No announcement yet.

Question for those who work by themselves

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Question for those who work by themselves

    Just started thinking about this at work today so I thought I would ask. I groom at a vet clinic, somebody else is always there. There was a little Shihtzu in today who is awful bitey/squirmy for clipping her front legs & I always grab somebody to hold her to make it easier to just clip them quick (shes a 5ao so it only takes a couple mins) I have done her w/o a "holder" before, but it takes 15-20 mins and stresses her out. Today the girl holding her joked "what would you do if you didn't have us". I do have a handfull of dogs I will have one of the other girls come help me hold them for something. Off the top of my head a Scotty who does the death roll for nails & a few Shihtzus who hate between their eyes done. I COULD probably get these dogs "issues" done with out help but its way less stressfull on the dogs (and on me) and takes much less time to have somebody hold them still for a quick minute. So for those of you who work completely alone, either mobile, out of your house, a small shop ect.. What do you do if you have a dog that you just CANNOT get certain things done on? Do you just continue to work with the dog & hope they overcome their issue areas?

  • #2
    That's the downside of working alone. Usually i can get it done, but for a few, I will have the owner hold for nails. You can only do what you can do, and most owners understand that. I won't stress out a dog (or me) over a haircut.
    Old groomers never die, they just go at a slower clip.

    Groom on!!!


    • #3
      I tend to work on trust issues, but there are always going to be dogs one person can not do safely, those are refered elsewhere. But generaly I can get the dog done with ALOT of patience and firm no's . Some people forget NO goes along way.
      ~~Everyone is entitled to my opinion!~~


      • #4
        Well for help "holding", I have a lips-a-like, slings, belly straps, head halters and the Groomer's Helper. If it is nails, I can't do safely, I will do the rest of the groom and they have to take to the vet's office for nail trims. If the dog is really bad (death roll, FREAKING out, etc.) I send them home and recommend they have the dog groomed at a vet's clinic where the vet can give sedation.
        Lisa VanVleet, RVT


        • #5
          Working Alone

          does have its challenges, as well as plus's. If I have a problem dog coming in I may try to schedule it when my hubbie or son is available to assist if necessary. If that can't happen I do as much as I can then stop. I prefer not to have the owners help, generally they are not as much help as I need. (Very rarely will ask them to help). I would rather direct the dogs to their vet for any issues I can't handle; ears, nails, anals, etc. I can't charge enough to make any stress worth it for me or any dog.

          You may find using a Groomers Helper very helpful when extra hands aren't around.

          For the shih tzu that doesn't like her legs done, try doing some brushing to get her used to being handled. Have the owners follow up with this at home, too. I have small trimmers that are helpful to use on their faces, they seem less stressed when the niose is less and the object coming at them is smaller.

          good luck,


          • #6
            I work alone and a woman told me today that the groom shops could not cut her dogs nails cause he's so naughty. But I can and I'm by myself.


            • #7
              I work by myself and I use a LIPS system to handle my dogs, without it I couldn't handle the dogs!!!!!


              • #8
                I could not work alone without my LIPS system. The sling gets their feet up off the ground so they have no leverage to fight against on the table.

                The plus side of working alone is that I am able to take more time working one-on-one with a dog and have been able to slowly rehabilitate many dogs through training.

                The down side is that there are always those "suicide dogs" that would rather fight till they injure themselves regardless of any restraint system you use. In a commercial shop we were sometimes able to get them done with 3 people holding the dog; when working alone, they get sent home untouched and unfinished which is fine with me - not worth the hassel.


                • #9
                  Groomers helper !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                  I also work alone at a vet clinic and did the same as you,ask some one to hold for you.
                  But since I purchased my Groomers Helper a couple of years ago I have NEVER had to ask for assistance. And I have some pretty nasty dogs at times. I would never work without it,and a lot of times its hard to find help in a busy clinic. Best of luck,

                  P.S. sorry if I sounded like a commercial, but I really love it.


                  • #10
                    Having the owner help hold means you are putting your safety and future income in the hands of a stranger. If they let go at a crucial time and you aren't ready you're screwed. It also leaves you open to being sued if the owner gets hurt. I have a client with a cat. His vet had him hold, owner let go when cat freaked, cat bit owner, owner sued vet, owner won case, vet still paying for surgery/P.T./lost wages. How many of us could afford that? Bottom line...if you don't feel safe, both your safety and pet's safty, just say no.


                    • #11
                      I work alone and I have a few dogs that when they first started coming to me they were screamers and fighters about the legs and by the 5 or 6th groom they just stood there without a peep. I think that is some cases when you have people to help it can be a bad thing because you won't feel the need to train the dog to stand there for the groom.

                      If the dog is really bad I do the best I can and scissor most if I have to. If the legs are uneven I don't lose sleep over it. I am honest with the owners and say "fluffy really fought me on having her legs done. She became very stressed, aggressive, etc. I did what the best I could but you will find the legs I little uneven. I will work on training her to accept the grooming but it would be helpful if you work with her at home." And then I tell owners to brush her legs, and I have even told owners to buy those battery powered back hand held back massage things like at walgreens and hold it to their leg to desensitize them. Or use electric toothbrushes for under the eyes if the dog fights that.

                      *Knock on wood* Every owner so far has not been upset about the groom, and was right on board with working on training the dog. Most of them were not aware their dog fought it and were happy to help make the dog less stressed. And like I said, by the 5 or 6 groom the dog is great!
                      Groomers helper is a must too!


                      • #12
                        When you have to work by yourself, you will find a way to get things done. In my van, I have a groomer's helper which helps most of them time(not always). Sometimes I have to struggle with doing nails but I usually can get it done. I used a muzzle on a certain biter and I think it calm the dog down a bit. I have one schnoodle that will not let me clip his nails but is okay with drummel, so I stop clipping his nails. Recently, I had to shave a cat and I almost couldn't do it by myself. I called my daughter to come help but she was no help, I told her to leave. Then, I call my husband to stop on his way home. He came but he was in my way so I told him to leave. I finally got the job done. I don't usually need help. If I have to work on certain big rowdy dog, I let the owner stay in and help but that doesn't happen too often. If I can't get certain things done, I just tell the owner that I do myself but I have to stop because the dog won't let me. They usually understand.


                        • #13
                          I work alone and have never had anyone hold a dog for me. I think it's a skill you aquire due to necessity. I have a number of "moves" I use to work on PITA puppies and have become a very fast clipper and nail trimmer. A lady the other day told me that I trimmed her two dog's nails faster than her old groomer could trim one foot ;-) Muzzles, grooming loops, and learning to work in weird positions all help.
                          "The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind"-Theodorus Gaza


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by fiveoclockdog View Post
                            I work alone and have never had anyone hold a dog for me. I think it's a skill you aquire due to necessity. I have a number of "moves" I use to work on PITA puppies and have become a very fast clipper and nail trimmer. A lady the other day told me that I trimmed her two dog's nails faster than her old groomer could trim one foot ;-) Muzzles, grooming loops, and learning to work in weird positions all help.
                            exactly !!! and those sometimes impossible to get to areas I will do the best I can in hopes the dog gets better but there have been times I know hen to quite and just say Im sorry but
                            I was not able to do such and such today safely.sometimes you have to pick and chose your battles and not all battles can be won.


                            • #15
                              I also work in a veterinary hospital, and have plenty of people to give me a hand. But I don't think I've actually asked anyone for help, with the exception of a couple of cats. And with the cats it hasn't been due to aggression, it's simply because I don't have enough hands to position and hold the cat, and still have one hand to hold the clippers. Cats seldom stand up for grooming, LOL.

                              In fact, more than once a tech or one of the vets will come back and ask if they can use my table, with the Groomer's Helper, for one thing or another. Usually nails or anal glands, but sometimes for placing sutures, removing sutures, or even for injections.