I have a very strict rule in my shop.
No one does anything to a dog that the owner did not ask for.
Today I had a good customer of mine come in with her Sheltie.
The first thing she said was, "Brody had a bad hair cut."
No, Brody had been to a kennel while his owners went on vacation.
When the owners checked 'Brody' in, they were asked if they would like 'Brody' to have a bath before they picked him up.
His owner said, "yes, just bathe him."
When 'Brody's' owners came to pick him up, they were shocked and very upset when they saw him.
Physically, he was fine but, all of his feathering had been cut off.
The rear feathering was gone.
The front leg furnishings were very short.
His belly was very short.
His tail was extremely short!
'Brody's' Mom and Dad were so upset that the owner of the kennel called them the night they picked 'Brody' up to apologize.
The kennel owner explained that the groomer thought that she was doing the owners a favor by cutting back 'Brody's' hair because he was so thick and had so much hair.
Now, 'Brody' does have a very thick coat, and he always seems to have more than his fair share of undercoat.
'Brody's' owners love his coat left natural.
I have been grooming 'Brody' for 4 years, and his groom has always been the same.
Bath, comb out, and ONLY trim the feet.
DO NOT touch his feathering.
Even when I was new to grooming, I never just did whatever I wanted on a customers dog.
If I thought something would look nice on their dog, I ALWAYS got permission first.
This is 'Brody' when he came in.
We put him straight in the tub.
He use to have beautiful long furnishings.
This is 'Brody' after the bath and blowdry.
This is what his tail looks like now.
His owners want his coat to grow back in.
It was growing in very uneven.
I used thinning shears to try to soften the sharp scissored line, and make it look a little more natural as it grows back in.
I am not sure what happened to his tail.
'Brody' rarely ever has any mats in him.
My file says that I only found mats in him one time in 4 years, and that was between his legs.
Once again, I used thinning shears to try to fix the tail so it would grow back evenly.
'Brody' is older now, and his coat had never been cut before, so I told the owners that they would have to give it a little time.
I am not sure it will ever grow back to as long as it was.
Don't get me wrong, the other groomer did not do a bad job.
I trim out lines on Shelties all of the time.
My issue was that she DID NOT ASK the owner if it was okay to do, BEFORE she did it.
I have owned 2 Collies.
I never cut anything on them other than their feet.
If I had left them somewhere and someone decided that they were doing me a favor by shortening my dogs coat without asking first...
I would blow my mind at them.
I was angry for the owner.
I have always felt that the owner is paying me.
They are the ones who have to live with the dog.
So, as long as they don't ask for anything harmful, I will do what they want on their dog.
Of course, sometimes owners ask for a cut that looks awful on their dog.
That is when I pray as they are going out the door.
"Please God, don't let them tell anyone where they got their dog groomed!"
Happy Grooming, MFF