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Why clients may not believe their pets are matted

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  • Why clients may not believe their pets are matted

    Well I had an eye opening experience recently I thought I would share. I had offered Daryl the use of my dog Sully for Intergroom as a demo dog for the Red Clipper booth. He's a big boy and it's really hard for me to groom him in the van with my son at home with me. He gets into everything in my van. There is a local DIY place that has a lovely space. They also have a groomer there now but started, I believe, as self service only. They have gorgeous tubs and you pretty much have your own little room to wash your dog in, and it's gated shut so my son had no choice but to stay put and there was nothing for him to get into. It was a tub and then a dryer on the wall. It was great. I had called to make an appointment for the Friday before the show since Sully was being used on Saturday. Of course before I had brought him in I had brushed him out completely. He doesn't really matt anywhere except the knee area if I'm not careful and it always brushes right out because he has a terrier coat. He was quite shaggy because I had just let him grow knowing he was going to be used for the show. I had informed the lady over the phone of who I was and why I wanted to use her space. I didn't want to come off as trying to be sneaky or anything. So when I showed up she put Sully in the tub for me and runs her hands over his neck and asks me "has he EVER been professionally groomed?" to which I just said "yes." and she goes on to say "Well, he's all matted through here" as she's running her hands over his neck. Now, there was not a single snag anywhere on his neck. You all know how anal I am. then she asks me if I'd like to speak to their groomer. I said "He's not matted, I'm a groomer and I combed through him last night." She kind of stops cold and says "Oh yes, I spoke to you yesterday" and then changes the subject. Now I didn't even bother brushing him out after I dried him and I'm sure Daryl will tell you he was not matted on his neck LOL. But I have to wonder. Did this woman not know how to recognize a matted coat or was she simply trying to get me to use their groomer? Either way, I can now understand why clients don't always believe the groomer when they are told their pet is matted. I had a client who I see every 4 weeks for her Bichon who went to Florida. This dog is NEVER matted, EVER and while in Florida she took him to a groomer. She told me he jut got too dingy to wait until she got home. She said the groomer took a comb and tried to pull it through his tight curly coat and when it wouldn't told her that the coat was matted and this was proof. Um, curly does not equate to matted.
    Sorry, it just really irked me. It makes it harder for the rest of us when we DO have a matted pet and have to convince the client as such.
    What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.

  • #2
    its a popular thing to say someones pet is matted, i think mainly because for inexperienced groomers its a easy solution. Even if they are not always badly matted. I started grooming a havanese about 2 months ago and when she came in she told me up front that he was horribly matted and she understood if i thought he needed to be shaved. He had a few tangles here and there and a small matt on his groin, easy to remove and he didnt even flinch. She was amazed i could brush them out and had told me that several other places she tried told her the only option was to shave him down. She now comes every 2 weeks and hes in full coat. The really funny thing was i was looking at his client form one day and realized that i knew this dog from when i was working at a grooming salon/kennel (before i was even grooming lol)

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    • #3
      I was talking to a lady at a Fabric Store. She told me that the place she takes her dog always shaves him and says he is matted and she didn't believe he was. I didn't want to take sides. I told her if she was worried that her groomer wasn't being honest with her that she should take a COMB through him the day of the appointment and make sure she could get it through the entire dog. If he came back scalped again then she would know that the groomer is being lazy. I don't know what the outcome was.

      I have NEVER shaved a dog and said it was because they were matted (I just don't believe in lying like that. I make mistakes plenty of times and I am willing to own up to them so that my clients can trust what I tell them). But I have had clients who absolutely did not believe me when I told them how matted their dog was.

      Personally I can't believe how fast my little red poodle gets tangled up.
      "The most affectionate creature in the world is a wet dog." -Ambrose Bierce

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      • #4
        I hate to shave out matts, would rather pick them out.

        But, as someone who grooms in Florida I'd like to say this:

        There are a lot of northerners who come here for the winter. Some do not realize that it being chilly outside is not enough to kill fleas. They are used to northern states where you may not need flea control all year. They come here, dogs with nice coats, long hair....and no flea control. Within days a dog can get matted. And of course the owner is shocked about FLEAS. "My dog never gets fleas." I won't shave a dog down unless absolutley necessary, but this happens so often.

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        • #5
          Funny enough, the "matted" Bichon came home without being shaved, though the Bichon clip he received was terrible. She said she picked this groomer because in the phone book ad it said she specialized in Bichons. Whoever did it gave him a teddy bear head with a definite separation between head and ears and shaved down the bridge of his nose! And told her never to use a brush on her dog, only a comb. So, she told her he was matted, yet his body was the length I always leave it. I had only groomed him 3 weeks previously. She didn't say anything about the groomer finding fleas and I know she uses Frontline, though I can't say whether she uses it year round because she travels quite often. That is a good point about traveling to warmer climates with dogs though. I will make it a point to remind my clients if they are traveling with their pet to a warm climate during our winter season they should use some type of flea preventative.
          What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.

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          • #6
            If it is badly matted enough to need shaving, it is woven together enough to save in a chunk to show to the owner if there is a question about it.

            Most of our owners actually apologize in advance for the mess and admit up front that Buffy is in wretched shape and will need a smoothie.

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            • #7
              If the client is particularly unbelieving, I will separate the coat with my fingers and show the mats to them. If that doesn't get through, they get a face mask and a quick blow dry to reveal where every mat is. That usually does the trick! Lol.

              There have been a couple of times recently where the owner did refuse to believe me. No sweat off my back...I sold her a Les Pooch brush and comb, gave her a brushing lesson, and told her to go to town at home. If she could brush out her baby herself I would be happy to groom it. Two weeks later she made another appt. To shave her.

              So yeah... I suppose I don't really mind if an owner doesn't believe me. If they don't they get to try it themselves. It usually gives them a whole new appreciation! Haha.
              There are 3 different kinds of people in this world: Dog people, cat people, and rational people who don't have a problem liking two things at the same time.

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              • #8
                Mylady,
                It sounds like the salon you visited was looking for a nice big grooming project for their groomer the day you visited. It was just too "we know what the problem is, let us solve it for you." I have heard of this happening before, to increase the days receipts, some shops will shave everything to get more dogs in each day....sad.

                Years agao I remember a freind told me she had a client that brought in a dog that was quite matted. Of course it couldn't be shaved! My friend gave her a comb, sent her home and said "bring "Fluffy" back to tomorrow for the appt. if you can get the matts get combed out." Well, the next day when my friend saw the dog she was still matted and the owner agreed to the shave down. This was loooong before anyone knew about wet shaving!

                As a side note to the fleas in FL.; there are some vets that recommend switching (alternate) from one of the topicals to another as the fleas seems to be resistant to them chemicals used in these products. However, we did see almost NO FLEAS during the freeze down here a few months ago...what a treat (the lack of fleas, not the freeze!).


                sittingpretty

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                • #9
                  I've met groomers like that!

                  Had one working for me once, too! I monitored her a LOT!

                  Many groomers say this to get you to let them clip the dog short because they don't want to dry and scissor. I have met many, heard of many others. They want easy, they want early days, they want the most bucks for the least work. They do not care about the client's preferences or beautiful work.

                  One long-ago client had a lovely Toy Poodle (white) who was always scalped by her other groomer due to matting (they said). So when she met me, I gave him a scissored lamb. She cried with happiness! (Actually, it was a dramatic story where she had taken him in to the usual groomer, and called to see what they were going to do, and was told he would be shaved again. So she said, NO, don't touch him, I'm coming to get him! And called me and asked if I shaved dogs, lol. So I said, not unless I have to - and she brought him to me for years, regularly.) In fact, when she argued a bit with the groomer about how he was not matted, the groomer admitted she did not know how to do a style!!!!! Yup, really!!!!!

                  Also, I have personally seen several dogs over the years that the owners brought in combed out and tangle free but had been told by another groomer that the dog would have to be shaved.

                  Sorry, there ARE many lazy groomers who want to shave, not style - I don't have a problem with that, but I DO have a problem with them lying to and duping clients to feed their own laziness and ineptness. If they want to shave, advertise shaves! I saw one groomer advertising "long-lasting grooming" because she shaved! Good marketing!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by sittingpretty View Post

                    As a side note to the fleas in FL.; there are some vets that recommend switching (alternate) from one of the topicals to another as the fleas seems to be resistant to them chemicals used in these products. However, we did see almost NO FLEAS during the freeze down here a few months ago...what a treat (the lack of fleas, not the freeze!).


                    sittingpretty
                    Thats what my vet has been telling people lately, i switched to comfortis for my 2 large dogs and as soon as the weather warmed up the neighbors dogs were all infested with fleas. She had been using frontline for years and we had recommended she switch

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Makere View Post
                      Thats what my vet has been telling people lately, i switched to comfortis for my 2 large dogs and as soon as the weather warmed up the neighbors dogs were all infested with fleas. She had been using frontline for years and we had recommended she switch
                      Yes, comfortis is working great so far.

                      It really didn't freeze solid enough in St. Pete to kill off fleas, I saw a drop in clients with them, but still saw many fleas over the winter

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                      • #12
                        Something else I thought about...there are also a lot of groomers that won't do much de-matting because it's cruel to the dog. It's not a matter of CAN it be brushed out, it's a matter of SHOULD it be brushed out. I'm preaching to the choir here, I know. But a lot of owners have told me, "Oh, I know she's matted but it comes right out!" I've done some pretty lengthy (forced by money hungry superiors) brushouts in my day and I refuse to do so anymore. If I can't get it out in a reasonable amount of time it's gettin' shaved!
                        There are 3 different kinds of people in this world: Dog people, cat people, and rational people who don't have a problem liking two things at the same time.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by OntheBRINKofDisaster View Post
                          Something else I thought about...there are also a lot of groomers that won't do much de-matting because it's cruel to the dog. It's not a matter of CAN it be brushed out, it's a matter of SHOULD it be brushed out. I'm preaching to the choir here, I know. But a lot of owners have told me, "Oh, I know she's matted but it comes right out!" I've done some pretty lengthy (forced by money hungry superiors) brushouts in my day and I refuse to do so anymore. If I can't get it out in a reasonable amount of time it's gettin' shaved!
                          I agree! Its not the dogs fault they haven't been brushed and I will not make them suffer thru painful dematting because their owner did not do their part. Ears and tail, OK I'll slather on some de-matting conditioner and try to save the ears and tail if reasonably possible, but whole body - not happening...

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by puppy love View Post
                            I agree! Its not the dogs fault they haven't been brushed and I will not make them suffer thru painful dematting because their owner did not do their part. Ears and tail, OK I'll slather on some de-matting conditioner and try to save the ears and tail if reasonably possible, but whole body - not happening...
                            Dematting if done properly should never be painful.. Tedious, monotonous, yes, but not painful. If it's painful the coat is too far gone and would be too damaged after the dematting anyway. I will dematt a dog because I have no problem taking the time needed to make sure it doesn't hurt. If it's just not worth it and the coat is already too damaged to save I will let the owner know and then shave. If I have a dog that just can't stand the time needed to get it done properly, then again, I will let the owners know.
                            What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Debbiedogs View Post
                              Had one working for me once, too! I monitored her a LOT!

                              Many groomers say this to get you to let them clip the dog short because they don't want to dry and scissor. I have met many, heard of many others. They want easy, they want early days, they want the most bucks for the least work. They do not care about the client's preferences or beautiful work.

                              Sorry, there ARE many lazy groomers who want to shave, not style - I don't have a problem with that, but I DO have a problem with them lying to and duping clients to feed their own laziness and ineptness. If they want to shave, advertise shaves! I saw one groomer advertising "long-lasting grooming" because she shaved! Good marketing!
                              I knew a lot just shave, but hadn't thought that they might be duped to do that. I am the opposite where I'm trying to talk owners into more hair and almost never shave legs, leaving them a bit longer than the body (unless of course bad bad matting). To me it takes longer to shave legs getting all he sticky-outies than it does to scissor them. I also hate the stick look of shaved legs.
                              Money will buy you a pretty good dog but it won't buy the wag of it's tail.

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