Just give the right answer - To be a dog groomer, you should have?
A. The ability to handle dogs firmly but gently
B. The ability to calm and control nervous dogs
C. Patience and attention to detail
D. Good communication and customer care skills
E. Business skills (if self-employed)
Some questions are very difficult to answer because a dog-groomer needs all of these skills.
Dog groomers keep dogs’ coats in good condition. They also give their owners advice on coat care, grooming and diet. If you love dogs and want a skilled job, this job could be ideal for you.
To be a dog groomer, you should have the ability to handle dogs firmly but gently. You must be able to calm and control nervous dogs. You will also need patience and attention to detail.
I'm sorry if I tried to trick you but, and this is a big but.... The single most quality a dog groomer needs is the ability to...
As a dog groomer, you would start by discussing with the owner what grooming they would like, whether the dog is used to being groomed and what its handling requirements are. You would also check for any sore areas or lumps on the dog's skin, and for fleas or parasites.
You would then:
shape the dog's coat with electric clippers or a stripping knife
shampoo and dry the dog's coat give a final trim with scissors
sometimes you would also clip the dog's claws and clean its teeth and ears.
You would often follow standards for how different breeds should look – for example, poodles are usually clipped to a particular shape. This is particularly important when dogs are being prepared for a show.
We work with pets because we are passionate about them. It’s simple: we love what we do. Yet it’s important to remember that every dog is an individual. Not only do they look different, they all have different physical and emotional characteristics.
So, got the answer already? Until you get your dog back as a total nervous wreck, you've never encountered the single most overlooked quality in a dog-groomer. Yes, knowing how to handle a dog!
Every dog has a different personality and as a dog groomer you need actually be able to master a few things that have nothing to do with grooming. More important, these skills will not be picked up in a grooming salon.
Tip: When going to the groomer, just ask if the groomer has dogs or even trains dogs or has ever worked in a dog-shelter because this basic dog-handling skill is not easy to master.
Of course you can handle your pup but the dog groomer needs to handle every different dog breed that could possibly walk through the door of the grooming salon. That's why we dog-groomers honor this adagio:
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And that is the honest truth.
I'll give you a few key fact you might just remember when your dog comes home from a grooming and acts in a strange way.
Oh, and if you want to see what can go wrong, look up the dog reviews of a groomer in yelp. Even when the groomer repays you for what just happened with your pup, the cost of a grooming can end up much higher than you'll even could guess.
So, I'll give you a few pointers that will help you to decide picking a groomer and will help you to recognize when something went wrong after a groomers visit.
Some dogs receive clear directions from their owners. They have rules and boundaries at home. This makes them very easy to work with in a professional setting. Other pets will not be well-mannered in a professional setting. The personality quirks we, as groomers, all experience working with pets will vary from dog to dog.
Many will be perfect angels
Others will be mildly annoying
Some will be potentially dangerous to work with for both the handler and the pet.
Based on the groomers level of pet interaction experience, he should be able to work through many of these personality quirks. His commands to the pet need to be clear, concise, and consistent.
Dogs are primarily non-verbal communicators. However, they do have a very clear language of their own. It is up to the groomer to interpret that language.
The good news? Dogs are very clear in the messages that they give us.
I firmly believe that 98% of all dog bites are preventable. If you have read the pet correctly, getting bitten is highly avoidable. At times, the groomer will need to take appropriate precautions to protect himself. He need to gain control of the situation in a manner that is safe and respectful of the pet. It’s important to his grooming career not to become injured.
Remember, the groomers hands are his livelihood.
Whenever working with pets, it is always critical to remember the 3 C’s. As a professional the groomer must remain:
…at all times – in all circumstances.
There are many different types of dogs. Many will require special handling techniques. Plenty of groomers or stylists are good with all personalities. Others have honed their skills. They specialize in working with dogs with special needs such as puppies, geriatric dogs, or aggressive dogs.
Here is a collection of basic dog postures we see every day. Every position indicates a different attitude. This is by no means everything you will need to know about “reading” dogs, after your pup went to the groomer.
If you are working professionally with them, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
The groomer will need to gather loads of information about canine communication. By doing this, he’ll learn to work in harmony with dogs. When that happens, he’ll instantly feel the rewards. He’ll quickly learn how to respond to them in a non-verbal way.
By being knowledgeable in canine body language, the groomer will keep both himself and the pet safe at all times. The more time the groomer spends studying dogs and working firsthand with them, the more proficient his skills will become.
Our number one responsibility to the pet and its owner is to always treat the pet with the utmost respect using humane handling practices.
Basic Body Language of the Pet
There are basic body positions that you need to recognize immediately when observing a pet. The eight basic positions have been illustrated for you below. Spend some time observing dogs so that you can instantly recognize these eight positions.
A sudden change in their body language after a groomers visit, indicates that something is wrong and you need to probably seek some help... and pick another groomer!
Non-Threatening Body Language:
1. The Relaxed Stance
2. Play Bow
3. Submissive Body Position
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These 3 indicate dogs that are safe to approach in a calm, gentle manner. These dogs are generally easy to work with and respond well to basic commands. Normally, an enthusiastic dog will need a little firmer command while a submissive dog will respond better to gentler techniques.
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Use Caution When Approaching Body Language:
1. Highly Submissive Postures
2. Stressed Posture
3. Alert Body Posture
4. Defensive Body Position
5. Offensive Body Position
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These positions indicate you need to approach with caution. Based on how you interact with them, they may feel comfortable and slip into a nonthreatening language. If they do that, it indicates they are safe to approach.
If they feel threatened in any way, they can easily slip into the flight or fight mode. This is their natural defense. If the groomer has them tethered with a lead and not under control, this flip of personality could easily manifest into a very difficult situation. This is a pet that could attack, bite, urinate, defecate, or release its anal glands.
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Note for beginning groomers:
Working with pets is a highly rewarding career option. However, if the groomer doesn’t truly understand canine body language, passion can quickly turn into frustration. Use your passion early in your career to learn everything you can about their body language.
It’s an invaluable skill to have.