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Discussion Starter #1
hi all,

quick question. Is it a bad thing to ask if i can sit with my dog while the groomer grooms my dog or would they prefer that I not be there?

When looking for a groomer, they have drop off time and pick up time...but I just want to be there for the first few haircuts. Is this an odd request?

plus, I want to eventually be able to do it myself every other time as to save a little money and would love to watch what he/she does.

just wondering if this is an odd thing to ask.
 

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I don't think it's a bad thing to ask... it will depend on your individual groomer.
Some groomers will let you wait/watch and some don't becauce they don't groom your dog right away.
Depending on their schedule I think it might be a possibility.
 

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I sat in on my pups' first grooming this week. I have known the groomer for several years, but you still have to just ask. I sat with the groomer while she did the rough cut, face, paws, et. Then I left while they bathed him and got him to a dampish stage-then they phoned me and I went back to watch them do the fine grooming with the comb, shears, and nail polish. Gave an extra in the tip as they took so much trouble to work with me-but that is up to you. Find a groomer who is really kind to the dogs-get references if possible and go look at the place thoroughly (including drying room). Make sure they check on vet records on their clients also.
 

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Also make certain they keep it clean. A certain amount of hair is to be expected, but it should be clean.
 

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Just a different viewpoint

I don't allow clients to sit with their dog, or in the shop at any time when we are grooming, with the exception of walk in nail trims. I used to, haha I've actualy posted a funny-ish story about it on here a long time ago. I have ONE client who I've allowed, with no arguement, to stay, though he doesn't do it anymore. It was an extreme special needs case though and was schedualed at an appropriate time... plus it was christmas lol.

The thing is it is very distracting to have a client right there for both groomer and dog. Puppies are usually MUCH better behaved when mom or dad steps out. It's also an insurance liability in many cases. You cannot be in the area where we are grooming because you are on your own insurance wise. Aside from that, puppies that are wiggly and trying to get to mom or dad because they are sitting right there are a lot more likely to get nicked or cut which is definitly BAD. I am also more likely to get injured which is annoying even if it's just a minor cut. Haha, if you've ever snipped yourself with grooming shears, even a tiny cut, you'll understand what I'm talking about. :p Like a papercut, looks small but HURTS like hell for days.

I do understand some clients don't wish to have their dog, especialy puppies, in the salon for any longer than strictly needed and in those cases I call as I am finishing so that by the time I am done the owner is pulling up or just around the corner. I do warn the client to peak in the window before just comming in just in case we are still putting the final touches on for whatever reason. Sometimes the phone rings or something like that and it puts me a few minutes behind. You can see the grooming tables from just about anywhere but the dog cannot usualy see you.

I definitly second the advice about checking out anyplace you intend to take your dog before you actualy book an appt. We give tours of our place, at just about any time, not appt or advanced notice needed. The only hitch is you can see the grooming area but not actualy go in if we have client dogs in the shop or if any grooming is taking place. Again it's a safety and insurance thing. But you can peak in and see that everything is clean and you are welcome to come back closer to closing when all of the groom dogs have been picked up if you'd like to get a closer look at anything.
 

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plus, I want to eventually be able to do it myself every other time as to save a little money and would love to watch what he/she does.
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I just saw this part of the post, and I'll warn you to be careful about telling a groomer that right there or going in to sit and watch just for that purpose.

I've refused service to certain clients because that is what they were intending to do. One lady comes to mind right off the bat. What the lady was doing was insisting she be allowed to stay, which she did exactly ONCE (back when I was a little less anal about it), and she bugged me the whole time with how do you do this that or the other. Then she went home and tried to maintain the cut and came back when she screwed it up. She wanted to watch me fix it and threw a royal fit, and I do mean HUGE scene, when she was told no. I went to a lot of trouble to learn to groom and I am not in the business of teaching clients or the general public how to do it, especialy not for free. She tried it several times and finialy I asked her to go elsewhere since she had not interest in becoming a regular client and was basicly trying to use me for free grooming instruction. LOL, she is actualy the client I mentioned in the first post I made who I wrote the funny story about.

There are tons of books, and videos, and depending on where you live some reasonably priced grooming courses that can help you do it yourself. My advice to you would be to check into those as a plan B in case your groomer isn't prepared to teach you what to do. You can't learn quite as much as you'd think just by watching and not asking questions and having specific things shown to you.

That said, there ARE some groomers who DO occasionaly teach short courses or will teach you one breed, in this case your breed - poodle. Don't be afraid to ask around, but be preapred for the majority of answers to be NO. There is a groomer in my area who will teach if you're willing to pay. I personaly don't have the time or the self restraint to not strangle somebody :p
 

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Like Wonderpup already said, allowing owners to watch their dog get groomed normally makes the dog freak out. They're constantly trying to get to their owner, and if you've ever tried to sissor or clip something that's doing some sort of exorcism dance.. it's not easy.

This isn't necessarily every dog, but if owners get to the salon before I'm done, and I pretty much groom in a fish bowl, I tell them to stay out of sight of the table and all the glass around me until I'm done.
 

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They're constantly trying to get to their owner, and if you've ever tried to sissor or clip something that's doing some sort of exorcism dance.. it's not easy.
Thats a good name for it LoL.

I kind of wish I had a fish bowl, or at least something that would not allow dog's to hear their owners when they come into the salon. I have a client that I lie to and tell her I'm about 15 minutes away from finishing when really I'm already done. (she'll be there in 5 anyway) I tell her what she wants to hear basicly. Anyway the reason for it, and yes I do feel bad about it sometimes, is that she comes in the door and loudly annouces her prescence but yelling just about at the top of her lungs to fluffy that "MOMMY'S HERE BABY!!" She then won't shut up until she's out the door. Haha, then she stops talking to fluffy entirely and just tosses him in the backseat and drives off on her cell phone. *eye roll* She makes a big sence though in the shop. Naturaly I've tried to politely ask her not to do that because it tends to not only get her dog all riled up but also every other dog in the kennel area and god help me if there is a dog up on my table for any reason when she comes in. I've gotten in the habit of just waiting until she picks up before starting on anything else. One of the first times she came in and did that I just about sliced my finger off with a pair of 10 inch shears I was using to put the final finish on one of my spoo clients. She scared the crap out of the dog and me, blood EVERYWHERE. All over this white dog who had to be rebathed, it put me like two hours behind, a huge mess all around.

Sometimes the open floor plan that I usualy love so much is really a pain LoL.
 

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And sometimes you wonder why you got into customer service business anyway ... right ;)

Great stories and advice!
 

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I have to say I agree with Wonderpup on this. Sometimes you have to look at things from the other person's perspective (in this case the groomer). I do think having their owner there can make a lot of dogs misbehave and it can also distract the owner. Unless you're willing to pay extra to be taught to groom your own dog, it's a bad idea to stay for grooming, for that particular reason. Buy some DVDs as Wonderpup suggested.
 

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I understand your viewpoints and agree with them...if my pup would have acted up in any way, I wd have left...actually I scolded him once to stand still while she was finishing his paws...the groomer and I use the same trainer so we both know his techniques...the owner was not doing my pup but she was there in the shop. But I did learn alot by watching. Gave me the courage to try it, at least to begin minor trimming each week. My blue boy seems to grow little whiskers under his chin w/in a week or 2 of grooms. Like a little billy goat.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
hi guys

thank you so much, this thread really helps and I got a few laughs. I dont want to be one of those wackos..lol

I actually have no intention on learning 'grooming' just ways to brush and cut a few hairs if need be. I think i will get a DVD. I have been reading tons of stuff, so thats helpful also. I just know when I brought the little guy to the vet he peed on my son because he was so scared of the big dogs barking.

he did fine, after we left the waiting room.

they also have this window at the pet store where they have a groomer and I probably can even go to watch someone elses dog as not to have my little guy get crazy when he sees us...lol
 

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If someone wants to watch they have to understand it might make it take LONGER rather then make me work faster. I will allow people to watch and I don't have a problem with it personally although I don't prefer it.

What I do have a problem with is people just walking in to pick up their dog before i've called, half the time the dog is on the table when they walk in and it makes it nearly impossible to finish the groom.. so if an owner does that they get their dog the way the dog is, because I specifically tell people i will CALL YOU and i expect the owner to actually listen, if they come early and the dog flips then i dont care if the dog is half done that's how the dog goes home!

I used to not be so bad about it but i was nearly done with several dogs, told the owner I would call and they show up and then I can't get the dog to act right again, it's not worth the stress or possibly nicking the dog while the owner is there so I just hand them back over if they're in so much of a hurry they can deal with a poor job!
 

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Ask Passion4poodles what happens when a groomer feels rushed or nervous (she can show you pics lol)

dogs are more nervous and wanting to get to you when you watch, groomers are stressed because owners can sometimes be.....overbearing.

I did have a lady I let watch, and she would stay through the whole thing and bug me about blades ("is that hot yet? are you burning her? is she dry yet? how do you not get shampoo in her eyes or water in her ears? oops, you missed a spot" ) I really wated to strangle her with my clipper cord.

I agree with Wonderpup with the whole trying to fix people's mistakes too. I have had to "fix" dogs with stripes cut down their backs with a 40 blade, not fun. Last week I had to fix my MIL's standard. she cut her hair with a pair of kitchen shears, but only on her head, the rest of her body was matted
ugh

ask politely if you can watch or if they can give you a few pointers if they do, great, if they won't just tell them you understand.
 

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Though if you do screw up and take your pup to the groomers to be fixed, just keep in mind, we cut hair, and we can make dogs beautiful, but we can't whip out a wand and preform a complete miracle.

We can take hair off, but can't put it back on. So don't hold anything against the groomer for fixing up the dog the best they can without shaving it completely bald everywhere to start all over.
 

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Ha ha Wonderpup you are hilarious!! I love hearing other groomers stories, it makes you realise that you are not alone in putting up with insane customers. I had a lady stay one time who kept talking to her pooch and saying 'oh dear Aunty Lynne has make one leg shorter than the other' etc. I spotted a smear of blood on it once and she nearly flipped, I then looked at my hand and I had cut a finger and she just said 'oh thank god its your blood not hers'.

I agree, ask first and see if the groomers mind you staying, if your pup is struggling help to control it in a firm yet fair way, or offer to leave. Don't leave your pup until its coat is too long or messy, this makes it easier for pup and groomer.
 

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Funny this topic came up at all. I think I might have jinxed myself by reading it.

In the past week I've had tons of customers wanting to stay. One who actualy got told by "the other owner" she could because she was going to wash her other dog in the self service area while I supposedly groomed her "yorkie", which as it turns out is actualy a cairn but she doesn't realize it. It ended up in a huge screaming match and threats of legal action between myself and "the other". I won't go into details but siffice it to say if he pulls another little temper tantrum enduced stunt like that again one (or maybe both) of us will be going to jail. That or my daddy,husband, and brother in law will kill him. I'll personaly have no problem beating him to a bloody pulp and telling the judge it was hormone induced.

Haha... can you see that hearing.. Your honnor! He hit me first!!!

Anyway back to the point of the post, "the other" is an idiot, you might have guess that already, and he just doesn't get it why clients can't stay. He just happened to have his own dog in for grooming that day. Normaly he too drops off and leaves and comes back. Today, however, he decided to be an ass and try and prove his point that dogs were fine when their owners are around. Sonny is a sweet, if really ugly, poodle. Bless his heart, as his daddy stood right at my table he just wouldn't hold still. I even mentioned to him... see Sonny is normaly perfectly behaved but you are being a huge distraction. Sonny ended up getting sliced open with a tow blade because "daddy" picked that moment to speak to him and cause him to whip around and try and launch himself off the table. Blood everywhere, poor dog screaming, and who can blame him. I felt bad, I haven't so much as nicked a dog in over a year.

Of course I was to blame, which started another screaming match because he thinks that he as a male should be dominate to little 'ol me *eye roll* and I will disolve into tears and give in to whatever it is he wants (thats what the other lady does, as do his wife and countless girlfriends). He wanted to not pay me, have me take sonny to the vet and pay that myself, apologize to him, and to agree to let clients stay while their dogs are being groomed. When it became apparent that I could and would match him scream for scream and was prepared to get just as physical as he was threatening to be he finialy backed down and admited it was his fault and understood, at least momentarily, why clients cannot be present for grooming. Some dogs ARE ok, but the majority of dogs I have met are not.
 
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