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GROOMER TO THE STARS Norbert Groomed by Michael Rogers Photo by Mark Steines

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Groomer to Groomer • Vol 35 Ed 7 • July 2016


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Ask the Grooming Tutor:


TECHNOLOGY by Kathy Hosler



What's Your Brand?


Rose: Sheltie Pet Trim


Dog World Expo Preview 20

Book Reviews


Grooming Your Career for Success with Technology


Tribute: Gary Hartwell


Omboy: Squirrel!


Classifieds 70

Oquendo: All About Paws

6 14

Wilkes: Finding the Right Trainer for Your Clients


Conner: Ditch the Dread of Drying


Product News



Calendar of Events 72



by Melissa Viera




Todd Shelly

Laura Pennington





by Michelle Evans

Groomer Stories:

Adding Training Service to Your Grooming Menu


Jennifer Barraclough





Adam Lohr


WEB DESIGNERS Lance Williams






Luke Dumberth

GROOMER TO THE STARS Norbert Groomed by Michael Rogers Photo by Mark Steines


Michell Evans

Dawn Omboy

Mary Oquendo

Kathy Rose

Kathy Hosler

Gary Wilkes

Daryl Conner

ON THE COVER: Norbert Groomed by Michael Rogers Photo by Mark Steines

Copyright July 2016. Groomer to Groomer is published monthly by Barkleigh Productions, Inc, 970 West Trindle Road, Mechanicsburg PA 17055. Postmaster: Send change of address to Groomer to Groomer c/o Barkleigh Productions, Inc., 970 West Trindle Road, Mechanicsburg PA 17055. Annual U.S. subscription rate $25. Outside U.S. $79. year, surface rates. Groomer to Groomer is free to current Barkleigh Productions, Inc. customers. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. Editorial offices: 970 West Trindle Road, Mechanicsburg PA 17055. (717) 691–3388 FAX: (717) 691–3381 Email:

Groomer to Groomer • Vol 35 Ed 7 • July 2016




own e

a Br E by Kam


dding training services specifically for the grooming experience is an extremely easy and profitable addition to grooming salons. Simple training services offer benefits for the dogs, their owners, and the grooming staff. Dog trainers and veterinarians are consistently looking to refer clients to salons that are able to offer dogs the benefit of a low-stress experience. Becoming such a salon is easier than it sounds. The following is a list of training exercises which are simple for employees to learn and can be provided as a quick (and profitable) add-on service. All of the training services use treats, which can be purchased by the salon in bulk or can


Groomer to Groomer • Vol 35 Ed 7 • July 2016

be sold retail to the client as part of the package.


Socialization Days

1. Socialization Days for new puppies, first time dogs, or nervous dogs that are unable to be groomed. Cost: $5-$10 more than the regional price of daycare. In the Midwest it comes out to about $35. Includes time with the groomer, 3 hours of socialization, a food toy or bully stick & treats along the way. $15 extra if the nails are able to be clipped/grinded. Total time for groomer: 10 minutes.

Very young puppies should never be turned away! I’ve heard from too many owners that they were told to bring their 4-6 month old double-coated dog back for grooming once the adult coat came in. Every new client should be offered and encouraged to bring their dog for socialization days. This is great for dogs that are dropped off but end up being too nervous or aggressive to groom as well. Offering to work with the dog for the day will gain higher customer satisfaction than simply calling to tell the owner the dog can’t be groomed. It also allows the groomer to regain some commission from the experience instead of losing out on the spot. During socialization days, the

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dog should be kenneled or put in an x-pen where it can watch and listen to the other dogs being groomed. The kennel or pen should have a comfy bed and be big enough for the dog to easily turn around and lie down in. If the dog is a large or giant breed, using a no-chew tether is another great option. The dog should be in view of at least one groomer at all times and if possible, also in view of clients coming in to make it easier to sell the service. If the dog is showing extreme signs of fear such as growling or expressing anal glands, keeping them in a kennel is safest for everyone. During the day, the dog should be offered a tablespoon or two of braunschweiger in a food toy (customers may have peanut allergies so avoid peanut butter) or a bully stick to chew on. The dog should be taken


Groomer to Groomer • Vol 35 Ed 7 • July 2016

over to the grooming table and offered treats and a few minutes of brushing. The groomer should take a few more minutes to pick up the dogs feet, put a muzzle on and off, check the dog’s mouth and ears and practice turning the dog each direction. Using grooming wipes on the face, ears, tail and feet is a nice tactile experience for the dog and a wonderful visual for a client who is watching. Small, meaty, training treats should be offered after each exercise and a note should be made if the dog readily ate the treats or not. If the dog is willing to sit or lie down when asked they should be rewarded and another note should be made. When the owner arrives, let them know which signs of stress the dog is exhibiting (heavy panting, barking, whining, shying away, not eating, etc.) and whether or not they need to do

another socialization day or if the dog is ready to try grooming. If the dog or puppy showed no signs of stress, let them know that too. If the dog is in-between stages, offer another socialization day with nail trimming and/or a bath and blow out without trimming. Continue to offer this service, adding an extra aspect of the grooming process each time until the dog is able to tolerate being fully groomed.


AKC/CGC Therapy Dog Practice

2. AKC CGC/Therapy Dog Practice– Owners who would like practice for their dog to pass the AKC Canine Good Citizenship test or work towards a therapy dog certification. Cost: $15. Extra for tooth brushing and nail trimming if the dog isn’t being fully groomed. Total time for groomer: 10 minutes. Start with the dog on leash. Using small, meaty training treats, lure the dog to walk over to a bath mat on the floor, offering a few treats once they step onto it. Tether the dog securely to a wall or table and run both hands down each front and back leg. Practice this a few times, giving a treat after each time. Next, gently hold the dog’s chin with one hand and lift each lip to expose the teeth with the other hand. Give the dog a treat, hold the chin again and gently look at each eye. Give another treat and pet the dog in a long sweeping motion from their head to the very tip of their tail. Give another treat and lift the tail up and put it back down. Give a final treat and tell the dog job well done. Make a note for the

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owner any instances where the dog turned, snapped or flattened him or herself to the ground.


Groomer’s Nosework & Agility

3. Groomer’s Nosework & Agility– Playing fun games with dogs inside the grooming salon creates a fun environment for all dogs. Cost: $10 Total time for groomer: 10 minutes. This service is a fun add-on that the dog can do each time. It can be especially useful for dogs that are hesitant to walk inside the door or around the salon. It’s perfect for

puppies and seniors. This can be a hard sell for walk-in owners but is a standout reason for dog trainers to recommend the salon. For agility, keep an 18-inch diameter wobble board on hand and spend five minutes luring the dog with treats onto the board, working towards having them balance for 10 seconds. Practice luring the dog to take a small jump up onto the table, wait for 30 seconds and jump off of the table. The table should be lowered to no more than half the dog’s height. For nose work, hide a toy filled with meat or a small piece of hot dog around the grooming table in plain sight. Bring the dog a few feet from the table and let them smell your hand (which should smell like hot dog or meat) and tell them to “find it” in a happy voice. Follow the dog as they

search the table. Do not let the dog leave the 6 foot area if other groomers are working. Repeat this same game in the bathing area or drying area, making sure the first few times the treat is easily in sight. If the dog is unable to find the food, point to it with your hand and let them eat it. As the dog repeats the service, make the food harder to find each time.


Gentle Restraint, Mat Removal & Muzzle Training

4. Gentle Restraint, Mat Removal, and Muzzle Training Cost: Varies Total time for groomer: 15








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minutes for muzzle and restraint, broken into 5-minute sessions. These services are for dogs that need extra attention and cannot be groomed without wearing a muzzle. Spread braunschweiger on a mini plastic Frisbee. Offer the dog the option of licking the Frisbee and gently put the muzzle on and secure the grooming noose. The dog should be able to reach the Frisbee with meat the entire time, either because the noose is long enough that they can bend down, or because the Frisbee is zip tied to the grooming arm or bathtub wall. While the dog is licking the Frisbee, practice restraining the elbow for nail trimming for 10 seconds and then stop for 15 seconds before moving

to the other legs. Work out one mat and then stop. If face trimming is needed, practice holding underneath the chin for 10 seconds, brushing or thinning out one area, and then allowing the dog to continue licking. The dog should remain relatively calm the entire time and consistently be licking the Frisbee unless restrained momentarily from doing so. The dog should be offered water often and given a break if they stop showing interest in the treat. If the dog is so stressed that they refuse to eat, are panting so heavily it could be dangerous, or are moving in a way that puts the groomer at risk, refer the owner to a positive reinforcement trainer who can create a personalized training plan.

All of these training add-on options can be given new names and customized to the clientele of the salon. Combining training with grooming is a great way to offer more services while keeping everyone happy, safe, and having fun. ✂

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Groomer to Groomer • Vol 35 Ed 7 • July 2016




E by Mary Oquendo e


s I write this article, I am sitting in the office of Pawsitively Pretty still wearing my paw-print grooming smock. I’m a little bummed today because I lost a paw print hoop earring. However, as I look around my office I see all sorts of paws on my walls, schedule book, and business cards. I know I’m not alone in my paw obsession. I bet all sorts of paws surround other groomers on a daily basis. And as much as we like them, I bet dogs and cats have a different take on it. After all, paws


Groomer to Groomer • Vol 35 Ed 7 • July 2016

are part of their physical makeup. Structure A dog’s paw is made up of five parts with two types of nails and three different pads. • The claws or toenails are comprised of keratin. Keratin is primarily protein and makes up nails, hairs, feathers, hooves, and skin. There is a blood supply and nerve endings running through the center of the claw that is often referred to as the quick. The job of the claw is to provide traction while moving and to

aid in digging. • Dewclaws can be found on both the front and rear legs. Dewclaws were once thought to be vestigial. Meaning that it once had a purpose, but no longer does. However, there are many instances in which dewclaws are actively used by dogs. A dog that participates in agility and other sports use declaws when running and negotiating tight turns. The dewclaws also offer stabilization on uneven surfaces. Many dogs use front dewclaws for gripping bones and toys when chewing. The Basenji,

Pets primarily use their toe bones rather than the back end of the paws when walking. It is because of this that keeping claws trimmed at the proper length is so important. New Guinea Singing Dog, and Catahoula Leopard Dog have been known to climb trees using the front dewclaw. Dogs that work in snow and mountainous terrain such as Great Pyrenees, Briard, and Saint Bernard use the rear dewclaws to maintain stability. Front dewclaws contain more tendon and muscle than rear dewclaws. • Digital, metacarpal, and carpal are the three different types of pads. The digital pads are connected with the claws. The metacarpal pad is the large center pad. The carpal pad is located behind the metacarpal pad close to where the leg begins. Pads are the pet’s braking system and shock absorbers. Pads contain a thick fatty layer and contain sweat glands. Their job is to protect the pet’s bones, ligaments, and joints. When a

dog rubs his paws along the ground, the sweat gland leave a scent. A dog uses this odor to mark his territory. Pets primarily use their toe bones rather than the back end of the paws when walking. It is because of this that keeping claws trimmed at the proper length is so important. A nail that is too long can redistribute their walking weight causing skeletal issues down the line. Dog’s Paws also Come in Different Shapes Water dogs, such as Labrador Retrievers, Newfoundlands, and German Wire Haired Pointers have webbed paws. Dogs with “cat paws” have a shorter third digital bone. It is a more efficient design that increases their endurance. Breeds include

Akita, Doberman Pinscher, and Saint Bernard. “Hare feet” look elegant, as the two middle toes are longer than the two outer toes. As there is no arch, the paw appears longer. Breeds include Toy Poodles, Samoyeds, and Greyhounds. Cat Paws are Similar in Structure but Have a Couple of Noticeable Differences: • The claws are an extension of the toes. When a cat is declawed, the veterinarian amputates the top section of the toe bone. • They leave a scent with their pads that only other cats can smell. • They can retract their claws into a skin pouch. Safety Concerns For Groomers Injuries to paws caused by

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groomers include: • Lacerations from clippers and scissors. Small cordless clippers are recommended for trimming the underside of pads. • Irritations from close clippering. • Burns on the bottom of paws by coming in contact with improperly rinsed cleaning products on counters and tabletops. Read the labels to follow rinsing protocols or use table covers on grooming tables. • Claws that are trimmed into the vein (quick) will bleed. As there are nerve endings in the vein, this can cause pain and discomfort to the pet. • Clipper damage to the nail bed can become infected. Attending to injuries quickly

will reduce pain and speed healing. A well-stocked pet first aid kit and the knowledge to aid the pet is a must. During check in, examine the paws and note any pre-existing conditions that may impact grooming such as bacterial or other infections, fungus, tumors, and trauma. Here are three ways to make those hardworking paws feel good and upsell grooming services: 1) Keep claws at proper length. Explain the benefits of proper nail care with in-between nail trims, as well as offering filing or dremeling. 2) Pets love to have their paws massaged. It’s a very similar sensation to people getting a foot rub after a long

day. This could be a 10-minute add-on. 3) Paw pad conditioners to keep the pad from drying and cracking. Not all of these products are safe for cats. Read the labels before applying to cat paws. Not all pets enjoy their paws being touched. Use caution when handling such pets. From the names of our businesses, to logos and everything in between, groomers love the visualization of paws. While various depictions of paws may be a marketing tool for us, they serve a far more important role for pets. ✂

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Make sure your grooming business stands out from the pack! How? With the latest techniques and fresh new supplies you’ll find at SuperZoo, North America’s favorite pet retail trade show. Four days of the best new products and hands-on expert workshops ensure you’re ready to handle even the toughest jobs—while grooming contests with $45,000+ in prizes give you a dynamite opportunity to shine. Get here—and get noticed! To find out how visit Produced by:



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Groomer to Groomer • Vol 35 Ed 7 • July 2016

large–scale, cutting edge multimedia format. With multiple stages, both inside and outside the impressive facility, attendees will enjoy world championship caliber events including dock diving and disc dog. They can also see amazing dogs compete in fly ball, rally obedience, treibball, barn hunt and agility, just to name a few. World Dog Expo will also feature an exciting breed showcase area, highlighting over one hundred breeds known from all over the world. A world championship grooming competition will spotlight the art of pet grooming as never seen before. And the show will work to promote dog rescue, fostering and adoption. Aside from the spectator events, World Dog Expo will include


educational seminars on proper care and nutrition, pet first aid, as well as other classes for pet owners. It will also feature industry specific classes for professionals in the pet care industry. Perhaps the main attraction of World Dog Expo will be the notable trade show event, featuring a huge array of dog–centered products across hundreds of booths. The trade show will be positioned throughout the two main halls, plus an outdoor events area. Attendees will be able to find the newest and best products for their canine companions. Participating vendors will benefit from the unprecedented exposure created for the event. ✂

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TECHNOLOGY E by Kathy Hosler e

To boldly go where no one had gone before! That was the mission of the Starship Enterprise. It's kind of the same situation for groomers who have never used business software.


ou are facing the unknown and you're not sure what to expect. When all you have ever known are appointment books and clip cards, learning to run your business with technology can really be scary. Pet grooming is hard work don't let the way you are conducting business make it even more difficult. Don't be terrified of technology; let it do a lot of the work for you. By taking that first step, you can really catapult yourself and your business to new heights. Here's the big question: What can


Groomer to Groomer • Vol 35 Ed 7 • July 2016

software do for your business and how do you even know where to start? "Software in general is meant to make the groomer more efficient," says Andy Smit of SwiftPet. "Software is not meant to be a barrier, it is meant to be a supplement or enhancement to the business. If it is too complicated, you won't use it. If it is easy to use, and makes your work easier - it helps the business run smoother, and be more efficient and profitable." There are two types of software. There are downloadable programs that you actually put on your

computer, and web-based software that you access through the internet. The software programs that you download can only be used on the computer that they are installed on. That's something that you need to be aware of if you purchase pc based (downloadable) software. If you change computers, you may have to buy new software or invest in upgrades. If you have web-based (in the cloud) software, you can use your laptop, tablet, iPad or smart phone to access the software. If something happens to one of your devices,

your information will still be there because it’s stored online. You will be able to access your business software anywhere there is internet. You don't have to be in front of a computer, you can be at a convention or grocery store and still have the information at your fingertips. Before you invest in software, do some research. Talk to other groomers and see how technology has helped them. Visit different software websites and see all the programs and features they have to offer. "Most often you can get a 30 or 60 day free demo of the software to see if it is what you want and if it does what you need it to do," says Bill Krom of Groom Pro. “Only deal with companies that have good reviews. You can find out a lot at online review boards like" Also, be aware of costs involved. Some software is free while others are quite expensive. Some have monthly subscription fees and others require you to sign a contract. "The benefits of using software are numerous! Saving time and therefore money would have to be one of the biggest pluses," says Laurence Smith of PetLinx. "Managing groomer scheduling and organizing your appointment book easily and quickly is another.” "Software enables better marketing efforts by providing a means to advertise to all your customers or just a targeted segment," Mr. Smith continues. "It can give you an overview of your business workload, performance, and financials. The integration with

Before you invest in software, do some research. Talk to other groomers and see how technology has helped them. Visit different software websites and see all the programs and features they have to offer.

Groomer to Groomer • Vol 35 Ed 6 • June 2016


"Grooming is hard enough, why would you want to make it any harder? The hours that you spend at your business doing non-grooming activities can be drastically reduced, when you let technology help you." — Paula Mosteller of PetExec point of sale hardware and payment processing simplifies check out time." "Grooming is hard enough," says Paula Mosteller of PetExec. "Why would you want to make it any harder? The hours that you spend at your business doing non-grooming activities can be drastically reduced, when you let technology help you. The time that you save translates into getting out of work early, or making more money in the same time." "Software programs make it easier to run a business," says David


Groomer to Groomer • Vol 35 Ed 7 • July 2016

Farris of Technology Enhancing Pets. "It doesn't have to be intimidating. Groomers can start with software that is basic and easy to learn." "How difficult software is to learn really depends on the resources you have available to you," says Bill Krom of Groom Pro. "Things you want to look for are; do the software companies offer tutorial videos, do they have a knowledge base, do they have a way for you to get answers to your questions that are available 24/7, and is there email or phone support?"

"Appointment books and clip cards may be the old reliable way to do business, however, you cannot access their information when you are away from the office," says Stephen Cushen of Kennel Booker “Online software gives you instant access to your customer and pet database straight from your PC, tablet or smart phone, and can also let you add bookings into your calendar." "Your customers are used to using online services for booking their hair, hotel, and other


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appointments. They expect to be able to do the same with their pet appointments," says David Farris of Technology Enhancing Pets. "With software programs, clients can request an appointment with you or one of your groomers. You receive an email or text alert and you can confirm the request immediately." "With software, when a dog comes in to be groomed, you can have the entire history of previous grooms complete with any special instructions," says Andrew Giroux of Groomsoft. "All the information for every pet is there." There are no microscopic notes scribbled in the margins of clip cards. That is a big plus if you have multiple groomers or groomer turnover - with detailed instructions, any groomer can

duplicate the previous groom. "Let technology keep you connected to your customers," says Paula Mosteller of PetExec. "When a client calls to make an appointment, you can have the pet and owner profiles in front of you within seconds. You can also send out email blasts about a new service you are offering, a product you are featuring, or to introduce a new groomer on your staff. You can also send personalized birthday and pet report cards to the pets. Take a picture of the pet, make a few comments, and email it to the owner - they love it!" Mobile groomers have very specialized software available to them that can really have a positive impact on their business. "The mapping software takes

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your physical address (location) and it will map out your daily route," says Al Rosales of mGroomer. "If you are going to be in a certain area and you don't have a full schedule, you can have the software show you all of your clients in that area that have not been groomed in the last month or two (whatever you want) and you can reach out to them. It's a great way to fill out your schedule and also to optimize your routes for fuel efficiency." One thing mobile groomers must consider is that you need internet to access the software. If you are going to be in a rural area where there is no internet access, you may have to print out information before you go to the appointment. "Everyone has the fear of losing their data," says Patrick Jones of Doggie Dashboard. "While nothing is 100% safe, there are lots of safeguards with grooming software programs. You also have to do your part to keep your information safe. Make sure that you have a strong password and don't share it."


TECHNOLOGY E by Paula Mosteller e Technology can open up a whole new world in three distinct ways: 1. Customer Perception - How your customer feels before, during, and after the groom. • Check in. Can you quickly check in a client and have all notes and histories ready and up to date? Sorting through paper index cards can be slow and hard to keep track. Readily available pet and owner profiles create a positive impression to the client.

• Report Cards. It takes a few easy minutes to send a picture of Fluffy, after being freshly groomed and looking amazing along with a few comments. If it is easy, fast and fun, you and your staff will enjoy these important tasks. • Follow up. Do you have a way to quickly track your recent customers or send a quick notice such as: “We miss you” or “We have a new groomer on staff ” email to selected customers on your list? How many of your 2016 23,000 Online Subscribers 22,000 GroomerTALK℠ Members School & Home Study Expert Advice

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Groomer to Groomer • Vol 35 Ed 6 • June 2016


There is no end to the things that grooming software can do for you and your business. It can organize your expenses, track your retail pos (point of sale), and see what items are selling well and which ones are just sitting on your shelves. And, of course, they can automatically print or email receipts. With just a few keystrokes, you can generate reports for your business showing income, future bookings, commission earned by groomers, tax reports, and much, much more. "Grooming is a very physically demanding job. It's not unusual for groomers to develop carpal tunnel, bad feet and back problems. What are your plans after your grooming career is over?” asks Bill Krom of Groom Pro. "If you sell your business, the money you get for it will not last forever. Grooming software gives you the means to continue to operate your business. You can hire a groomer and you can move to management - or you can hire both a manager and groomers, and you can still run your business. It can generate income for you forever." So, groomers, it's time to boldly go where you have not gone before. You may not be the captain of a Starship, but you are in control of your own future. Technology can help you make it a future that is out of this world! ✂

to work (and they actually like it)! Customers enjoy the flexibility of hoping online to schedule/request appointments. Send them a text or email from your screen in a jiffy. Customers crave attention and your system can make that fast and easy. • Communication. Technology allows groomers to make announcements to many clients at a time through email blasts or targeted messages. Texts, report cards, email blasts, pet birthdays, and other messages are great ways of keeping the line of communication flowing. Let your system help you reach out to your important clients.

valuable customers fall through the cracks because they feel neglected when the solution is so doggone easy? 2. Time Management Limit time spent doing nongrooming tasks. • Automated Appointment Reminders. Manually calling takes a lot of time and no one really likes this task. Why not cross that duty off your list and let your system do the work of sending appointment reminders? Not only is this automatic, but also in writing! Additionally, you can include policies (for instance, any late fees or other important information they may need to know) in the body of the message. • Customer Involvement. Imagine putting your customers

3. Organization - Ways to quickly and easily track your receipts, revenues, taxes, employee activity, reports, trends, and statics of your shop.

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Groomer to Groomer • Vol 35 Ed 7 • July 2016

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You became a groomer to showcase your artistic talent and love of pets. The right system can greatly improve your workflow, record keeping, and save you hours of stressful paperwork. Why suffer through trying to figure out profitability margins, revenues, and other accounting by using receipts, spreadsheets, and bank statements? There is an easier and more efficient way! • Gather reports in minutes, segmenting by date range, product types, payment types and other data points. Quickly use the data to evaluate how your earnings

stack up against your expenses. • Client and pet profiles can change minute by minute. Technology keeps everything clean, organized, and up to date. • Gauge how well each product, service, or groomer is performing by viewing statistic reports. What once was a very difficult and cumbersome task, is now a few keystrokes away.

You became a groomer to showcase your artistic talent and love of pets. The right system can greatly improve your workflow, record keeping, and save you hours of stressful paperwork. You work so hard already - why not let a system that is built for the unique needs of pet related business cut your work in half? ✂

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Groomer to Groomer • Vol 35 Ed 7 • July 2016






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FIG. 3

Photos by Tina Lavender


any groomers are really wanting to do some type of creative work in their salons but do not know where to start or are worried about doing dye work that holds on indefinitely. Tina Lavender of Wags and Wiggles Dog Boutique & Spa in College Station, Texas has worked right around that problem by using temporary products on about 95% of creative clients. She has also found that by doing temporary color her clients are actually coming in sooner to get a redo on their cutsie little designs. To get them interested, she


Groomer to Groomer • Vol 35 Ed 7 • July 2016

will usually do the first one at no charge and because the designs are temporary, she keeps the cost down only charging about eight dollars or so depending on the design. Fig. 1) This particular client, Mugzi, who loves to chase squirrels, got a simple stenciled squirrel design put on his short clipped back at no charge. That got them hooked! Fig. 2) The next week, Tina wanted the squirrel to be a bit more detailed so she downloaded a better picture and, using sticky-back foam and an exact-o knife, made a more detailed stencil that can be reused over and over. The stencil is then placed against the dog and the color is blown on with a Blow Pen. For those who are not familiar with Blow Pens, this is

a 2 part manual airbrush delivery system with a colored marker inside. They are temporary and usually the color comes completely out with just one or two baths. Fig. 3) So on this visit, Mugzi got the more detailed squirrel strategically placed so that the tail of the squirrel blended into the tail of the dog, making for one really cute, quick design that can be repeated in minutes for a nice add-on price. Thank you Tina for sharing this cute idea with us! ✂

FIG. 1

FIG. 2

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I feel like I need to cut back but I can’t afford to cut back. My days feel frantic and the quality of my work is suffering. I am short with my co-workers and even

Dear Michell, I am overworked and underpaid. I am a commission paid employee.

my clients on some days. I am exhausted when I do have time off. I talk to other groomers and it seems many others feel the same. What can we do?


ood question Leslie. Let me first say, the prices suggested in this reply are only examples. Like other appointment based businesses, grooming as a profession can be a double edged sword. On one hand you can make your own schedule and design your career around your needs and wants. On the other hand you are literally selling your life away in one to two hour increments. You


Groomer to Groomer • Vol 35 Ed 7 • July 2016

must have clear limits or you will sell too much of your life away. What good is the income if you are tired and sore and have no time to spend it? First, try to reduce your personal living expenses. Create or amend your budget to reduce expenses as much as possible. Cancel all unnecessary expenses. Talk to your lenders and service providers about reducing your monthly payments. Choose your minimum comfortable


income. Often folks find that they can reduce more than they ever thought possible. Then, focus on adding a few bucks to every groom in the form of add-on services or simply increase prices. For example, if you typically do seven pets per day at fifty bucks, cut down to 6 pets per day and add $8.33 to each of those six pets. Your pay check will be the same. $10 dollars every four to eight weeks

($60-$120 per year) has very little impact on your customer’s life compared the incredible, positive impact it will have on yours! If you tell them that you are having a price increase so that you may spend more time with their pet and reduce your stress, they will gladly pay the extra amount and probably tip you more! And if they don’t, someone else will. Focus on quality in conjunction with your price increase or addon service. You can do something as simple as a different fragrance of the same shampoo so that the client smells a difference. Successful add-ons might be nail filing, tooth brushing, or coat and skin conditioner. Simple things like a little hair spray in the top of the head to add volume for the first impression are huge improvements



6 pets per day

per day

($58.33 per pet)

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from the customer’s prospective. After you have reduced your daily load, don’t fall into the trap of simply continuing the frantic pace just to get off work earlier and make more money. Instead, focus on a more reasonable pace while working. Take time throughout the day to enjoy the pets, add a little extra style, stretch, breathe, take a dog for a potty-walk or take a few extra minutes to speak to your most generous tippers. If you are so

exhausted after work because you did not take the time to stand up straight, eat, drink, and smile your family will not enjoy the extra hour they get to spend with you anyway. Consider four ten hour days instead of five eight hour days. A three day weekend might help you get through the week a little easier, but remember to maintain a reasonable pace. Or consider taking a day off during your week to rest and rejuvenate. Both of these options can

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Groomer to Groomer • Vol 35 Ed 7 • July 2016


Take time throughout the day to enjoy the pets, add a little extra style, stretch, breathe, take a dog for a potty-walk or take a few extra minutes to speak to your most generous tippers. be helpful for your home life because you can get your life-chores done and still have a couple days off for one of those endangered events called a weekend. Consider an odd schedule. Because grooming is appointment based, you can make up whatever schedule fits your needs. You might choose to work the night shift and Sundays to avoid co-workers. You could work around your lunch time yoga class or mid-morning college course. You might keep your mornings to yourself and go to the salon at 10

am and working until 6-8 pm, or go into the salon at 7 am and spend the afternoon with your family. Attending a grooming show or dog show, purchasing a new clipper, subscribing to a streaming educational site, or buying a set of grooming DVDs and/or book are all things that can help you be more inspired at work. A new smock will make you feel better! And a new pair of supportive shoes can help with fatigue! Remember, when making decisions about your well-being, ask yourself, if I were the person I love

most in this world, would I ask them to live as I am living? Good luck Leslie! ✂ I am a multi-Best-In-Show and BestAll-Around groomer. I am the recipient of many Barkleigh Honors Awards. I am a Silver and Gold medalist for GroomTeam USA. I am the winner of Show Dog Groomer of the Year. I am an educator for Andis Clipper Company. I have been teaching as The Grooming Tutor since 2000. And I groom to make a living, just like you. Please send questions to

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Groomer to Groomer • Vol 35 Ed 7 • July 2016



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GROOMER TO THE STARS Photos by: Mark Steines

Grooming celebrity dogs is a lot of work. After all, celebrity groomers play one of the most important roles in getting their furry clients ready for the world to see in magazines and on TV.


Groomer to Groomer • Vol 35 Ed 7 • July 2016


fter getting groomed by Michael Rogers, dogs are left with a style that shows off all of their best features so they are ready for anything. Rogers is the owner of Michael L. Rogers Mobile Pet Services, a business he has been running for 13 years in Los Angeles, California. Rogers fell in love with grooming when he was offered a part-time job that would lead to his future career. “I was in my senior year of college at Cal State Northridge majoring in journalism when I was offered a part-time job at a large LA grooming company,” says Rogers. While there, Rogers worked with

several different groomers, taking in everything he could. “I was eager to have the boss send me out on my own,” says Rogers, who was quickly realizing how much he enjoyed all aspects of grooming. “I was always very artistic and loved the challenge of scissoring dogs and grooming.” Through practice and more practice, Rogers’ skills as a groomer kept improving. “I had become a very competent groomer and it was very satisfying for me,” he says. “Several years later, I decided to open my own grooming company.” Rogers’ client base of about 1,900 clients includes many celebrity and well-known pets. “Some of our

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Groomer to Groomer • Vol 35 Ed 7 • July 2016


Rogers’ client base of about 1,900 clients includes many celebrity and well-known pets. “Some of our famous clients include Goldie Hawn, Kate Hudson, Mark Wahlberg and Robert Downey Jr,” says Rogers.

Wally Hudson, Owned by Kate Hudson Groomed by Michael Rogers


Groomer to Groomer • Vol 35 Ed 7 • July 2016

famous clients include Goldie Hawn, Kate Hudson, Mark Wahlberg and Robert Downey Jr,” says Rogers. Additionally, Rogers grooms dogs that have been featured in magazines, and that have starred in TV shows and commercials—not to mention internet superstars like the very well-known and loved Norbert. Norbert is a very tiny dog with a large adoring fan base. The small mixed breed dog, owned by

Julie Freyermuth, is a registered therapy dog who grew up in Boston, Massachusetts and now lives in Los Angeles, California. Norbert’s first picture book received nine prestigious book awards and his list of special accomplishments continues to grow. “Norbert the dog is a very special client of ours,” says Rogers. “He is just about three pounds and is a registered therapy dog best known

Groomer to Groomer • Vol 35 Ed 7 • July 2016


Norbert is more than just a cute face. He also is a busy dog who volunteers at nursing homes, hospitals, and schools. Norbert also supports many charities. Finding the Right Balance & Fit is Key to finding the Ideal Shear.

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Groomer to Groomer • Vol 35 Ed 7 • July 2016

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for being the star of Norbert’s children books, as well as his immense following and popularity on social media.” Grooming Norbert is what Rogers describes as a unique challenge. “His ears and face are so unique that we wanted to accentuate these specific characteristics,” Rogers explains. “We did his styling in a way to highlight mainly his hilariously cute butterfly ears and also create a teddy bear look. He almost looks like a stuffed animal.” Norbert is more than just a cute face. He also is a busy dog who volunteers at nursing homes, hospitals, and schools. Norbert also supports many charities. “He has caught the imagination of the world as his popularity continues to soar,” Rogers says. “Even though he's a very tiny animal, when he's brought into a children's unit at hospitals with terminal patients, he brings instant smiles and laughter to children. I believe he helps them forget for a little while that they are sick and in a hospital, and that's his miracle.” Grooming Norbert, like grooming most mixed breeds, allows for a world of creativity.  “He's a mix breed dog and when you first look at him from a groomer’s standpoint, you see Maltese, but then he has these butterfly ears like a Papillion, so he's very unique,” explains Rogers. When trimming dogs in anything other than breed standard trims, Rogers provides a style that shows off their best features and meets the requests of his clients. “Some clients want a teddy bear look, some like the look of a Schnauzer, even though they have a Goldendoodle, so there are no hard and fast rules in the real world of grooming.” Grooming dogs with all different

Groomer to Groomer • Vol 35 Ed 7 • July 2016


Grooming and seeing his clients light up as they get their pet back in their arms after getting all cleaned up is what Rogers loves and it continues to motivate him each day.

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Groomer to Groomer • Vol 35 Ed 7 • July 2016

looks is undoubtedly fun, especially if they could end up in a commercial or on the cover of a magazine, but as Rogers explains it is also serious work. “In a place like Los Angeles, looks and particularly your dog’s looks, are very important. If you walked down Rodeo Dr. in Beverly Hills or Montana Ave in Santa Monica with an un-groomed dog you would get the most awful looks from people. It becomes very serious when your client’s reputations are on the line,” says Rogers. As a groomer, Rogers was deeply inspired by the work of another groomer he greatly admires. “The person that inspired me the most in the grooming industry is a famous groomer by the name of Jay Scruggs who won groomer of the year several times,” says Rogers. “I have studied most of his seminars and video series and really think he is a genius and an incredible artist.” “As well as being a professional groomer, I am also very supportive of animal rights,” says Rogers. A longtime client of Rogers’ who passed away in March of 2015, Sam Simon, played a major role in his growth. “He was most known as the creator of The Simpsons TV show as well as many other shows,” says Rogers.  “His real passion was animal rights and he was the most generous, fearless advocate for the well-being of animals—donating money all over the world to help abused animals—I really looked up to him and consider him a mentor.” Today, Michael L. Rogers Mobile Pet Services is always very busy. As the business continues to grow, Rogers’ future plans include hiring additional groomers. For Rogers, volunteering and giving back is another important

part of what he does. “We have gotten many calls through the years from some of our friends that work in rescue,” says Rogers. “They have a potential forever home for one of their rescue dogs but they are in such awful condition. We have volunteered and ran out to trim and clean them up,” he explains. Grooming and seeing his clients light up as they get their pet back in their arms after getting all cleaned up is what Rogers loves and it continues to motivate him each day. “I always enjoy the look on people's faces when they hand us over an overgrown, possibly matted pet, and we give them back a sculpted, clean, cute snuggable little buddy,” says Rogers.

For anyone interested in becoming a pet groomer, or those just starting out, Rogers advises them to get as much hands-on experience as they can. “Real world grooming can be much different than it looks when you watch a professional doing it in a video,” says Rogers. “A lot of this business is improvising.  Animals are very sensitive and it [grooming] requires a lot of responsibility. These are people's furry loved ones.” ✂


Groomer to Groomer • Vol 35 Ed 7 • July 2016


Finding the


by Gary Wilkes


Many of your clients need training services and ask you to help them find a qualified trainer. Trainers that come to your salon may solicit that kind of recommendation. They will undoubtedly sell themselves in the best light possible – an understandable and normal thing to do. This is where it gets interesting.


s groomers, it is impossible to escape some contact with trainers. Many of your clients need training services and ask you to help them find a qualified trainer. Trainers that come to your salon may solicit that kind of recommendation. They will undoubtedly sell themselves in the best light possible – an understandable


Groomer to Groomer • Vol 35 Ed 7 • July 2016

and normal thing to do. This is where it gets interesting. Some of them will suggest that they use ‘scientific’ methods and are well versed in ‘learning theory’. Those are the ones you have to question closely. The creation of a science of behavior is a goal yet to be achieved. Yes, there are academically trained people who call themselves scientists

who do science-like things. They do ‘research studies’, go to professional conferences, and write peer-reviewed papers for journals. However, they present an image of science-like activities without providing the real deal – like food stylists who can make a raw turkey look edible for a cooking magazine. If you swallow it you may regret your decision.




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Groomer to Groomer • Vol 35 Ed 7 • July 2016


CORNERING THE MARKET The primary purpose of claiming scientific knowledge of behavior is to create a distinction between the speaker and ‘others’. Those others are characterized as less knowledgeable and therefore less effective. That is not a valid distinction unless proven. Just like grooming, training can only be evaluated by outcome. Someone who has attended multiple grooming expos to learn how to groom a Bedlington Terrier may or may not produce a better result than a groomer with 30 years’ experience – who has never attended a grooming expo. How would a logical professional groomer decide? A blind trial. Have ten groomers clip Bedlingtons and then judge them without knowing who did which. To date, there has never been a blind trial conducted to validate that ‘science-

based’ training compares to traditional training. If the improvements of science are so dramatic, you should be able to ID science-trained dogs from traditionally trained dogs with a blink of the eye. Good luck. FINDING THE RIGHT TRAINER The essential qualities of a good trainer start with things that are unrelated to training. • Good trainers have empathy for their clients. That means they have to be a ‘people person’. That doesn’t mean they are social butterflies. They must be able to adapt to many personality styles and still hold the client’s best interest at heart. • Good trainers provide good service for their money. If they use inefficient

methods that milk the client for weeks and months without addressing specific issues, that referral isn’t going to reflect well on you. • I shouldn’t have to say this, but a good trainer has to like people as much or more than they like dogs. The job is to satisfy the client’s desires and needs. Many trainers offer only services they want to give rather than what the client needs. • A good trainer has experience to back up theoretical knowledge. Hearsay is not the best way to become skilled. Beware of trainers that create their perspective by parroting some expert they saw at a seminar. A seminar never gives enough time for the majority of attendees to get any hands-on experience. It is the same


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Groomer to Groomer • Vol 35 Ed 7 • July 2016

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Groomer to Groomer • Vol 35 Ed 7 • July 2016

Good trainers provide good service for their money. If they use inefficient methods that milk the client for weeks and months without addressing specific issues, that referral isn’t going to reflect well on you. at a grooming expo. To gain real skills you have to actually do something.

That makes picking the right trainer pretty important to you.

how they support their clients over the long haul.

• Good trainers don’t hold clients hostage with big up-front costs that are nonrefundable. Nor do they automatically give full refunds if the client isn’t happy. In essence, the client is renting their time. If they did the work with full disclosure from the outset, then it’s no different than taking banjo lessons. If you get the instruction, you pay for the time. This can put a groomer in a bit of a bind. If a client is dissatisfied with the results of training, they may hold it against you.

• One of the areas that creates great conflict are ‘board and train’ services. When done correctly they can offer a busy professional (or a clueless owner) a rapid improvement in the dog’s behavior. But if the trainer doesn’t include the owner in the process, it may be a waste of a lot of money. If a trainer approaches you with that model for their service, ask a lot of questions about how much focus they have on ‘passing the baton’ at the end of the training. You might also ask

• Check the trainer’s credentials with a very critical eye. Being a police dog handler does not prepare someone for handling a nasty Bichon. Likewise, someone proficient in agility training may never have handled a pushy Rottie with success. Try to find an apples to apples pairing – someone who has offered pet dog training, preferably in-home. I have never found a one-toone correlation between certifications and competence in dog training. That includes academic degrees or professional certifications from organizations that use an advanced degree as a criterion for membership. Someone who has been teaching elementary school children and wants to make a break to something less stressful may know next to nothing about dogs and yet have fancy letters after their name.


ELITE TA B L E Shown in



Groomer to Groomer • Vol 35 Ed 7 • July 2016

• The least likely, but best way to discover someone’s ability with dogs, is to watch them train and handle. You might even give them a test – have them put a wacky dog on a grooming table and trim its nails. You will see clearly if they have the calm, firm, sure hands and good judgment that mean they have the right experience for the job. If they don’t have the handling skills of a first-year groomer, you might want to either educate them or find someone else. I use such skills with my clients on a regular basis. It’s not an add-on, it should be a prerequisite. ✂



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Groomer to Groomer • Vol 35 Ed 7 • July 2016



MATTERS by Daryl Conner




CLEAN PETS DRY FASTER Animals that have been properly bathed, with every possible bit of dirt, dander, and excess oil washed down the drain, dry faster. Choose your shampoo and conditioning products wisely. By using the correct shampoo

and conditioner for the dog's coat, you will not only achieve the end result of the pet looking the best it can, but you may actually shorten the amount of time you spend with a dryer in your hand. Here is an example: I groom two beautiful Standard Poodles once a month. Their coats are kept fairly short, but they still take me ages to get dry. Recently I noticed one of them had gotten a little something greasy in his coat, so I used my favorite de-greasing shampoo on him that day. And he dried much faster! I was so impressed I tried it on the second poodle, too. I achieved the same results. I wouldn't necessarily consider these particular dogs to have oily coats, but they looked extra terrific when I was done, and drying time was reduced. I consider this a win! Using a de-greaser shampoo is not the best

Groomer to Groomer • Vol 35 Ed 6 • June 2016

et me tell you a little secret. I don't like drying pets. After over thirty years of grooming, I can still honestly say that I love my work, but that drying part? It blows. I know perfectly well how important a properly dried coat is. It looks better, is easier to style, and stays looking nice longer than an improperly dried coat. Since I don't enjoy this aspect of the styling process, but want it done right, I have learned to get dogs and cats dried well, and quickly. Here are the tips and tricks I have learned over the years to help this process speed along.


thing for all coats, but now I am paying a little more attention to dogs when I pop them in the tub. Are they a little oily? If so, a pre-wash with degreaser might make a nice difference. Don't be afraid to suds a dog up for a second (or third!) shampoo if they are dirty. The time taken to get the pet really clean will be worth it. CONSIDER CONDITIONERS Heavy conditioners and remoisturizers are wonderful things to use when you need them, but keep in mind that their job is to hold moisture in, and when you use one you should expect additional drying time. I save heavy conditioners for special cases, and instead use a light rinse on most dogs after shampooing. HANDS ON Once the pet is done with the

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Groomer to Groomer • Vol 35 Ed 7 • July 2016


DRYING CATS Drying cats can be particularly challenging because they tend to curl their legs up to their bellies while we work on them. It's the rare cat that will stand up to be dried. Time spent wrapped in a warm, dry towel is

particularly effective for the felines on your client list. I like to wrap them up and cuddle them, gently squeezing their legs and tail through the towel to remove water. I call this a "kitty burrito" and it works very well.

bathing process, use your hands to gently squeeze as much water as you can out of the coat. Slide your hands down the dog's legs, ears and tail, removing water as you go. You will go through fewer towels this way and get the dog or cat dry faster. TOWELS You may prefer super absorbent "magnet" type towels or regulation terrycloth towels, or a combination of the two. Personally, I prefer terrycloth. I find investing in good quality towels pays off. They last longer, and are more absorbent. First, gently squeeze the coat all over, removing as much water as possible. If the towel gets very wet, grab a dry one and repeat. I like to wrap the dog up and let it sit in the tub a few moments to absorb more water. Little dogs get wrapped up and cuddled a bit. It's amazing how much water the towel will take in on a dog that is wrapped up for a little while. TABLE TOPPERS Topping your table with a clean, dry towel, or using a fitted absorbent table topper, is a great idea for a couple of reasons. First off, the fabric will take in any dripping water from the pet. Secondly, it will catch much of the moisture that you blow off once you start using the dryer, and thirdly, it dramatically cuts down on the noise of velocity dryers hitting the table top. This will make the whole process more comfortable for both you and the pet.



Groomer to Groomer • Vol 35 Ed 7 • July 2016

HIGH VELOCITY DRYERS I'm a huge fan of velocity dryers and wouldn't want to groom without one. To me, their biggest drawback is the amount of noise they produce. Depending on the model, motor noise isn't usually the problem; it's the sound of the air when it comes in contact with the pet, or the tub, or the table, or


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Groomer to Groomer • Vol 35 Ed 7 • July 2016


whatever it hits that is unpleasant. I use Happy Hoodies on pets when I dry to minimize the noise to the animal's sensitive ears. And I use ear plugs in my ears. I hope you do, too. Regular exposure to that much noise is a surefire recipe for being a hard of hearing old groomer, and who wants that? Huh? Do you hear me?! DRYING SPRAYS I was skeptical about drying sprays. How could adding moisture to a wet dog help it dry faster? They work by adding products to the dog's coat that help the water sheet off the hair shafts more quickly and easily when you use the dryer. The formulas and ingredients are highly guarded by the manufacturers, but they really do work. Follow the label directions and you will be amazed at how much time you save.

WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR OTHER HAND If you hold a dry towel or a moisture magnet behind the area you are drying in the hand that isn't holding the dryer, it will catch an amazing amount of water and help you work more swiftly. Keeping that moisture out of the air by catching it in a towel is a dandy trick that really helps. PAUSE I find that if I get the pet about half way dried, then turn the dryer off and do an all over light brushing before resuming, it helps to open the coat, as well as stretch the hair, and dry a bit faster. VENTS, FANS AND/OR DEHUMIDIFIERS When you have moisture blowing into the air you get humid air. When

the air where you are working in is full of moisture, you will have a hard time getting pets dry. Find a way to remove moisture from your work environment. It may be a good vent fan pulling that moist air out of the space, or it may be a dehumidifier catching the moisture and keeping it out of the air. Either way, you will find pets dry faster, and the air you breathe will have fewer mold spores if you reduce the amount of humidity that surrounds you. If you, like me, dread drying, try incorporating some of these ideas into your routine. You will find you have more time to tend to the enjoyable aspects of our work, like styling and scissoring and taking a little time to enjoy the pet you are grooming. ✂

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ll groomers have something in common other than a passion for pets - they are professionals who provide a necessary service for people and pets for a fee. Grooming and pet services are a growing need and in high demand. Establishing good business practices and keeping a loyal and stable clientele is the hallmark of every good groomer and every good grooming business. In a sea of professionals, how do you set yourself apart? Often times the customer is choosing our salon or our services based upon factors outside of our control. They may like a location or a pricing structure;


Groomer to Groomer • Vol 35 Ed 7 • July 2016

they may have randomly selected your salon from the internet or phonebook. Regardless of how they find you, every customer standing in front of you is an opportunity for you to establish your personal brand in your profession. Personal branding happens every day and we are often oblivious to it in our surroundings. You choose a particular coffee shop because you like the brand of coffee it serves. You likely have a restaurant you return to because you have a rapport with a particular server. You may even have a gas station you frequent because they have cleaner restrooms than one across the street. These are all

examples of defining brands and how they make a difference in your customers’ choices. Choosing service providers for most customers is much the same. Consumers may look at a range of factors from convenience to price, however, time and again, the loyal returning customer will be won over and continue to return because you establish a connection with them on a different level. As a working groomer, you can set yourself apart and begin to develop your personal brand in many ways. Think about what you are passionate about. Are you knowledgeable about breed


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patterns? Maybe you pride yourself on safety and you stay up to date on animal welfare issues. Many groomers enjoy a close bond with their clients and their customer service is a shining beacon. Fast groomers may establish a reputation for their timeliness of completing a grooming service. Perhaps you have a knack for grooming difficult dogs, elderly or special needs clients, or those with medical issues. New groomers can be overwhelmed by the finishing skills of veterans; step up and offer your vast knowledge of breed standards. Veteran groomers may be intimidated by the technical knowledge present in the workplace today; however, they have a lifelong knack for instinctively knowing how to please their customers. Every groomer has a unique opportunity

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to define what makes them special— and a unique set of clients who will appreciate that skill. Defining a personal brand can begin as simply as taking pride in your appearance or work space; presenting yourself as a professional. It may be the quality of your work or your ability to groom pets stressfree. There are as many diverse aspects to the grooming profession as there are diverse clients and dogs to groom. Find that spark which can set you apart from other stylists. Whether you are a shop owner, working mobile, work alone, or work with many groomers - you can develop your personal brand. Each groomer is unique and even in a corporate setting, your passion will shine through to the client. Many of us know someone who “does Poodles”, or is known as a “terrier person”—you can take that concept and define it further by finding what you do well and embracing it. If you enjoy casual conversation with your customers, know all of their family members, know when their baby is


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Groomer to Groomer • Vol 35 Ed 7 • July 2016

due, and know that their pet had a biopsy—you likely already have a personal brand and it is customer service. Do you find yourself handling the more challenging dogs because they behave better for you? You are already developing a brand as a Behavioral Groomer. While you are finding your niche, look within your own skill set. Take stock of your strengths and weaknesses and find an area that you take pride in, that’s likely the early roots of your persona brand. Personal branding begins where your passion does - that’s a great place to start finding where you can make a difference and begin honing those skills. Finding your own brand does not mean that you stop helping all clients and dogs, or change your business plan. In fact, developing your own brand is simply developing a special skill set in yourself that can add value to your services or your team. Ultimately, it will enhance you as much as it does your clients! ✂ Khris Batts has been involved in the Pet Services industry since the early 1990's. She has owned grooming shops, boarding kennels, and obedience training schools and is a Certified AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator. She is the co-founder of See Spot Grooming & Daycare which currently operates 3 locations in 2 states. Her vision has led her to create a Groomer - centric company which provides education, a positive work atmosphere, and benefits for all Spots. She owns and competes in a variety of events with Wirehaired Vizslas including dock diving and obedience.

Groomer to Groomer • Vol 35 Ed 7 • July 2016








Groomer to Groomer • Vol 35 Ed 7 • July 2016


he Shetland Sheepdog, usually referred to as a “Sheltie”, sports a double coat with a very dense undercoat which actually helps the straight outer coat to stand off from the body. This is a very important trait for the conformation ring. Not so much for the average pet owner who requests a tidy look and has some difficulty maintaining the abundant coat. This shorter version of a profile trim is an all over “tidy-up” that shortens some of the longer furnishing, underline, and profuse mane noted in the breed standard, without trimming the body coat or

cutting into the undercoat. A double coated breed such as the Sheltie requires meticulous preparation. The dense undercoat matts easily and even if not matted, can compact, making it difficult to wash and dry. We use a high velocity dryer prior to bathing to help separate the undercoat. A conditioning shampoo made for double coats followed by a conditioner will help. All prep work is completed prior to styling, including pads, sanitary, nail clipping/filing and ear cleaning. Fig.1) Use thinning shears or chunkers to trim the excess coat from the hock to the foot and the excess

FIG. 2

FIG. 3

coat between the toes on top of the foot. Use short curved scissors to tidy the oval shaped foot. Fig.2) Comb the coat on the back of the upper rear outward and trim the excess using thinning shears or chunkers. Use a top thinning method

FIG. 4

Fig.5) Follow the natural underline and trim toward the front legs, angling slightly downward with the longest part of the undercarriage between the front legs. Fig.6) Lift the front leg, trimming between the front legs and then

(lightly skimming only the top coat). Fig.3) Trim between the rear legs to form parallel lines. Fig.4) Trim the undercarriage, following the natural underline of the dog. Begin on the front of the upper thigh toward the tuck-up.

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FIG. 5

FIG. 6

FIG. 7

FIG. 8

FIG. 9

FIG. 10

FIG. 11

FIG. 12

FIG. 13

upper arm into the furnishings. Fig.11) Tidy the fore chest and between the front legs, making sure both sides are symmetrical. Fig.12) Lift the muzzle slightly and tidy the whispy coat at the throat and base of ears. Fig.13) Use thinning shears to tidy the ear tips. Correct ears would not be prick as shown. They would break forward 2/3rds of the way up.

The same method can be used to tidy this type of ear. Unless owner requests otherwise, I generally leave the tail as is or just tidy slightly. As professional groomers, we should always be familiar with breed standards and have a reference on hand such as the AKC All Breed Book. There is even a downloadable app that can be purchased for a nominal fee. ✂

angling upward toward the chest. Fig.7) Trim the stringy coat at the front of the shoulder, blending onto the chest. Fig.8) Lift the ear and tidy the stray hairs behind the ear and blend onto the neck and fore chest. Fig.9) Lift the front leg and tidy the furnishings on the back of the front leg. Fig.10) Blend the coat on the


Groomer to Groomer • Vol 35 Ed 7 • July 2016 65

Groomer to Groomer • Vol 35 Ed 7 • July 2016


REVIEWS Review Written by Daryl Conner


By Sam Kohl Sam Kohl has been an industry legend since before I was even old enough to hold a dog brush. Earlier editions of his All Breed Grooming Guide were the standard "bible" for groomers for a great many years. Not one to leave well enough alone, he completely revamped and updated the guide in 2012. There is so much information in this book; I truly believe it belongs


Groomer to Groomer • Vol 35 Ed 7 • July 2016

on the bookshelf of every groomer. Novice groomers, in particular, will find the answers to many questions tucked nicely inside this clearly written guide. Early pages have a wealth of information about tools, health and safety issues for groomers, and some excellent information about handling and controlling pets. Have you ever wondered how to best cut bandana type neckerchiefs from fabric? This book will show you how. What about how to most effectively get skunk scent out of a pet's coat? It's here! Did you know that hanging scissors or clipper blades on a magnet can affect the way they cut? These are the types of nuggets of knowledge this book is filled with. There is also helpful information about grooming tools, release forms, calculating fees, and even some great tips on the best way to shave a badly matted pet. One fun feature of the Guide is the addition of pages called "Groomers Message Board”. Nice little hints and tips are randomly "pinned" on the board. Appealing photos are there, too, enhancing the visual appeal of this attractive book.

Perhaps what I love best about this updated edition is the detailed way that certain difficult-to-master pet grooming techniques are explained. Many grooming books show lovely "big picture" photos or drawings of dogs, but The All Breed Grooming Guide breaks down some of the hard to understand techniques. For example, I know that many groomers struggle mightily with the concept of the tufts on Scottish Terrier ears. Page 529 is entirely dedicated to both ear tufts and eye brows on this breed. Using beautifully executed drawings and diagrams, along with clearly written instructions, this tricky little grooming technique is perfectly explained. Bonus: dog breeds are listed alphabetically, which makes it simple to find what you are looking for when you are in a hurry. I'm proud to have the original Guide that I bought when I was a new groomer 32 years ago snuggled up next to the latest edition on my bookshelf. The industry has changed a lot over the decades I have been a part of, and Kohl's beautiful book captures much of the progress within its covers.


By Melissa Verplank Let's say a new customer calls you and makes an appointment for their Spanish Water Dog, and you have never groomed one before. This uncommon breed was recently accepted by the American Kennel Club

Top 10

of what makes a terrier look like a terrier, the elegance of the Borzoi and Poodle and so much more. Early chapters have clear information on the all important "pre-work" that is the basis of every good groom. This makes an excellent reference for training new bathing staff members. In depth descriptions of tools from clippers to combs and everything in between is an excellent reference for newer groomers. The same can be said of the section on canine anatomy, though it is a handy refresher for seasoned stylists as well. No matter how long you have been grooming, when a breed you rarely or never see comes in for a spa day, you will appreciate the investment you made in this superior reference book.

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and is gaining popularity across the U.S. They fall into the "rustic breed" category and have specific and unique grooming requirements. If you have the new second edition of Notes from the Grooming Table, all you have to do is turn to page 554 to receive clear, excellent step-by-step instructions on how to style this dog to breed standard. I didn't think anything could eclipse Verplank's must-have first edition of Notes, but the addition of several new breeds that may be coming to a table near you makes this book an even better treasure. If you don't know how to properly scrub a Sloughi or have no knowledge about Norrbottenspets, you need to have the new edition of Notes in your reference library. As before, Lisa VanSweden's artwork is breathtakingly beautiful. She somehow manages to capture the essence of both well known and rare breeds. She catches the sparkle in the eyes of the whimsical Pumi, the spirit

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By Jodi Murphy

Jodi Murphy, a well known and highly respected figure in the pet grooming industry, put together a unique book to help groomers grasp how to best place patterns on the pets they groom. Beyond breaking down grooming instructions for each individual breed, Murphy uses a set of three pattern groups to simplify the process of understanding the basic lines that can be used to groom a myriad of breeds. She separates the patterns into "Terrier-like," "Setterlike," and "Sculpted body trims." Over 400 fabulous, full color photographs are used for illustrating the breeds, with a unique, color coded chart accompanying each photograph to show what lengths and techniques are suggested on which area of the dog. Busy groomers can glance at the photograph, even from a distance,

and instantly see what length/ technique to use on each area of the pet’s body. Interesting and helpful grooming tips are generously spread through the book, as are informative snippets about many breeds. The section of the book which describes sculpted body trims goes into great detail, describing balance and proportion, areas which many groomers struggle with. Murphy offers a wonderful chapter illustrating the different types of ears found on dogs, with photographs showing how those ears should look when properly groomed. She does the same for tails, showing the difference between flag, carrot and poodle tails, just to name a few. This section also boasts amazing close-up photographs so that readers can see exactly what the end result should look like. The wrap up chapter, aptly called, "Mixing it Up," shows wonderful ideas on how to use the patterns mentioned above to make mixed breeds look their best. Finally, there is an excellent section to aide groomers in working with each pet's structure to camouflage faults. I find that I often turn to this book, even when grooming breeds I am familiar with, to see where I might improve my "game" a bit. This grooming book is unlike any other I have owned, and it is well used in my studio. ✂

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Groomer to Groomer • Vol 35 Ed 7 • July 2016




O The grooming world has lost a friend and trusted equipment adviser, Gary Hartwell.

1949 - 2016

n Saturday, April 23rd 2016 Gary lost his battle with cancer. As the Service and Repair Manger at Ryan’s Pet Supplies, and an industry fixture for over 30 years, he offered his “Tips” and knowledge in the way of videos, seminars and articles in Groomer to Groomer. Gary and his wife Jan owned a grooming salon and Gary was dedicated to helping groomers repair and maintain their equipment. At Ryan’s he was never too busy to stop what he was doing to answer a groomer’s question or to trouble shoot equipment problems over the phone. Gary often attended

Groom Expo West and many groomers came to the Ryan’s booth specifically to see Gary. He made everyone feel like family. Gary was very much a family man and that was part of what he loved about Ryan’s Pet Supplies. He loved being part of a family business. He even brought his own family into the business, training his son Greg in the art of shear sharpening and equipment repair. Greg even met his wife Mandy at Ryan’s, expanding the Hartwell and Ryan’s family! He is missed by his family, the family at Ryan’s and all the groomers whose lives he’s touched over the years. ✂

Groomer to Groomer • Vol 35 Ed 7 • July 2016


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