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Author Topic: 7 STEPS to finding the right Bichon groomer  (Read 21098 times)
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Trisha :)
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« Reply #30 on: April 26, 2007, 05:37:06 PM »

Oh, and I'm not looking to get the "traditional" bichon halo hair cut. My little guy is just part of the family, so he doesn't really need anything too "special"...just something simple Smiley

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Trisha
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bluebell
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« Reply #31 on: April 26, 2007, 07:45:57 PM »

When I first started grooming I worked at a petco for 1 year. There are a lot of newer groomers there, so as long as you aren't looking for show perfection than you should be fine. Definitely be specific about what you want, and if you like the way she comes out be sure to request that person each time, as often times there are 6-8 groomers (or more) rotating schedule. As a hint, the corporate salons have set prices that aren't always cheaper. Call around to the private shops to see where your PetSmart will compare. In some areas (like in NY where I am) they are much cheaper than a private salon, but in MA where I started grooming they were more expensive than private shops.

Home grooming (the haircut, you should still be brushing at home) is harder, but not impossible. It will take practice and some new equipment but you could do it. If you are just looking for a shorter cutesy cut than it may be easier for you to have a groomer. There are a lot of talented home groomers here, so if you do decide to go this route you are in luck. original
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waldomommy
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« Reply #32 on: April 26, 2007, 08:25:01 PM »

Ok, this is probably a silly question, but I am about to be a new mommy of a Bichon and was wondering if there was a significant difference between a home groom versus a groom at a pet supplies store, for example, PetSmart?

Before I can help answer your question, I had a few questions for you.  I think I read in one of your posts that this he is not only your first bichon, but your first puppy ever.  Does that also mean that he is your first dog ever?  (ie., did you have a dog before, but didn't get it as a puppy?)

I saw your website, "Better than Retail" so that leads me to believe that you have a good deal of experience with dogs otherwise...

Bichon's coats are extremely high-maintenance.  I used to have 2 American Eskimos, and it was easy enough to "home groom" them, since they shed, there was no cutting required, they didn't have hair in their ears that had to get pulled out either, so I just trimmed their nails and brushed them out often. 

But bichon fur, if left alone, can grow to floor-length, so you'll need to trim them (forgive me, if this is too basic, but I waited till forever when I first got Waldo 10 years ago, and he was a mess by the time his first grooming came around!).  If you're handy with scissors and an electric shaver, then by all means go for it, but I know that I'm all thumbs when it comes to that.

As far as private shop vs. say, a Petco, follow Bluebell's advice -- she's the pro!

Good luck!
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« Reply #33 on: April 26, 2007, 10:28:50 PM »


Before I can help answer your question, I had a few questions for you.  I think I read in one of your posts that this he is not only your first bichon, but your first puppy ever.  Does that also mean that he is your first dog ever?  (ie., did you have a dog before, but didn't get it as a puppy?)

Mason is my first puppy, but as a kid we have always had dogs, but they were never my full responsibility such as Mason is now; so I consider it my "first" puppy Smiley I also wanted to be a veterinarian as a kid, so I know quite a bit about dogs and even shadowed my vet for 3 months. However, I don't have too much information about one breed over another, that is why I have a few questions. I have books about Bichons, as well as information I have gathered via the internet and feel confident in my ability to provide a good, loving, and caring home for my little guy.

My mother-in-law shows Old English Sheep Dogs and grooms them herself, but I have never personally groomed a dog and don't feel quite comfortable doing so, that is why I was wondering if there was a difference between a home groomer versus someone at PetCo/PetSmart.

Thanks
daisy
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bluebell
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« Reply #34 on: June 29, 2007, 10:37:59 PM »

A groomer on another forum I'm on wrote an article on this subject that I thought I'd share here as it was very informative and well written:


"Choosing a Groomer Need Not Be Grueling"

   Whether you are a long time Bloomingdale resident or new to the community, it there is a new member of your family who has grooming needs, finding a professional to entrust your "fur baby" to can be challenging. Asking the right questions can make finding a groomer that is right for you and your dog an educational and interesting experience.

   "How much? and "When can I get my dog groomed?" are usually the first, but not necessarily the most important questions asked. Important question to ask a new groomer include how long they have been in business, how many people work at their shop or salon, who will be grooming, bathing and handling your dog, and do they provide a service schedule that will work with your own routine.

   If you call a shop that is new to you and the person on the line sounds very busy, ask for a time that would be better to discuss your grooming needs. Any professionaly run grooming shop attempts to keep the rhythm of the day as calm as possible for the safety of the groomers and the dogs. Any shop can become hectic at any given moment. At those times, the priority of the professional groomer is to be more attentive to the dogs in the shop and less attentive to the potential customer on the phone.

   Ask for a tour of the grooming area. Is the area clean, well-lit, peaceful, and clutter free? Your future groomer should be proud to show off the grooming area as long as your dog is not being groomed at that time. Most dogs, while fairly content on the table or in the tub in the hands of a groomer, can become very anxious if they see, hear, or smell their humans when the are at the facility. Your pet thinks he or she should be at you side or in your lap. If their human shows up early to pick them up, they become very excited because they think it is time to go home. This creates a dangerous situation, since the face is usually the last part of the groom.

   Scheduling is an often overlooked issue that can create unnecessary stress for the groomer, your dog, and you and your family. Ask the groomer how they run their drop off and pick up process.
Some shops require you to pick up your pup as soon as it is finished being groomed. They may not have the space to hold any dogs for additional time. Some shops want all dogs checked in at an early morning hour, to be released in the afternoon or at the end of the day. If this is too long a time for your dog to be at the facility, they may offer an express service for an additional charge.

   Experience and training is an important topic to cover. There is not official certification for pet groomers, but there are many opportunities for grooomers to improve their styling skills, handling abilities, and their knowledge of the best equipment and products for the dogs that they groom. Many groomers have apprenticed or learned to groom through showing specific breeds of dogs. Others began their careers by attending grooming schools. Some continue their education by attending grooming conferences. The collective wealth of knowledge available at these seminars is beneficial for the groomer, the dogs that they handle, and the owners who are looking for a long lasting relationship of trust and confidence. Ask groomers if they have attended any conferences lately.

   Communication is the foundation of a good relationship between you and your dog's groomer. Face to face is the best-case scenario. Ask to arrange to speak to the groomer before your dog's first groooming experience.

   Lastly, please consider the fact that, as far as your dog is concerned, changing groomers is not like changing hairstylists. You will not do your dog any favor by shop-hopping to save a dollar or two. In addition, if you decide to return to your old groomer, you may find they no longer have a place available on the schedule for your dog.

   It takes a lot of hard work to become a good professional groomer. When you find a groomer that pleases you, don't take that groomer for granted. The pleasure of a clean, freshly groomed dog is only enhanced by the comfort of having confidence that your dog has experienced the least amount of stress in the process.

Emily Pryor, a Bloomindale residen owns and operates "That's Groomer to You" mobile dog grooming service
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Carol
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« Reply #35 on: June 30, 2007, 05:17:04 PM »

Really great information on this thread. Thanks to all of you for providing websites, and articles on grooming. I wish I lived in NY, I know who my groomer would be.... After the last experience at Petsmart, I have found a private groomer and now, thanks to this thread, I know what to ask and look for.
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bluebell
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« Reply #36 on: June 30, 2007, 07:02:13 PM »

If you two were close enough I would love to groom little Ozzie heart
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Bella
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« Reply #37 on: July 01, 2007, 01:08:51 PM »

I groomed Bella a day ago, oh gosh I don't want to tell you what she looks like now!
I had to  cut her a little because it was too hot for her fluffy hair.
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Carol
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« Reply #38 on: July 01, 2007, 01:38:28 PM »

daisy Tina, I can't imagine that Bella looks anything less than adorable - regardless .  thumbup
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Bella
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« Reply #39 on: July 01, 2007, 07:47:50 PM »

I'm too shy to even take pictures of her now because one part looks almost gone and I feel terrible, I do keep telling myself it will grow back and I hope soon!

Thank You Carol that makes me feel better Smiley
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Wendy59
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« Reply #40 on: August 08, 2007, 10:29:18 AM »

I read through this thread with interest because I am having a terrible time finding a groomer here in London that knows how to do a bichon although several in the phone book boast that they specialize in bichons. I've tried several in the two years since we moved to London and I'm really getting the feeling that I need to be doing him myself at home. The last one I tried for 4 months and she just could not get his cut right. She always always cut his head too short. I took photos in to her to show her exactly how I wanted him done and she just said oh well those are show dogs you don't want him to look like that. I said YES I do want him to look like that.

Now I have a groomer coming to my home however I'm not sure how she's going to work out. She told me that we have to bath him the day before as she doesn't bathe the dogs. Ummm I think I need to cancel her and find someone else AGAIN!

I tried petsmart and he was a mess. I tried a place called Jan's Kittens and Puppies that proclaimed they were in business for over 20 years and they picked up Meeka and dropped him off. I could have first cried when I saw him and then choked the biatch if she'd hung around long enough after I paid her. She SHAVED him down almost to the skin ALL OVER his body, there was not one piece of fur on him that was over 1/4 inch long and she also cut off one of his nipples and nicked him in several places. He wasn't matted as we brush him every day with 3 different kinds of brushes. I make sure whenever I go to a pet store to let them know the woman is a butcher and not to recommend her to anyone.

If anyone can recommend or knows of someone here in London that does bichons and does a good job please let me know.

Wendy
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SuperMax (Susan)
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« Reply #41 on: August 09, 2007, 06:57:32 PM »

I've tried several in the two years since we moved to London and I'm really getting the feeling that I need to be doing him myself at home.

blush Sigh.. just from my personal experiences and stories from others..... if ya want your bichon to "look like a  manfro traditional bichon" finding a good groomer ain't gonna be easy.  blink

I know they nodding exist  thumbsup .. but often times it's either not in your area  unsure or a really good groomer   rock charges alot Fainting .. which they have every right tothumbsup blush

I know of an awesome groomer that I would definately use nodding  .. but she's an hour away  wacko ...  shhh and I'm one of those ones that is too cheap  ashamed to pay for a professional scissor cutblush

 blush Over the last four years  wacko I've managed to train muhself  hat .... and though there has been a lot of "trial and ERRORcrazy .. I've come to quite enjoy it!  flowers
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Suzy83
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« Reply #42 on: January 09, 2008, 07:47:16 PM »

I'm with Trisha on this one Smiley Future miss Lily isn't gonna be a show dog either, just a part of the family Smiley

So I love the whole short puppy cut thing, like Jenbow's fluff Chase has (as far as I can tell Wink) But that's gonna be megadifficult to explain to a Dutch groomer here blush Plus the shorter look would be so much easier. With Dystonia, it's difficult enough to get my hands to brush my own hair, let alone a fluffy bichon's Laughing

Luckily I still have a few months to figure out how I'm gonna explain what I would like Lily to look like Laughing
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bluebell
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« Reply #43 on: January 09, 2008, 07:57:35 PM »

Suzy, I would print out some pictures to bring with you. I can give you some groomer  speak as well if you think that might help, but pictures are one of the best ways to show what you are going for.
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pam
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« Reply #44 on: February 28, 2008, 06:07:14 PM »

I am just soooo lucky.  I have the choice of 2 groomers near to us - one only about 300 yards away.  She does a really nice cut but because she works on her own doing all 4 dogs in one session would be a problem.  I know - we could take them one at a time but that doesn't work for us.  So we travel about 3 miles, the dogs pull to get there because what more could they want than all these women fawning on their every need.  They are on the wander, not in a kennel althought there is a chill out area should they so desire it.  Dogs happy, looking good - and they charge fairly for what is done.  Ears, nails, anal glands if necessary (on occassions for Poppy).
Great stuff.
pam
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