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Grooming "faster"?

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  • Grooming "faster"?

    I don't like to use the word faster, but I can't think of the word I'm looking for...

    I'm relatively new to grooming in a salon, I previously groomed by my self and I didn't have a time frame to finish dogs in. I notice I get carried away on scissoring a leg or foot.

    Since all dogs are different, let's base this off of a well behaved shih tzu. Generally I clip down, I was told to keep my clipper work to around 15 minutes (for body and legs), then I get 5 minutes per leg/foot to scissor, and last but not least is face, assuming it's a round head, they usually take me 20-30 minutes depending on length and how well they sit still - longer haired dogs sometimes take a bit longer. (And before all of that there's nails, ears, pre brushing if needed, I also trim sanitary area, eyes, infront of ear canal, pluck ears, and shave pads and arm pits if needed/short hair cut, and it usually takes me 15-20 minutes for that). If it gets a pre shave I like to spend no more than 15 minutes. And bath and dry usually takes 20-30 minutes to.compeltely dry.

    So all together, so it usually ends up taking me nearly 2 1/2 hours to 3 hours to finish a dog start to finish. Which is fine, if that's the only dog I have. But now I'm moving up to finish 2 dogs in a 4 hour spot (which should be relatively easy to adjust to), but I'm supposed to move up to 3 dogs in the 4 hour spot within the next month. I'm worried about how I will get everything done and meet the standard I set in my head.

    What are some ways you groom "faster"? How long does it take you to scissor legs, feet, a face?

    If you have any tips at all, please let me know. I want to move up to doing more dogs, I just end up spending way to much time on one little thing.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

  • #2
    Are you using a Bravaura and SS combs to do your round heads? This is really a time saver.
    Ain't always easy to stand up for what is right.


    • #3
      Where did you learn grooming? ....sounds like you did it on your own, because under someone's trained eye, you would have been encouraged to go faster. A small breed like a Shih Tzu shouldn't take you any longer than a hour from start to finish.

      Pre work (ears, nails, paws, santi trim)...around 15 min

      Bath, conditioning, drying...around 20 min

      Clipper work on body, legs and top of head (with snap on, usually 3/8 or 1/2" length)....around 10 min

      Scissor around paws and any "outies" ...around 5 min

      Head, ears, muzzle and tail...around 10 min

      total around 1 hour

      I would go to as many grooming expo's and attend seminars as you can, each year you groom. You should purchase some Jodi Murphy DVD's and see how fluid she works on the dogs. I would also do some ride alongs with area mobile groomers to grasp their routine and speed, without the use of cage drying or an assistant. All mobile groomers have a strict time schedule, so they would be an excellent source of visual education of speed grooming and yet, producing an excellent result.

      Happy speeding up

      Dolly's Barking Bubbles, LLC


      • #4
        Dolly and Cyn both offer excellent advice. If you aren't using clipper combs for those round heads, you need to start. A head takes me five minutes at the most, unless I am avoiding eyelashes for the owner who wants 'a super short visor but don't touch those eyelashes'.

        I made a little video at the behest of a old member here showing a 20 minute finish groom.

        It's not instructional, just mean to show how I get it done.


        • #5
          Faster just means more efficiently. Spend your time making sir dog is squeaky clean and dry and brushed out.
          Use clippers and combs to set the lengths everywhere. Then scissor to shape the finished look.

          Shortcut hints:
          Do ears in the tub. Do nails while sack drying and while hey are wet and more malleable.
          Use your blade to set the basic shape of the foot when doing pads.
          Follow a consistent pattern of approach and stick with it. ( mine is to set body length, then rear angulation and chest, then all legs, and finally head and face to balance, and tail is last ).
          If you have more than one clipper and will be using different comb lengths - set that up before starting.
          Keep you tools organized as you go - nothing wastes more time than having to look for things.
          Finally...... Set yourself a time limit either with an actual timer or a cd and music so that you force yourself to keep moving.

          The others were correct. 3 average dogs in 4 hours is not unreasonable. It's how we earn enough to keep doing what we love every day. Good luck


          • #6
            I've been grooming for 10 months, and grooming on my own (not training) for about 4. It takes me about an hour and a half to do a small dog like a shih tzu. I currently have that much time scheduled. I can go faster, but I usually don't just because I don't have to. When I DO have to do 4 small dogs/bath and brush dogs in 4 hours, I usually have to decide what to take my time on and usually that depends on the dog. And I don't always take a lunch.

            For a little while, I was producing not great grooms in the time I had. But now I'm up to speed. For me, it just took a looot of practice. Big doodles and spoos take me forever, still. But the thing that helped me the most on my time issue was knowing when to quit clippering the body and start scissoring. Like some shih tzues are NOT going to ever look perfectly smooth and perfect in a 7 strip. Some dogs have so many cowlicks on their legs that I have to scissor them to look smooth. Some dogs have such funky conformation that it's best not to use a clipper on their legs at all. I have an adorable little havanese that I strictly hand-scissor legs on because she's incredibly bow-legged and I want them to look straight. She doesn't take me any longer than any dog I don't hand -scissor because I know that I'm going to get nowhere trying to clipper her legs, so I don't even mess around with it.
            And YES one of my biggest issues is stopping to look for things. I have started to do a little organizing and cleanup before and after every dog just so I keep track of all my stuff.

            Also, a huge time-sucker I have is matted dogs. If I know a dog is matted and will have to be brushed out instead of buzzed down, I always throw some chrome coat or speed dry in the last bath with some conditioner and loosen them as much as I can with my fingers in the tub and brush while the blow dryer pushes out the mats on the bigger dogs. The same goes for dogs with packed coat. It takes an extra few minutes but usually it's more like 15 extra minutes in the tub and blow drying instead of 30 minutes trying to brush it out.

            Then, when my time is up, it's up. I make myself stop picking and fluffing and go on to the next dog. Sometimes it's torture to drag myself away, but I always do a little better on the next one and now I don't get so frustrated with my times.


            • #7
              Thanks everyone, I've worked for pets mart for over 2 years bathing dogs. The last year I've been grooming my dogs/family dogs out of my house. I just went to a month long training class the month of July. I've been grooming for 1 week.

              I always use a clipper comb on my heads. Longer heads take me longer. Today for example I did a yorkie mix and it was 7 ao, and it took me 45 minutes for the entire hair cut. I also did a Maltese mix that was left at 1/2" and it took me close to 2 hours for the cut. Clipper combs take me so much longer than blades, which I guess makes sense.

              Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk


              • #8
                When I use clipper combs on colicky dogs I try too hard to even everything out ( especially with long cuts)

                Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk