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How many trips for finding a groomer?

674 Views 11 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  KYASHI
I'm wondering how often you guys changed groomers before settling in and finding one to use regularly. We're still in the shopping around stages and I'm debating how many attempts I should be giving each groomer before moving on to try the next. My initial thought was 2-3 trips for each groomer since the first trip Mojo may not be as well behaved and there may be misunderstandings about what I want versus what the groomer thinks I want (or even what's really possible). I'm feeling a bit impatient with the process though since there are still three places in particular I'd like to try and with a groom every 6-8 weeks that's basically another year of searching if everyone gets 2 or 3 trips!

The first groomer we used I felt wasn't that great but since it was Mojo's first grooming experience I didn't blame her. To be honest though, things didn't really improve with subsequent trips (even with feedback). We just tried a second groomer last week and it was 100% better but I'm not sure if I should try again (with feedback) or just move on to the next.
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I'm curious, if this new groomer was 100% better, why are you still trying to shop around?

For myself the first goomer I tried was great and I've stuck with her. He always looks great when I get him back, her prices aren't outrageous and according to her he behaves well so I think he must be fairly comfortable with her. So I am not really too interested in shopping around.
Yeah, if you are happy with the groomer, you like the job they do, you like how they treat you, the prices are decent, why shop around? Only reason is if you want to see if anyoen is priced better and they do a job you think is worth the cheaper price.
If you are happy with the second groomer, I would stick with them instead of shopping around :) There's really no need to if you like how you and your dog are treated and how the cut worked out.

I was lucky, my fiance's grand parents own a Shih tzu and recommended their groomer for us when it was Lucy's turn for her first groom. That was over a year ago and we are still with her, she does a great job!
The only groomer I have found so far that was good with the work she did was the previous owner of Lola. I have been to two places since and although the price was reasonable and the groom was good it did not last long. The first groomer (Previous owner) when the grooming was done would last about 6 weeks. So I am still shopping groomers. Lola was groomed 3 weeks ago and it now looks like she wasn't groomed at all.

Now your probably wondering why not just go to the first one. That is impossible because she closed her home based shop. The house is up for sale and has been since last November. She moved out and I was able to contact her once where she said that the number of me was on her caller ID but she was not allowed in the house to retrieve it so she was glad I called. I had told her that I had a groomer scheduled but would cancel if you want to do Lola's grooming and she did so she said I will call you Saturday afternoon and will schedule it for Sunday. That was back in December and I have not heard from her since. I have left several messages on her cell phone and I have given up. The last message I left her basically said that I have had Lola groomed 2 times since she had last groomed her and she did the best job out of all of them.
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I had Bella groomed the first time and had no problems and have stuck with her ever since and things have only gotten better.

If you like this other groomer 100% better give her some time. She might get better and better. Besides, you havn't found anything bad yet. Why would you give her up?
I groom my dogs myself now, but, when I needed a professional, I sought out those who specialized in my breed (Poodles), then observed the outcome of other clients. When I got the Shih Tzu, I took him to a groomer who specialized in Tzus, information obtained from a friend who had Tzus. That groomer showed me how to groom Luc, giving me tips, and now I do it myself.

I don't know what breed of dog you have, but, to communicate what you want done, it is helpful to write it down for the groomer. For example, for my Standard Poodles, I stated the clip I wanted (Miami Clip) with a picture, and gave specifications (e.g., base of tail shaved no more than 2 finger widths; do not pluck ears).
The first groomer we used was someone we could get an appt with on a day we were available. I thought we were clear in what we wanted but it was Mojo's first groom so I didn't expect miracles. I took in photos and gave specific instructions so there wouldn't be confusion by just saying "puppy cut." When we picked him up though, she hadn't cut any hair except just above his eyes because she said it was already the length we requested when in reality it was 1.5 inches too long and I had measured with a ruler. Like I said though, it was his first groom and knowing how he hates grooming at home I didn't really blame her that first time and assumed (incorrectly) subsequent trips would get better.

The groomer we used last week was a vast improvement over the first--she actually cut his hair! For the most part it looks alright although there are a few things I'd change. Also, there are a few spots she missed (I'm seriously debating trimming up around his tail myself because it's bugging me) but again, I'm wondering if that's something that would improve with feedback and subsequent grooms or if I'd be better served just trying another place.

The biggest reason I want to try other places is because they offer different services. One place I'd like to try is a mobile grooming service and having the groomer come to me offers some advantages! Another place has a doggie daycare service that we're thinking about trying and it would be nice to drop him off for daycare and not worry about scheduling a seperate grooming appointment. The third place we'd like to try I just found out about and it was so highly recommended by several different people that I was interested in checking it out.
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I use someone I trust. I have a friend that use to work for a groomer that mistreated the dogs if they didn't "act right". In fact, she worked at a vet’s office doing the grooming for dogs that came in and was fired for breaking a dogs leg. She later opened her own shop grooming dogs. (Be careful where you leave your dog!)

So, with knowing this, I (now you guys are really going to know what a FREAK I am) went and sort of interviewed groomers before taking my Bella to one. I went in and watched how they were with the dogs (that speak volumes as to how the dog behaves with them) and how the dogs looked that were coming out. I also asked them how they felt about standard poodles (if you do not like poodles, you are not touching my dog). And then, like magic :D Tosha (my groomer) appeared!!! She LOVES dogs, works with a rescue, does grooming (for free on her own time) for animal control and she owns 4 standard poodles!! Just what I wanted to hear!!

I love her and Bella loves her and Bella looks like she is going to the show every time I pick her up. She takes a lot of pride in her work and I trust her 100% with my dog. In fact, she even keeps Bella when I have to go out of town!!
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After watching all the videos on here, I'm kind of particular about how the nails are cut. I'm also kind of picky about cleaning and what they would do if a dog came in with mange.

I'm planning on checking out several groomers and then going to the one that meets my basic requirements above.

Oh, also, I'm planning on trying for Ruby's Canine Good Citizen Certificate, and since she's been rescued from somewhat serious abuse as a puppy, the person will need to be very good at what they do -- since part of the testing for CGC is being groomed a bit by a stranger without reacting badly.

I do think that there's a lot that's not monetary and if a shop met all of these and more, I'd be willing to pay the extra for sure. :)

(Also, I say go with your gut!!) :)
You may find that dropping your dog off at a daycare isnt going to get him groomed as well. The groomers will have dogs scheduled for appointments. You will have to do the same. Then when your dog is finished being groomed it will be turned out into the daycare to have fun. But dont be shocked when you pick your dog up and he has snot and other doggy items on him. Even after being groomed. Your dog will be playing and having fun. Being humped and slobbered on. But having fun. I would know. I am the groomer for a doggy daycare/boarding/grooming facility. And as for changing groomers so much. You are upsetting the dog. Your dog needs to get to know their groomer. Also if your dog is young and just new to grooming. Dont expect a miracle. You will not get a best in show hairdo the first time. Puppies dont sit still. They freak out. The best first groom is bath, brush nails and trim above eyes and potty area. feet trim if needed and possible. Then slowly build up to that " I want my dog a half inch all over" clip. Try doing it yourself just once. You will settle on a groomer right after. It isnt easy. I have groomed for 35 years. I have some clients who really love me. And some who now love someone else. No groomer can make everyone happy. Just pick one who has experience and loves dogs. Preferably has show experience. Good luck and happy groomer hunting.
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