A sentence I am sure every groomer has heard many, many times in their career.
It’s disappointing as a groomer when someone comes in and wants a fluffy haircut and you feel the dog’s coat and it is matted beyond any hope of achieving such a look. The only option is a “smoothie”.
You want to give the client what they want but the dogs comfort always comes first. “Humanity before vanity” is a slogan many groomers quote.
I can remember a few times I have had to shave a dogs coat and explained to the client why and showed them the knots and they agree but then you never see that client again.
I offer the option of a free brushing session to my clients to help them keep the fluffy look; if that is a look they want. Brushing isn’t rocket science, of course but there is a trick to it. A lot of times clients do a terrific job of keeping the top coat knot free but the undercoat is a solid knot and then the dog gets a bath and once the knots get wet, they tighten up even more, which can cause the dog discomfort, create sores etc… I often tell my clients, brushes are great but combs won’t lie. A good stainless steel comb is a valuable asset to a dog’s coat, if you want a longer style.
“My dog acted funny after it was shaved”. Dogs do feel different after a shorter haircut, especially if they had a lot of hair previously. Think of how you’d feel if you had a pile of matted hair on your head and it was suddenly gone. It would probably feel itchy once the air finally got to it.
It’s never in the groomer’s best interest to not give a client what they want, within reason. I’ve built up a wonderful clientele who trust me and they know if the dogs ears were shaved, it’s because I had to do it for the dogs comfort.
If the clip is shorter than the usual, it was because the condition of the coat warranted it. Most breeds of dogs with the exception of short haired dogs do need regular grooming. Even the short haired breeds require regular nail trimming and brushing to remove dead coat. I recommend long haired dogs get professional grooming at least every 4-8 weeks. Depending on the style you chose and how much maintenance you do at home.
Even those so called shed-less breeds require professional grooming. Shed-less breeds, in my opinion don’t exist unless you have a hairless dog. Dogs labeled as shed-less still lose hair, it just sticks in the coat which does mean they will require regular grooming. I have curly hair so I don’t shed as much but if I don’t brush my hair, I will get knots. If I washed my hair without brushing out these knots, I’d have to get a shorter hair cut also!
So my advice is find a groomer you trust and ask their advice on how to achieve the look you want for your pet. If your dog has to be shaved, it’s not the end of the world as it will grow back faster than you realize.