10 Helpful Tips from the Pros

“Knowledge is of no value unless you put into practice.”  Anton Chekhov

By learning from the greatest teachers in our industry, and applying what they’ve taught me, I’ve become a skilled dog groomer. By learning more about my craft and applying that knowledge in my grooming practice everyday with every dog, year after year. Now I’m able to give my clients a truly valuable and unique service that makes a tremendously positive impact on their lives.  One of my favorite teachers, Jim Rohn, once said, “Success leaves clues.” I’d like to leave some for you here today 🙂

These notes were taken while attending the educational classes at the Atlanta Pet Fair in March and SuperZoo in Las Vegas, NV in September. I started attending the trade shows in March of 2012 when I was going to start my own grooming shop in Buckhead, Atlanta. I was only going to get a certificate offered by the ISCC (International Society of Canine Cosmetologists) to put on my wall in the lobby of my shop. I wasn’t really going there to learn anything, because I thought I knew it all! Ha!! I didn’t even know that I didn’t even know! Once I started learning more about grooming the skin and coat, I’ve never stopped.

I hope these 10 Helpful Tips are as beneficial to you as they have been for me!

  • Christina PawloskyCoat Care for Everyday Groomers:
    • Carding = Removing Dead Coat
    • Carding/Deshedding is a process. There is no one brush or tool to use.
    • Use different tools in different directions to work the tangles out.
    • Work Coarse Down to the Finer Tools (Closer Toothed Tools) Coarse -> Fine
  • Scott WassermanHandstripping Basics:
    • Carding tools are used to remove loose hair (shed control), and it is best to do before the bath! Carding opens up the pores before the bath.
    • Use Chalk to remove oil and get a better grip on the loose hairs. Block chalk doesn’t get too much in the coat and brushes out easier.
  • Irina PinkusevichGrooming American Cocker Spaniel:
    • Bathing and Drying is the foundation of the groom. The preparation and the bathing/drying process is the most time consuming part of the groom – you MUST card the coat before AND after the bath.
    • Good prep work prevents track marks (clipper lines).
  • Scott WassermanPractical Handstripping:
    • Schnauzer vs Scottie Eyebrows:
      • Schnauzer Eyebrows: Cut from the outside corners of the eyes to the center of the nose. (V Shaped)
      • Scottish Terrier Eyebrows: Cut from the outside corners of the eyes to the outside edge of the nose. (Box Look)
  • Jonathan DavidBubbly Bichon:
    • When scissoring the feet, scissor around the toes but leave the hair behind the pad. This will give the straight pillar look -> Breed Standard calls for Flat Pillars.
  • Christina PawloskyMechanics of Grooming:
    • Put a Signature on every dog that makes that dog uniquely yours. This makes your customers want to come to you.
    • Work on establishing your special signature – your personal style!
  • Brenda J. MitchellProfessional Image & Attitude:
    • The way you act influences how your customers view you.
    • Always give the client a little more then they expect.
    • You can’t be everybody’s groomer – Market what’s special/unique about you!
  • Judi Cantu-ThackerHow Much is Enough?:
    • Quit worrying about the “competition.”
    • You don’t need gimmicks, coupons or discounts. All you need to do is invest in yourself by learning and applying what you learn.
    • Clients love to hear the history of their breeds. It makes you a better groomer when you can connect with them just by understanding the breed’s history.
    • “Become More Valuable.”
  • Missi SalzbergGroomer’s Intellectual Property:
    • It’s not about Selling. It’s about Serving. Being of service is the key to success.
    • Be more interested in being of service than in getting a sale.
    • “I can give you a price, but are you interested in who we are and what we do?”
  • Keni ThomasKeynote Speaker for Superzoo 2015 – Black Hawk Down Mission:
    • We all have a responsibility to choose to do what we know we’re supposed to do. Because, “Lives are affected by your example.”
    • When things fall apart, we start skipping steps. SOP’s (Standard Operating Procedures)
    • David Floyd chose to follow SOP’s when everyone else didn’t. He did an extraordinary thing by doing an ordinary thing at an extraordinary time.
      • David was the only one who stopped at an intersection like he was supposed to, and by doing so was able to spot an enemy with an RPG pointed at them. David shot the him just before he pulled the trigger, and the missile flew right over their heads. He saved all of their lives by following SOP’s.
        • David Floyd was considered the “weakest link” out of the group.
    • “Lives are affected by your example.” We never know how much of an impact we can make on the lives of our clients and their pets, just by choosing to do what we know we should do even when everything around us falls apart.

“If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you.

If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.”  Author Unknown

One thought on “10 Helpful Tips from the Pros

  1. Hi,I’m having a problem trying to cut hair around the eyes of my shi due,yorkie mix.she just won’t let me do and move’s around and is scared of scissor.also when I’m trying to trim her beard.Groomers are too much money in my area.Her eyes get yellow and crusty when the the hair around her is too long.what can I do to make her more comfortable when I’m trimming these parts.Help


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