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Problem with Golden Retrievers

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  • Problem with Golden Retrievers

    Ok, I am new to grooming, but with the help and advice from people on this forum I am getting better, and have happy clients. I have only ever had one complaint and that was with the tail not looking great on a first time Golden Ret. However, this dog will not stand up and it is very hard to work on the back end when the dog won't stand...weight of this dog, about 85 lbs. She did refer her friend to me for grooming and the appointment was today, and I feel like crying. This GR was massive and is on a very strict diet, however he still weighs in at 112 lbs and he is massive. Around his middle he is 44"s.
    My problem is this dog came in with so much undercoat and shedding hair stuck in his back end and neck area mostly, that it took me almost 2 and a half hours just to get it out, and as with the other one, this one won't stand and at that size, I can't say I blame him at all, but I can not hold his back end up.
    I am thinking about giving up doing this breed all together as they are the only real problems I have, but they change a job I love into a very stressful situation.
    To top it off, I can't lift this one onto my table because he is too big, so I had to sit on the floor to groom him. The way it ended is I removed undercoat with an undercoat rake, trimmed him up a bit, brushed him then combed him out....that took 3 hours. No bath, no dry no anything else.
    I give up...I guess I just needed to vent...I have to bath this dog on another day, and I will give the first one another chance, one more groom, but if it doesn't work out, I am going back to the little ones and sticking with them only! I can't handle the stress, frustration or the failure that I am feeling after one of these walks into my house.
    Vent I am going to have a good cry and not think about it anymore for today, I've beaten myself up enough today to do me a month!

    AKA Little Critters on e-groomer

  • #2
    Second thing is get a good lips system to hold those lardbutts up off the table.
    Third is charge what they are worth. If you groom a yorkie for xx dollars, a golden in full coat should be at least twice that.


    • #3
      there are some dogs that we call "TWO person dogs" , b/c it just does take 2 people to do it - one to hold up & one to groom. this sounds like one of them - if you don't have another person to help, don't do it. not worth breaking your back over a groom.

      those big massive goldens can be a bit frustrating - they definitely know how to use their weight against you!


      • #4
        heya gluergirl.....

        don't fret the big stuff..........))) First, get that pup into the tub and wash him!!! Then take your high velocity dryer....and start...that loose hair will blow right on out of him!!!! It will look like it is snowing.....then what I while I am drying I grab my coat king or furminator and brush while I am parting the hair.....the tools grab the loose hairs....if the big lungen wont stand up get yourself a groomers helper kit....the one with the 2 poles and brackets....and use it to MAKE the dog stand up....alot of times for the bigger goldens I do use my slings to support their may not be perfect but you will be able to get at their pants and tail.....I have been able to complete the entire groom in a hour and a half at the most.....make your tools work for !!!!! You are going to burn yourself out doing all that deshedding!!!!



        • #5
          I've had Golden's like that too. I had one that was huge and I couldn't lift him on to the table. I have a home based business out of my laundry room in base housing on Okinawa. so, my "table" was actually my washing machine with a home made table top and grooming arm attached to it. I got the big boy to stand on his back legs with front paws on my table. Then, I lifted the rear end up. I knew he wouldn't have a problem standing on his back legs because he's a jumper and would always put his front paws on my counter top when mom was there dropping him off or picking him up. As far as getting him to stand up I would cinch him up on the grooming arm and then take a 1 gallon shampoo bottle and put it under his belly between the back legs. Each time he would try to sit he would feel that and stand back up. Sometimes you have to be creative. In the summer time they would get him clippered down with a #10. In the winter they let him grow out some. I saw this dog every 4 weeks. So, we kind of got used to one another. I was really frustrated with him at first. But, we got used to one another and everything was great. Mom was a great tipper too! The last time I saw that dog was about 6 years ago when we left Okinawa to come back to the USA. Now that I'm back I wonder how many dogs I'll see again that have been here and left and now returned. Military pets get to travel a lot!


          • #6
            I think you mentioned you did all the brushing before the bath. I went to school and learned to prep dogs( brush before the bath) then at a shop I learned if you put the big hairy dogs in the tub first, then use the dryer to get all that undercoat out you will save your back, arm, and valuable time. Try it next time!


            • #7
              Oh no! This is exactly why I had to put a weight limit on the dogs I groom! I had a 100 lb golden, that I had managed to get into the tub, but he sat down and wouldn't stand up. I ended up crying I was so frustrated.

              I have a hydraulic table, so I can usually get big dogs up on that. Either they jump up or I put their front paws on and then hoist their backend up. Then I pump up the table and I'm able to carry the dog across to the tub. Getting them out of the tub is OK because it's more of a controlled drop. I always HV them on the floor, they're more comfortable there, and I have a stool to sit on.

              Really big dogs, (or not so big but stubborn dogs!) just have to go to a 2 person shop.
              Hang in there!!


              • #8
                My advise: invest in right equipment to handle those guys.
                You need a Hanvey hydraulic table, lips system, recirculating bathing system and powerful HV drier. Than you will be properly equipped to deal with big hairy guys.
                I just did huge and shy Malamute that hasn't been groomed for a year. It took me three hours to bath, dry, de-shed and trim him up. with bath and de-shed taking 2 hours of it.

                IF you can not afford every thing on the list get at least a very powerful HV drier, it would be you life saver and main de-shedding tool.
                In our shop we have a home made 'lips" system in our tub to deal with large dogs with heavy bottoms. It was very simple to make. It consist of a step board (lumber) with two huge "cup hooks" screwed into it, one at each end of the tub. From the hooks we suspended two ratchets. The whole thing rests on the walls surrounding the tub about four or five feet above it. When we bath a dog we get it in and put one ratchet strap under its belly and secure second one to the noose. The dog is also secured by another noose to the tub because we had some brave ones try to jump out. We have a walk in shower too, but i have a hydraulic table that I use to lift dogs into the tub, so its easy.

                Here is what I do:
                I never brush dirty dog. Unless mats are us solid as rocks and you could knock on them, dogs goes in the tub. I do nails, pads and sani if needed prior to the bath. The dog is bathed using Bathing Beauty with dirty dog shampoo, rinsed, bathed second time to make sure it is clean, rinsed. Then refill the tub and add little bit of Chris Christensen Ice on Ice concentrate in it (1/2 -1 table spoon), and run it over the dog with BB making sure the dog is saturated with it. DO NOT Rinse. I quickly brush the dog to remove excess moisture and undercoat that got loose during the bath. After that I start drying. I start at the neck and do it slow and steady. You would not believe it but mats and packed undercoat just slide out as you dry the dog. If there is more stubborn area I concentrate on it more and "pick" at them with coarce comb or T-brush. When the dog is dry only thing i left to do is to give it a quick brush over to remove any leftover undercoat and trim feet.


                • #9
                  Yea, i price my big guys based on amount of time I estimate to spen working on them. On that malamute, I estimated that it would take me four hours to groom him. In that time frame I could groom four yorkies or shih-tzus. So his price was estimated to be yorkie/shiu X 4.
                  Some groomers I worked with charge less for Bath and trims than haircuts, even if they take longer to groom. It doesn't make sense to me because your bathing skills are not less valuable than your cutting skills.


                  • #10
                    Groomers helper

                    I have the same problem and it makes my back and shoulder hurt trying to get them to stay up. I just invested in the Groomers helper up grade tonight. If it helps me half as much as the starter kit I will be very happy.
                    As for the undercoat wash the dog and use the HV dryer to get all the hair lose, then pre-brush before letting the coat fully dry. If there is one thing I have learned over the past few weeks its brush out the coat while it’s still wet or at least damp.
                    Hang in there- golden’s can be easy money if you do it right. Try not to look at it as a job look at it as a hobby and enjoy what you do. Brushing out a dogs coat can be very relaxing.


                    • #11
                      thanks everyone...

                      One of the main problems is that I do not have a HV dryer, I have that small orange metro clamp on dryer, and a regular blow dryer, so I am not going to remove a lot of thick shedding hair with those...hopefully drier will come next month.

                      I have a professional groomer's helper, but this dog would have bent it or broken the clamp I am almost sure of it. When he comes in for his bath, I'll take a picture of him for you to look at. He is the size of a Newfoundland Dog.
                      I can't afford the lips system, so that is out for now...I will just have to make sure I have help to work on the dogs that are large and only do the ones under a certain weight.

                      Okigroomer, I like the detergent bottle idea so maybe I'll try something like that and get him to stand that way anything is worth a try and since I am on a very limited budget, creative ideas like that will help me the most, and getting a good dryer!

                      Thanks everyone,and Carla I can't thank you enough for all you teach me and letting me vent to you...if it weren't for you and Beth, I think I'd be ripping my own hair out!
                      You guys and girls are great!
                      Enjoy your night!
                      AKA Little Critters


                      • #12
                        ugh I know the feeling. It seems like the goldens are all FAT and then they are either nutso crazy or waaay too lazy to stand up.

                        I treasure one of my regulars named Smooch. She is a former show dog, and was already perfectly trained. She is gentle and calm and beautiful.


                        • #13
                          When I began, almost every dog was dried with stand dryer & good old fashioned arm power...LOL. Keeping a dog that size on the table let alone keep them standing was an exercise in frustration. I agree that the first thing you should consider is a good HV dryer. As to other tools & equipment, it is really personal choice. I'd recommend you choose your equipment by 'your' choice, if you can get to any grooming shows, you can try them there and make your choices as to your budget.
                          All our tables are foot hydralics (I've worked with electric hydraulics but I found more issues that went wrong, just my opinion though) I use the Pup Tent table support system. I have so many bent poles and really large dogs lean to one side of tables with overhead pole systems (or lip systems) that actually pulled the screws out of the table. The Pup Tent doesn't budge and it supports 'every' size dog with ease.
                          If you can get to any grooming show, you may want to get yourself smaller size bottles of different products, find what you like best. Try out scissors, brushes.. everything you think you may like. I know many like tub bathing systems that recycle, others dont, some like this product or that one... just keep looking for what will work for you.
                          I have always tried to keep in mind.. big ticket items - get what will last, nothing like a big ticket item only then finding out you have to keep buying replacement parts or repair it.


                          • #14
                            What is a pup tent? Do you have a link?
                            "We are all ignorant--we merely have different areas of specialization."~Anonymous
                            People, PLEASE..It's ONLY a website!~Me


                            • #15
                              If you have it use it to save your back!

                              Originally posted by gluergirl View Post
                              I have a professional groomer's helper, but this dog would have bent it or broken the clamp I am almost sure of it.
                              Gluergirl AKA Little Critters
                              Dear Gluegirl,

                              When I say no more sitters I mean no more sitters! The goldens are the exact reason we invented the no-sit feature of the Groomers Helper.

                              When you have to brush out the hind quarters and legs and they sit constantly it can be very frustrating and laborious. We even use it in the tub to stop the sitters. It is simple to set up and use then take down when you are done. Underneath should be good enough for most but if not you can loop around the body and he is not going anywhere.

                              With the sling you have to work around the overhead bar that cuts the table in half. You still have to brush what covered by the sling. No such difficulty with the Groomers Helper as the entire back end of the dog presents itself to you unobstructed to get the job done. Put up the set, lift once and complete the job.

                              If the 24" X 3/4” poles that come with the set are not high enough (in most cases they are) we have 30" X 3/4" stainless steel extension arms that will fit the clamps. We then sell a 1" X 36" Heavy Duty Arm and Clamp Set that will hold a small horse or any size dog.

                              Groom Smarter not Harder! Your set is "Guaranteed for Life" so break it I will replace it. But use it.