How long does it take to groom a dog?
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Thread: How long does it take to groom a dog?

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    Senior Member hulkamaniac's Avatar
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    How long does it take to groom a dog?

    I took my dog to the groomer to day (Petco) and it ended up taking 5 hours to groom the dog. I was surprised at this. I had a 1:30 appointment and didn't get Zero back until 6:30. I had planned on possibly grooming him myself in the future (he's a cocker spaniel just for reference) but I can't afford to take 5 hours out of my day to groom the dog. Is it normal for it to take this long? Also, is $50 (including tax) too high for a good groom? I do like the results.

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    Senior Member dane&cockermom's Avatar
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    Re: How long does it take to groom a dog?

    $50ish is what my salon charges for cocker spaniels. and most salons like petco work in a rotation type system. your dog doesn't go straight in to the tube and straight out to the table, then straight out the door. it gets put in the rotation and gotten to when the groomer is ready for him/her. our salon usually does a turn around time of about 3-4 hours. sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on how busy the day is, the behavior of the dog, or the breed of the dog.

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    Senior Member TeddieXRuxpin's Avatar
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    Re: How long does it take to groom a dog?

    The one thing you have to understand is that your dog is not the only one there. We've had a lot of people come to us and tell us how much they didn't like their experiance at Petco or Petsmart. Actually another person came in today because the cut Petsmart gave her dog a week ago was so bad.

    So many people come into our shop and ask us the same question. When we take your dog into the back he is placed into our schedule. Hardly ever do we take him straight back and begin working on him. However we also work on our dogs in stages so they don't go straight through the process; which makes it a lot less stressful on your dog. The longer you work on them the more both the groomer and the dog get fed up with each other. No dog wants to stand for basic, bath, hand dry, and the groom.

    Some days we can have as many as 25 dogs to work on in my shop so if you bring your dog in later in the day he's not going to get out until the end of the day.

    For a cocker it runs anywhere from $45 to $80 depending on if you get a normal cut or AKC.

    I think the number one thing to keep in mind is that your dog is not the only dog we're working on.
    Last edited by TeddieXRuxpin; 02-15-2009 at 02:41 PM.

  5. #4
    Senior Member hulkamaniac's Avatar
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    Re: How long does it take to groom a dog?

    Well, I think I came off wrong in my OP so I apologize. I'm not under the impression that I'm the only one in the queue. I was just wondering if 5 hours is normal or longer than normal and if I did it myself if it would take that long.

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    Senior Member Lonewolfblue's Avatar
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    Re: How long does it take to groom a dog?

    I do my own dogs, and if it's just a brushing, takes about 10 minutes for my Sheltie. If taking a bath, then maybe an hour total. My other 2 are a bit shorter, as they don't have as much of a coat.


    Shelter dogs aren't broken, they've simply experienced more life then others. Don't pity them...HELP them!

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    Senior Member Graco22's Avatar
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    Re: How long does it take to groom a dog?

    I usually have a dog for an 1 1/2 hours to 3 hours. If its a newf or pyr, longer. I am the only groomer, so I try to schedule dogs in a way that they aren't sitting around waiting too long for me to get to them, but sometimes a crazy day just happens, and I get behind. No, it does not take 5 hours if they were to wash and groom your cocker straight thru. Depending on the length of coat on your dog, it could take 1 1/2 hours to 3 hours max I would say. If you were to do it at home, WITH the proper tools...HV dryer, etc. and know how, you could do it in that time. If you were to use a human dryer, and not being experienced at clipping your dog, it could easily take you 5 hours or more, until you get the hang of it after a year or so. Any my cockers start at $50 too, for a shavedown. Breed trims go up from there, so I would say your price is average.

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    Senior Member GroovyGroomer777's Avatar
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    Re: How long does it take to groom a dog?

    It is average, but I personally think groomers really undercharge for cockers. The amount of work that goes into it really does not make the price worthwhile, which is why groomers at petsomethings usualy sigh when they have that type of dog on the books. (Not because they don't like them - but because it is serious work for very little money....they usualy are only bringing home about 25$ on that cut)

    I charge more unless it is a every 4 week shavedown on a well behaved dog.

    The other groomers covered the time issue. I think Petco/smart is supposed to have a 3 hour turn around (unless it changed) so I am thinking your groomer was overbooked that day, or perhaps your dog or another dog was very hard to handle or didn't accept the blowdryer.

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    Senior Member hulkamaniac's Avatar
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    Re: How long does it take to groom a dog?

    Quote Originally Posted by GroovyGroomer777 View Post
    It is average, but I personally think groomers really undercharge for cockers. The amount of work that goes into it really does not make the price worthwhile, which is why groomers at petsomethings usualy sigh when they have that type of dog on the books. (Not because they don't like them - but because it is serious work for very little money....they usualy are only bringing home about 25$ on that cut)

    I charge more unless it is a every 4 week shavedown on a well behaved dog.

    The other groomers covered the time issue. I think Petco/smart is supposed to have a 3 hour turn around (unless it changed) so I am thinking your groomer was overbooked that day, or perhaps your dog or another dog was very hard to handle or didn't accept the blowdryer.
    My dog was not hard to handle. (Junior would never behave that way!!) I did watch through the window there and he just stood there and took it like a man.

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    Senior Member KBLover's Avatar
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    Re: How long does it take to groom a dog?

    5 hours seems long.

    The longest it's taken for Wally was about 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours, especially on the weekends (I take him to PetCo).

    Wally's always been considered one of their best behaved dogs they see that day. One of the groomers didn't even know I was the owner of Wally, because he didn't go crazy barking and whatnot - he was just standing there relatively calmly (he wasn't stoic, he was shaking a little in the back legs unfortunately), letting the groomer do her work.

    He even earned a handmade impromptu bandana that day (which he still has) from the groomer. She makes them for her own dogs and made one for Wally

    That said, I don't know if the time for Wally is because it's usual or if it is because he's well-behaved. I've seen how some of the other dogs act (especially one big guy who was pressed against the glass door because he hated the BIG blow dryer they were using on him).

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    Senior Member GroovyGroomer777's Avatar
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    Re: How long does it take to groom a dog?

    Quote Originally Posted by hulkamaniac View Post
    My dog was not hard to handle. (Junior would never behave that way!!) I did watch through the window there and he just stood there and took it like a man.
    It's very good that your dog is well behaved for his grooming, but if you noticed that was just one of a few reasons that I mentioned for a reason his appointment took so long.

    If you do not like leaving your dog there for the day, I believe they have what is called an "express appointment" which you have to ask for when booking. They work on your dog straight through, no kennel used. There is an extra charge for this kind of appointment.

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    Senior Member Love's_Sophie's Avatar
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    Re: How long does it take to groom a dog?

    Quote Originally Posted by hulkamaniac View Post
    I took my dog to the groomer to day (Petco) and it ended up taking 5 hours to groom the dog. I was surprised at this. I had a 1:30 appointment and didn't get Zero back until 6:30. I had planned on possibly grooming him myself in the future (he's a cocker spaniel just for reference) but I can't afford to take 5 hours out of my day to groom the dog. Is it normal for it to take this long? Also, is $50 (including tax) too high for a good groom? I do like the results.
    50$ for a cocker sized dog is pretty 'standard'; if the dog is matted, or naughty, that price will usually vary, depending on where you take him. Or if you have 'add on's' such as a special bath, anals, or any other add ons that the particular salon offers.

    As far as the time frame, no, that is not what I would consider normal. Two and a half to three hours is pretty 'fair' for most dogs; sometimes if it is a short haired dog or cat, I might get them in and out in an hour or an hour and a half; it all depends on whether I can actually start them right away, and finish them straight through.


    The only dogs that are in longer than the stated time frames are those that come in with another family pet; I want to make sure that I can spend enough time on each one; although I still try to get them in and out in 3 hours. Course there are also those owners who like to drop their pet off in the morning, and pick up in the afternoon, due to work. But generally speaking, most pets "Should" be in and out in a 3 hour (or less time frame).

    Quote Originally Posted by GroovyGroomer777 View Post
    It's very good that your dog is well behaved for his grooming, but if you noticed that was just one of a few reasons that I mentioned for a reason his appointment took so long.

    If you do not like leaving your dog there for the day, I believe they have what is called an "express appointment" which you have to ask for when booking. They work on your dog straight through, no kennel used. There is an extra charge for this kind of appointment.
    Wow...an extra charge to groom a pet straight through? That just boggles my mind, because even though I get started on every dog right away, and might crate dry them a bit while finishing the one before them, I wouldn't ever charge someone more, just to get it done 'quicker'...unless the owner wants the dog later than my suggested time frame, everyone is done in a timely fashion, according to when they came in.
    Last edited by Love's_Sophie; 02-15-2009 at 05:15 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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    Senior Member GroovyGroomer777's Avatar
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    Re: How long does it take to groom a dog?

    What exactly is mind boggling about it? Like everyone stated above, the regular appointment puts the dog in line to be groomed.

    You write that you crate-dry some. This "express" type of appointment has no kennel involved. The dog is done start to finish. So it may take 2 hours out of the groomer's schedule, when the groomer could have had two small dogs in at that time. If the "express" is for a 75$ golden, they may have been able to do 2 50$ shih-tzus in that time. They have to make up for the lost income of not being able to work on any other dogs while the express is there. If they didn't charge extra for that, they would only have made the 75$ instead of bringing in the 2 50$ dogs.

    Does that make it a little clearer?

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    Senior Member dane&cockermom's Avatar
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    Re: How long does it take to groom a dog?

    Quote Originally Posted by GroovyGroomer777 View Post
    What exactly is mind boggling about it? Like everyone stated above, the regular appointment puts the dog in line to be groomed.

    You write that you crate-dry some. This "express" type of appointment has no kennel involved. The dog is done start to finish. So it may take 2 hours out of the groomer's schedule, when the groomer could have had two small dogs in at that time. If the "express" is for a 75$ golden, they may have been able to do 2 50$ shih-tzus in that time. They have to make up for the lost income of not being able to work on any other dogs while the express is there. If they didn't charge extra for that, they would only have made the 75$ instead of bringing in the 2 50$ dogs.

    Does that make it a little clearer?

    that is exactly how and why we do "expresses" in my salon.

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    Senior Member Graco22's Avatar
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    Re: How long does it take to groom a dog?

    Another thought on time frames. Many salons have more than one groomer, and only one or no bathers. So if there are 2 groomers, and 1 bather, then dogs need to come in clusters, so that the bathers can get them washed and dried, and the groomer isn't sitting around waiting for the dogs and the bather isn't sitting around doing nothing. If there are 3 dogs arriving for Groomer A, then the first one (generally the one that will dry the fastest...ie, NOT a cocker, lol) will be washed first, then Groomer B's dog..then another of Groomer A's dogs, and so on. So one of those first 3 dogs is going to take alot longer than another to be finished, because it was waiting for the bather to get to it, then the groomer to get to it. This is the same even if there isnt a bather. Not all shops can do one on one grooms. All of my dogs are hand dried at least 90% or more, but still sit with the fans on in the crate to finish off the dampness, and give them a break. Might be a 5 minute break, might be a 45 minute break. Depends on what dog I am working on and how long that dog takes me. I always have my schedule so that I am never waiting on a dog to arrive, or for a dog to finish drying..there is ALWAYS a dog ready for me. I know I would never make enough money for my overhead alone doing one appt. at a time. And all it takes is one client being 10 minutes late for their appt. to throw the entire day off kilter. Its just not economic. I know many busy salons with multiple groomers have all the dogs come in at the same time..say between 7-8am. They then are washed in accordance to who needs out first, or which will dry fastest so the groomers can get working, etc. Some of those dogs may not be ready til 5pm if they are last in line..and those are generally the big hairies, cockers, etc. that take so long to dry. For very busy salons, with multiple groomers, that really is the most efficient and money making way to do it, but on the other hand, many pet owners don't want their dogs there all day, understandably. And other pet owners don't mind the dogs being gone all day.

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    Senior Member Love's_Sophie's Avatar
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    Re: How long does it take to groom a dog?

    The reason it 'boggles' my mind, is that, even though I usually take 2 dogs an hour, they are still all in and out in a 2-3 hour timeframe...I don't use a bather (for the most part), and I do 6-8 dogs a day, usually taking my last dogs in at noon. Some days I have more, but they also come in 'later'...

    Granted there are those clients that do leave the dog there longer, but everyone is still done in the 'express' type 'style' that you all are talking about. To me, I think it's less stressful for the dog to get him done and home in a shorter time frame, than keeping him there for longer than necessary.

    I also dry the dogs most of the way, it's just that I will give that dog a 'break' while I finish another dog, thus the cage drying part. They are in the dryer only for as long as it takes to finish the one ahead of them and then they too get finished and on their way home.

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    Senior Member dane&cockermom's Avatar
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    Re: How long does it take to groom a dog?

    Quote Originally Posted by Love's_Sophie View Post
    The reason it 'boggles' my mind, is that, even though I usually take 2 dogs an hour, they are still all in and out in a 2-3 hour timeframe...I don't use a bather (for the most part), and I do 6-8 dogs a day, usually taking my last dogs in at noon. Some days I have more, but they also come in 'later'...

    Granted there are those clients that do leave the dog there longer, but everyone is still done in the 'express' type 'style' that you all are talking about. To me, I think it's less stressful for the dog to get him done and home in a shorter time frame, than keeping him there for longer than necessary.

    I also dry the dogs most of the way, it's just that I will give that dog a 'break' while I finish another dog, thus the cage drying part. They are in the dryer only for as long as it takes to finish the one ahead of them and then they too get finished and on their way home.
    for the most part, that's how our shop runs too. but there are clients that absolutly, postivitly REFUSE for their dogs to go in a kennel for any amount of time. even if it's to give them a break while the cage dryer is going, or even just to sit in it while the owner is on their way to pick them up.

    we have this one client with two cockapoos who wants them straight through. so they have to be scheduled on a day when me and the other groomer are there at the same time in the morning. and they have to be the first appointment of the day. mom sits and waits in the parking lot until they're done. she will rip our heads off if we put them in the kennel for any amount of time. we've tried to explain giving them breaks and whatnot. but there's no changing this woman's mind.
    Last edited by dane&cockermom; 02-17-2009 at 06:11 AM. Reason: typo

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    Senior Member poodleholic's Avatar
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    Re: How long does it take to groom a dog?

    Five hours doesn't seem at all unreasonable, nor does the $50 charge.


    When I took Maddy (Standard Poodle) to the professional groomer, I dropped her off at 9:00am, and she was ready for me at noon. The groomer told me the ONLY reason she was done so quickly was because Maddy enjoys being groomed, and is cooperative (hand dried, no cage drying). After a couple of years of practice, it still takes ME nearly 5 hours to bathe, dry (using a hv dryer), brush, fluff, clip, and shave FF&T!

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