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Are you KIDDING me!?!

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  • Are you KIDDING me!?!

    Today a groomer from a salon in the same town as me came into the vet where I work with her dog. He was having a check up of some sort and asked if I had time to talk. Always ready to meet new groomers in my area, I went out to have a chat with her while she was waiting for the techs.

    We get to talking and I find out what salon she's from (I know and have talked with the owner a few times) and find out that they recommend their hard to handle clients come to me all the time (yay?). That leads to us talking about hard to handle dogs in general. She asks if I just sedate them all. I tell her no, I don't like grooming sedated animals and only do so when the vets say the dogs HAVE to be sedated or if the animal is so stressed that's it's best for it to sleep through the groom. In general, I've found that dogs only made 'woozy' on Ace or something similar are more prone to try to eat my fingers. She then goes on to say that she wishes she worked in a place like me without windows so that she could 'discipline' the dogs when they were acting up like I do. That stopped me cold and all I could do was blink for a second. I took a deep breath to collect myself. First, I asked what made her think I 'disciplined' dogs. She responded that I MUST do -something- along those lines in order to do so many hard to handle dogs. Then, I pointed to the door with the large window that was clearly visible from the vet waiting area. That's my salon. People can walk by and look in any time. I went on to calmly ask her what she meant by discipline. She said, "Oh, you know...give them a swat when they won't settle down. Most people would say how mean that is but we groomers understand that most dogs are HORRIBLE and need to be put in their place." At this point I'm not sure if she's serious...or maybe trying to get me to say that I hit dogs so she'd feel right about doing it herself..or what. So I explain to her that I would never hit a dog, -especially- a client's dog, and that I sincerely believed that a dog I was grooming would NOT understand that I was hitting him to make him stop being fidgety on the table. Through all this I was holding myself back from hitting HER! It must have shown on my face because she quickly changed the subject to grooming tools and then got called in to her appointment. My boss/office manager happened to be working as the receptionist at the time. He looked at me and said, "We will NOT be hiring her. Ever."

    The question that I keep asking myself now I call and tell her boss that she has this attitude toward animals? What does she do with these poor dogs when she's back in the bathing room with them or no one's around? =/

  • #2
    I know you feel you need to do something...

    but remember that I'll bet she leaned the behavior from whoever taught her. It could be her current boss. Calling and saying something will just cause a lot of trouble. I personally may try to talk to her again and maybe invite her to come observe the "proper" way to handle a dog. She may simply not know better. I know it sounds like I'm ok with her behavior, and I'm not, but this isn't your problem. If I tried to fix all the groomers in my town, it would be a full time job! I also don't condone bad mouthing other groomers, either, so I would offer to help HER or I would walk away.

    Good luck!


    • #3
      that's just awful, but she probably is validated at the shop where she works. Surely, she's got the idea that it's acceptable behavior in that shop, so she assumes it's done everywhere. Probably wouldn't do a spit of good to call her boss unfortunately. Thank GOD they are sending dogs to you tho, instead of beating them into submission.


      • #4
        would guess her boss knows if they work together-maybe it is "that " kind of shop.
        we do not hit our dogs but I do have a penny can for daycare dogs.I never have to shake it more than once. that hate that sound but I dont think it would be effective for grooming dogs who are scared .thats weird she wold want to hit dogs that just makes it worse Id imagine.


        • #5
          I would feel a need to tell it. Dogs will NEVER behave for a grooming session if they are being "disciplined" when they come in. Maybe the owner of the salon where she works agrees with this practice. You said you have talked with the owner before so perhaps you will feel comfortable talking about this. Good luck with you decision.



          • #6
            YES, call!

            Yes, i would totally call. She should not be working with animals. Its pretty ignorant of her also, to discuss it. She really must think its okay to hit them. Just think if you were one of her customers and she was hitting your dog. Some people would say its none of your business to talk to her boss, but if you think about what she thinks is okay, that's scarey. someone has to speak up. What a freak! Call! Poor dogs. No wonder they misbehave for her. They can feel the hate from her probably. This makes me mad. People ****!


            • #7
              It always amazes me when people ask if I spank/beat on the hard to handle dogs! I just want to look at them and say are you serious!?! I would never do that. I think it just makes a bad situation worse! As far as telling the owner of the other shop about that conversation, I'm not sure I would go there. I guess it would really depend on what kind of relationship you have with that person. I would be willing to bet that the owner of the shop may know what's going on in there anyway.


              • #8
                Yet another groomer that gives all of us caring groomers a bad name Such a shame. I do have to agree that you are prolly gonna open up a can of worms if you call, unfortunately. Next time just punch her
                Mandy, Birdie, Evie, Willie and The Woo
                Check out my Blog at


                • #9
                  She does not need to be a groomer or a day care provider. Yikes.


                  • #10
                    I would not call. If she is doing what she talks about, I am sure her coworkers know it, and probably do too, I honestly don't think it is any of your business. No doubt hitting dogs is wrong but there is a difference between doing it, and talking about it. I agree with the others, she was probably taught that is how you do it, and doesn't realize what she is saying.


                    • #11
                      I agree with you all that it'd probably cause way more trouble then it would solve. I did wonder if maybe I should call the owner and just start an open conversation about how they handle the 'hard to handle' dogs before they decide to send them to me. I am glad that this groomer revealed this bit of info to me, though, as these were the people I first think of to recommend MY clients too when I'm booked out.


                      • #12
                        2 ways of thinking I see here...
                        one is to bring it to the attention of the owners.. yet if they are condoning this behavior, it will bounce back at you (seen it happen before, mud slinging contest stuff)
                        second is to try to make 'nice' with her... show her it is NOT necessary to treat pets like that. Sadly, I have had so many groomers over the years who 'picked up' bad habits and it can be difficult to break them BUT I think if you are the better person and approach her as a 'experienced' groomer, she may see (& learn) that what she has perceived as 'ok' really isn't.

                        You may find you see the respect you have worked so hard to gain, grow exponentially in the area.

                        My grandmother used to say all the time "you can catch more bees with honey than you can with vinegar"
                        To often, people fly off the handle when someone says something silly like that, in actuality it is just plain old inexperience and if she is planning on continuing in this field maybe she should know there are different ways of doing things.


                        • #13
                          Just file that conversation in the back of your mind, say nothing. The boss heard and did the same, this person is not worth starting anything over, however as for recomendations, I tell people I do not recomend other groomers only because I have never worked with them so I do not know how they do things or treat the pet. Seems to satisfy most.
                          ~~Everyone is entitled to my opinion!~~


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by AMelena View Post
                            . . . She then goes on to say that she wishes she worked in a place like me without windows so that she could 'discipline' the dogs when they were acting up like I do. . . .
                            After rereading what she said, I don't believe the owner of the shop she works for now does condone slapping dogs. She says she "wishes" she worked where she could do that. She may have learned that style of "discipline" elsewhere or just never learned how to handle difficult dogs at all.

                            I'm not sure I would call the owner of the shop about this, but I might try to find a situation where you could discuss it — maybe go out to lunch or something — and during the course of the conversation, bring it around to the topic of handling difficult dogs. As you get a feel for what the owner believes (or at least says they believe) you can judge whether or not to mention the previous discussion with the employee.

                            It is possible that the owners of the other shop don't know their employee feels this way about disciplining dogs or that they do know and are trying to change that attitude or even looking for a chance to get rid of her.

                            You could also do as others have said here and invite the employee in to see a different way to handle difficult dogs and give her a chance to learn by following your example.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by RPS View Post
                              Sadly, I have had so many groomers over the years who 'picked up' bad habits and it can be difficult to break
                              I'm quoting you, RPS, merely because its the last thing posted; nothing personal /pat /pat:

                              It's one thing to learn improper brushing or dematting techniques. Its something else entirely to "learn" harsh treatment of an animal of any kind. To my way of thinking, a naturally kind and compassionate person would seek other ways to control or "discipline" an animal, rather than resorting to bullying, spanking, hitting, or worse - no matter what they're taught. People who think this sort of thing is okay, no matter where they learned it, should stay the hell out of the animal care business. There is no justification for animal abuse. Period. Whacking around a non-cooperative dog falls firmly into that category imo.

                              I think the vast majority of groomers are in the business because of an all-consuming love for animals. However, there are some out there who do it merely for the power trip and the feeling of control they have over something smaller and weaker than themselves. I've been in the grooming field for less than 3 years. But I've been handling animals professionally for over 3 decades. In 30 years, I have struck an animal (a wolf-dog hybrid) ONCE, and only because he was trying to disembowel me. It was certainly not the only time I have had an animal act up, but it was the only time I was forced to get physical.
                              Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.
                              George Sand (1804 - 1876)