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I am done with big dogs.........

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  • I am done with big dogs.........

    I decided to have a weight limit for dogs. It's getting too complicated and hard to work with these dogs. I have been having my BF help me with large dogs, but his schedule will be changing for work making it difficult to schedule these dogs and it's just not good on both of our bodies. Plus our van doesn't accomodate these dogs well enough. This week I have had 2 incidents with dogs behaving badly that made me nervouse to groom them and they were the large dogs that are hard to handle and down right scary. I feel bad for the owners because one is a 135 pound American Bulldog who is old and has bad back legs. He was a chore to get into the tub and tried biting the dryer. I am kinda scared of him, so I am going to have to tell them I can't do it. I am going to change my voicemail message to a weight limit, just not sure of a good weight limit. What does everyone else do. I honeslty don't mind doing most goldens and labs as long as they are good when being groomed. So 70-75lbs? Or should I go lower? Do people call and lie about the weight?

  • #2
    big dogs

    Hi I am a brusher bather and am about to go to school for grooming. I too have a problem with BIG dogs. Yesterday at work a shepard/chow bit me in the arm, wouldn't get in the tub or walk. Scatched my face. He was a pain. I got in trouble for scruffing his neck and yelling at him to get him in the kennel. Almost lost my job. I too am afriad of big agressive dogs. I would think 60-70 would be good, but they also can be aggressive also. I hope grooming will be good for me. Thanks~



    • #3
      I've been grooming nine years and stopped taking big dogs last fall. I decided that if a big dog is willing to climb onto my chair and into the tub or on the table I will keep him. Those that weren't compliant were asked to find another groomer. I did it because of back issues. Now that I work only with small dogs, cats and a few well behaved large dogs I wouldn't do it any other way. I never felt properly compensated for all the work that went into them. I've noticed that some groomers on this board actually love doing the big dogs, I'm happy to let them have them.


      • #4
        Yes, those big dogs are a killer in the van. Physically, it's a big job and it's exhausting. When I first started out, I took everything but not now. No more cockers (darn things don't dry), goldens (most of them are overweight and the owners don't pick up a brush) and basically anything I can't pick up. I asked the owners of the big dogs I've been doing to get on a maintenance groom schedule (every 6-8 weeks depending on the dog). The one's that were willing I am grooming. The others that weren't willing went somplace else which was fine with me. I don't mind doing the labs as long as the owners help me lift them into the tub. I found I was dreading some of those big dogs. I'd rather make a little less money then kill myself! Life is too short and I don't want to hurt myself. The nice thing about mobile is you can pick and choose whom you want to groom. That's a major plus in my book.


        • #5
          I would say that if you do not have the proper equipment to handle large dogs, you should either do them in the client's tub that they can climb in and out of and finish on your van floor, or only take one's that you can handle and safely lift. Unfortunately, you may have to attempt and not complete a groom to know for sure, or, just set a weight limit. Whether the dog is very large or smaller, their behavior will dramatically affect their handle-ability, regardless of physical size.


          • #6
            I'm not mobile but I don't do too many big dogs. I work by myself so I don't have anyone to help lift them, too hard on my back. I did have my hubby make me some steps for the bigger one to climb up to the table, from there I can get them in the tub. There are a few that I still do because they have been with me forever and they are good dogs. I don't take any new large dogs, nothing larger than a St. Poo.
            "There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face."


            • #7
              Some big dogs can be easy quick money. I dropped all my overweight goldies that kept trying to sit and fought me to keep them standing, any dog over 60 lbs (what I can currently comfortably lift) that isn't 100% percent cooperative doesn't get rebooked. I explain that up front before the first groom.

              If it looks like the dog may be able to learn to cooperate (didn't quite get the ramp going into the tub, but caught on coming out, tried to sit a couple of times, but stood easily when urged to, etc.) they get a second chance.

              It's been so much better for me since I did that. With the right combination of geography, multi dog houses and big bath dogs vs little fussy groom dogs I can groom 7-9 dogs in a 7:30 am to 2:00 pm grooming day, another 45 min or so for cleanup, 15 for paperwork, and it's a reasonalbe day!



              • #8
                I dropped my limit to 40 lbs but am considering going even lower. I also have back issues and was advised by my dr. not to pick up anything over 25 lbs. I really have very few dogs that even fall between 25 and 40 lbs tho, seems most small dogs are under 20. I wish I had dropped my limit much earlier. When I get home after a day of grooming little fluffies, I don't really feel like I have worked. When I used to have just one large dog in my day that I had to boost onto the table, carry to the tub or make stand up repeatedly, I felt bushed. As you get older the money is less and less worth it. I think 65lbs is reasonable, there are some nice goldens of that size if you want to keep them. But, I would rather do without. This back thing was just the excuse i needed.


                • #9
                  It depends on the dog

                  I had a 25 pounder, every 6 months shave down too hard. Gone.

                  I bathe/nails a 40 pound very obedient Border Collie who almost jumps in the tub, turns around on command & gets a bath every 2 weeks or so. A keeper.

                  If i was feeling up to it, I'd give a big dog a chance.

                  The second question I ask potential new clients prior to booking an appointment for any size dog, is has the dog EVER bit ANYONE. Yes answer means no groom. I work alone, I won't risk it.
                  IF I scheduled one I can't complete (it has happened) for whatever reason- gone with no guilt.
                  You really must look out for yourself. You'll be injured & the dog will be at the next grooming shop. Never ever worth it.



                  • #10
                    Originally posted by kittykat View Post
                    Hi I am a brusher bather and am about to go to school for grooming. I too have a problem with BIG dogs. Yesterday at work a shepard/chow bit me in the arm, wouldn't get in the tub or walk. Scatched my face. He was a pain. I got in trouble for scruffing his neck and yelling at him to get him in the kennel. Almost lost my job. I too am afriad of big agressive dogs. I would think 60-70 would be good, but they also can be aggressive also. I hope grooming will be good for me. Thanks~

                    Don't ever scruff a big dog. You will get bit. If you are afraid of dogs then you are in the wrong field. Dogs sense fear and there is no hiding it. You will continue to get bit if you are afraid.
                    If your dog is fat, you are not getting enough exercise!


                    • #11
                      I do any size dog. If they don't get on the table I make the owners help so i don't hurt myself. I also make them do the majority of the lifting hehe. If the dog is flipping and carrying on like an idiot then I don't rebook them unless the owner is in the trailer to handle their idiot. I will do the bathing drying and grooming and they will hold the monster or I don't groom. I make tons of money on bigs dogs. I would love to do nothing but big dogs just for the $$ sake of it. I can have a lab done in 30 minutes. I can have a pit done in 20 or less. You just have to let the big guys know who is in charge and don't take any poo poo. You can say it all in body language too.
                      If your dog is fat, you are not getting enough exercise!


                      • #12
                        thats very true diam. also..if your afraid of the larger dogs...then just state that your not comfortable bathing the larger dogs. you can maybe perhaps ask for help with them? i know there were a couple larger dogs that i NEEDED help with...a couple of nutsy labs! yet the pyrs and collies i could do just fine! now i remember once i had a dane try to jump out of the tub on me...yeah that wasnt fun LOL! also my own dog decided to act like a huge baby for his nails the other day...he started carrying on (whining, trying to get away etc)...and he decided he was going to place his mouth on my arm. i dont think so. he didnt bite down...but i did feel that mouth on my arm. he KNOWS better than to even THINK about of course i told him to get his azz in the bedroom, get on that bed, told him you KNOW better than to bite me, he got a crack on the butt, and the nails where finished whether he liked it or not. tough **** buddy! its being done wether you want them done or not. its NOT up to you. also if you just have a feeling that the dog is going to bite you...or you see the dog turning to snap at NOT hesitate to get a muzzle on the dog. if you ever are uncertain about the dogs intentions (ie hes turning to lick your face or hes turning to rip your face off) GET a muzzle immediately and if you cannot get it on ask for help getting it on. some dogs act up around certain people...i know one coyote/shep mix (yes it SERIOUSLY did look like a yote/shep mix!) was acting funny one day...and i mean FUNNY. she kept pulling **** on me i told my boss i wasnt comfortable handling her (even though id done her before with no problems two or three times) this time i wasnt comfortable with the dog. she did her with no questions asked. if you want to put a weight limit put a weight limit. you dont need to explain why. just say thats teh weight limit on the dog...and some people honestly dont know what their dog weighs...they can say its a 50 lb golden mix that turns out to be either a 35 lb golden mix or a 90 lb golden mix..
                        so...on these dogs where the weight flucuates quite alot id say you just need to see the dog in person...and determine if your able to do the dog or not.


                        • #13

                          The right equipment is everything when doing big dogs.

                          I had my hubby build me a ramp that is extra wide and over ten feet long.
                          They hate going up the steep ones. With an owners help at most, I can even get the one fifty plus dogs in my sink. Once there, they are mine, and so is the cash that goes with them. I would rather work on one dog, then three for the same money.
                          I have a level area right next to my tub and they simply step out of the tub onto this and walk out onto my grooming table.
                          I had my son weld me an overhead grooming arm like on the lips system, and
                          I use a pony cinch under the rear of the big ones that like to sit.
                          I don't like the narrow haunch straps, I think they put to much pressure on the bladder. I have had dogs lay on those and then get up and the pee goes everywhere. Some of these large, coat packed dogs and take five hours or more, and they get tired too. I usually only do one of these a day.
                          Someday I keep telling myself I will get a hydrolic table, but so far, I just can't quite do it. I supose I will sooner or later, get a dog that won't
                          go up the ramp, but so far so good.


                          • #14
                   the last shop we had a little step stool type thing...YEAHHHHHHHHH try to get a dog to go up THAT into the tub. AINT WORKING. LOL! so eventually i just said screw it and just started lifting them into the tub...if i got one i couldnt lift i went and got my boss and we lifted together. i remember at the doggy daycare a guy came in with 4 english bulldogs...and none of them would go up the stairs! (the kind you see that hook over the edge of the tub...she had the professional grooming tub stairs LOL!)...but she had the big grates with the big holes in one of the bulldogs nails got caught and i didnt realize it...but the nails were so dry it just snapped problem really. but its alot harder to try and get a larger dog to go up stairs in a smaller cramped area than in a bigger area.
                            its up to you YOU feel like wrestling with an out of control lab that can knock you down,pull you around, etc etc? i remember we had one lady tell us go ahead you can punch him in the head...(this was HER OWN DOG!)...she tells us she already kicked his azz in the parking lot because he pulled her getting out of the car! well the dog was acting up but we didnt hit him LOL! that would be just wrong! but then when she picked him up she kicked his azz again for pulling her! can we training lady! i was shocked that a client would tell the groomer oh its alright for you to hit my dog...geez!!!


                            • #15
                              Question for those who have the owner/s help with the big dogs. Aren't you afraid of the owner getting hurt and suing you? Even if they are bitten by their own dog, you are still responsible. Do you have them sign a release? I know that big dog owners tend to be a tad more laid back, but don't you worry about potentially losing all that you've worked for?

                              I am asking because I have had to stop grooming cats recently, which takes out a third of my clientele. I'm thinking of getting back with *some* of the bigger dogs.