Grooming

I believe in a positive re-enforcement approach encouraging your dog to work with me rather than set against me. Paws can be especially problematic as some dogs have very ticklish feet. I try to use distraction techniques as much as possible. Other dogs are sacred of implements around their faces, others don’t like the sound of the clippers but there is generally something you can do to overcome the problem without using force.

With new clients, I always complete a record card including a full history of your dog’s physical and mental health including any behavioural issues they may have. We discuss the procedure and how you would like your pet to look once the groom is completed. On very rare occasions the groom may be dictated by the condition of the dog’s coat. If a dog is terribly matted you can rarely do anything but clip them right back and start again. To try to groom out a heavily matted coat would cause far too much distress to the dog. I have included a section on clipping a heavily matted dog further on in this section.

It may take me a bit longer than a salon where there are numerous members of staff to help restrain the dog but I finish the process with a happy hound who still wants to give me a lick on the nose.

I believe in a positive re-enforcement approach encouraging your dog to work with me rather than set against me. Paws can be especially problematic as some dogs have very ticklish feet. I try to use distraction techniques as much as possible. Other dogs are sacred of implements around their faces, others don’t like the sound of the clippers but there is generally something you can do to overcome the problem without using force.
With new clients, I always complete a record card including a full history of your dog’s physical and mental health including any behavioural issues they may have. We discuss the procedure and how you would like your pet to look once the groom is completed.

On very rare occasions the groom may be dictated by the condition of the dog’s coat. If a dog is terribly matted you can rarely do anything but clip them right back and start again. To try to groom out a heavily matted coat would cause far too much distress to the dog. I have included a section on clipping a heavily matted dog further on in this section.

It may take me a bit longer than a salon where there are numerous members of staff to help restrain the dog but I finish the process with a happy hound who still wants to give me a lick on the nose.

Before

before

After

after

Our Process

I cover the full processes of grooming from a thorough Health-check on arrival followed by Ear pulling and cleaning, Nail Clipping, then into………

Bath

With two vigourous shampoos with natural shampoo products dependant on the coat of your dog then it’s a quick blasting to remove the excess water before wrapping up in a huge microfiber towel. If the dog is happy to have a cuddle, at this point I sit with them on my lap for 5 minutes and let the towel do it’s dog. For bigger dogs or those not up for a cuddle, they get a play on the floor which incorporates the use of the towel and a bit of rough and tumble.

Drying

I use a leave-in conditioner that helps to speed up the drying process, release knots, repel dirt and give a great shine, this is hypoallergenic and non-irritant. The drying can often be the longest part of the groom if the dog has a lot of coat.

Clipping

If required this will be the next part of the grooming process although not all dogs are clipped.

Scissoring

We do this to create the style you are after.

Hand-stripping

If required, this tends to be used on wire-haired breeds such as terriers although it’s often used to remove feathers from spaniel heads and legs where feathers shouldn’t be and you’re after a smooth finish. The benefit of hand-stripping is that you can create a lovely smooth finish without leaving any clipper marks. It is very time consuming though and hard-wearing on your groomers hands so be prepared to pay a premium for this process. Finally, we

Trim

We finish of trimming the face, legs and feet to create the finish we want.

FAQ's

Our dogs need to be groom, mainly for their comfort and health but also, for their appearance and their smell. During the process a good groomer will become aware of ear infections, skin problems and lumps and bumps. They check gum health, tartar build up and oral odour. A bad smell, if not from a contaminated coat is usually a sign that something is amiss.

You should groom your dog on a daily basis between visits to a groomer to maintain the dog’s comfort but also and importantly as a bonding process between you and your dog. Your dog learns to trust you, to know that you’re not trying to hurt her and in time to, hopefully, enjoy the process. It is important to start at a young age so your dog grows up knowing that grooming is as much a part of life as eating their supper! Taking your dog to the groomer’s should not be seen as a replacement to doing grooming yourself but as an addition to it.

Let’s think about grooming costs. There is a vast range of costs for having your dog groomed and there are certain things that can incur more cost than others. The more time consuming a dog the more cost will be incurred from a toy puppy costing about a tenner to a St Bernard or hand stripped Airedale terrier that could set you back by as much as £100. I like to think of it from the perspective of how much it costs for me to get myself a cut and blow dry. Groomers are skilled people who, if running their own business, will have significant overheads. I pay nearly £50 every 6 weeks to keep my short haircut in check and I’m always out of the salon within the hour! Expensive huh! The stylist, however, can rest assured that I’m generally polite, we have a nice chat and a bit of laugh maybe. I’m not going to bite her or even try to bite her, I’m not going to want to wash her face with my tongue, pee and/or poo on her floor, dribble saliva on her table or shake it around the room, shout really loudly throughout the whole process in a very high pitched voice and worst of all, if I were a boy dog, I might spend the whole session trying to make love to her arm!! A dog of even the smallest size has more hair than me, I just get half my head shampooed as opposed to the whole body of a dog. My hair has generally been washed within the last few days and the dogs my not have been washed since the last time it was here. Nobody has to go near my feet and certainly not my undercarriage! Despite all this I love my job. I love building relationships with my canine clients, I love seeing them happy to come in through the door and I love seeing their human’s happy faces when they come to collect them. I wouldn’t dream of asking clients to pay half what many hairdressers charge but I do think us groomers deserved to be paid fairly for what we do.

When you bath a dog it helps to remove dust, shed skin, lose hair, dirt, debris and unwanted grease from the coat. So long as you use a reputable dog shampoo this should not affect the effectivity of the dogs own oils in waterproofing the coat. I will regularly bath a dog and after the final rinse see beads of water forming on the surface of the coat.

How often you get your dog groomed depends very much on your dog and your own practice at home. A dog that is bathed and brushed regularly at home with only require a visit when  the coat, face or feet needs trimming or nail-clipping is required. They may only need to come a couple of times a year. A dog that has a fast growing coat that needs frequent trimming or owners don’t like bathing at home my need to come in between 6-12 weeks. Some double coated breeds may only come in the spring to assist with removing the winter coat and then the owners can manage for the rest of the year. Have a chat with your groomer to decide what sort of regime will best fit your and your dog’s requirements.

Most dog’s need to have their nails clipped at some point in time but how often depends on the type of dog, how much exercise they have, what kind of terrain they walk on and genetics, the same as humans. If the nails are so long that they no longer allow the toes to sit in the correct position they definitely need cutting. Likewise if the dew claws are curling and growing into the pad. Different breeds have different nail conformation, greyhounds for example, have very long nails whereas Labrador retrievers’ nails tend to be quite short and stubby. The best thing you can do is take advice from a groomer. If you attempt to clip them yourself you may, unwittingly, catch the quick, which is the blood vessel into the nail. Clipping dark colour nails is particularly tricky for the lay person as you can’t see through the nail to make sure the quick is avoided. Whereas white nails usually show the quick relatively clearly.

This is my Cocker Rosa, her feet are in need of a groom!! Rosa’s nails are all black except one that has a white stripe. On this nail, towards the bottom of the nail you can see where the colouration changes. It is safe to cut below this colouration change.

Once the quick is cut it will most like bleed significantly. Groomers use products to stop this bleed but it is a painful process for your dog and she may then be reluctant to let anyone cut her nails in the future. If you do decide to have a go then remember the saying “Less is More’ and tread carefully. Also, make sure you use proper nail clippers for dogs. Don’t try to do it with human nail clippers.

If you have a question that you think will be useful to others, even if you already know the answer, please send it into me and I can add it to the ones I’ve got here. If you’d wish to be credited please provide your name and where you live, just ‘Shotley’ for example. You can also send in a photo of you and your dog if you like. The more the merrier. If an answer is credited to an individual, I cannot be held responsible for its accuracy.

Dealing with a matted coat

A matted coat is the most uncomfortable thing for a dog. When the coat is badly matted it can involve almost every hair on his body. Try to imagine how that must feel! Every movement pulls on him no matter how slight that movement is. Also, all manner of things maybe living in that coat from bits of twig and bramble to living pests especially if the owner is a bit lax with treatment of ticks and fleas. The skin can become very sore and hot as the air is unable to circulate and may cause dogs to overheat, unable to regulate their body temperature efficiently. The skin cells that are shed on a daily basis can’t get away from the skin and build up trapped in the coat which can contribute to infection in any open sores.  I have seen cases of matting so bad that the dog has been unable to pass a stool because the coat is so badly matted across the back passage. Very few people intend or plan for their dogs to get into this condition but sometimes circumstances occur that mean they don’t have the ability or time to care for their beloved pet as much as they did before. The situation then creeps up on you and before you realise, it is too late and the coat has gone beyond what you, yourself, are able to deal with.

As soon as you realise this has happen to you please do get in contact with a local groomer, don’t be put off by embarrassment as this will only exacerbate the situation making it more and more painful for your dog. ASK FOR HELP.

I would like you to meet Lewy

Lewy is the most adorable little dog with the sweetest nature but the most difficult coat! His family try very hard to keep on top of the grooming but unfortunately it does get a bit too much for them from time to time. The problem is once they start to matt, with some types of coat the problems can worsen very quickly. Lewy’s coat grows particularly fast and when he came in a couple of weeks ago I had no option but to remove the whole coat.
To do this you use a very close blade, commonly groomers go for a 30 blade that literally takes to coat right down at skin level leaving you with a bald dog!. I try, if possible, to use a slightly longer blade such as a 10 or 7F which leaves them with a few millimetres. A 30 blade is much quicker as you can really get under the matts but it also increases the risk of nicking the skin.  It may take me longer with a 10mm or 7F but at least it leaves to dog with something. I would normally start a clip on the back of the head when doing an ‘all off’ clip but on this occasion I couldn’t penetrate through the matts so I had to look for a place where I could get access to the base of the coat. This happened to be half way down Lewy’s back. I very gradually worked out from the start point in a semi-circle until I got to the tail. I then progressed round the legs. I have attached a couple of video clips for your interest.  As you can see the coat was coming away in one piece as the matts were holding it together.

lewy1
lewy2

Very gently and carefully I gradually managed to removed his coat then I let him in the garden for a run-around before putting him in the bath. He went mad running with joy at being able to stretch his limbs and body without it pulling, also wagging his tail merrily.
It is generally best to clip a very matted coat before the bath as drying is impossible and it’s best not to use clippers on a damp coat as they don’t cut very well at all. The downside of this is a dirty coat can very quickly blunt your blades which then have to be sent away for sharpening. If you’re the owner of a matted dog be prepared to have the cost of the sharpening added to your bill. This is fair to the groomer.
Almost the final Lewy, just a little bit of tiding left to do. I decided to leave his eyebrows to give him a bit of character. 
I have made a plan with Lewy’s owner for him to come in a six week intervals so we can monitor his regrowth and keep on top of any developing knots before they become a problem.
Lewy is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel/Bichon Frisse.

If owner’s wish to stay during or assist with grooming they are welcome to do so.

lewy3
lewy4

If you would like to make an appointment or discuss any grooming issues you may have please don’t hesitate to get in touch

COMPANY INFORMATION

Roseorwell Pups
2 Rose Court
Shotley
Ipswich
IP9 9PB

enquiries@roseorwellpups.co.uk

07878874584

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