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  • I'm new and in need of advice

    Hi, thanks for reading my thing. Okay so I finished up my 420 hours of dog grooming school which only took about 3 months. So anyways, I just got a job as a dog groomer at a pet market. Yay. But, there's only 1 small room with a bath, table, cages, towels, my stuff, etc. which means that I'm all alone back there. I'm brand new at the whole 'business' side of grooming, so if anyone has any advice they'd like to give me, that would be perfection. I'm kind of getting the hang of talking on the phone so I got that going for me, but I'm not quite sure how to manage my time. It takes me about an average of 2 hours to full service for a dog and I'd like to try and get more than just 3 or 4 dogs done in a day.

    Cage dryers. Very controversial topic. At my school, I was taught the proper way to use them and I'd keep them on the lowest or 2nd lowest setting, constantly check on the dogs, and only keep them in for up to 10 - 15 minutes at a time. I know that a lot of people are against using them, and that's fine... I'm not able to have them at my new job anyways... but the thing is, when I had them, I could do the bath and basics of one dog, cage dry it, and while that one was drying I would take out a second dog and do bath and basics, then I'd switch them out. Since I don't have that luxury, I have to figure out a new system to get the dogs done as quickly as possible.

    So my question here is.... how can I manage my time better? I was thinking of doing bath and basics, towel drying, then leaving it in the cage while I do the bath and basics of another dog... then I'd just switch them out. Or would it just make more sense to do 1 dog at a time?

    I'm super excited but also super nervous about this job and I want to do really well, but I'm not quite sure how to do things in a somewhat organised way. I don't even have that much space to work with which makes it worse.

    Thanks for taking your time to read this, and I can use all the advice I can get... doesn't even have to be about my question, just anything in general about dog grooming and running your own little business type thing. I make my own appointments, phone calls, etc. so if you can help me out with that too that'd be great.

    Thanks again

    (Picture of my dog dressed as a Wookiee in a swing and a picture of his face after I groomed him) Click image for larger version

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  • #2
    Congratulations on finishing your school and new job! Taking 2 hrs for groom right out of school is not bad at all! And you will eventually get faster, just don't sacrifice your quality for speed.

    As for drying…I take one dog/one family at a time, and hand-dry every dog, but when I do get two-three dogs belonging to the same family, I bathe one, wrap in big WARM fluffy absorbent towel while I bathe another dog. Works especially well on cocker spaniels - saves me 30 minutes off the groom. So you are thinking in right direction here.

    Invest in Happy Hoodies - they will speed up drying heads/ears and calm many dogs that do not like dryer.

    Also, little tip: normally, I do nails before bath, but if I know the dog does not like face/head drying, I save nails for drying time, use "third arm" to hold dryer hose (without condenser cone) pointed at dog's face, while clipping nails. Will not work for all, but saves some time for some. Also, some tiny little dogs who squirm and fight for nails, get bathed first, then wrapped in big warm towel, and nails get trimmed while swaddled in a towel, usually by the time nails are done, the doggie is mostly dry and I only need to fluff.

    Keep digging through this forum, you will find tons of good info and good luck!

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    • #3
      On Patches' face, trim those brown hair by the mouth with thinners - you will see how it will brighten his face! (he is cute, by the way)

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      • #4
        Again, agree with everything said. Sort of.
        I dremel all nails after the bath, with the dog swaddled in the towel or while still in the tub ( go to Jeff at Northern Tails for a diamond tip for your dremel. Will save your hours each week since you can use it due the dogs nails are wet ).

        Best suggestions ever received about I dreading speed and efficiency without losing quality --- create a pattern for working o. Every dog and follow it until it is second nature. That way you are working efficiently, you don't miss things - even if interrupted.

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        • #5
          Yes to all of this. Happy Hoodies, swaddling in warm towels, second nature routine. All of this has helped me tremendously.

          The other biggest help to me is getting people on a schedule, the most popular being six week intervals, but some are weekly, some monthly, whatever works. Always presented as a courtesy to the client, saving them a spot so they don't have to wait to get in or bother with scheduling. That way, I'm dealing with well maintained and well trained dogs as well as seriously minimizing the amount of time I spend interrupted by phone calls for appointments, all of which are huge time and energy savers.

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          • #6
            Oh wow okay so I was kind of on the right track. I was looking into the happy hoodies so maybe I'll get a couple of those. You were a lot of help, thank you so much

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            • #7
              I'll try that next time, thanks!

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              • #8
                Yeah I'd really like to get some kind of system going but it's difficult right now. I'm sure I'll get it eventually, thanks!

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                • #9
                  That's a good idea about scheduling; I didn't think of that. I have appointment cards but the thought never passed through my mind lol, thanks!

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