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  • What would you have done? Long

    Today a new client had me groom her Westie pup in addition to the original appt for her good female Westie. She called yesterday to ad him. He is 6mos and she has been brushing him and bathing him and using conditioner. BUT-the fur was long and totally matted, head, neck,sensitive sides near tummy, everywhere. She didn't want him shaved, just a lite trim. I used the les pooch in front of her (wasting my cool A/C air as she stood outside w/ door open to view. This pup full grown, was not cooperating and she could see that. The snap on pinged off to show the 40. I even used Tropicleans demat conditioner in tub and brushed there too. I got a lot out but not all....needed to shave and could not. So I used thinners too but still matted. I was running out of time and knew she would not want to pay more with no real trim. Her female was 7F reverse clippervac said never been that short before. I tipped his ears and trimmed tummy butt and neck and eye area body some and legs but could NOT remove mats enough to do the job I wanted. I had another dog and I was becoming late. Groomers helper helped some. So I charged her 5 extra but he was not done to my satisfaction. She said she would brush out the rest of matts...yea? good luck! I hate when the overdue first trim pup ruins my chances for a client with a good first female dog. I don't know if she was happy or not;. she seemed to have excuses for everything. Air drying etc. I told her to buy the hv dryer that looks like a dog house and dry him and brush him. He needs training w/ reg professional grooming. IF I ever see him again he will still be matted. NO not twice. Shave or else forget it. What would you have done? he also bites the air of HV dryer. Dogs play all day , that creates tangles, as you know.If she goes elsewhere they will have the same problem....her ignorance of the situation. I am MOBILE
    Last edited by mustluvdogs1; 06-04-07, 08:32 PM. Reason: fix typos ad I am Mobile

  • #2
    ummmm. Lucy is a terrier, she plays all day, gets tangles, gets 3 minute brush with a foot and mouth massage (we don't like our head held), and boom. coat like that doesn't take much if it is done every couple of days. It just doesn't. I would have sent it home and rebooked for when you could be calmer with it. And hair grows back. Hope she gives you the time you and pup need next time. Sorry to hear about your frustrating day.

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    • #3
      Honestly? If a dog is a solid mat I shave it. I dont go through all of that anymore. That is one of my biggest pet peeves - the puppy coming in for his/her 1st groom and its a solid mat with the extremely PICKY owner. I woudlve explained that shaving him was in his best interest, as I wont put a pup through that for his 1st groom. If she doesnt like that, then she can find a groomer who will put him through all of that. It was HER fault he is matted, not his fault & not yours as the groomer. I hate that they feel we are here to work miracles on the dogs they dont take care of properly grrrrr lol. I hope she comes back to you, it seems that you went above and beyond to please her. If she doesnt recognize that then she isnt worth being your client!

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      • #4
        If I get a dog that is to matted to groom and I have not much choice but to shave short so I can get all mats out I call the owner and tell them. I always explain to them how painful the mats are and unfortunatly the only way to get them out is to shave the dog real short. They always understand and let me go ahead with that. If they dont then I explain to them that I cant give your dog a proper grooming then. I cant leave mats because it is to painful and therefore try to bring your pet elsewhere. 99.9% of the time they understand and I even show them the proper way to brush and that they should brush everyday or every other day. The dog usually comes back in better condition the next time.

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        • #5
          I would've told her that if she wants to keep him longer then she needs to start getting him used to the brush at home or else you'll have to shave him. I refuse to put dogs through all that brushing if they are just going to keep coming back all matted. And if it happened the next time I'd call her and tell her it would have to be shaved. I would have offered to have him come back to touch him up a little more when you had more time to deal with him if you weren't going to shave him.

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          • #6
            I would tell a client like that: In this type of situation with the pup not being properly professionaly groomed since 8 weeks of age, your only option at this point would be to shave the hair. I explain that puppy hair is very fine and like cotton and will tangle easily. It is not in your dogs best interest to endure the type of torture it would take to dematt. Tell the client you refuse to rip the hair out of the skin on a puppy. This is not a happy first groom. I dont dematt period.
            Stress is nothing more than a socially acceptable form of mental illness.- Richard Carlson

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            • #7
              What would I have done?

              I would have had her come into the van that one time, showed her the mats using the HV on low, and when she said she didn't want it shaved, then I would have said, "Sorry, I can't help you then," maybe not in those words, but what does she want, puppy torture?

              The shortest I go is a #7 (no clipper vac) on westies. Anything shorter than a #7 on a white dog you'll see skin, sometimes you can't even go that short. My friend took her dog somewhere to be groomed since she takes him to doggy daycare there too---a bichon frise shaved with a #10 reverse CLIPPER VAC!! Face too, just like a poodle. She nearly died. I groom him every 5 weeks with a #4 clippervac! I leave a teddy bear head! But my point is, I don't ever use a short shave on a white dog, you'll see skin.

              You need to be more assertive with your clients, Jane, they will respect you if you respect yourself.

              Tammy in Utah
              Groomers Helper Affiliate

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              • #8
                You should have said I have been grooming for 25 yrs and I know that I can not brush this puppy out in the time I have booked today, I can shave him, or you can rebook his appointment for another day, and show her how to brush the pup. I had a matted 14 week old malti-poo I told the owner I had to use a #4 on the body (wet shaved) the legs weren't matted. She didn't want to but once I didn't give her a choice she agreed. This pup was sooooo tiny it was only about 1 or 1.5 lbs. Even wet shaving was starting to turn her skin red in places, so I knew brushing her would have been a bruised sore puppy, I don't do that to dogs. I don't care if I loose a client due to matting issues. I hope not to but some people don't get that pets need to be on schedules.

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                • #9
                  Shave it or send it back home. Hair grows back.

                  Tell her next time the brush has to go into the hair to be considered brushed, not just touching air! Hair always grows back and she can start fresh with short hair until she learns how to brush out a dog.
                  "There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face."
                  Diane

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                  • #10
                    I ran into the same problem last week. Six month old westie first groom, old customer-new dog. Show bred westie puppy with a uber thick-thick softish coat had just had his eye unstitched after months of vet work. blowing puppy coat and matted. Pup was understandably not happy about being handled around his face.

                    Five blade to set pattern then I gently used a slicker (didn't even make a dent) then teased the mats out of the furnishings with a teflon coated comb and finished w/a bit of stripping. Sure, it took a half hour longer but the pup got a good first grooming experience and still looked semi-ok.

                    That's what I'd do...and did. Puppy still loved me.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks.....

                      I did show her with Hv the matted fur through out the coat. I knew if I shaved him she would be VERY unhappy. I said what do you want me to do for him today? See, the snap on comb can't trim it catches in the mat and comes off. Yes, she said do what you can and I will get the tangles out....like I couldn't? I could not he would have been brush burned and bald to boot. Let her try, she won't get them out and in 8 weeks if she calls in a timely manner he will be worse. The female was not bald nor was skin showing. She works at home and didn't want to give me much of her time or attention. I gave her pup more work than I was paid for yet he did not look as he should have or could have looked. Remember, I am MOBILE, I still had a nearby Yorkie and another dog to do.Some people are mat blind, they just can't see them. She was ok w/ matts and liked that he could see again. Had I insisted on shaving she would have NOT been happy. He was not tortured, some slid out w/ tropliclean demat in tub and HV also got many out+ Best Shot. I was tortured, not him! Tammy, I think I am assertive. I know what is humane ,logical, doable, reasonable. When they say no shave....they mean it!I drove a fairly long distance and I was not going to loose $ for trying so hard. Sorry so long...This frustrates me,it would any of you, cuz you take pride in your work too. Funny, she had westie calendar, cookie jar pics of westies all over and yet lets the pup go. "Oh we never groom our pups THAT early" try 6 weeks not 6 months!!!!! Ya win some ya loose some ........

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                      • #12
                        I explain to people the two options, easy/humane I shave the dog. You come more foten and with reg grooming we acheive the style you want.

                        Option 2, I demat for 15 mins and then charge reg grooming fee $35 + $60/hour to finish dematting, and yes they can watch for that to make sure they are getting their money's worth.

                        I won't even try to make the dog look decent, I have learned that people are sly and stupid, they just want to dog to APPEAR okay and groomed, they don't care about those hidden matts.

                        I would refuse to work with a client like that, because they are obviously refusing to respect your advice as a professional.

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                        • #13
                          Customer ignorance

                          I think a lot pet owners are ignorant to the fact that mats can become a serious problem if owners do not perform preventative maintenance. I think it would be very helpful to have a picture of what could happen to the dogs skin if a mat was not taken care of. Correct me if I am wrong, but couldn't it result in ripping the dogs skin. The result of the mat pulling the skin. You could explain to them that a mat could catch on something and would not let go until the dog literally ripped itself free. Free, loose hair that is combed once in a while is less likely to get snagged. I believe pictures would open pet owners eyes to what could happen. There are so many reasons mats are harmful to pets. Dry skin under the mat as a result of the skin not being able to breath. Hiding places for ticks and other vermin. The amount of discomfort the dog goes through trying to get the mat out and the possibility of tearing the skin in the process. I would not want to put a dog through that. I would tell the owner that it would be best to shave the dog so the grooming experience is less tramatic for the pet. I would also save the mat and show the owner the under portion and explain what a mat does to the skin and show them the dirt or anything else that was hiding under the mat. This might open their eyes. I think a customer would respect you more besides the fact that the next time you see the dog, it won't take as long to groom it.

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                          • #14
                            I agree w/ having a "dematting fee"! They dont like that and most of the time opt for the shavedown price LOL. I dont demat anymore either. If its a few mats here and there, fine.......but not a dog that is time consuming to demat. I also think its important to stress education. After shaving the dog, go over how to properly comb the dog out and get it on a groom schedule. Most of these owners just have no clue how to properly keep them brushed out. So many buy the soft brushes from the pet store and go right over the matting Then wonder WHY he/she is matted when they brush him/her everyday~

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