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Trying to Find My Place

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  • Trying to Find My Place

    Hi there..... I absolutely love animals, especially animals that have put in their fair share of a life (aka seniors ) so I have decided that I would like to start a grooming business that specializes more in senior animals (they do require some extra care and attention). I am a little worried because I have a ton of business experience and little experience in grooming. I have read a lot of the posts here and it certainly looks like schooling is the way to go. I look forward to getting some great insight and meeting some wonderful people here. What a great place to help ensure newbies like me get off on the right foot!

  • #2
    Hello and welcome
    yes, you definitely need training and there are alot of good schools to choose from. But before you decide to jump right in helping out our senior friends, you'll need alot of hands on experience first. it's one thing to groom a young healthy dog. it's another thing completely grooming the elderly. there are several senior dogs that I will not have the other groomers in the shop do. and they have at least 5 years exp. Taking care of the elderly pet is a big responsibility. so attend school, get some exp. behind you and then decide if that will be your specialty. and if you still decide that that's what you want to do. give me a call. i have a few old crotcheties for ya! lol jk

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    • #3
      I have to say, I almost specialized in Senior Dogs when I opened my business. But now I am glad I do not specialize in them. In fact, some days I don't want to do them anymore. They are really tough. I feel bad for them and want to help, but it can be backbreaking and hard to do a nice groom on them. I ususally need help with them.

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      • #4
        I agree with goldie start with the young to gain grooming and handling skill then as you feel comfertable you can transition to a more senior based business. I would also read posts about vet grooming and many senoirs have medical issues(heart failure,seziures) and grooming in a enviroment with onsite medical care could be a draw for you senior clientle. Good luck

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        • #5
          Good Luck

          hello,
          I have only been grooming for 2 yrs, and have only groomed one elderly dog. They are a trial. I agree with all the answers you have gotten from others. You do need to go to college for this. A lot of people think that grooming a dog is nothing at all. Well think again. It's a lot of work, and you have to know what tools to use. Clipping nails, bathing, and combing does not a groomer make. I am still learning! So good luck and have fun.
          Annette

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          • #6
            I agree with Goldi, senior dogs require special attention and can be very strenuous on your arms, back and mental wellness. Not to mention how attached we become to our clients and when one passes away it is HEART Wrenching!!!

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            • #7
              One other thing to think about is owners and dogs usually get very attached to their groomers. They usually aren't going to trust someone new with their senior pup, even if you come highly recommended.

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              • #8
                Well if you do

                specialize in Senior dogs, after you get the knowledge and experience under your belt, you will be a blessing to the owners, dogs and the grooming world. I am a Housecall Groomer and sort of automatically get many senior dogs, since they feel so comfortable staying in their own home, with the owner near by. Most are great, a couple that are not coherant and two that I groom as they lay there, one side first, roll over, then the other side.

                The only real hard part for me is that they die. It gets hard to know that the fur friend you get to know will not be there for too long. I send many sympathy cards.
                Money will buy you a pretty good dog but it won't buy the wag of it's tail.

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                • #9
                  If you do wind up grooming senior dogs, it is a good idea to have the owners sign a Release Form. That way if the dog keels, they don't blame you.

                  I groom an old cocker in my van with congestive heart failure. I only groom that dog when the owner is home, just in case of an emergency. I also groom a bunch with cancer. It's really sad. I never know if that's the last time I'll see the dog. I also "feel" for the owner.

                  Many of these owners are so grateful to find a caring grooming to help with their Fluffy. It is a good thing but you have to be cut out for it as it's heartbreaking.
                  www.gomobileandsucceed.com
                  http://thesuccessfulpetgroomer.com

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                  • #10
                    New To Grooming! I was there once!

                    Listen dont waste your money in schooling they dont teach much for the money you spend. I learned hands on by a groomer. It was the best way to learn.... If you already opened a shop hire someone that has experiance and has a great reputation to learn from ( they wont come cheap ) lol. If not start out part time at a grooming shop baithing and watch every one see if you like it if so ask if you can move up but dont jump in to somethin you might not like .... you need a lot of patience and hands on .... make sure the one you are working for does not smack dogs for any reason(been there with old job) ... Its very stressfull at times and ive seen groomers lash out! Its not good. If you do enjoy it..... its up to u on the schooling.... I never attended the School and im doing wonderfull!
                    Lisa

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                    • #11
                      It is just unbelievable to me when people say that going to school is a waste of money. You may want to try to get a job first with a shop, see if it is for you. Explain your situation. Decide if you want to spend the money for school. That's good. And I agree that hands on is the best way to learn. But in any quality grooming school, you will get alot of hands on. there are schools that may be a waste of money, but a good school is definitely not a waste. And I cannot even begin to understand how people can think spending about $4k-$7k is alot of money for a career. I know people that have gone to college for 4 years and start out in their careers getting paid about $10 bucks an hour. I could never live on that. Also, I know their are places that will teach a groomer, but you will have to find one. Personally, I would not take on that liability. That's what school is for.

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                      • #12
                        At least half of the dogs I groom regularly are over 10 (alot over 15). It can be a very rewarding experience. It does take patience, but no more than trying to groom a puppy. Mostly it takes skill and wisdom. Like others mentioned if you get some knowledge and experience, I think you will be very happy with the outcome. What I like most about grooming elderly dogs, are the owners! Most, if not all of mine, are very trustworthy, dependable, knowlegeable themselves and will pay the price for the type of care they're looking for. I don't specialize in the elderly, but I do cater to special requests and my Salon setting is very quiet and relaxing - which is a must for the elderly dogs. So I unknowlingly set up my Salon to attract these types of clients. I do like to mix it up however and not groom all old dogs all the time - you might find you'll like doing the same (in fact I'm not currently accepting any new elderly clients). It may seem a bit overwhelming in these early stages, but it's very attainable. You can do it - Hang in there. You know where to come for support and lots of opinions.

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