About Me:

I am a professional Pet Groomer. I have been grooming for 28 years. This Blog is a kind of diary of my work. I wish I had started years ago, writing some of the experiences I have had while grooming. Most days are fun, some can be sad, some can be just down right crazy. If you are a pet owner and come across this blog, I hope it helps you understand how your pet is groomed. If you are a Pet Groomer, I hope you can relate to some of the stories. Maybe even learn a grooming tip or can leave a friendly grooming tip for me. There is always something to learn, no matter how long you have been grooming.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

It Begins...

It's that time of year.

After the holidays.

The no shows start again.

No one would dare miss their appointment before Christmas.
Even on those overbooked days, where you secretly hope that just one might not show, because you are already running behind.

Yesterday we had 3 no shows.
The first day back.

To top that off, some of my regulars are showing up matted.

You know the ones.

In September or October the owners start to panic that their dogs are going to get cold because winter is coming, so they ask you to leave their dogs longer than usual.
There is only one problem...by January they come in matted and now you have to take them short.

I am able to talk most of my  regular customers into cuts that are just a little longer than their summer cut, and they can usually get through the winter without too much matting.

Then there are some of my newer customers that have to learn the hard way.

 This guy didn't even get a full hair cut the last time he was in in October.
He was a bath and neaten up because his Mom wanted him to grow out for the winter.

He had already been clipped short once during the summer because of matting, but his Mom had been doing a pretty good job of keeping him brushed out.

Until now.

He was pretty matted.
More on one side than the other.

  Why is that?

I can't figure it out.

I see it a lot.

A dog will be tightly matted on one side and other side is not bad at all.

The mats on this side of the dog were really tight.

We bathed him in BestShot Shampoo and Creme Rinse.

The HV dryer loosened up the mats pretty good.

Most of the mats on the one side of the dog brushed out easily while I was fluff drying.

But the mats on the other side of the dog were just too tight.

So I started clipping him with the tan colored comb (13mm) on my Moser.

The clip comb was sliding right under the mats.
I was happy.
I didn't have to take him any shorter than I did the last time he was matted.

Only I goofed...

I know better...


  I clipped the good side first.
 Of course the clip comb glided through.

The clip comb did not glide through the badly matted side.

It stopped.
It would not go under the mats. :(

I  just could not get it safely past the tight matting.

I had to use a shorter blade.

I tried the #3F blade.

That blade slide right under those tight mats.


...I made more work for myself.

I had to go back over the good side again with the #3F blade.

I don't know why, but I seem to do this to myself a lot.

Even when I demat a dog, I seem to demat the easier side first, thinking 'that wasn't so bad'.
Then, I turn the dog around to work on the other side...and it is worse.

I know better.

Get the worse side done first.  :/

 Anyway, here is the dog that they wanted to grow out for the winter.

Body: #3F blade and scissor to finish.
Tail: body blade
Ears: Light demat and neaten
Head: Skim  the top and sides of the head with 13mm clip comb and scissor to finish. Scissor over the eyes, and take about 1/2 an inch off of the beard.

The owners like the face on the fuller side.

Today everyone showed for their appointments.  :)

I groomed the sweetest little Maltese today.
I will tell you her story tomorrow.
I will say, that I was very pissed off at the breeder who sold one of my good customers the Maltese.
I think that you will be angry too when I show you the pictures tomorrow and tell her story.

See you then.  :)

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. I had a similar problem today with a maltese. He had a beautiful thick coat that was so matted we had to take him down with a 4F and his ears had to be done with a 7F. I hated to do it!

  2. Hi gipsiwriter,
    It always seems to be the dogs with the beautiful coats that have to be clipped short, or the owner wants them short. I hope that he was not one of those Maltese that their ears stick out when all of the weight is clipped off of them. Maltese can look really cute with shaved ears if they don't stick out.
    Lisa, MFF

  3. If you don't mind me asking.. how much extra do you charge for all that work trying to save a coat? I hope alot!!! We have the same problem with the "but it's so cold" clients where I work. We have a running joke about what client will be the first in the fall to tell us to leave it long because it's "going to be winter soon". Our record is mid August!!

  4. Hi D,
    I let my shampoos, conditioners, and HV dryer do most of my dematting, or loosening up of the mats for me. Once the hair is clean and the mats are blown away from the skin, I can get a longer blade through the dog. I am bad about charging for dematting because I am so quick at it. I only charge when it takes me more than 15 minutes.
    Yep, "leave it longer" usually starts around September for us. :)

  5. I believe dogs tend to mat more on the side they lay on. I think it deals with the friction of rubbing against the floor and such.