Best results are finding somebody walking a poodle that you admire the groom on their dog. Ask them who their groomer is. Failing that, contact the various grooming registries such as National Dog Grooming Association or IPG to see a list of groomers in your area certified (tested before a board of their peers).
If there are no certified groomers near you, at least ask possible groomers for pictures of their poodle clients, how long the groomer will have your dog in their shop, if they are hand-dried. I do one dog at a time in my shop - less stress on the dog and me. How often the groomer wants the dog to return - I only do poodles on a 3 week schedule. Any longer than that and the poodles look scruffy. Don't want scruffy looking poodles in the public with my grooming name on them. I do 70 standard poodles in my client base and virtually all of them have come from client referrals. Never paid a penny for advertising. Word of mouth is the best way to find a good groomer (for any dog).
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to kanatadoggroomer For This Useful Post:
I think there are 2 issues that need to be evaluated: (1) How does the dog look when the groomer sends him home? (2) Is the dog handled properly throughout the grooming process? IMO, it is not hard to evaluate whether the dog looks nice, but it is very hard to evaluate how the dog is handled. This is one of those times I wish that the dog could talk to me and tell me what happened.
Do some of you have ideas about how to evaluate kindness and gentleness?
The Following User Says Thank You to peppersb For This Useful Post:
I work from my home and clients are welcome to stay but I know that option is not available to everybody. Most groomers don't want the owners around because sometimes the dog will act up when Mommy is around. Though I haven't found that to be the case if Mommy just sits in a chair and doesn't say anything to the dog. There is no real way of seeing how the dog is treated in the shop, unfortunately. Most dogs do not like the bathing/grooming process, but it's something they have to learn to "tolerate", so don't take the dog's reaction at the groomer's doorstep as an indication of how the groomer handles the dog in the tub/on the table. Heck, one of my own dogs HATES the bath and you'd think the groomer beat him regularly if anybody saw him in the tub. LOL He shakes and quivers and cowers with the water. Such a wuss.
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to kanatadoggroomer For This Useful Post:
1. go into the shops you are researching & talk with the groomer. Ask what the procedure is for grooming dogs. Some groomers/shops do what is called "cattle call" grooming which is where all the dogs come in at let's say between 8-9:30 & then given a time when to come back in the afternoon. Some book 2 dogs at a time & then in let's say 4 hours your dog is done. Some groomers groom 1 on 1 & call when done. Each one works for different clients.
2. Ask "how long they have groomed", what certification if any they have, do they attend grooming seminars or grooming shows, do they have pictures on the walls of their grooming etc.... Just because a groomer has groomed for 25 years doesn't make them a great groomer. Look for ones that continue their education in the grooming world, that attend trade shows etc...
3. Look at the cleanliness of shop, groomer, dogs etc... this to me does matter- do you want your groomer smoking while grooming your dog??? Do you want fleas on your dog when it leaves the shop??
4. Do you like the personality of your groomer? Some clash.
5. What is the waiting period to get your dog in to be groomed? Mine right now is 3 wks. Some groomers are booked 1 year in advanced & others aren't booked at all. Ask why?
These are some basic questions to ask your potential new groomer. Also, do they specialize in any particular breed. Mine is small dogs- poodles, yorkies, maltese, & shih tzu I see everyday & love working on them. I don't groom dogs over 30lbs.
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to 3dogs For This Useful Post:
At almost 6 months, Zach loves baths (as in he will climb in voluntarily when I'm bathing ME) and doesn't mind being clipped (he's VERY bribeable). I have a grooming stand but have not hooked him up to the arm yet, and also don't have dog clippers, been using hubs'. I did clip him to a 1/2 inch all over in the summer- he's very heat sensitive and is black, currently.
Now, at 30 lb, he's too big for beard trimmers. I've never used a dryer on him as he has a farm dog clip- same length all over. Time for a professional while I see about getting more appropriate clippers.
At the vet's I asked a woman with a large Spoo where she got her dog groomed and when she said why she went so far thought I would go there too- but the groomer isn't taking new clients at present (boo- she's full up for good reasons !)
So I go to one close to me, and the groomer is appalled Zach has his dewclaws, twisted her lips when I said I'd been doing a little myself, and wouldn't let me stay for the session. (This was just a drop in interview, that she said was ok to do and I had Z with me and he sat or was lying down on leash the whole time). I think she does mostly small dogs. No go there, for sure.
Now I'm looking again. Since I just want a simple clip, and won't be going monthly, and he is intact with dewclaws, UTD on shots etc, I'm quite tempted to go to Petsmart as our store has a window where you can watch. He's a puppy- I really don't want to scare him off groomers!
Thoughts? There are several more groomers locally. What I've learned is the good ones are booked up and apparently I should beware of someone with immediate openings!
Honestly, don't write them off because they won't let you stay. I found when owners insist on staying, the dog does not behave the same. I don't know if it is the owner's anxiety or just because the dogs act up with mommy around. But it is usually much more of a hinderance than a help. There were times with especially stressed dogs that we would ask the owner to stay. These were usually old dogs or dogs with special needs such as epilepsy. I started out at Petsmart as a bather. It is extremely difficult when the owner stands there and watches through the window. The dog spends the entire time worried about where mommy is, constantly trying to turn and look. They won't turn in different directions so the groomer can reach certain areas. They are constantly straining to keep eyes on mom making it a safety hazard. That groomer is working with very sharp scissors and blades.
IMHO, you need to find someone you trust, then trust them!
ETA: this is a really old thread, you may want to start a new one.
The Following User Says Thank You to N2Mischief For This Useful Post:
I would definitely insist on sitting through the first grooming. I had very bad experiences with two local groomers before finally finding a fabulous one. After the first bad experience, I went to a groomer that a friend had used. I brought my friend's dog and my dog (I only had one poodle at the time) and sat through the grooming. First bad sign: My friend's poodle who had been there before was terrified. He definitely did not want to go in the door and was pulling hard to go back to the car. I should have listened to him. Second bad sign: I sat through the bathing. They had a hose with a stream of soapy water followed by a stream of clean water. My dog looked like she was trying to get away from the water. I asked about that and the reply was that they all do that. After the bathing was complete, I put my hand on my dog and her skin was HOT. Not warm, HOT. So that water must have been really really hot. I guess that's an efficient way to move dogs quickly through the bathing process, but it is not what I want my dogs to have to endure. No wonder she was dancing to get away from it. Needless to say, that was our last visit to that groomer. I never would have know unless I sat through the process.
I think finding a groomer is really difficult. I'm so glad that I finally found one that my dogs and I like. A few random thoughts:
-- Ask the groomers who are filled up if they have any suggestions.
-- Ask other dog owners.
-- Pay attention to your dog's reaction when (if) you go back a second time. Your dog may not love going to the groomers, but he/she should not be terrified.
The Following User Says Thank You to peppersb For This Useful Post: