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  • Taking the biters

    Wherever I have worked, when I've been in charge, I have opted to take the dogs I knew to be the most difficult. Not that I didn't trust the other groomers, but i would rather put myself at risk than someone else. Of course they did get their own fair share since many new clients did not warn ahead of time, but if there was a warning or a known problem I would always book it for myself. Now in the mobile I am trying to build clientele for my new groomer and had a lady call with a Chihuaha and a Yorkie. Told me she can't touch the Chihuahua without him biting her, even to get a collar on. She said the vet can do anything with the dog once he gets a hold of him and the client is 80 years old so I'm thinking the dog just has her number. I told her I would certainly attempt it at least once and see what I could do and just automatically scheduled it for myself. Now I am feeling guilty that I should have tried to book them for my other groomer because I really don't need anymore clients for myself. And I wouldn't want her to think I doubted her abilities. I would just rather risk my own hands than hers, especially since I am the one that said I would try it. I'm just wondering how other employers handle this and how employees feel? Would you be insulted if your boss always took the problem dogs? I have scheduled her a few that I was told may be a problem, but none like this. So far all the dogs I was told were extremely difficult have been a dream in the mobile. I don't do a single biter (knock on wood, this could be my first) in the mobile. I'm used to handling difficult dogs and this poor woman has such a hard time just getting the dog to the vet. It takes her a few days to coax the dog into his carrier to get him there. So your feedback would be much appreciated.
    What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.

  • #2
    just tell the new groomer

    you didn't want to stick her with a potential shark. Use this groom as a test run and if they're okay, you can book them with her next time. I'm sure she'll appreciate you looking out for her welfare.
    Peg

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    • #3
      Why don't you just talk to your groomer about it and tell her what you just told us and let her make a call if she is Ok working with known biters or not. I think she would understand.

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      • #4
        I would simply ask the groomer.
        What does a dog do on it's day off?

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        • #5
          I guess it dosen't matter if the owner gets bit but......

          Dear Grooming Employers,

          Having employees comes with great responsibility and liability as the buck stops with the employer. You are the one who is liable for their safety and can be sued by many involved in a liability case.

          Even the state can look to you to regain monies paid out to your employee if you are found negligent. Your employee could look to recover what is not covered and for the rest of their lives. Your insurance company could look to recover. Everyone will look to you to make them whole.

          If you schedule a dog that is a known biter for your employee and they get bit severely enough to lose their livelihood or worse you could have a real problem on your hands unless you have a few simple risk management procedures and policies in place.

          First and foremost you should be insured with business liability, workman’s comp and disability. Your employee should have their own private Health Insurance. If not you should consider providing it or at least participating. This shows you are genuinely interested in their safety and wellbeing and are not just throwing them to the lions.

          Second, your employee should be trained by you to handle the tough or known biting dogs and cats or what ever you book for them. In the absence of any training by you there is great liability. You can't say well I thought she knew how to handle dogs or it comes with the territory. They can say you never provided anything and put them in harms way and did not warn them so good records of each client's pet grooming should be kept.

          Third, you should provide your employee with any and all equipment that will (whether she uses it or not) provide a safer working environment then without it. Groomers Helper®, bite gloves, rabies pole, muzzles, e-collars. This is a cheap enough investment and shows again that you did you utmost to keep them safe.

          Fourth, would be that she knows when to stop and refuse a dangerous situation whether you booked it for her or not. What are your parameters and business policies to keep her safe and are they written down? Did she sign a copy acknowledging she understood?

          Fifth, your employee should sign an agreement with you that states that she understands the dangers of her job and is confident that your training and safety equipment provided is enough to keep her safe at all times and that the potential for being bitten is there and the liability is understood and accepted.

          And very last, pray she never gets bit and sues you for booking her a known biter without her knowledge of the prior four as she would prevail in a suit that could be devastating to you.

          MyLady, I am sure that you have done all of this and this post would be for all the other groomers out there who would not think of these simple risk management procedures when hiring new employees.

          Remember you/she can be very well bitten by a dog that neither you the owner nor she expected to bite. Most will agree that you get bit by the dog you least expected it from when you least expected it to happen. The known biters you are on guard for.

          Good Luck and Godspeed to all.

          Chuck

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          • #6
            I know if I was the other groomer, I'd appreciate if you just asked me. Just ask if she wants to groom the dog or if she's into grooming challenging dogs. It's that easy.
            That Tenacious Terrier!
            www.thattenaciousterrier.com
            https://www.facebook.com/ThatTenaciousTerrier

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            • #7
              Would your employee tell you

              if she WASN'T comfortable? As an employee I can tell you I have gotten mixed messages. One boss wanted me to tell her if I was the least bit uncomfortable with a dog and she would help me, said that was safer for all involved. So I got used to being honest and asking for help rather than trying to go it on my own if I had any questions. The next boss thought I was a whiner and (I later found out) hated that I "complained" and asked for help with "every" difficult dog. So now I would probably lean toward telling a boss that I was fine with taking a dog no matter what the issue was, even if I was a bit sketchy.
              Personally, if I were the boss and therefore the one paying the insurance and worker's comp I would go on this call with your employee the first time, just to evaluate the situation.
              After all this workup these dogs will probably do just fine.

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              • #8
                Thanks everyone. I did talk to her about it today. She said she was fine with however I wanted to do it. I guess I have been surprised at some of the posts where employees have said they've left jobs because they were only given the dogs no one wanted to do, behavior problems etc. I just could not do that to anyone, but I certainly don't doubt her ability to handle dogs. if I did I wouldn't be able to send her out on her own anywhere!

                I do know there are groomers out there working without insurance, under the table, not even covered by workers comp. I offered her health insurance but she declined. She is covered by workers comp and we are both covered by disability. I strongly urge anyone who may be paying "under the table" or anyone working that way to change that as an injury can really cause issues. both for employer and employee. It's too dangerous a job not to be covered.

                She is doing a known biter on Saturday. I did him the first time and his mom was honest and said he tries to bite when clipping his face (St Poo) and she was right, but if I just held onto his muzzle he was fine. So the next appointment i scheduled with her and he behaved worse. Probably was a bit more comfortable the second time. What I didn't realize was she couldn't find a muzzle to fit him properly. I have one in every size, but even when I went to look some are missing somehow. That is most likely me trying to reorganize adn forgetting where I put them. that is also not acceptable on my part and I felt terrible after she told me. I'm going tomorrow (since she is doing him again on Saturday) to see if the local pet stores have some of the basket muzzles. Her safety is my number one concern.

                Thanks for all the feedback!
                What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.

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