My short haired / double coated dog doesn’t require much grooming….
This is a very common assumption, but actually many short haired breeds shed much more than others! These breeds will benefit more from regular grooming as we have professional tools and treatments which will help to reduce the amount of dead hair in their coat and in turn, the amount of hair dropped on your carpets!
Is my Double Coated breed suitable for clipping?
I get a lot of customers asking if I can clip short their double coated breed such as a Border Collie or Pomeranian because they look hot during the warmer months, however this it is a common misconception. Double coated breeds have a longer topcoat which works as a guard from the elements whereas the undercoat works to keep the skin dry and insulated. Shaving a double coat removes the dogs natural insulation, the new growth will consist of a thicker undercoat mixed with shorter topcoat hairs; this is known as ‘Coat Funk’ or ‘False Coat’. This results in the dog being covered in an extra thick blanket of undercoat, so imagine wearing that in the summer heat! The lack of guard coat provides no protection from the suns rays and a quick dip in a cool pond will result in water being soaked up into the undercoat and the surrounding plant life becoming stuck to your poor dog, with its new clipped Velcro coat! The coat could also grow back unevenly (Coat Funk), also, dogs not used to being clipped could scratch and irritate their skin causing sore patches and ‘hot spots’. There are better ways for your groomer to help your double coated breed and you can discuss this during the consultation, but you’ll be amazed at how much of the shedding coat we can remove using our professional tools! However, if there is a genuine reason for having the dogs coat clipped or scissored short, it can be done and we are happy to do so as long as you understand the results may vary.
Should I have my dog clipped?
Clipping is suitable for most breeds and is the most popular option for most dog owners as it’s quicker, easy to maintain and the finished result is often tidier. Sometimes the coat may lighten slightly over time due to clipping and the texture of the coat may alter as it grows back, however regular grooming will ensure the dog always looks their best. Please bear in mind, if you plan to show your dog there are rules and regulations over grooming methods that you will need to discuss with your groomer.
First it’s good to understand exactly what Hand Stripping is and what it involves…
Wire Coated breeds should have a double coat consisting of a coarse wiry top coat known as the guard coat and a soft undercoat. Hand Stripping involves plucking out the coarse guard coat by hand and some suitable tools. Removing the dead guard coat allows new growth to come through which keeps the rich colour and texture of the wiry coat. If this coat is clipped or scissored you will lose the deep colours of the coat, as mainly the pale undercoat will remain and the texture will soften, destroying the protection of the coat.
Not all wiry coated dogs can be hand stripped for a variety of reasons such as suitability of the coat, health issues or if the coat has been previously clipped. A show standard hand stripped coat is time consuming and an ongoing process as your groomer would need to be ‘rolling’ the coat on a weekly basis allowing the harsh texture to remain constant. However, we understand this is not suitable for the majority of owners so we will usually completely hand strip the coat in one session. Some dogs are more sensitive than others while being hand stripped and it is something that they need to get used to over time which is why it may need to be done over a few sessions at first. We also like to provide regular water and toilet breaks during the sessions (for both the dog and groomer!) as the appointment will be longer than an average session. However, over time the dog will get used to it and most dogs enjoy the quiet time to relax and be pampered!
Benefits of Hand Stripping:
- Weather-proofs the coat
- Provides sun protection
- It only needs to be done roughly 3 times a year
Please note, we do not always bath a dog after being hand stripped due to the increased risk of infection. We use a brushing powder to freshen up the coat, and the majority of dirt has been removed with the stripped coat. If you would still like your dog to be bathed, you can book in a complimentary bath and dry a week after the hand strip appointment.
Can you brush the mats out of my dogs coat?
We love to pamper your dog and send him home looking fabulous and will spend some time removing small mats if it’s required. However, the welfare of your dog is more important to us so if the matting is extensive we may deem it more humane to remove the coat, giving your dog freedom from the pain of matted hair and giving you the chance to start afresh with his coat maintenance (we work in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act 2006). We are more than happy to show you the best methods and tools required for home grooming at the end of your appointment to work together in keeping your dogs looking fab and healthy.
My dog can be aggressive and fidgety. Will you send him home?
It is important that you inform me if your dog has ANY aggressive tendencies even if they’re rare. Dogs cannot tell us when they’re uncomfortable or unhappy so I pay close attention to their body language and behaviour while they’re with me, however if I am already aware of any behavioural issues I will be more alert and prepared. Dogs are generally snappy or aggressive if we’re doing something they don’t like so in this case we can work together to find ways to get around and/or solve the issues, possibly encouraging more frequent but shorter visits to the salon to give your dog the chance to get to know us and the grooming process better. Although, every dog is different so we can have a talk about the best route forward when you arrive to collect. It is a learning curve and some dogs take longer than others to become accustomed. There are rare occasions when I am unable to complete the groom on your dog due to its behaviour. If he is too aggressive or anxious, its not in his (or our) best interest to continue as it wont make things easier and someone could get hurt. If this happens I will phone you and ask you to collect your dog immediately and we can have a chat about the options going forward.
We have a variety of dryers available to use and it can depend on a few factors including your dogs coat type and temperament as to which we use. Generally we use the High Velocity (HV) dryer to blast out dead shedding coat and blast the majority of the water out after a bath, then use the stand dryers to finish drying or fluff drying your dog. We are fortunate enough to have a Drying Cabinet available to use. Our Drying Cabinet is ideal for dogs who are elderly and unable to stand for long periods to be dried or for dogs who simply will not tolerate our other dryers. The Drying Cabinet is a safe and comfortable area for your dog to relax and lie down in while a warm breeze circulates around and through the coat, thoroughly drying it. The cabinet has adjustable temperature and time settings, safety cut-offs and is never left unattended.
Do you crate dogs?
We have a crate in the salon, which is available if we need it. However, we find that the majority of dogs enjoy meeting each other and like to have a little interaction in between appointments. If your dog is not sociable with others, please let us know in your first consultation.
Can I stay with my dog during the grooming appointment?
Some customers feel their dog will be better behaved if they stay with them, but in the majority of cases this can have the opposite effect. Dogs can be nervous at first because they may not be used to staying with me or being without you for long, but they soon get used to the routine of being groomed and will enjoy the calm environment we have at Hairy Dog Grooming Salon. If you stay, your dog will be poised ready to go with you and they won’t be able to relax so it will be best for you to quietly leave after your consultation and return at the given time (please do not arrive any earlier as this will also excite your dog and will make it extremely difficult for me to finish the groom).
Can you make my dog look different…
There are some owners who want their dog to have a unique or individual look and break away from the standard grooming styles. Creative grooming is becoming more popular and here at Hairy Dog Grooming Salon we embrace the creativity! I am always keen to hear your ideas about a creative alternative to your dogs style and as long as it is suitable for your dog and possible to do, we are more than happy to oblige. The internet is a fantastic place to find inspiration so we encourage you to bring along pictures of styles you would like to try, just please bear in mind we cannot make a Pug into a Poodle, there are limits to our talents! Although, I would be more than happy to add a temporary dog ‘tattoo’ where a symbol such as a heart or paw print is carefully clipped into your dogs coat, or add some colour with pet-safe hair dye or nail varnish. These ideas are unusual for some and will certainly draw attention to your pooch so make sure he is not shy of lots of attention! All creative grooming done at Hairy Dog Grooming Salon is completely safe and done with the dogs welfare in mind. I only use professional products designed for animals.
Do you sell grooming products and dog accessories?
Hairy Dog Boutique is within our salon and has an exciting selection of accessories at fabulous prices for your four legged friends, and many grooming tools to suit different breeds and their requirements, so please pop in to have a look! You do not need to be a Grooming customer to do so – everyone is welcome!
I have two dogs that need grooming, can I have a discount / What offers do you have?
We understand a lot of people choose to have more than one furry friend and we welcome them for grooming at Hairy Dog Grooming Salon either together or separately, depending on what works best for you. We do not give discounts for multiple dogs as we still have the same amount of work to do, regardless of how many dogs you own!! We do however regularly give fab discounts and offers at Hairy Dog Grooming Salon including 10% off for your first Full Works (look out for our business cards with the offer on) and 10% off if you recommend a friend who then books and attends an appointment with us. If you provide your email address when you complete the Customer Information form, you will also get special offers and amazing discounts throughout the year.
Keep an eye on our Facebook page for more discounts and fun competitions too!
Should I treat my dog for fleas before I come to you?
If your dog is due a flea treatment it is essential that you do it a minimum of 48 hours BEFORE your dog comes to the salon so that the product can work effectively. I would also recommend you wait 48 hours AFTER your dog has been bathed at the groomers so that the pores are closed and there is less risk of the treatment irritating your dogs skin.
Will you express my dogs anal glands?
Recently I’ve been asked regularly if I offer anal gland expression as part of my grooming service. This is NOT something I offer for two reasons:
- Unless a dog is showing symptoms of infection or impaction of the glands they do not need to be manually expressed. Emptying of the glands is something which a dog does naturally when it goes to the toilet.
- Section 19 of the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 (Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons) clearly states that groomers should not express anal glands.
I will check the glands during the quick health check that’s done at the beginning of each groom, however, my advice to any customer who is concerned that their dog may be experiencing problems with its anal glands is to seek the advice of a vet for professional diagnosis/treatment.
Do you do home visits?
Currently our insurance does not cover home visits. Our salon has everything we require for all breeds of dog and we find your dog settles more in our environment without their owners around as they become used to the routine and enjoy the time and attention with us.
Can you pick up/drop off my dog?
We are fully insured for a collection service for customers within Dartmouth. Outside of these areas can be arranged but will incur a surcharge of £2 per mile each way(Ferry crossings extra) and can only be done at the Groomers discretion if time allows. Please specify your collection/drop off address when inquiring as times will need to be built in to our diary appointments.