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Grooming a Puppy

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  • Grooming a Puppy

    I have a six week old puppy coming in Thursday. I have been grooming for 1.5 years and I get very nervous about grooming puppies. Is this normal? If so, about how long before I get comfortable with it? What do you all do to a 6 week old poodle. Some people with puppies want a cute cut but until their coat grows in maturely, you just can't get it done.


  • #2
    On puppies I just do a sanitary trim and trim the hair around the eyes and round the feet. That way they get used to grooming but they are not on the table so long that they start to panic.


    • #3
      I hate doing puppies. I was never nervous doing them, but never liked to either.

      Just do something simple. Make it pleasurable and try your best not to stress the puppy out. If you have to stop the grooming and call the owner if the puppy gets stressed.


      • #4
        first off, i would not groom a 6 week old puppy. my policy is that they must have their 3 sets of shots. after that, come on in. start the first groom with a starter haircut. tell the owners, and be firm (remember, you are the professional) puppies need to start out with the basics to get used to all the sights and sounds of the grooming shop. you will give her a bath, do all her basics, and a starter haircut. make sure they understand that you will be taking your time with the pup so that she becomes accustomed to being groomed. it will be much better for everyone in the long run. sometimes a puppy will surprize you, and you are able to do a complete haircut, and sometimes not. you want to make their first experience a good one. when i groom puppies(don't laugh) i sing softly to them and talk to them the entire time. also i keep a hand on them the entire time, for reassurance.


        • #5
          6 weeks? We turned a dog away when they brought it in and it was 11 weeks and hadn't had it's bordetella shot yet. That puppy not only shouldn't be groomed, to be honest and in my opinion, but it shouldn't be weaned from its mother yet. That is sad.

          I do not care for grooming puppies, though many of the puppies I groom are very good. It's the naughty ones that kill me, lol.

          Tammy in Utah
          Groomers Helper Affiliate


          • #6
            Tammy -- Most puppies are weaned from their mothers around 5-6 wks. of age. Once they get teeth the mother does not want them nursing.

            I worked for a poodle breeder before opening my own business. She would not release puppies until they were 8 weeks old. We would clip (w/#10 blade) face, feet and tail (and of course do a sani) the day the puppy went home with the new owner.


            • #7
              You better get clearance from the vet. I never take any dog younger than 12 weeks, and it must have it's vaccs!


              • #8
                In lots of states it's not even legal to sell 6 week old puppies, of course this dog could be with the breeder. In any case we don't do puppies until 12 weeks after they've started their shots. I had a lady yesterday who wanted my to groom an 8 month old shih tzu and she wanted a discount for size, I told her puppies were actually harder to do than her two full grown dogs. She said she'd wait until later to have him groomed, so I'm sure that dog will be a real trip to do when it's a year old and never touched by a groomer.


                • #9
                  6 wks is too young for a puppy. it should be at LEAST 8 wks old to be taken from its mother. thats my opionin on that now.
                  now for the grooming part...this lady had called the last shop i worked at and asked for a haircut for her little poodle puppy she just got. well my boss explained to her that she would try but she wasnt going to force a complete haircut on the lil guy if he wasnt cooperating.
                  now the lady brings in this adorable little cream colored poodle...and says she just got him yesterday! he had already been to the vet and now to the groomers LOL! well i washed and dryed him...he was VERY good for that...then my boss decided to try and give the lady what she wanted...which was...CFCF. so she gets his feet done...and i held him so she could do his face...and this lil guy was such an absolute doll about it all! she had gotten him from a pet store (yeaaaaaah wrong place! she bought him cuz her daughter had gotten a puppy from the same pet store), and i believe he was about 8 or 10 wks old. dont remember. but he looked like a lil fluff ball because his hair was all poofy! well my boss told her she was able to complete the job with no problems and if she wanted to bring him back in a couple of weeks she would be able to give him a haircut but since he had puppy hair it wasnt going to be perfect. she said that was fine...then she came back laughing about how cute he looked running through the house...he looked like a lil cotton ball! just a ball of fluff tearing through the cute! try your best with the puppy but dont push it.
                  if the puppy starts stressing thats it end of groom end it on a happy note!


                  • #10
                    Parvo: what you should know

                    Before you consider letting an unprotected puppy into the grooming shop consider these facts about Parvo

                    1. Parvo is highly contagious.
                    2. It affects puppies much more frequently than adult dogs.
                    3. In very young pups, it can infect the heart muscle, causing "sudden death"
                    4. Parvo virus is carried by adult dogs.(they don't have to have symptoms of parvo or be sick from it) they can still carry the parvo virus.
                    5. Parvo virus can last in an enviroment in excess of 9 months.
                    6. Parvo virus is everywhere. On your shoes, your hands, your customers shoes and hands, the dogs can kill parvo with a strong solution of bleach and water. but even if you scrubbed your floors everyday. chances are someone would walk in with the parvo virus on their shoes. it's just not worth the risk to a puppy. alot of people think Parvo is airborne. it is not.


                    • #11
                      Too young

                      I had a 3 month old Shihpoo that the owner wanted trimmed. It was the first groom and the puppy was moving constantly that I didn't dare try to trim his face with a scissor. I told the owner I only bathed the pup. Forget about clippers -- the noise of the dryer freaked him out. I think puppies need to be started slowly and trained slowly about noise of equipment and handling, etc. But boy are they fun to play with!


                      • #12
                        I wait till a week after the second round of vaccines (so usually arounnd 11-13 weeks) to start puppies--and the first time is just a bath/touch up. Puppies actually don't bother me; their owners seem to comprehend the fact that a puppy's first few grooms may not be complete or perfect grooms.

                        It's old, senile pets that give me an ulcer. Most of their owners seem to be in denial--"You've always been able to do a full scissor cut before...." Or "He's never had a problem with having his face clipped in the past" (and he's got a head full of rotten teeth and infected gums)....

                        Plus, with puppies, I know that as long as the owner brings them in regularly and I keep working with them, their behavior will get better; old/senile dogs are just going to get worse.


                        • #13
                          In Park City where I work, the county passed a law that no animal is allowed in an establishment until it has had it's rabies. So even if I do get to groom a puppy it wont be any younger than 4 months.

                          Kinda sucks because it passes their first fear imprint stage, but safer for the groomer. There's still 2 imprint stages to have a good experience.


                          • #14
                            Too young...

                            In my opinion to be groomed other than in the home for sure.

                            The pup is old enough to be weaned but shouldn't be away from litter mates yet. In the socialization process, in the 6-8 week old range, they learn bite inhibition from mom and pups. I believe that is why it's best not to get a pup under 8 weeks.

                            Can't believe they're having it groomed professionally so soon!!! I wouldn't do it. I would encourage the owner to get them used to the process at home first.


                            • #15
                              6 weeks is to young to be coming to your grooming shop. If you are mobil I guess that would be a little better. If so, I would just give it a gentle bath, blowdry with a stand dryer (No force dryer) brush it, trim its nails and shave its face. I dont know that Id even do its feet yet though I know some breeders start that young.