she asked them to take him shorter. When I saw him today he was about 3/4 of an inch!! (Remember we always cut him with a D comb), and to top it all off this was growing back in! But, she's really sweet, so she just asked them not to do that again, she didn't complain or anything. But what was worse was that there were stray hairs everywhere, they had chopped off his beard, and when they tipped his ears they didn't take it all the way to the leather, so there was like a fringe all along the edges.
    In circumstances like this I have to stop and wonder whole fault it was, lol. For all I know the owner was very vague about it, and basically left it up to the groomer.
    I was taught to get detailed directions, but my boss has told me some shops just do what they think the owner wants. I can see that it does happen some places though, because I have had owners impatient with me when I am trying to get directions. Some people would just rather leave it up to the "professional".
    So, I'm curious, does everyone ask detailed questions of customers reguarding haircuts, or do you just do breed standard? And when someone asks you to take it short do you get their definition of short, or automatically zip it with a seven?
    Scratch a dog and you'll find a permanent job. ~Franklin P. Jones

  • #2
    When someone says "Take it short," I think "#7 shavedown." BUT BEFORE I DO ANYTHING, I ask them. "How short is short to you?" It often ends up being a half inch or so, but sometimes it's a #7. lol, that dog sounds like a mess. I'm glad she didn't get mad, it could be her way of communicating (she was used to someone knowing exactly what to do, and not having to explain it). Poor little guy. Most important is whether he is treated right, the hair will always grow back.

    Tammy in Utah
    Groomers Helper Affiliate

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    • #3
      I always ask if they want a "marine boot camp cut" or just a trim.

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      • #4
        The definition of short seems to vary among customers. Some want a 7 shavedown, others will say "oh no, I don't want it THAT short!" once you start talking actual length. You need to have the client specify exactly what length they want, so there are no surprises.

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        • #5
          I try to get as much detailed information as I can, but sometimes it's hard.
          Me: "How would you like him groomed?"
          Customer: " Oh. I'd like him in a puppycut, short, but not too short, with a cute face."
          Me: "Huh?"

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          • #6
            I get as much detail as is humanly possible. Sometimes it's like pulling teeth.

            Customer, "I want it short, but not too short"
            Me, "Define short."
            Customer, "Well, as short as possible"
            Me, "That's bare skin. You don't want that. Do you want it this short?" using fingers to demonstrate.
            Customer, "I guess. You're the groomer. Don't you know how to do it short?"
            Me, "I don't have to live with him. What I think is short could be a whole lot different than what you think is short. I want to give you the length YOU want, not what I want."
            Customer, "I see. Just do him short all over."

            To quote Charlie Brown: banging head on wall "I can't stand it."

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            • #7
              I too have asked a client "how short?" and they reply with "you know, a puppy cut". Means nothing to me. I always try to get a specific definition of short in inches because everyone's idea of short is vastly different. I had a woman come in with a Yorkie in full coat tell me it's WAY too long, I want it short! So I'm thinking maybe snap-on length of some sort, but after asking repeatedly turns out she's thinking take only about 2 inchess off scissoring the undercarriage.... When someone refuses to tell me how short after I ask them multiple times I just do what I think they want. If they don't like it then they're unreasonable to think I'm a mind reader.

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              • #8
                same here, when I ask what length they prefer, they say "short" ok...you want like a summertime trim? oh no, not shaved! grrrr ok...short and still lil fluffy? yeah, but not too fluffy! grrrr grrrrr ok, it gets a 1comb..we'll take it from there lol it is aggravating sometimes!

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                • #9
                  Had a first time customer with a toy poodle. I would like a puppy cut. I say, exactly what would you like? Top knot, poodle clean face, poodle tail, shaved feet, short body. I did as requested and did a 1/2 comb rev. and the dog looked good. I personally like the body length and legs longer but looked good. Customer comes in, I wanted a puppy cut. You know.................a moustache! I was on the floor asking all the questions even about the face and still misread the customer for which is always correct. A another lesson learned, clean face or moustache?

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                  • #10
                    Before I was a groomer, I took spike to a groomer in town for his first "American" haircut after returning from Korea. He was probably 3-4 inches long all over, I can't remember exactly. I told the groomer to take an inch off. I meant an INCH from the all the edges, if that makes sense. Trim an inch off the ends of the hair, but not the whole body.

                    She took a comb over the whole dog so his body hair became layered. I wasn't happy. I even pointed to where the hair was to be cut. Yes, "I" could have communicated better, I guess, but if I were her today, I would have asked, "An inch off all over, or just an inch along the sides, and down the legs, etc..." She asked no questions, she was in too much of a hurry. I asked her later and she'd done 18 dogs that day. With a bather, of course. She looked whipped, her hair was a mess and she'd been sweating, lol.

                    Moral of story: When someone tells you to "take an inch off" of a dog with longer hair, ask them if they want an inch off all over, or just along the edges.

                    Tammy in Utah
                    Groomers Helper Affiliate

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                    • #11
                      When they are vague about how much they want off, I usually say, "About half of what's there now?" They almost always say yes! Gives me a place to start anyway.

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                      • #12
                        I had a new customer just recently, she said the dogs hadn't been groomed for 4 months. I got to her house and the dogs weren't very long at all. She said that she wanted them left about an inch all over. They didn't have much more hair than that. So I did a 2 with the clipper vac. They looked really cute, but she complained that I made them too short. She did rebook however.

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