Spring Trimming Tips for Groomers
Spring is here again, and in true spring cleaning fashion, dog owners tend to want their pups looking fabulous - even if they haven’t picked up a dog brush all winter.
You are not a miracle worker. When owners bring in dogs with matted, tangled, overgrown hair, they generally have no idea that feces is probably pasted within those knots under the tail. They thought that winter temperatures meant that a longer coat would keep their pup warm. They think you can turn their dog into a show-ready looker within a quick afternoon. Never would they imagine you may have to cut that hair pretty short.
Then there are the new dog owners who got a puppy for Christmas, but somehow they failed to invest in a comb or brush. Some owners will even say that the breeder or rescue agency mentioned the puppy not needing groomed for at least 6 months or more. This is the point where you have to keep yourself from shaking your head.
Take the opportunity to educate your client, and hopefully prevent them from the experience in the future.
Talk to the Client
Pull out your comb and show the dog’s owner exactly how matted the hair is upon arrival.
Explain to the client that their dog’s hair will have to be clipped short, but avoid the word ‘shaved,’ as it tends to send clients into defense-mode. Instead, say “smoothie” and show them pictures of dogs that have also needed to be cut short due to matting. Make sure that they understand what their dog will look like as to prevent them from becoming angry.
Always have the client sign a waiver and take pictures of the before, during, and after. You can even video the experience, too. You want to note absolutely anything out of the ordinary so the owner can follow up with the vet if needed.
According to Groomer To Groomer, if your client tries to convince you to de-mat their dog when you know it is not possible to do safely, you should professionally reply, “My main concern is your pet and its wellbeing. He should have been groomed months ago. His hair has now reached the point where it is too matted to do anything except remove it. The only thing I can offer you is to clip him short all over and start fresh. To attempt anything else would be abusing your pet.”
Let your client know that a short haircut today means a healthy start tomorrow. It won’t take long before their pup will have the exact coat it was destined for, but it will take proper care.
Provide the following information to your client...
A dog’s hair becomes matted by:
- Rubbing against furniture
- Rolling on the floor
- Getting a bath without being brushed afterward
- Wearing winter sweaters
Keep your business growing and reputable by providing healthy services to your clients - even if that means educating them along the way.