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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 12:13 PM Thread Starter
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Dog grooming questions...

I'm pretty much under the assumption that it isn't such a wise idea to take Peanut to be groomed until she's been fully vaccinated. Hoewver, I was wondering about variances in price and "style" of grooming. What I mean by style is that in the ads I have found for pet groomers in our Yellow Pages only one of them specifically points out they use "No Tranquilizers." I'm hoping that doesn't mean they're the only ones but just that they pointed it out.

However, I called them to see about their charges and whether or not they have handicap accessibility (it's in someone's home). I was told it would probably be about $25 to have her brushed and nails trimmed. Then she said "if you're in a wheelchair I can just come outside and get the dog", to which I said "but wouldn't be better for the dog to have her owner with for comfort?" and she told me "No, because then the dog doesn't pay attention to us."

I really didn't know what to think of that last statement. I don't want to be judgmental right away but the first thing I thought of was "what are you doing to the dog behind closed doors?"

Is it general practice for the owner NOT to be with its dog? Just curious. I'm going to do some more calling around later and see what I find.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 12:28 PM
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I have a yorkie who can be very high strung when around strangers. Whenever I go to get him groomed I just leave him there and he does behave better then if I were there. Same when I get his nails cut. I ususally pay $25 for his grooming.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 01:41 PM
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My boys do much better at the groomer when I am not there. The last time I took them I got there before they were done with Doxis. He could see me and just went nuts- he wanted to get down from the table!

Your dog may not need to be groomed that much as he has so much sheltie in him, and if I remember from the pictures he really doesn't have the ears that hang down like a cocker which can cause so many problems.

If you are looking for just a brushing and nails trimmed you can learn to do that at home. If you don't want to do the nail trimming most vet offices will do that for a price. At my vets you don't even need an appointment- a tech will just come out and get the dog, take them in the back and trim the nails.

If you would like a link to a Cocker Spaniel forum I have a great one. There are sections related to grooming questions and how to care for cockers. There are many breeders, groomers, knowledgeable people on there that can answer just about cockers.


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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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Lea-Ann, I'm such a dork! We take our cats to the vet tech regularly to get their nails trimmed. I wouldn't dream of trying that on my own; they fight quite a bit.

As far as "problem ears" isn't this considered floppy? They don't lay down all the way but the tips of the ears do fold over covering the ear canals.



Do you really have to work hard at convincing a dog that brushing is good? We got Peanut a brush yesterday so I held her and tried it. She viewed it as a toy and just kept trying to bite it! Either that, or the feel of it bothered her and she was trying to bite it away.

Right now she seems quite antsy as far as wanting to sit still, too.

As far as her hair being manageable at home, I was basically told the same thing by a groomer in town. However, another dog owner I spoke with said that Sheltie coats can get pretty thick and it becomes tedious to do it at home because it needs to be done so often. Honestly, if the latter is the true scenario I don't have that much time with small kids and having them involved in a couple of extracurricular activities as well as full-time work and a house to tend to. I have no problem with brushing her at home now and then but if this is going to be very demanding I'd rather let a groomer get the majority of it.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 02:25 PM
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Sheltie coats can get quite think, and easily get tangled and matted even if the outer coat may seem fine the thicker undercoat can be matted. I've seen so many sheltie owners demand that she/he knows how to brush their dog and that its not matted, only to lift the outer coat and underneath is one solid matt that leaves us no choice but to shave the dog as brushing out is tedious and most dogs wont put up with it though if the owner insists they will usually try but be prepared to be charged extra for that frustration.

Shelties need to be brushed at least once a week to avoid serious mats. Remember to pay close attention to brushing around the ears, the hair tends to be a tad silkier there in some Shelties and they can get horridly matted within 24 hours, so brush there at least once a day. They also usually need to be trimmed to keep the hair healthy looking.

Cocker Spaniels I find get greasy coats very quickly if they aren't bathed often and properly. They also get bad mats around their legs and ears if not brushed properly. It seems Peanut has more of the Sheltie coat though from the pictures?

Most groomers (at least around here) refuse to let the owner stay. I've only found two groomers that would let the owner stay, one I worked for and the other her daughter owned. People were surprised and almost grateful that they could stay with their pooch. But we didn't like it very much, the dogs tended to act up more when the owners where present, crying, jumping around, barking, refusing to cooperate etc, but as soon as mommy/daddy were gone they acted fine. They knew that if they kicked up a fuss mommy/daddy would come "rescue them" giving them kisses, pets, cookies etc which only encouraged it. We had several regulars who stayed and were great when their dogs started to act up, they simply ignored them or gave them a stern "no" and the dog would settle down and soon behave just as well as they did when their "parents" weren't around.

I've also only seen one place that ever sedated their clients other then a vet groomer of course. Most don't put the "we don't sedate" in their ads but it’s always a good idea to call and ask questions before making an appointment or walking in. Get a feel for the groomer and I'd get peanut used to grooming very soon, as most people tend to wait until the puppy is a full grown dog to bring them in for their first time and that is a nightmare for everyone!

If you want to brush her yourself I'd suggest misting or using a waterless shampoo on the coat while using a comb/pin brush. It helps control static. You'll also need to do something called "line brushing" to get all the hair not just the top coat. You can look up "Sheltie Grooming" on Google to find out what line brushing is in detail and other little tips with dealing with a Shelties coat, same with a Cocker's, look up "Cocker Spaniel Grooming" and you'll get some wonderful tips and explanations.

Sorry for this being so long.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 02:44 PM
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Here is my Bailey. You can see that his ears lay down flat and with longer hair there isn't much air circulation which can lead to infections. Bailey has thick, curly hair so I keep him short or he mats terribly.




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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Lisa, for all the tips on grooming. I guess I just have to be more persistent with Peanut as far as her putting up with my brushing. If we switch to a waterless shampoo is that good enough to be used all the time or would she need a "real" bath now and then?

Thanks again so much. I know I lean a lot on this forum for answers to other situations but it helps not having to go elsewhere. I'm a one-forum kind of gal.

Lea-Ann, Bailey is so cute! I'll bet the naturally curly hair is tough to control.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 03:18 PM
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Some dogs will adore brushing some won't. It's all up to the dog, but starting at a an early age always helps. Do not let her grasp the idea that she can get you to stop brushing her by her biting you/being a pain in the butt, otherwise she'll be a fight 24/7 for whoever grooms her. I'd start touching her all over now as well, lots of attention to her paws, ears, etc so she won't have a huge fit when a stranger goes to trim her nails/hair, clean her ears etc.

She'll still need baths with normal dog/puppy shampoo every 2 months or so. At least thats what has been recommended for Shelties, for Cockers I'd do the same as they get greasy so quickly I find. I get by with 2 baths a year with Drifter, but he has a short coat and doesn't get groomed so the bathing isn't as essential as for a dog that will be getting trimmed/shaved or brushed just about daily. If the hair is greasy it harder to manage hence the every two months deal that is recommended for Shelties. But I used to groom a pair of Shelties every six months, though when they came in they were horrid looking, smelly, matted, the coat was dry, frizzy and dull and just didn't looked healthy at all.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 04:20 PM
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I groom my own dogs - a Golden Retriever and 2 Old English Sheepdogs. They take different techniques. I do not trim their nails.

The OES can have issues with their ears - long hair and no air circulation. The hair inside the ear has o be pulled out weekly. I can get by with brushig them weekly, but if I miss a session, we all pay for it with increased time on the next comb out. FWIW, I keep the OES in long coates.

The Golden, though long haired for a Golden, is much easier. I wipe out the ears weekly and comb out every 7-10 days.
In all 3 dogs, I remove the undercoat as it is rather hot here in the summer. That makes the combing out quicker.

When the furries were pups, I would take them to Petsmart weekly for a "nail trim." They only charged me if they actually had to trim them, otherwise it was just practice. The groomers were thrilled that I wanted to do it.
When training the pups for comb outs, I would make this really ouey-gooey cutesy sound with each brush stroke. And gave them each a cookie when we were done with a dog. Now, when I clang the comb and rake together, they all run to be the first for comb outs. I sit on thr floor, on a quilt, for the combout. I find it easier for me.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 05:28 PM
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I'm not sure how old the pup is, but a lot of places will have cheap packages to entice new owners to bring their puppies in as often as possible to get used to grooming. PetSmart does puppies up to 5 months for $9.99 (bath, brush, nails & ears). This is invaluable, I think, because there's nothing like 7 month old puppy coming in to be groomed for the first time and having it go ballistic in terror because it has no idea what is happening.

I have not seen it in this thread, but a lot of people will tell you to go some place small and to avoid the corporate grooming salons. This is flawed, IMO, because at the very least you can see much of what goes on in the corp salons. They have their grooming area in plain view. You can watch your dog and others getting its nails done, brushed out, trimmed, etc. The bathing is done in the back room though. But grooming while the parent is there is often a groomer's worst nightmare, because as others have said, the dogs often act much worse in front of mom/dad because they're trying to get themselves "rescued." If you go some place that you CAN watch, it's best to do it discreetly, so the pup does not notice.

I would get the puppy groomed as much as possible in this impressionable time, just to get her used to the process and people. If you feel you can taqke care of the coat properly at home once the adult coat comes in, then do so, but make sure to keep up on the little things like nails, ears, and watch for mats. You'll have to wait and see how her adult coat comes in, if it's going to be thick with undercoat like a sheltie (in which case monthly baths can keep that down) or thick and easily matting like a cocker (weekly comb-outs a must). Puppy hair is always easier to take care of and often fools people into thinking they can take care of it until they suddenly discover one day it's completely out of control.


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