My last dog of the day today was one of my special cases.
I have only groomed him 3 times so far.
He came to me after some bad grooming experiences, and his owner being told not to bring him back because of aggressive biting.
I decided to time myself while grooming my last dog of the day.
I wanted to see just how much time I was spending on one of my special needs dogs.
I tend to do a lot of dogs that have been thrown out, or turned away from other shops.
I like to work with them.
I feel that they are just not understood.
Of course a few are down right inbreed and insane.
Thankfully, I have only run into a couple of those.
These dogs do take time.
I know, I lose money doing these dogs.
I know, I should charge more for them.
I rarely do.
This is 'Spunky'.
The first time that I groomed him I discovered that he utterly refused to let you do anything to his face.
He also panicked if you held his neck in any way.
But, he loved for you to rub his face.
This was great, because I had a way to calm him if he got upset.
The first grooming I worked very slowly, and every time he started to panic or get upset at something I was trying to do, I calmed him down with a good face rub and a lot of soft talking.
I got through the first grooming without any biting, but he was not going to let me do his face.
Today the bath took me 19 minutes.
He was filthy.
I washed his body and legs twice, and his ears three times.
To save with the drying time, instead of using cream rinse, I rinsed 'Spunky' really well and then I poured a mixture of a gallon of water and 2 tablespoons of baking soda all over the dog.
I did not rinse it off.
It really cuts down on the drying time and leaves the coat very soft and fluffy.
I learned the baking soda trick from a Holistic Vet.
I also kept him wrapped in a towel while I used another towel to rub where I was HV drying.
I got him 95% dry in 21 minutes.
It took me 11 more minutes to fluff him up with my hand dryer.
So far he was doing really great.
He is trusting me now, and so far has not been the least bit panicky about anything.
'Spunky' was great on the table.
He did not get upset about anything.
I am working slowly.
I tell him everything I am going to do before I do it.
Go ahead and laugh. :)
It works for me.
I love when they trust me.
He was getting Cocker #5f, with a 5/8 blade on the skirt and legs.
He got Cocker ears, with the inside of the ears clipped all of the way down the ear with a #10, and the hair scissored up to the leather.
He has that Cocker ear smell.
If you are a groomer, you know the smell.
I could be 110 years old and senile and I would still recognize that smell.
It took me 55 minutes for the clip.
I used a #7f on the top of his head, but you wouldn't know it because I had to skim over four warts spread out on his head.
I left hair to cover up the warts.
He did great.
And, he let me clip part of his face!
This was big.
The first three times I groomed him I was only able to scissor up his face a little.
Today he let me clip the sides of his face and under his chin before he started to get a little upset.
I was not going to push it.
We had made so much progress.
He was trusting me.
He let me scissor the rest of his face.
The first thing his Mom asked me was; "Did he get aggressive with his face?"
"No, he did great today," I answered.
"I still can't clip his face yet, but he let me wash out the eye boogies and let me scissor his face without any fuss," I explained.
She couldn't believe it.
I seem to get that a lot with some owners.
I feel like they think I am lying when I say that I did not have any problem with their dog.
There have been a few times when a couple of owners actually seemed to be upset that I didn't have a problem.
I don't know.
I am just glad that 'Spunky' is trusting me. :)
I don't think an hour and 45 minutes is too bad for a special needs dog.
Happy Grooming, MFF