View Full Version : Concerns about First trip to the Groomer...

Gracie's Mommy
23rd March 2007, 01:48 PM
I've been considering taking Gracie to the groomer this weekend. But, I'm a little concerned because she's a bit skittish around a brush and very skittish around nail clippers. We've been working on this with varying degrees of success, but nail clipping still isn't going too well. So, I'm wondering if this would make a grooming appointment a horrible experience for all involved, or if things would go differently at the groomer than with us and it wouldn't be so bad? I'm assuming the groomer would have tricks and techniques that perhaps never ocurred to us? What were your experiences with first grooming sessions? Thanks much!

23rd March 2007, 02:10 PM
A professional groomer should be more than capable of looking after Gracie - and you can bet she will be much better behaved with the groomer than her Mommy (whom I'm sure she has wrapped around her little paw :lol:) .

I have to admit the first time Honey went to a groomer I was very anxious as she doesnt like to be by herself and gets herself all upset. So the groomer told me to hang around outside and if she starting acting up she would come out and get me - turns out she was fine!

I hope Gracie enjoys her first trip to the spa :flwr:

23rd March 2007, 02:36 PM
well if naughty alfs can behave i am sure she will be fine.he wont let me trim his feet.cut nails or clean his ears out.he thuoght when i did it that ok time for play fight,i gave up in the end and believe me the groomer is well able for mr.i can do anything else apart from above.

23rd March 2007, 02:41 PM
I am a person with plenty of groomer horror stories which I will not share as I don't think it will help but.......... whenever going to a groomer for the first time I would always stick around regardless of how long it takes to see how they handle your dog and how your dog handles them. If they don't agree to this I would not go and find a groomer that is happy with this arrangement.
Often your little one is good as gold for another person (as was said b4) and it can put your mind at ease. You can stay out of sight but hear what is going on or look thru a peep hole to check you are happy with the treatment of your little one and maybe even pick up tips.
I think that groomers (the good ones) have plenty of tricks up their sleeve that will ease certain situations like nails but I think if your little one is really skitish just build up the trust slowly and don't have too many expectations of her first session eg, maybe only get a couple of nails clipped not all ?
We have to clip the boys nails using food, one person holds a peice of apple (one of their favourite foods) and only lets them nibble it whilst another is clipping the nail. Sometimes we need 3 people depending on how wiggley the boys are that day and they generally end up getting half an apple each cut up into small peices for all nails to be cut.

As for the brush again gradually introduce it, bring it out, let her see it, sniff it, feel it etc without actually doing a full grooming session and build this up over time so eventually when the brush comes out its not such a big deal.
For the first time at the groomers its good to just let her get used to the noises and the smells with a little bit of attention on her and if you have time build this up gradually. As I said not too many expectations for the first couple of visits ???

Hope this helps.

Gracie's Mommy
23rd March 2007, 03:35 PM
Thanks everyone...very helpful! The problem with food while clipping her nails is that she gets so agitated she's really not interested in food. I guess maybe the trick is to find food that she LOVES! She doesn't get agitated while brushing and has gotten much better about it...I think it's mostly that she just gets impatient with it. You can pet her for an hour, but pull the brush out and she's done!

I was thinking about using the PetsMart groomers. Is this a bad idea? Any suggestions on finding a good groomer?

23rd March 2007, 07:31 PM
I am a groomer and boy do we have tricks!! HEE HEE HEE

We always encourage our clients to bring the puppies into our shop, after they have had their shots of course, just to observe. Sometimes several times...also we have had clients that have left their dogs for like an hour, just so puppy could see that our shop is not something to be scared of.

As far as the nail cutting, as an owner, try to play as much as possible with your dogs feet. Rub them, touch them etc... That way when a groomer does go to trim the nails, the dog is not freeked out b/c someone is touching their feet!!!

Oh and the dog is always more well behaved when the owner is not around, so if you are going to stay---do not let your dog see you!!! (just like having a small toddler)

23rd March 2007, 11:43 PM
I am a groomer and boy do we have tricks!! HEE HEE HEE

Share them all with us! :badgrin:

When our guys were puppies, and now with Beau, when they were on my lap I'd always be fiddling with something... separating toes, tapping on nails, fiddling with ears, looking in mouth. It really pays off. So now they just lay down and fall asleep when I dremel their nails, clean their ears, whatever. The exception to this is Sonny, who we have only had for a few months and he came to us at 2 years of age. He was terribly foot phobic, but now he tolerates my clipping his nails, and he even let me dremel them the other day. Woohoo!

24th March 2007, 04:19 AM
Wallis grew up being in a vet clinic and around groomers, so she has never had a problem with that. And she's too docile to make much of a fuss anyway. Our groomer adores Tibby, so she's no problem. She calls Sasha a little s**t, because she is one. I started taking her when she was really young just to get her used to going and being fooled with.

Dogs are much like kids. They behave so much better for the groomer. If you hang around, do it out of sight!!

The groomer I had in KY knew my other shihtzu so well. I remember once when I thought Bonnie Jean wasn't acting right but didn't say anything because believe me, after you see some of the stuff that comes into a clinic you get plenty paranoid. I took her to have her groomed and when I went to pick her up the first thing she said was "What's wrong with Bonnie Jean?" It's good to have someone else who knows your dog well enough to know when something is not right with them.

Wallis and Sasha are going this Wednesday (and Tibby going along for the ride). I told the groomer to just do the best she could with Wallis's shaved spots. I don't want her shaved down. I've had this freaky kind of thing for several months that if Wallis is going to die I want her to have her full coat and really look like herself.

I've gone full circle, sorry. I would advise you to take the dog to the groomer and let them have a meet and greet. You introduce them then make yourself scarce. MOST groomers are in the business because they love dogs, and Cavaliers do have that way of charming people.

26th March 2007, 12:50 PM
I am a groomer too and have clients bring puppies in for puppy clips or baths and blowdry from a young age. They get to play with the other dogs, get treats and so forth. I try to make it as fun as possible so that they get used to the whole process. They very quickly learn that when they are on the table its time to behave, once they are back on the floor its time to go craaaaaazyyyyyyyyyyyyy! especially after bath time when i put a whole pile of towles on the floor so they can go mad rolling, I have so many funny videos of post-bath maddies! I'll have to upload them and post them here, its a hoot!

I also agree with what Jenny was saying. Play with their feet, ears all over! Get other people to do it too!
I let people watch but through the window, if the dog sees mum (or dad) you loose any authority you would otherwise had, it just becomes a big game.
Puppy thinks " Why should I listen to youlisten to stupid groomer lady when mum is standing their waving at me!" :lol: