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Epona

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I am getting more and more concerned about this licensing issue. I have been open at this salon only about 2 1/2 yrs and already I have had quite a few so called groomers apply for work. Sadly, I have maybe too high expectations but after all it is my name and reputation that is at stake. My biggest beef I guess is that I had the old school method of training, a full year, 5 days a week, classroom - yes but I had to prove so much more than is expected today from many others ways of training. I had to know anatomy, to include skin, skeletal, muscular, nervous system, all types of coat & hair types etc etc etc. I had to know skin issues as well as many other problems that as a groomer I would be the first to see.

I recently hired a 'groomer' who had been 'trained' at a chain company. I have one groomer who was also trained there a few yrs ago and although I did need to re-train on some things, maybe it was just that she had a better exposure to this business through other means... she is now a very good groomer.

Anyhow, this more recent girl seems to have the feeling that once she is a groomer, she no longer needs to do 'menial' tasks like  proper bathing or cleaning. She has also  stated she was at one time a manager at the chain she worked at. My  issue is this, she does do well at shave downs but if it comes to scissor grooming or breed standards she is  completely untrained. I have had to teach her how to comb out... I only allow any pet to walk out if it is done to the best of our ability, that means it is  fine tooth combed out. She is untrained about undercoat, proper drying, and many other basic  issues.

We so need licensing I cannot begin to tell you. Yes for years I know many can hang out a  sign and call themselves a groomer, but if this is how the corporations are  'training' I am getting more and more concerned.

I have recently had over a dozen calls from clients who were unable to get in (I was booked on their desired days) so they went to the nearest chain. To date, a sheltie was shaved down with a 40 blade, so was a huskey, 3 poms and 2 malteses (who are the pinkest skinned pets I have) just to begin the list. Ive had 2 shih tzu's come back with cut tongues, one other had an eyelid cut... ARRGHHH. Some of these dogs will take a yr to grow back their proper coat and one already got sunburn.

IT is not about anything else but protecting the pets! If one does not know about how to treat specific coat and skin issues so a pet will not be hurt, they should not be allowed to touch them. I am so mad about the ignorance and money hungry at the expense of the pets...


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bitty

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I AGREE whole heartedly!! I too think that I have a tremendously high standard.  I've had my salon for 25 years and I haven't been able to find someone I'd like to hire in a long while.  First of all, interviews are few and far between.  I've had 3 groomer applicants in the past 6 months of which I didn't hire any.  There is a new place in town that has been for about 8 months and has already been through 3 groomers (2 of which worked for me for a day or 2) so I know there work.  The owner is not a groomer and doesn't understand quality work. 

The best situation for me is to train my own stylists.  Right now there are only myself and one other groomer that I trained grooming with a recep and a bather.  Things are running smoothly but I could use 2 other groomers with the waiting list I have.  And I don't have time to train someone.  I only hire and train those I feel can actually grasp the entire concept of grooming from start to finish.  Quality applicant just aren't avaiable.  We have all heard, "how hard can it be to cut dog hair", or "I cut my own dogs hair all the time"!!  Not going to happen in my salon. 

Thanks I feel better now....
bitty

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Reply with quote  #3 

Epona, is your latest hire who feels bathing and cleanup isn't her job still with you???

Lynne

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We have all heard, "how hard can it be to cut dog hair", or "I cut my own dogs hair all the time"!! 


I have lost 6 clients so far this year because of this attitude.  We'll see if they come back. Some people also don't care how their dogs look, as long as they're short, that's fine. Whatever...

I too have had to turn away clients, but I still am hesitant to hire anyone. The work here is seasonal (winter is our slow time) and I've been on the receiving end of the "no work" routine - laid off way too many times. I can't do that to somebody else. Can we really afford to hire someone? Do we want to? I hear so many horror stories on this board - isn't there anyone out there that wants to work??? And do their job well??

Luckily, at this point, I do work a second job (I've mentioned it before - editor/designer etc. of the Dachshund National Breed Magazine). But I do worry and I wonder how long I can keep up the 60-70 hour weeks. Hubby does 99% of the kennel work, all the financial end of the business, and all the yard work (4 acres) so that keeps him really busy, too.

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Lynne
Chazlyn Boarding & Grooming
jonna

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Reply with quote  #5 
You sound just like me Lynne. Working 2 jobs is very hard, I am just about shot. The problem with me is I work all the overtime I can find. 12 hour days and then grooming is taking its toll.
Now that the weather is getting better we are farming. Oh joy. Someone please shoot me.
The foals are also due. One arrived Saturday, the next one at any time. I really need some r&r. I know how you feel. My hubby does alot of the farmwork, but he has a few blown discs so I try to pitch in all I can but I do need to get a little sleep. Good luck. I will also not hire anyone to help me in my shop. It's not worth the aggravation.

puppyquicker

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Reply with quote  #6 

I work at a 'chain' store where I was so-called trained and I agree the training was substandard.   I am investing a small fortune (well, according to my budget anyway) in DVD's, etc. to improve my knowledge and ability as far as grooming goes.  I actually had a conversation with upper management recently regarding the lack of quality being turned out in my salon, because there is an emphasis on churning out lots of dogs so the groomers get big paychecks and, in turn, the company profits.  They won't profit for long when people stop coming or find better places.  The thing of it is so many people wait until the last minute to make appointments for their pets (yes there are those few who are regularly scheduled but we get a lot of people calling the day before or the day of and wanting to get in.)  The chain stores can often accomodate this, plus my store is open from seven in the morning until 9 at night.  The smaller places can't compete with this and so we get the dogs.  I wholeheartedly support the notion of strict licensing although if I had to get licensed right now I don't know if I'd pass!  At least I'm trying to improve, though, which is all one can do.

Epona

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We shall see today if she wishes to remain with us. I discussed all the issues with her on saturday and asked her to call me back today with her answer. She would have to work as a bather and I offered to train her on grooming. It would be a cut in pay but I cannot afford to pay someone as a full groomer only to have to re-do the entire dog. That is what really tipped it off for me last week. I had assigned her a small poodle mix. I know the owner and what they expect. She had been working on the dog for some time, asked me if the head looked correct... I came over with my comb and scissors to show her how they like the dogs face... the entire head was top brushed, I began to comb the legs ( I thought, ok she did not know how to stand dry and I felt the legs looked a bit curly) they were full of knots, the entire dogs pattern lines were off etc etc etc... Owner came in, I had to do the entire dog in 10 minutes ( I did)....

I am unsure if her ego will sit well with being demoted but if she really wishes to learn how to groom, I cant offer any more. I cannot afford to pay her as  full groomer if I must re-do it all.


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bitty

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Reply with quote  #8 

Let us know how it goes...Good Luck!!

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Reply with quote  #9 

Epona, I'd hate to be you.  I hate confrontations.  But she really isn't doing you any favors by working for you right now.  She'd probably make a better receptionist than groomer.  At least she'd know how far apart to schedule dogs.  Maybe you could have one full day of "school".  Start with the very basics like mixing shampoo correctly and work up to bathing the rectum and eye corners.  Then zero in on dematting while drying at the same time.  Explain each product and what the ingredients are designed to do for each type of coat.  Maybe you could invite 2 other people (even if one is your daughter or neighbor)...that way she might not feel that the information is aimed directly at her.


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Epona

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Reply with quote  #10 
Well as I somewhat anticipated, she did call very late today.I am told by quite a few folks I am a very 'positive' person. I tried to talk with her and let her know where I stood, I also told her it was not her fault she was never trained... I have heard was to many others who have said the same thing. It is a shame really that a large corporation feels that such an important position does not deserve real training but oh well....

She basically said she would consider it but could not work on saturdays. That was her only day she was bathing! I tried to discuss it with her but she finally came clean... she said if she was going to be 'domoted' she had to pick up another job to help make money. I told her I understood but it was not a demotion... she was not a groomer! sure she could shave down a dog BUT she had no idea of any other thing.

I had in the 2 weeks she was with us part time given her a variety of breeds. ex. a B&B shep/huskey mix, she felt that 15 minutes with the HV dryer and she could comb it out. I walked over to talk with her and by chance put my hand on the dog, told her it would not comb out until dry... she said she knew that, used the HV dryer near that table for another 10 minutes and began combing again... it was still wet. When I told her that, she did the BIG SIGH... told me she had not dried there yet. (she had already put the dryer away) a medium mix breed shave down with a #3 metal wahl, she did not even brush it out first, several small dogs, not brushed or combed out before she began scissoring ... bottom line, she did not know how to groom. It was not a demotion, it was in reality her dishonesty on her application IMHO.

She had been using others equipment without permission, she had no knowledge of glands, HV drying, brushing, combing, nail grinding, ear hair pulling and the list goes on. I hope she finds someone who will be willing to train her, but until then I considering making out a written test to go along with any groomers application.


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In life, a sense of humor will always prove an asset. Find the joy and humor in all you do and you shall never regret a thing.

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Reply with quote  #11 
Epona I'm sorry you had to deal with all that. I think a written test is a fantastic idea, and I think that when I open my own business one day I will include one as well. Thanks for the idea.
groommaster23

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Reply with quote  #12 

Where are there grooming schools on Long Island? I do mobile, but I use my own car. I would like to become a licensined groomer. Any help would be appreciated. Thank You.

Epona

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Reply with quote  #13 
Just want to point out, on the other line... "Im so sad" I shared what happened to 2 of my yorkies Ive been working with for nearly 4 yrs. Wont go into the details here... but boy do we need licensing... B A D !!!!!

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In life, a sense of humor will always prove an asset. Find the joy and humor in all you do and you shall never regret a thing.

http://www.royalpetserv.com
doobooga

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Reply with quote  #14 
Not only, where are the real groomers at, but what the h*ll is the deal with all the Prima Donas? First: I made this decision when I was young to stick with it, be the best I could and turn it into a career. I bathed dogs for $3.00 a dog-5 if I dried them, just for the opportunity to MAYBE learn some clipper work..on an actual dog even! I get these 30-40 somethings that have a mid life wanna change careers because they just love playing with dogs but want to start at 50-60% commission (on dogs they're learning on) or can't understand why they are not making what I do...I mean after all...they are working. We all leave school making choices like what to major in etc. 5 years later we have a career. Why..why do people think grooming is not a career it is just a fun choice they are entitled to that requires no sacrifice, skill, should be handed to them and any moron can do it????? Sorry to rant but darn it...I paid some serious dues to know what I know and be where I am and how insulting is it to have some condescending soccer mom tell you she's sure it isn't that hard and she could pick it up in no time?
Epona

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Reply with quote  #15 
We should compare notes! I began with a breeder, volunteered to wash just to begin learning, progressed to learning how to stand dry ( after all that is all we had back then!) I got quite a few combs slapped on my upper arm with a quick remark like"you idiot, you will brush burn him that way... now what did I say again?"... LOL

I also worked as a bather for a long time and did some simple stuff on the side. I recall having to go get kodak instamatic film, take the pict, wait until the roll was used, then go to get it developed just to take it back and ask how did I do! THEN Id hear the criticism. I took it as constructive not what many do today... personal, sheesh, how else would you really learn? Ive never met a mozart of grooming, most all have had to make many mistakes. I guess Darwin was right in a way.. survival of the fitest.

Decided to go to a good grooming school, ended up breaking my leg 2/3 the way through BUT... I still carried my wooden box of equipment, on crutches, via 2 buses and an ele train to get to school. Made sure to bring a black garbage bag with me to make sure my cast didnt get wet bathing. I learned how to groom sitting down with one leg on another stool!...LOL

When I finally did get a 'job' as an assistant groomer (and yes it was for about $3.00 hour... a 50 cent tip if I did a very good job), I showed up 15 minutes early just to show I was willing to learn, (absorbed all I could watching the old crusty gals, but they really knew their stuff)

Had a great and I mean great laugh the other day here! Starts back when I was still in my teens, working with a breeder and part time at one shop. The groomer began telling me 'Oh schools are for whimps! we learned from mentors, lets ask a few questions EH? what would you do if the electricity went out?"       
I stood there dumbfounded, fearful of answering incorrectly, so I hesitated a bit to long for her......
"I bet you call everyone and tell them you cant do their pets, send them home.... well cookie, you are soft, out right soft. No groomer in their right mind would do that, nope we learned the real way. Electricity wasnt always around you know! Heck our profession is based upon real hard work."

So I learned (and it took a very very long time Ill add) to scissor/strip a dog! to about a 7 or 10 in some cases.YUP, before electricity..... So back to my story, a few days ago, our power flickered, the girls panicked, hurry up! I just stood there calm and continued, then they flickered again. Now they are really panicking! 2 minutes later....POOF! I couldnt help it, I just began to laugh!!!!! said, OK girls, its lesson time... heard big sighs and nooooooo's!

The lights did come back on, but it was sooo worth it! Some of us are tougher than others so Im told.


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In life, a sense of humor will always prove an asset. Find the joy and humor in all you do and you shall never regret a thing.

http://www.royalpetserv.com
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