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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So clearly groomer and I crossed signals. I left a poodle and got some kind of retriever back. So I guess I’ll now be working on topknot, pom and bracelet grow backs.

My husband is going to kill me when he sees this new dog. He told me just to stick with the Miami.
 

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Mia, Christmas in June 2010
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No matter how bad it is, I've done worse to my dogs. And it always grew back.

Were you able to show the groomer pictures of what you wanted?
 

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I'm nosy, I want to see the texts :)
That actually could be really helpful, if @Getting ready feels like sharing.

I’ve never been able to figure out how to explain what I want in detail...but not too much detail. It’s tricky.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I didn’t want to put groomer’s name out there. But I can cut and paste texts

Thinking about something like this for blueberry and losing the bracelets but keeping tail Pom so not true German.

479333

(This is a photo of Mischa)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
She obviously didn’t see the part about keeping the tail and the topknot is shorter than I’d planned
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think if I’m communicating by text and it isn’t a photo of exactly what I want I am better off with no photo and just a verbal description would have been better.
 

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Yeah, texts can be tricky to work with on both ends. But so can face-to-face. I think my favorite least favorite responses when i ask people what they're thinking of include: "Short, but not too short!", "Not shaved, but a 5f on this here chart looks good", "You know, a puppy cut!", and of course "Take this much off all over (holds fingers half an inch apart)" or "Just take the dead ends off".

I like it when a client can give me details. And if i can get in in text, that's even better so i have something to look back on (and so i have proof if they say "i didn't ask for that") ! I have some clients who actually write down what they want, and i quiz them thoroughly and take my own little notes as needed.

Pictures are great to determine style, but don't really help you with determining length. You can't look at a picture and determine if a dog is in a 4f or a half inch, how tightly trimmed it is, etc. If i see skin it could be a 10, a 7f, or even a 5f depending on the dog's coat. If i don't it could be a half inch to an inch. The trim up could have taken whisky hairs off or could have taken more than half off what was on the dog to begin with.

That's when i whip out the "Would you like half off, more than half off, less than half off" and go from there. It can be hard to figure out what people want, and i'm sure it can be hard for people to tell us what they want. It can even vary by groomer! Puppy cut to them may not be the same to me or to my co-worker - a doodle head to me is not a doodle head to my boss - they think a 5f isn't a shave but i do - and so on.

I always err on the side of caution and take LESS than i think i need to. If they aren't happy i offer to go shorter, and tell them "It's always easier to take more off - can't put it back on!" People tend to be less angry with me if i leave it too long as opposed to if i take it shorter.

Anyways, misunderstandings happen. I try to tell new clients it may take one or two visits for me to figure out exactly what they want.... we aren't miracle workers or psychics! Give us a chance to correct our mistakes! Hair grows back!

Dublin has never been groomed by anyone but me, and i've done some crazy things to him (on purpose!) The first several years of Kiley's life, she was groomed by various people since i didn't actually start myself until she was older. I kept her in a schnauzer pattern and it wasn't uncommon for her to come back in a cocker pattern.
 

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Yeah, definitely don’t out the groomer. :) I’m more interested in seeing how other clients communicate their wants, and what works and what doesn’t.

I’ve been considering communicating with a printed diagram, with blade lengths and just a couple of notes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I don’t blame the groomer. I should have communicated better. And she is good with him which means the most.
But I do need to find a better way to communicate with her since she grooms in my building on Tuesdays when I’m at work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yeah, texts can be tricky to work with on both ends. But so can face-to-face. I think my favorite least favorite responses when i ask people what they're thinking of include: "Short, but not too short!", "Not shaved, but a 5f on this here chart looks good", "You know, a puppy cut!", and of course "Take this much off all over (holds fingers half an inch apart)" or "Just take the dead ends off".

I like it when a client can give me details. And if i can get in in text, that's even better so i have something to look back on (and so i have proof if they say "i didn't ask for that") ! I have some clients who actually write down what they want, and i quiz them thoroughly and take my own little notes as needed.

Pictures are great to determine style, but don't really help you with determining length. You can't look at a picture and determine if a dog is in a 4f or a half inch, how tightly trimmed it is, etc. If i see skin it could be a 10, a 7f, or even a 5f depending on the dog's coat. If i don't it could be a half inch to an inch. The trim up could have taken whisky hairs off or could have taken more than half off what was on the dog to begin with.

That's when i whip out the "Would you like half off, more than half off, less than half off" and go from there. It can be hard to figure out what people want, and i'm sure it can be hard for people to tell us what they want. It can even vary by groomer! Puppy cut to them may not be the same to me or to my co-worker - a doodle head to me is not a doodle head to my boss - they think a 5f isn't a shave but i do - and so on.

I always err on the side of caution and take LESS than i think i need to. If they aren't happy i offer to go shorter, and tell them "It's always easier to take more off - can't put it back on!" People tend to be less angry with me if i leave it too long as opposed to if i take it shorter.

Anyways, misunderstandings happen. I try to tell new clients it may take one or two visits for me to figure out exactly what they want.... we aren't miracle workers or psychics! Give us a chance to correct our mistakes! Hair grows back!

Dublin has never been groomed by anyone but me, and i've done some crazy things to him (on purpose!) The first several years of Kiley's life, she was groomed by various people since i didn't actually start myself until she was older. I kept her in a schnauzer pattern and it wasn't uncommon for her to come back in a cocker pattern.
Question for you as a groomer.
Would it add too much to your work as groomer if I asked you to write down what you used? Trying to determine what’s fair. I do like his ears but still would not know how to describe them.
 

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I don’t blame the groomer. I should have communicated better. And she is good with him which means the most.
But I do need to find a better way to communicate with her since she grooms in my building on Tuesdays when I’m at work.
Peggy returns to her groomer on Saturday after a year-long hiatus. I’m thinking of scanning and printing a page from the Kalstone book. It includes a detailed description of the clip, blade lengths, and a diagram.

Think your groomer would appreciate something like that? It would be easy to refer to throughout the groom.
 

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I always take pictures of groom I want, Last time I went I took face and tail photos which were a good reference for her. I also talked about what I wanted that was not pictured - clip very short is an example. On every appointment I say that and no longer have to remind her she brings it up. I get back just what I expected. It seems we are sympatico. I feel so lucky to have her.
 

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So sorry he lost his pom. 😔 I know it takes forever to grow them out. Misha's topknot is probably 1.5 inches in that photo but I could see a groomer not realizing how long it is. I'm trying to grow it out to 2 inches right now.

I'm sure he looks super cute no matter how he is cut.
 

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Question for you as a groomer.
Would it add too much to your work as groomer if I asked you to write down what you used? Trying to determine what’s fair. I do like his ears but still would not know how to describe them.
Lots of groomers keep notes to remind themselves of what they used so they can copy it (or not) in the future. Some even take photos. IMO it's not too much more work to jot down the details of a groom in a dog's file. Doesn't mean all groomers do it but i would guess many do. We don't like to play the guessing game every time someone comes in, either, lol.

I keep notes so i know what to use, or not use, and so if my client ever has to go to another store (i work at a chain salon and all stores are SUPPOSED to be linked) the groomer they end up with at least has a starting point. I only take pics of breed specific cuts, creative styles, or of anything that might be tricky to reproduce again.

You can always ask your groomer if they kept notes, and next time they should be able to tweak things a bit. Just be like "Hey, i liked the body length you did but this time can we keep the Pom tail and a slightly longer Topknot" or something. I'm always open to changing something. Too long or short? We'll try something else next time. Want full tail? You got it!

You can also take a picture to keep as reference, if you like (or don't like) something specific.

One time, one of my regulars sent her husband with the dog and a note with what she wanted. All three of us in the salon read the note as 1/2 inch all and confirmed it with hubby. After hubby brought dog home mom called - "I wanted half an inch off all over, not a half inch left". Thankfully she wasn't angry, just wanted to know why her dog was so short. She laughed about it and ever since then she added more details to her notes when she can't drop the dog off herself.
 

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When I bring Whiskey in, I’m too aware of the stress on the student groomers that are doing him. So I usually send him in with “make him look cute, but leave his ____ alone”, usually his ears/topknot/head. This allows the instructor room to teach creative grooms / less common grooms but is also clear on what I do not want them to change.

I also like that in this way, no matter what he looks like after, I can always honestly say he looks cute (because under all that fur, he is always going to be cute to me).
 

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So glad no divorces are coming. It was interesting to hear from a groomer's perspective too.

It is hair and it will grow!
 
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