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OES pups, matted muddy messes

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  • OES pups, matted muddy messes

    Yesterday morning I had 2 OES scheduled at a regular clients. But this was my first time with these particular 2 dogs (they have several breeds because they are retired handlers)

    Well I knew the dogs have their outdoor runs which were muddy due to the recent thawing of snow etc. But what I didn't know was that my fresh 50 gals of water wasn't enough for even 1 of the dogs. I ended up having to refill my water there because to go home would've been over an hours worth of time.

    I spent all day on these two dogs. Thankfully there are really nice dogs, but they are worse in condition than any dog I've ever groomed, even rescue dogs.

    They are almost a year, so their puppy coat is shedding out and the mats from shedding, mixed with sand and mud was a real pain. This client wouldn've died if I mentioned shaving them- that was not an option. I've had a great relationship with them already with their other dogs. So I decided to just grin and bear it by getting them in good shape and then encouraging they be done every 4 weeks.

    Well the clients are willing to do that and also want to do something about the mud, so they are going to have their outdoor runs cemented this spring so it will ge them out of the mud.

    But the part that had me snickering under my breth was they didn't want to have to remove them out of "show coat". I wanted to say that it was unjust to all the other OES who are well kept in show coat, but I kept my pie hole shut.

    So how often do you all suggest on this breed. Is every 4 weeks acceptible? I told them that I wouldn't go longer than 4, but I'm afraid that is even pushing it.

    Yesterday's grooming was at 9 weeks, and when it was scheudled I tried explaining that was too long for them to go. But they insisted the other (hired help) would be brushing in between. Of course when I arrived - it was admitted that no one had brushed them because they were too muddy

  • #2
    If they are not brushing these dogs every day you will be lucky to go even a week without matting. This is not a feasible position for you at all. If they keep with this schedule, you need to first decide if you can and are able to go through this workout every month, and two CHARGE HOURLY. Perhaps if you tell them you are charging hourly they will revise their plans. Did they handle OES when they were not retired? If so, I find it hard to believe that they would even attempt this.


    • #3 racking my brain what the heck is an OES?


      • #4
        OES stands for Old English Sheepdog.


        • #5
          Originally posted by HoundLover View Post
 racking my brain what the heck is an OES?
          Old English Sheepdog :-)

          If these dogs are anywhere near as bad of shape I would have a sitdown w/the owners and let them know how bad it is for everyone involved (you, the dogs and the owners wallet) to have to dematt these dogs everytime they are groomed. Maybe you could take a snap-on to them so they can have some length left, or scissor them? Just wait and see. Maybe they will be in perfect shape from now on and you won't have to worry about it.
          SheilaB from SC


          • #6
            Hi Crystal,

            I have an OES that I groom once a week. He goes to puppy day care 3 days a week. He is always a muddy matted mess and I groom him every Thursday.
            He is not a show dog but the owner wants him in a full coat. As it is I had to cut matts out of his chin, and around his neck.
            They are not going to ever get to show coat only being brushed once a month.


            • #7
              thats what i was thinking...LOL thanks guys! SHOW coat????!!! i would NOT want to be grooming one of those guys! Big huge hairy monsters LOL!


              • #8
                I have 4 newfs, 3 in show coat. That is a weekly job with each dog. Sometimes daily. I can't imagine an OES on a 4 week shedule, espcially if they aren't brushing daily. As retired handlers, they should know better.


                • #9
                  I am startting to think that we could get away with nothing less than a weekly groom until they are kept out of muddy outdoor runs, or else it'll be the same day repeated over. So I don't know what to do with them other than give them the altimatum of weekly grooms at the same rate, or just triple the price.

                  I can handle the mud and I can handle the mats, but I can't handle mud and Mats together because even after bathing there is still mud stuck in the mats. Which I think requires another bath after the initial wash and dry.

                  These clients did have OES before, but poodles were their specialty. They had over 100 poodles at one time who were all in the show circuit, these people are rich but very cheap. They are in their 70's now, so they are old school. So their expectations of me is very high. I think they expect me to be a miracle worker.

                  They also have a standard poodle, cocker, chow, westie, and Akita. Their other dogs are no where near that bad because they spend alot more time indoors. Everything was going great with these clients for 2 years now, and then suddenly they decided to adopt these two OES and it's been a nightmare ever since.


                  • #10
                    wow! thats alot of diffrent breeds of dogs to have...especially at there age! hey all i want is some coonhounds, a basset hound, maybe a dane and an old english mastiff (i REALLY REALLY REALLY WANT THIS ONE! AND A REDBONE COONIE!) and maybe a papillon and a cavalier not really a small dog person...i tend to accidently step on the lil guys LOL! if its the size of an adult cat when its full grown though im fine. hehe. and yes i made a deal with my fiance...he can have a toyota tacoma as long as i can have 3 dogs...hes never had dogs though..he says he dosnt feel he can handle 3 dogs...we will see though..we will see...hehehe


                    • #11
                      I'd tell them that the only way I could keep their dogs long is if the owners can get a COMB through the coat from head to toe. If the dogs are severely matted, I would definitely take down the coats. It is painful and cruel to de-matt a heavily matted dog. Skin can bruise or tear. If the coat is just knotted a bit, or only slightly matted in some areas, I would charge by the hour. I don't let the people take advantage of me anymore. Some just don't have a clue about what's involved - both for the dog AND the groomer! And I won't put a poor dog through torture just so the owner can look good walking down the street with her 'trophy' dog! Sorry if I sound hostile :-). I've had my share of OES's and people who shouldn't own them! I used to have a sign hanging in my shop: "God doesn't groom dogs, and I don't perform miracles."


                      • #12
                        doggiestyles, I like that statement.

                        Although the mats were workable, just takes a long time. So I suppose it's just going to have to be this way unless I want to lose them. All their other dogs were done every 8 weeks, so I would lose alot of business there, and I hate to do that because they've been so faithful until these OES arrived.

                        I will just have to charge accordingly, and prepare for them to allow me to fill up at their home (800 acres with a 1 mile long driveway, overlooking a very beautiful marina- with their own private dock and boat ramps) I'm sure their 50 gals won't be a problem.


                        • #13
                          They know better.........

                          If they really are retired dog handlers they KNOW what goes into keeping a coated dog in show coat! They don't always care about the comfort of the dogs I know I used to work at a kennel that showed dogs and dogs were regulary hand stripped ( sometimes before coat was really ready and nails quicked routinely. Otherwise they were pampered no yeling hitting EVER! But grooming practices were not always humane. I think that they have gotten in over their heads with these two I don't know how old they ( the couple) but that breed is alot to handle much less two! I think you should explain why it might be more cost affective for them to take to a shop ect. if they don't comply with your every 4 weeks. Although, I think it will need to be more often than that under the circumstances.