My philosophy on dog grooming

Grooming is a beautiful experience that connects us with Mother Nature. Our mind and body are working as one to help lighten the burden of another. Grooming is a labor of love, it is love in action.

“The impact that grooming has on a dog’s life is huge. The important thing to keep in mind is that we seldom ever see the positive or negative impact the groom had on the dog until later on down the road. The canine skin and coat is a living system. It is like a rainforest with its own natural flora. When we go in there and interfere or disrupt the natural environment, we should know what we are doing and how it will affect the skin. Dogs, like horses, should not be washed too often because it damages their skin. When we add chemicals and ingredients we know nothing about onto their skin, we are gambling with our dog’s health and comfort. I believe that as groomers we have a big responsibility to learn what is in our products and research them before we make a decision to use them on our dogs. Then it will be an informed decision and our dogs will appreciate that immensely. Everything we do during the groom should all be done with the end goal in mind. Everything we do should be with the purpose of helping the dog look and feel their best.” ​The Art of Grooming, Chapter 1

For more details or to purchase a copy, please click on the links below:

The Art of Grooming: E-book                The Art of Grooming: Paperback

22 thoughts on “My philosophy on dog grooming

  1. Kimberly Simon

    Thank you Jun, I have been a professional Dog and Cat groomer since 1979. I share in your philosophy because it is mine also Bless you for your strong commitment to doing the right thing for Professional Groomers all over the world and the beloved animals we are untrusted to care for. You have my support how can I help you ? Thank you from the bottom of my heart for making such a huge difference!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Brenda Gordon

    Hello Jun, I would very much appreciate a little advice. I started watching various groomers on utube and your philosophy and methods have been the the best. I wish I could fly my dog to GA from Portland Oregon just to be groomed by you. My terrier poo rescued me 3years ago. We have had a difficult time finding a steady and consistent groomer. The first visits generally go well. The follow up visits have repeatedly left him traumatized from being literally skinned…the last time we woke up and he was in a puddle of blood and I had to rush him to vet. I think they do not like grooming him because he is very skirmish and nips. So they skin him hairless to keep from coming back too soon …that’s my thinking.

    Since then I tried one other groomer whom I begged not to skin him because it leaves him raw and in pain. She took my $70.00 and made it look as tho she had groomed him, but when I checked him later, his hair was the same length, his nails had not been clipped at all and there was no way to tell, for me, if his teeth and ears had been tended to.

    I have been leary about trying a new groomer, he was never matted before, but they said he was, and that is why they skinned him. I have severe arthritis and it is too painful for me to do it myself. Money is not an issue. I would not have adopted him if I could not afford his maintenance upkeep. I have tried to do it myself for the past few months, but find that for the first time, he is now matted.

    My question is, even if he were matted, is skinning him the only option? Can’t they leave some hair?

    Please let me know what you think.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Brenda,
      I understand what you’re going through – it can be frustrating and difficult to find a skilled groomer that is willing to do a proper job. When you do find one, it does cost more than most other grooming salons because of the amount of extra time and effort it requires to deal with an unmaintained coat. Depending on how tight the matts are, and how close they are to the skin, sometimes “skinning” the dog is the only humane option for the groomer. After the dog’s coat is removed, it is up to the owner to brush and comb the coat daily as it grows back out. Prevention is key, daily maintenance is not only the best form of prevention but it is also the best way to promote a healthy skin – that produces a beautiful, healthy coat. It is not always entirely the groomer’s fault for the bad experiences. If the only time the dog goes to visit the groomer is when it is horribly tangled and in physical pain, it is no wonder the dog doesn’t like it. With your arthritis pain, I can understand that it would be very difficult to brush at home. For your situation, I would suggest working out a maintenance plan with your groomer, like $20 once a week for a brushing and combing session, and a regular bath & styling session every 4 weeks. This will not only eliminate the need for you to spend much time brushing or combing at home, and will keep your dog’s coat beautiful at a reasonable price. Thank you so much for such a great question! I hope my answer helps you, and I really appreciate you visiting our website 🙂


  3. Jack kim

    저는 마이애미사는 JACK KIM 입니다..
    너무 잘보고 있습니다..
    많은 조언 부탁합니다.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Jack Kim 🙂 I really appreciate that. I can read and understand korean, just not great at typing in korean so please accept my English reply. It is no less genuine. I really appreciate you taking the time to comment, and to encourage me. Thank you! It’s so nice to meet you!


  4. Carro Starro


    Can you please give me advice on how to trim the claws of my 12 year old Toy Fox Terrier? She gets extremely upset when taken to a groomer or vet. Basically groomers won’t take her. She bites, pants, urinates, howls… (before we even get near the table). She also has an older back injury that can flare up, so I don’t like her to get too excited because she can hurt herself. Otherwise she is a sweet and energetic little old dog with a friendly, loving personality — but she doesn’t like groomers or vets. Still, her claws are horrible and I feel like a bad owner if I take her, and similarly if I don’t take her. Thanks so much! Love your zen-like postings.

    Carro in California

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have a video on my YouTube channel called How To Groom an Aggressive Yorkie, where I trim and file the nails of a dog like how you’re describing. Please let me know if that helps 🙂 Thank you for the question, and I wish you great success with the nails!


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  6. Sir, I watched your youtube on grooming an agressive yorkie. Yep the little guy was aggitated. This little guy is an angel compared to what I deal with. No groomer will take her. And for getting her nails clipped so she don’t cut us up like she was wolverine we take her to the vet where at least 3 people have to help. Bath is not any better. I make sure I wear long pants and long sleeves shirts. I do not know where or why this has happened. She is a pup we kept from a litter. The vets were just dumb founded by her behavior. They gave me a little blue pill cut into 4 and to give her one fourth to calm her. (I think its valium) That had absolutely no affect. Tossed those out. Hmm half a benedryl, no affect. A whole benedryl. No affect. Yes she is calm until its time to trim and bath. Well relatively calm. Ran her outside in circles for ever to wear her out. That didn’t work either but make me tired. And as far her anal gland . Please please someone somewhere show me how to check and take care of it. I love my little girl but her unkept hair is heartbreaking because she is beautiful. She is actually my husbands. He wanted to keep her. She is all his. They are one. Her name is Dot but she will answer to dammit as well. She has ate 3 cell phones alumimun foil. Yard looked like santas reindeer sprinkled glitter through the yard. As a pup when we came home from the store or where ever it was something new was trashed thus the Dammit Dot! Something new with her every single day. At three years old she is getting more laid back. Sweet and submissive like I’ve never seen. She will roll over submissively to anyone or anything for a belly flash in hopes of a rub. I’m lost. I’ve a jeckle and hyde yorkie. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pam Carbonell

    Jun, I have been wanting to become a groomer for such a long time. I adore animals and I know I can be of service to them and their owners. I live in Alpharetta, GA and I have been looking for a grooming school where I can learn from a good master and instructor. My belief is that nothing but a hands-on experience will help me learn how to provide the best care and handle pets. Do you have any suggestions for me, as far as where I can find a school or an instructor? I would really appreciate it. In the meantime, I would like to bring my maltipoo to your spa and pampering him with a great groom! Blessings to you and your wife for the care you give to our precious pets.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Robert J

    Jun, thank you so much for your videos and excellent advice. After many months of thinking about grooming my Shih Tzu myself, I am finally going to do it. Over the past week I got all the tools that I need and have been getting the mats and dead hair out of him. I cannot believe that is so much and it never stops😰. The one thing you did and I did not understand how you did it was to soak the dog in a detangling solution. I found one online and now can soak the dog, let it sit for awhile, dry him and oh what a difference it makes. It is such a pleasure now just to comb him and he truly enjoys the experience (lots of kisses when done). My clippers arrived today and Tuesday I will give him a haircut. Very nervous, but knowing my dog trusts me makes all the difference. He knows I will not hurt him and with me he is safe. You truly are an inspiration to dog owners everywhere (especially those of us with small furbabies. Thank you again. If I can remember I will send you before and after shots.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this with me, Robert! I really appreciate the encouragement 🙂 Please send me the before and after shots! I’m eager to see how you did 🙂 Don’t worry if it didn’t turn out the way you like the first time. Practice makes improvements – not perfect, bc there’s no such thing. 🙂 Practice makes improvements.


  9. Denise

    Hi Jun..
    HELP!!! I just noticed that you are in the States and i’m so sad… I was hoping you were in the Toronto, Ontario area.
    I have 2 Goldendoodles. I know most groomers do not like to groom them. They seem to get matts very easily. Well, we decided to try and groom ourselves. Its not going well at all. They get matted terribly and one of them is very aggressive when we try to groom. He hates it. Always has. It is nearly impossible. One of us tries to hold him, while the other trims, etc. It is a CONSTANT struggle with growling and snapping at us. So then, we get stressed.. and he probably reacts to it. We have tried to exercise him so he is tired, but doesn’t work. I am afraid he will bite. I might add, he is almost 90 lbs. So he is a biggie. Do you have any advice for us? We have been trying to clip him for months now, and we just do it bit by bit .. but he is crazy matted. Any advice you might have will be welcomed.
    Dee.. Ontario. Canada

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Kathlyn

    Jun, I live in Idaho and have my first Golden Doodle (3/4 poodle). She is pure white. Do you know how to get the orange color out of her fur where she cleans her bottom? I went and purchased the grooming tools you use for dematting and it helped a lot keeping her mat free.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When the hair is yellow/brown I like to use chalk or ear powder to pluck the fuzzy, nasty hairs out. If you grab the hairs in bundles your dog will not enjoy it. I promise you. LOL! But if you gently grab a few at a time in between your fingers and pull gently away from the skin. Only pluck the hairs that come out fairly easily when pulled. Then I like to use ear cleaner on a cotton ball or paper towel and clean the area before bathing. After rinsing the shampoo completely out, I’ll apply conditioner to those areas that I plucked first and let it sit for at least 5 minutes, up to 10 minutes. Then dry the skin completely so that it isn’t damp on the surface of the skin. If you do this, you’ll get the same results that I get. It usually clears up in about a month. But you must brush and comb regularly in order to keep the oils fresh and moving along the coat.

      I hope this helps, and thank you so much for your support, Kathlyn! 🙂


  11. Heather

    Hi Jun, I love your videos. I’m starting my Groomer training in March and am very excited. Will definitely be watching all your vids to help me become an amazing groomer. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Joy

    Jun, So often, I search for the right groomer. With several rescue dogs, I share the experiences of all the posters on this page. I’ve too often seen where better methods & appropriate dog psychology such as yours could be applied. Thank you Jun.
    If I may offer a suggestion prompted by Robin’s entry from Jan 12, 2016.
    The Yorkie’s behavior may be improved upon w exercises which teach him “impulse control”. I fostered then adopted a Shih Tzu with a life long history of biting yet he’s super sweet & affectionate. His fear of the unknown & need for structure me training was driving the bad behavior whenever he was made to conform in any way. We paid $65. for a 1x session with a professional behavior specialist trainer, referred to us by conventional trainers. (Certified Trainers). He spent thoughtful time on the initial phone call to evaluate our boys level of difficulty and specific needs. He soon came to our home by appointment. Spent 2 solid hours calmly teaching our dog to trust him/human touch. Soon he had him following directions without fail. He ensured we as the owners, understood how to work with the dog and provided us with written and YouTube videos teaching all forms of desirable, necessary behaviors. Most relevant was “impulse control”!
    Our boy Max is doing great. We adopted him to provide a stable forever home cuz we were committed to giving him everything he needs. Now he’s an absolute joy. We will always be thoughtful of his need for ongoing reinforcement of the training behaviors and the that we have to communicate what we expect of him, so he need not be fearful any longer. ☯️

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Audrey

    Hi Jun,
    What is the name of the grooming tool you mentioned which is often referred to as the Furminator? I actually own a Furminator for my Persian cats but it doesn’t have a detachable blade. It’s the tool you use to catch and pull out some of the undercoat dead hair. I believe you called it a “carting” tool?
    Thank you so much! Love your tutorials by the way! Very helpful!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Kelly R.

    Hi Jun,
    I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your videos and books. I just started grooming and opened my own shop. So many people told me that their senior or difficult dogs have been turned away from other groomers, I decided to make that my specialty. Using your techniques have worked so well for me.
    I got chihuahua/terrier mix that was so frightened he was biting, squealing, flailing around and defecating the first time I had him on my grooming table. He got me a couple of times and I had to put a cone on him. He would not even let me touch him. I took the time to just pet and massage him and used your breathing techniques letting him know I only wanted to make him feel better. I brushed him out before his bath, as you suggested, and I believe it had the added benefit of allowing him to gain a little more trust before I started the bath. All in all, it took me about 4 hours for the first groom. I was only able to do his body and his nails the first time but the client was so grateful as the last groomer had told her that her dog was a horrible animal and to never come back. Because of this, she was terrified to try anyone else until a friend of mine told her to call me.
    Fast forward 5 weeks and he was back for his second groom. His mom told me he was like a new dog, strutting around the house like he was all proud. No cone this time. I was able to put the grooming loop on without a struggle, brushed him out, bathed him, dried him, and run the clippers over him. He let me scissor the top of his head and his chest and I was able to get his nails a bit shorter. He did open his mouth a couple times to let me know he was not ready for me to do his face. I respected that and was just thrilled he trusted me enough to let me do what we had done. A couple of times he freaked out during the bath, but I was able to quickly calm him down. Second groom? 1 hr.
    His Mom was so thankful she almost started crying. She adopted this little guy hoping he would be a good companion for her autistic daughter and other than the grooming process he is a total sweetheart. We now have a recurring appointment every 5 weeks.
    I am so grateful for your videos and advice and truly believe in your philosophy toward grooming. Thanks in large part to you I am on my way to helping those pets and owners who had given up hope of finding someone willing to groom their furry kids, not to mention the satisfaction I get in knowing I am the one he is trusting for his care.
    I cannot express in words how thankful I am for your videos and books. If I were there in person you would get a big hug.


  15. michele

    Jun, your FB page says you are in GA. I wish I lived in GA. You do a fabulous job, and your patience with, handling of and commitment to the animals you groom is inspiring. I am not a groomer; I struggle to clip my own lagotto appropriately. If you know anyone as dedicated and kind as you are, who is in NYC, let me know. Thank you for your videos.

    Liked by 1 person

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