Can I watch?
Updated: Mar 11
Let’s cut right to the chase. You’re in need of a new groomer for your pet, so what are the first three questions you’re asking when calling around? The list is probably going to look something like this:
1) Do you have experience grooming my dog’s breed?
2) What kind of training do you have?
3) What services do you provide and what are your prices like?
One of the questions that I find gets missed a lot is ‘can I watch or stay with my pet?’ Most people are not aware that you are perfectly entitled to ask if you can watch your pet be groomed. Why shouldn’t you be able too? When we get our hair cut it is no different, there are other hair dressers around and other clients having their hair done. A professional groomer should have no problem with you watching your fur baby be groomed especially because it gives you such a learning perspective of your dog’s behaviour.
When we leave our pet at the groomers, in a van, or with a groomer, they can become a whole new dog and personality. Sometimes when a groomer tells a client that they were not able to perform a task in the groom such as nail trimming, bang trimming, pad shaving, etc, clients have no idea why? They think that because their pet is such an angel at home and loves to be cuddled that they have no idea that they are acting like that while at the groomers. This is a perfect time for a pet owner to see what their pet’s behaviour is like while they are being groomed and sometimes come up with a solution.
Most often if your pet is not cooperating, really anxious, barking, or bitey they will be sent home from the groomers, but a lot of the time the groomer or establishment does not tell you why. What was the groomer doing that made your dog feel uncomfortable that they wanted to show that behaviour? Sometimes a dog simply does not like the grooming process at all and there is nothing that anyone can do about it. But a lot of the time it is because the pet is scared, uncomfortable, doesn’t want to be noosed, or isn’t used to a grooming experience.
Next time this happens to you try and ask your groomer if you can watch or be there at least the first time with your pet to observe what is making them show this behaviour. See if your presence can help sooth your pet or even see if you can get pointers from your groomer to try and make nail trimming, bathing, or the clipper a safe experience for them. In my experience a pet needs to learn to trust a groomer and know that they are safe with them. Once that bond is created after a couple grooming sessions the pet calms down and learns to love the grooming experience.