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Grooming Puppies

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  • Grooming Puppies

    I was just curious if anyone had a theory, or special way they schedule puppies? Currently when I have an owner call with say a 10 week old puppy, I schedule the puppy for a bath, puppy comes in and I brush it out, turn clipper on without blade and let puppy smell it, then I run it over their buddy so they can feel it, then sanitary trim, nails, bath. I cage dry so puppy can become accustomed to the sound and feeling of drying without me being involved. I don't use any heat, and when puppy is dry and has settled down, or better yet napping, I pull them out let them go outside to potty, and finish by scissoring up face and feet a little. I send puppy home with a lock of their hair on a card with a poem I made up about the first hair cut, its pretty cute. When owner comes I teach them how to brush puppy properly.

    Anywho I schedule puppy for 3-4 weeks late for first shave if that's what owners want. Owners so far have liked how I start the puppies. At the second grooming I tell owner what areas they need to work on brushing or desensitizing puppy and the results have been great as far as how easy the puppies are to groom. Of course this doesn't work on puppies that owners wait to bring into until 16+ weeks. I try to get them to agree to just a bath first but often at 16 weeks they are already matting because owner has touched them with a brush :P

    Does anyone have tips for helping desensitize puppy for grooming? Specifically on the 8-16 week old puppies that come in for their first groom.

  • #2
    Lock of hair AND Poem that is soo cute

    Originally posted by flemishr2cool View Post
    I send puppy home with a lock of their hair on a card with a poem I made up about the first hair cut, its pretty cute.
    Such and great great great!!! idea!!! a lock of hair how cute!!!and poem WOW!!

    I groom from home now and do it different but when in I in shop next to vet clinic I would go meet new puppy owners at first vet appointment with a free gift(slicker brush) and do brushing demo for free. Then give business card for free brushing only appointments(you could probably do this for a small fee and still work out great!) if they come in every 2 weeks. (so come in at 4 or 6 week, 8 week, 10 week and 12 week) . Well we would also grind nails. Clients appreciate not getting clawed to death my their crazy sharp puppy nails. We found that by giving away a little bit of time and a lot of education on brushing at the very beginning. We could get clients whose puppies love getting groomed! They get used to shop and sounds and brushing while staying only a few minutes. Besides all the sounds of other groomers. While brushing we turn on clippers and set on table so puppy hears clippers and feels some vibration. If a poodle or other fluffy breed. we slowly add a minute or two of clipping on sanitary areas and sometimes face. After they have all shots we booked first official groom appt. that includes bath etc. Lots of clients will continue on two week maintenance program because they are already used to coming that often. Some don't and go to a more typical 4-6 week grooming schedule. Our #1 goal was to get clients into our 2 week maintenance program so we focused on that and the best clients to convince them that they need the convince of this is puppy owners who struggle brushing their wild wiggly puppies!

    I've read on this forum somewhere by someone smarter than myself that they recommend clients to use electric toothbrushes around their puppies to get them used to the vibrations and sounds that are similar to clippers. Sorry to whomever's recommendation that was if I could remember your name I would give you credit where credit is due:-)

    It sounds to me you have a solid puppy program I just can't get over how cute of an idea with the lock of hair and special poem!!
    I look forward to reading about others puppy programs


    • #3
      Sounds like you're on the right track, but I'd be very cautious with puppies between 8 and 12 weeks. They are going through a very important part of their psychological development called the fear/intimidation imprinting period. They are easily frightened or intimidated, and it can have life-long consequences. The fear imprints on their brain and becomes a permenant part of their psychological make-up.

      For that reason I like to wait until they're 12 weeks old before their first groom. And I generally let the puppy determine just how much he's able to tolerate. Unlike some people, I don't believe in bullying or forcing the issue with puppies. It is way too easy to injure them, sometimes seriously. I take things at their pace, and don't promise perfection until much later.


      • #4
        I won't groom a pup until at least 72 hours after it's had it's second DHP, so I don't really see any under 12 weeks. On the rare occasion someone just can't wait until 12 weeks for an "under the eye trim" or sanitary, I'll have them drop by, hold the pup, and I'll zip it out w/ my Speed Feeds and send them on their way

        I generally schedule pups on a "quiet" day, and while most of my clients prefer to leave their dogs here allllll day long...I ask that puppies be picked up no longer than 4 hours after drop-off...kinda like a Kindie-garten. Just gives the puppies a small, quieter, dose of what goes on around here.

        Like you...I never HV a young puppy, but if it's a particularly bold one (like a 15 week old Std. Poo. pup), I'll try it on the table w/ my quiet stand dryer.

        I also have owners bring a little blankie and toy from home...but I think that makes the nervous owner feel better, as opposed to actually reassuring the pup, lol!

        A lot of my owners have been using the electric toothbrush tip...with great results (for me) by the time the puppy's appointment rolls around.

        I find the best puppy to work a happy but tired puppy, so there are lots of walks and play in their first 4 hours here, and I usually trim under their eyes as my very last step...
        Often it's not what you say, but how you say it.