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9th dog in a two week period (long 2 part story - sorry)

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  • 9th dog in a two week period (long 2 part story - sorry)

    Strange thing happening.
    Had an appointment today - new client. 1 1/2 yo yorkie mix with start of a collapsing trachea - according to owner. Owner brought to me since the local Petsomething said the dog was too wiggly and with potential health issue dog should be sedated groomed at a vet for safety. Made no sense. Dog appeared boisterous but fine. And coat and legs were getting pretty gnarly.
    Told owner I'd like to keep longer than usual so pet could calm down and maybe be better on the table without any sedation. Agreed
    Bath was fine, dryer a little iffy.
    Turns out that as soon as the dog sees a brush he starts the teeth gnashing crocodile rolling moves. Took over two hours ( had the time today ) to get him brushed out. Tried everything I knew to do - even putting him on his back snd waiting until he gave in. ( Had a basket muzzle on him since he was out for blood and trying got any body part he could reach .) He finally caught s bit of my little finger snd I actually found myself staring him down and growling. Never did this before - but it worked. He actually settled down and allowed the groom to proceed to conclusion, including brushing out his muzzle. Charged for the ' challenge' he presented. Dad booked the dogs next appointment before leaving.

    That was the story. While doing all this it dawned on me that I've been getting a number of inquiries and bookings from our local Petsomething. Reasons have included fussiness, youth (7 month old puppy) , medical issues (murmur, bad teeth?!), and elderly ( 11 yo shih tzu). Or the owners have been bizarre. All pets have required extra time , or extra restraint, or extra TLC.
    Most of the reasons are bogus. The pets are often fearful, nippy, screamers, barkers, droolers---- you get the picture.

    So. .. Are the Petsomethings trying to CYA by sending anything but the easypeasy pets somewhere else? Anyone else seeing an uptick in referrals from corps ?

  • #2
    Well, corp workers can't muzzle most pets, period ( a certain corp can't even use an e-collar I believe). I honestly wouldn't finish a groom if the dog was acting like a crocodile for 2 hours for just brushing. I am still newer to grooming and since corp trains most of it's own people we have a lot of groomers with less experience. I would feel uneasy also about a dog with a collapsing trachea flailing around on my table for much of the groom. I can see why anyone would turn away that groom or refer to a vet.

    In my shop I have never seen a dog turned away for old age, or many of the other reasons mentioned. We aren't allowed to groom cats with any type of heart condition, pets that are pregnant or nursing, ect. so some health reasons do apply.

    Some of it could be corp rules, and it could quite possibly be people at your nearby corp not wanting to do challenging dogs. I don't think it has anything to do with Petsomethings as a whole. I have gotten in dogs who were fired from neighboring shops and I could groom them okay and I am nothing special experience or handler wise. I do notice one particular boarding facility that quite a few come from and it's not a corp.

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    • #3
      I'm a corp groomer and my employer banned the use of muzzles back in March. Since then, we have had to turn away quite a few animals that we used to be able to groom safely. When we get bit, that gets recorded in our file. We are actively discouraged from grooming any animal that may have a special condition. Since the very public death of a dog in a Petsoandso salon over the summer, the corp has been cracking down on us taking any difficult dogs. This includes dogs we have been safely seeing for quite some time.

      Basically, if I take in a dog with a special condition and it results in an incident, my job is on the line. Even if I do everything right!! They trust me with razor sharp shears around a dog's face but they don't trust me to evaluate the stress level of a muzzled dog and whether or not it can be safely groomed. My corp is not concerned with grooming. It is concerned with it's public image, the salon bringing in regular customers and the salon driving food sales.

      I personally am fine dealing with challenging dogs. I won't say I enjoy it more than a normal dog but I like working on changing challenging behavior and creating a better and less stressful relationship between owner, dog and groomer. That being said, I can't spend extra time on difficult dogs because then my sales go down and corp gets concerned about my earning power for the store. Getting a corp job has been a great way to get myself started grooming but the constrictions placed on me are becoming very stifling.

      Sent from my DROID4 using Tapatalk

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      • #4
        Thanks for the replies. D'wing, based on the posts here and some of the other things I've heard over the past year I was wondering if corps were facing issues.

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        • #5
          Where I live I know 3 groomers that no longer groom dogs that require muzzles. This is NOT a corp issue. Better check your insurance in case you haven't checked in some places insurance doesn't cover using muzzles.

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          • #6
            Will definately check insurance. Did not know that. I have had the pleasure of reaclimating many a special issue pet in my 16 yrs. My business is aptly named The Dusty Muzzle. I rarely use them anymore. BUT I will if need be. I personally am VERY proud of you for taking the time that pet needed. Thank you on that dogs behalf. It is not always fast, pretty or fun but you took proper care of that dog. And handled , imo , right

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            • #7
              I'll preface this by saying I've vet groomed for 4 out 6 years that I've been professionally grooming. I've also worked as a vet assistant. I've dealt with the worst. I know how to deal with them, I'm also a professional trainer that deals with severe behavioral issues on a regular basis.

              I now own a shop where I call the shots and it has glass windows facing into a pet store and windows out to the strip mall parking lot. I no longer groom any dogs that put up a fight like that. I will muzzle and use slings to an extent, but with all of the media going on about grooming, I don't need someone shooting a cell phone video of a dog doing croc rolls on my table and posting it on facebook. I don't want pet owners that walk by thinking that grooming is stressful for their dog because for many dog it's not.

              For that dog you did, it would've cost $150+ for my time. There's no owner willing to pay that, especially one that let their dog develop into the little devil. I don't need that stress in my shop affecting me other any other dogs. I think it's just professional courtesy to refer out those cases that don't fit in my marketing strategy. The vet groomer has drugs and techs to assist and medical staff down the hall should something go wrong. The best part is, the more special cases I send them, the more of their regular dogs come to me since they can't get it.

              My shop is about the easy peasy. I want clients that value me by taking care of their dog at home and coming in regularly I want to keep myself and my employees safe. Good clients refer more good clients. I just hired a bather and it would kill me to have her bit because she just needed to get the groom done. I also let the phone go to voicemail and will turn away a walk in nail trim if I'm with a dog and it's not a Saturday during our posted walk in nail time. Unless someone is hurting for business, catering to the problem dogs brings in less money in the long run.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by SetterGirl View Post
                I now own a shop where I call the shots and it has glass windows facing into a pet store and windows out to the strip mall parking lot. I no longer groom any dogs that put up a fight like that.
                All corp stores are glass boxes. I think this is part of the reason for the ban on muzzles. I have seen people cry abuse on some of the most benign things, like simply holding the chin of a fussy dog to do the face, or when puppy's first groom sounds the alarm because you're holding a foot or brushing out a tiny knot. Most people understand but every so often you get someone crazy walk by who doesn't think before they react. It is always a worry.

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                • #9
                  Well, we all have differences of opinion and preferences. Personally not hurting for business. The fact that so many so called groomers are rush rush rush all day every day just to make some money sucks. Catering to pets that have been passed from groomer to groomer to groomer usually have never had consistency in grooming routine. Taking time is the key. Figuring out what works for that pet and being consistent in handling (same routine everytime) usually does it. Personally dont feel it is right or just to send a dog to vet to get sedated because no one took time. Charge for the time, yes of course. But to expect every pet to be a perfect little angel Hell no. As groomers we are here for the pets. Of course, if you dont feel comfortable handling a pet then refer to another groomer that does cater to those issued pets. Just dont automatically send for sedation. Maybe get in touch with a positive reinforcement trainer. As far as those issued pets and bathers are concerned do them yourself. If I know that a pet has ever shown signs of aggression (real aggression) I do not allow anyone to handle them. Again we all do things differently. I am still proud of you for taking the time that pet needed. And I always will be

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by tickedtabby View Post
                    All corp stores are glass boxes. I think this is part of the reason for the ban on muzzles. I have seen people cry abuse on some of the most benign things, like simply holding the chin of a fussy dog to do the face, or when puppy's first groom sounds the alarm because you're holding a foot or brushing out a tiny knot. Most people understand but every so often you get someone crazy walk by who doesn't think before they react. It is always a worry.
                    yep. I have client whose dog is banned from our local petsomething. He is not a bad dog, in fact, quite easy to groom. However, he is very hyper and barks and cries when he's in the crate and on the table he cries. If I lift his foot, ,he screams out like in cutting it off. Doesn't bother me bc I know he's ok. Never tries to bite, just very vocal. But the people at the petsomething said they got complaints from passerbys when he was on the table. They thought the dog was being hurt.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by The Dusty Muzzle View Post
                      Well, we all have differences of opinion and preferences. Personally not hurting for business. The fact that so many so called groomers are rush rush rush all day every day just to make some money sucks. Catering to pets that have been passed from groomer to groomer to groomer usually have never had consistency in grooming routine. Taking time is the key. Figuring out what works for that pet and being consistent in handling (same routine everytime) usually does it. Personally dont feel it is right or just to send a dog to vet to get sedated because no one took time. Charge for the time, yes of course. But to expect every pet to be a perfect little angel Hell no. As groomers we are here for the pets. Of course, if you dont feel comfortable handling a pet then refer to another groomer that does cater to those issued pets. Just dont automatically send for sedation. Maybe get in touch with a positive reinforcement trainer. As far as those issued pets and bathers are concerned do them yourself. If I know that a pet has ever shown signs of aggression (real aggression) I do not allow anyone to handle them. Again we all do things differently. I am still proud of you for taking the time that pet needed. And I always will be
                      Sending a dog to a vet isn't necessarily just for sedation. The sedation option is there, but there are dozens of things a vet has to offer that salons can't and shouldn't. All of the vet groomers I refer out to will work to figure out the dog first before sedating. The vet groomer I send dogs to now (I worked along side her for a year and a half) has been showing and breeding dogs for 30 years. She's one of the best groomers in the area, both technically and with dealing with behavior. There's a greater chance of cutting a dog or elevating the heart rate which can trigger other problems and having that medical staff there will safe a dog's life.

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                      • #12
                        On a side note, the many of the floor plans from bus in a box have a cattery that could easily be transformed into a special issue/no distraction room

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by tickedtabby View Post
                          All corp stores are glass boxes. I think this is part of the reason for the ban on muzzles. I have seen people cry abuse on some of the most benign things, like simply holding the chin of a fussy dog to do the face, or when puppy's first groom sounds the alarm because you're holding a foot or brushing out a tiny knot. Most people understand but every so often you get someone crazy walk by who doesn't think before they react. It is always a worry.
                          I've had people leave anonymous notes at the register for the stupidest things. I'm lucky my area hasn't really heard of yelp yet. One complained that I didn't double noose all dogs all the time. Another didn't like that a puppy tried to wrestle with the brush when really it was just a fun game. It's really silly.

                          I don't think these bubble salons are made for every client and the problem in grooming is when we try to be the one size fits all groomer.

                          I serve the part of the market that wants express grooming and the ability to entertain themselves while watching. I don't mind customers watching or showing up early. Part of offering that means I have to watch what people might perceive differently.

                          I don't think a drop off grooming salon that takes all dogs in the morning and has them for 3+ hours are for all dogs either. I would never send my own dogs there based on their temperaments and my own desire to not leave them for longer than I have to, but they are fantastic for people who work or someone who needs the free day boarding while they clean/flea bomb/paint the house or whatever. I refer out customers all the time that need to leave their dogs for the day because that doesn't work here, but I get just as many back from the other groomers that can't cater to the express groom market.

                          There's also some give and take here. Since I'm a part time entertainer in my bubble, I spend a lot of time in between grooms talking to people and getting kids involved with picking out bandannas, cologne, etc. I also can't double up on dogs to save time overall. I only do 3-4 dogs a day on the weekdays. Saturdays have slightly different rules which is why I brought in a bather. I do charge a lot more to make up for this. It also means that a dog that takes 3 dog's spots for behavior is out of the price range for customers. I do offer a puppy behavior program and under special circumstances I will groom a scared dog in combination with private training lessons off site, but they have to be scheduled at a specific time and come in very often. Most clients don't go for that, but those that do are welcome.

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                          • #14
                            To each their own. Don't make ASSUMPTIONS that someone is hurting for business when they choose to accept issue dogs. We each have our own niches

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                            • #15
                              Thanks for the feedback and comments everyone.

                              I am with a vet and am always willing to try and get dogs through grooming without sedation, muzzles or what have you. There are a few I still need to muzzle simply because they still try to bite the equipment and I don't want blood. Almost every dog flagged as a 'will bite' on their medical chart is fine for me - but I don't stick thermometers up their butts - and try to explain to them what is happening as I do it.

                              Yes we all have a niche....sometimes we choose it and sometimes it is chosen for us.

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