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How old are your bathers?

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  • How old are your bathers?

    I have a part time bather now, she is 29 and THE BEST! I love her. I want to hire another part time bather cause I am so swamped. I have a friend who has a 15 yr old daughter who wants to come work for me in the summer. My friend is our local shelter director and her daughter has experience washing, trimming nails, cleaning cages, and being around different aggressions. Problem is, Is she mature enough to be in a business setting? I know the shelter is a business but not the same as a grooming salon. I take great pride in cleanliness and professionalism with my clients, What are your opinions? Should I give her a try?
    Or look for someone older?

  • #2
    personally age has nothing to do with it. you can hire a 15 yr old who has previous experience doing this sort of thing...or you can hire a 20 yr old who is the most lazy person in the world. personally i myself started my first job when i was 17 yrs old. it was at a vet office doing kennel work, then i moved into doggy daycare work, then two diffrent bathing posistions. i say give her a try and if she works out then hey great! BUT the thing is this...when she goes back to school after the summers over..what are you going to do then? is she going to work after school for you or is she only going to be summer help? would you then need to find ANOTHER bather again?
    i say give her a try and if she works out HEY great! you can even ask if you can use her as a back up bather during the school year if it dosnt interfere with her schedule.
    just a thought


    • #3

      Our part time bather is 16. He came in the shop one day looking for a job. So he started cleaning and doing odd stuff for me. He works hard and I started training him for bathing and drying.

      Not sure if I was like him at his age but probably was. I have to supervise him constantly. He forgets alot of stuff so I have to remind him of everything. I need to make an instruction sheet I can post on the wall so he can refer to it for what types of shampoo on what types of dogs. I mean I have tried explaining over and over about coat types but it doesnt seem to sink in.

      Other than that he enjoys what he is doing, he is reliable, and tries hard to do what I want the way I want it. (And that isnt easy to do. I am quite picky.)

      Now if he could focus a little more he would be perfect.



      • #4
        You never know untill you try. You should be very clear about what you expect from her at the begining and ask her if she thinks she can handle it. Give her a trial day with pay of course, but see how both of you do and if it it's a good fit keep her. I don't think age is that important, I would do this with anyone before I hired them


        • #5
          I know my daughter would have been perfect at about 14 or so. The only thing I could ever get her to do was let dogs out for me if I had to run out and the client was late. She's 17 now and in college. She does clean the house for me but doesn't like to help in the shop (too icky). She has absolutely no problem talking with clients when needed though. I really wish she'd learn to groom.

          I'd suggest that you take this young lady on for a trial period. Be very specific up front about what she should wear and how she should talk to clients. Explain how she could tell a client that the dogs was friendly but wiggly...instead of a pain in the $$!


          • #6
            I agree that age doesnt matter. I started working at a local ranch when I was 11!!! thats right 11. I was passionate about it and never missed a day and boy were those horses well taken care of. I worked there till I was 20 and I always say that is where I learned my work ethic. Boy was that hard work. mucking stalls, grooming, turn outs, haying, sawdust.. rain snow, burning sun.

            Also last summer the local HS. called and asked if we would be open to taking on an intern. she was a Jr. She worked with me for the whole summer and was amazing. because again she is passionate about animals so she wanted to be there.

            I can see where it would be dicey since its your friends daughter. If you had to fire her it would be messy... but what if you stated you needed to hire someone UNTIL summer time. Say spring is very busy and you want to hire her daughter till June. That way in June if it was a mistake you can let her go and it will seem as if that was the plan all along. And if she rocks you can ask her to stay on.


            • #7
              I had the chance to take on My Husbands First Sgt 14 yr old daughter as a bathing apprentice for a summer.
              She first would come to My house and help me bath and blow out a GSD they were dog sitting while the owner was deployed.

              I really could not afford to pay her by the hour but I paid her something per size dog.
              She learned to bath, blow,clip and dremmel nails ,ears and pads of the feet!
              It was totally great! she was such a big help! And at the end of the summer when they had to move back to the states I sent her with a letter of referance to take with her.


              • #8
                I'd give her a few trial days and see how it goes. I have had my teen aged neices and nephews help me out now and then. They've all done a good job.

                My youngest neice is a talker and likes to gab with the customers, makes a mad dash to the phone when it rings, or the counter when someone walks in, and is really good at talking people into getting add ons, or retail stuff (something I am not good at!) . But..she will leave dogs sitting in the tub to go gab with the customers. She doesn't think about safety issues alot. She doesn't like to clean, so I have to get after her about that too. But she does a really good job of fluff drying (better than my 40 something yr old sister!)


                • #9
                  The only issue I see is what your Workmans comp policy says about age and also OSHA (OSHA does not allow anyone under the age of 17 to handle sharp objects or chemicals, under the age of 18 loud objects such as HV dryers).

                  I hate to be the bummer:-(


                  • #10
                    Age Does Make A Difference

                    Anyone under the age of 18 is under the child labor laws! Your own child is different ( family ), but if you hire a child under 18 make darn sure you know your states child labor laws!

                    OSHA is very clear on what a child can or can NOT do with equipment!
                    Equipment that is loud, or sharp, has potential flying debries, dangerous chemicles, all fall under OSHA regulations, which are different for children.

                    NEVER would I hire a child for my shop! Everyone had to be at least 18.


                    • #11
                      My first job was when I was 16 and I worked for a dog handler. I cleaned kennels first, then I was her b/b. Give her a chance. She already has some experience, that's a plus on her side.
                      "There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face."


                      • #12
                        two of ours are 16 (one started with parental permission at 14) both are excellent. the other two are over 30 nearing 40. One of the last shops I worked at had one near or at 60. Bathers run the gamut. The 60 year old was the most well rounded of any I have ever seen.


                        • #13
                          tell her you will try it for 2 weeks and see if it works out that way you won't feel bad if you have to get rid of her,my son has worked with me since he was 12 yrs old he is 18 now and still works for me he is the best worker for me i've tried 2 of my neighbors and my sister wich are all way over 18 and i dont like how they do things,i guess i trained my son my way and that works out great for me because he does not know any other way of doing things i dont have to tell him how to do anything now and always dries the dog very good sometimes he tells me that i did'nt dry my dog all the way!or says that i missed a spot and he even tells me when he thinks i missed a spot when grooming i like that because i now i trained him right,also he worked on sundays for a friend of my that owns a boarding-grooming shop and she loved him and wanted to keep him but i said no anyways i paid him more so he stayed with me.


                          • #14
                            I started at 14

                            At 14 I volunteered at a pet shop to help clean out cages etc. At 15 (on weekends/holidays only) I began as a bather/brusher plus I still helped clean cages and feed animals.After 6 months or so I started doing strip down and a few trims. When that store closed I went to a kennel and did some grooming (mainly the overflow) and lots of kennel work, I stayed there 10 years and moved on to mostly grooming only though I helped in the morning with letting dogs out to potty. Now I've been at a corp for 5 years.

                            I think it depends on the kid. I've seen way more lazy 20-30 year old bathers than 17 year olds. However if we hire summer help that is teen age somehow they are hard workers, or maybe they are just young enough to follow what they are told and not complain.