To Groom or Not to Groom, that is the question.

dizzy

Well-Known Member
I took Callie w/me to the farm today and she had a blast! Only problem being, by the time we left, she was filthy, so when I got home, I gave her a bath. It was not easy. I've been thinking of taking her to a groomer, but I'll admit to having some concerns.

First off, while I've been working w/her, she doesn't always hold still. It's very hard to brush a puppy that's rolling on her back. And, it's hard to wash a puppy that's trying to get out of the tub. Then, there's the problem of clipping her nails. I've been trying to clip them, and have only been able to do 1! When I wash her, she's not easy to dry w/the towel, and forget the hair dyer. She could also use a hair cut.

So, should I go ahead and take her, or should I continue to work w/her some more? I don't want her to be traumatized, but I also don't want her looking like she has an owner that doesn't care.
 

manuel

Administrator
Staff member
Owned by
1 cocker
Speak of the devil. I just shampooed and trimmed Hoshi. To be honest, his haircut looks choppy but I prefer this arrangement. Gina (Hoshi's breeder) was the only person I trust handling him. Plus, I examine him head to toe in the process and find out if he has fleas or whatever. Also, we take breaks. Right after his shampoo and blow dry we took a 30 minute break. It's a long process. I started at 3 and finished after 7. Hoshi's touchy about his feet so they take forever and look sloppy. I don't worry if I don't finish everything because I can do it later.

On the other hand, an experienced groomer will fly through the process. They know how to position a dog on the table and make use of the loops. (I don't use them). I'm also afraid to do nails and would leave it to the professionals.

Dizzy, believe it or not Callie will get used to the dryer. Hoshi freaked out at first. He still doesn't like it on his face and ears. I hold the nozzle 2 feet away and aim it from above so it's not directly in his face.
 

Mel Blacke

Well-Known Member
You will go faster with practice however! Being an English Cocker, her fur will probably not be quite what an American Cocker's might be--although that varies with the line of cockers she comes from. Do you have any grooming equipment and have you ever groomed a dog before? I use a Mars Coat King on her body and I do it when she is wet which is a tip I learned from a YouTube video. That is an idea....check out YouTube videos...here is one that I found useful....

The author's name is Nancy Praisewater in case the link doesn't work.
 

Mel Blacke

Well-Known Member
You could watch a few of them and get a better feel for what is involved. It took much less time to groom her as a puppy until she was about a year and a half old. Once she has been spayed, it will probably change the coat quality. It is fuzzier somehow so we have to end the grooming session with a war on the fuzzies that spring up--I just look over her back in the light and snip them off so the coat appears smoother and more silky. Fiona is super active and well, really spoiled. I cannot really see her standing for a grooming session with a professional groomer. Likewise, I would never hand strip my dog.. .she is not a conformation show dog so there is no need to put either of us through that. I don't really bathe her all that often either.....maybe every couple of months because I believe that it dries out the coat.
 

manuel

Administrator
Staff member
Owned by
1 cocker
You will go faster with practice however! Being an English Cocker, her fur will probably not be quite what an American Cocker's might be--although that varies with the line of cockers she comes from. Do you have any grooming equipment and have you ever groomed a dog before? I use a Mars Coat King on her body and I do it when she is wet which is a tip I learned from a YouTube video. That is an idea....check out YouTube videos...here is one that I found useful....

The author's name is Nancy Praisewater in case the link doesn't work.
She did a nice job on the feet and tail. Looks much easier on a English than mine. She's a pro but for us novices I would never point the scissor tips towards the butt like she did. All it takes is one mistake and you'll lose your pet's trust.
 

karenwalksthedogs

Moderator
Staff member
Owned by
2 cockers
As many of you know I use a groomer. She is excellent. If you find a good groomer they will know how to work with a puppy and slowly get them used to being groomed. I usually start them young and most breeders I know begin to get their puppies used to being groomed at a young age, even if there’s not much grooming needed. That way the dogs know what to expect as they get older and need more grooming.
 

dizzy

Well-Known Member
There's a groomer near here that a lot of my friends use for their dogs. I've thought about stopping in and talking to her, seeing how much she charges, etc. I don't know that I'm up to grooming her myself. Other than a brush and nail clippers, I don't have any grooming tools and don't have a clue as to how to do more than brush her and clip nails.
 

Polly

Super Moderator
Staff member
Owned by
1 cocker
I've been grooming my own dogs since I've had them, all cockers.. for I think about 27 years. I still can't do nails. My dogs go to their vet every 6 weeks or so for nails. I've had one English, and like Mel said, my Pookie had a LOT of coat, only difference was it wasn't has thick on the front of her front legs, my Patrick also had a coat very much like an English cocker, I found him much easier to do.

The hardest dog I have ever had to do is my Pye, he doesn't like me using my clippers around his face or ears. Michael holds him, then Pye knows
to sit still and I do them zip zap.

Robin starts clipping very young, she even did Pye's face for me when she was here his first week with us, he turned into a little monster after she went home lol.
 

Polly

Super Moderator
Staff member
Owned by
1 cocker
Oh! And Pye's coat grows faster than any dog I have had, including his Grandsire Stormy's.
 

Mel Blacke

Well-Known Member
She did a nice job on the feet and tail. Looks much easier on a English than mine. She's a pro but for us novices I would never point the scissor tips towards the butt like she did. All it takes is one mistake and you'll lose your pet's trust.
I didn't catch that but my sister did. Especially if you have a young dog who is squirmy!
 

dizzy

Well-Known Member
I'm probably going to have to take her to a groomer. I've developed arthritis in my left wrist, and at this time, I'm just not up to grooming her. I have enough problems getting done what I need to do each day. I'm wearing a brace and since I don't want to get it wet, I'd have to take it off to do more than just bathe her. Plus, I can't get hubby to hold her for me so I can clip her nails, but he's complaining about how long they are. So, I'll be stopping at the groomer's soon and asking questions.
 

Mel Blacke

Well-Known Member
Polly, it was my sister got Fiona used to being groomed on the grooming table....started the 3rd day we had her....just standing her on it and handing out treats and then brushing and then longer and longer and turning on the clippers but not using them....she went slowly and it paid off big time. I would never have had the sense to do that. Make no mistake about it, that is the only reason I was even able to attempt to learn to groom the dog or I would be doing what Dizzy is doing....interviewing groomers. Have you considered a toe-nail grinder, Dizzy?
 

karenwalksthedogs

Moderator
Staff member
Owned by
2 cockers
Robin made sure that Farley was used to being groomed before he came to live with us and, of course, Ki was totally used to it.
 
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