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Skylar's Awful Groomer Experience

September 30th, 2008, 06:07 PM
Skylar has needed her nails trimmed for a long time, they were pretty good until about a month ago. We bought a nail trimmer and some styptic powder, but try as we might she wouldn't let us anywhere near her precious tootsies.

We had an appointment for today at 5pm to have her nails trimmed (first time since we've had her-I know we should have done it sooner). She's up on the table and the guy grabs her paw, well of course she resists, strongly! He can't control her alone so his wife/partner helps hold her, to no avail. Her tail was wagging and in between yelps she's trying to lick them, such a sweet girl. Then the ******* smacks her nose!! I wasn't sure that's what he did cause his back was to me. Then he gets a muzzle and puts it on her. The entire time the duo was yelling at her to behave, sit, be quiet etc...

He managed to get two nails cut after Nathan helped them control her a bit, then they gave up, poor girl was so stressed. I just wanted to get out of there I couldn't stand to watch her struggle and cry. But the dude wanted to show us how we could do it ourselves and was grabbing at her paw to show us where the quick is and Skylar pulled away, he grabbed again and she licked him square on the mouth, then the a$$#o!e smacked her on the nose again (this is when I was sure he must have done it to her before), so I said 'I think we've got it, we'll figure it out", and we left. I was pretty upset and I should have freaked out on him for hitting my dog, needless to say they won't be getting our business for any other dog grooming.

So now we have to figure out how to get her nails cut. She hates having her paws touched and we try to desensitize her but it's not really working. She really needs her nails done badly.

Melinda, how did you get her to be still when she had her nails done at her doggy spa day? Restraining her stresses me out, and hearing her mournful cries makes me sad.

September 30th, 2008, 06:13 PM
Can you take her to your vet? My vet's assistants do all kinds of dogs and cats at their office. :shrug:

September 30th, 2008, 06:33 PM
Yeah, I should do that, then if she is uncontrollable they can sedate her a bit.

I certainly don't think I could watch her go through that again with a groomer.

September 30th, 2008, 07:18 PM
I gotta tell ya, Now im not joking, if somebody even so much as tapped my dog on the nose, they oud have gotten a "nice little tapp " on their noses! :frustrated: Im not joking i would feel so bad for my dog that i would Seriously hit them as hard as i could right square in the nose... Im not a violent person, but when it comes to my dog (or anydog for taht matter) You are NOT getting away with it! Im almost in tears right now thinking about if somebody had did it to keely :(:yell::o

September 30th, 2008, 07:31 PM
aww Stacer what an alful experience for both of you guys:sad: I dont blame you for being upset either.

Poor Skylar:grouphug:

September 30th, 2008, 07:32 PM
After we were out by the car I knelt down and apologized to Skylar and was all teared up. She was still pretty worked up, so we just sat there for a minute until we both felt a little better.

I should have said something while we were still there, but I'm pretty non confrontational when I'm taken aback like that, I was just so stunned that he would smack a dog with the owners standing right there. I was pretty abrupt when we left, so I think he at least got some vibes off of me.

On our way home Nathan and I agreed that there was something weird/off about those two. I don't like to stereotype, but they were crazy dog people and not in a good way.

September 30th, 2008, 07:35 PM
I like to think I would have reacted and ripped him apart if that happened to my dog but really you wouldn't expect that from someone who is suppose to be a professional. Hitting animals is barbaric and wrong,Not to mention a good way to get bit. What a :censored: by whacking her on the nose he can make her more fearful of getting her nails done. Nice of him to make it more of a negative experience :wall: . Poor skylar and poor you!

Vet is a good idea, some dogs just can't handle their paws being touched and I'm not sure if it's something that they could ever get use to or be trained out of :shrug: .

:grouphug: to you and your girl :goodvibes:

September 30th, 2008, 07:48 PM
omg I would have freaked out ! Really , they would have gotten a piece of my mind !!! :mad:

I could never do Nelly's. So I bring her to my vet (suppose to go tomorrow) and last time , I left the room and it was easier for them. They took their time and I could tell they were very careful because Nelly was extremely calm on her way out (I can tell because there was commotion in the waiting room and she waited patiently :angel: for me to pay)

so yes , try with your vet :thumbs up

September 30th, 2008, 07:52 PM
That couple would be receiving a very public complaint from me...not only for hitting your dog, however hard, but because if they're going to provide a grooming service they should know something about dogs. My rescue mutt needs slow gentle movements and low voices or he's wrangy, grabbing at him and speaking sharply is not going to get them anywhere...except maybe jumped on and head-butted. Are they crazy?

September 30th, 2008, 07:55 PM
At the very least, I hope you didn't pay the b:censored:s!

Our Grace was pretty bad when she first came, too. The first thing I did was teach her the command 'paw'. Just another command for 'shake' or 'give me your paw.' She and I practice every day.

Once she got the hang of 'paw', I started hanging onto it a little longer. She likes a light foot massage, which made my job easier.

I took every opportunity to get her used to having her feet handled. For instance, if she was sleeping, I'd walk over and lightly hold her feet, whispering 'paw' every time I grabbed a new foot.

Finally, during the grooming sessions, I'd have her stand, tell her 'paw' and lift one of hers (I trim nails as if I was shoeing a horse--the dogs stand).

Then we started with the clippers. I tell her 'paw', take the first one, nip the tip of a nail, treat her, put the foot down. I repeated that with each nail. Eventually she got used to having that first foot done. Then I'd move to the next. When she told me she had had enough, we quit for a couple of days.

We've now gotten to the point where she lets me do each of the first 3 paws individually for one treat a paw, and at least 2 nails on the 4th paw... :thumbs up

It was slow, but it's working. Just keep the treats small or you'll end up with MegaSkylar! :laughing:

September 30th, 2008, 09:36 PM
If he has the balls to hit a dog with the owner there, can you imagine what they do when the owners are not??? It makes me shudder to think....

Some of these idiot groomers think that showing the dog whose the boss is the way to get control of the dog to groom them. It only makes a nervous dog panic more and make the grooming session very scary for them.

It's true that dogs are much calmer when the owners are not present and I usually ask them to move out of the dogs sight when I'm cutting their nails. When a dog struggles, the worse thing you can do is get mad at them and scold them. It's a very sensitive area, so you have to make it as pleasant as possible, and what works best is an assisant to hold the dog in a comfortable, hugging way all the while whispering positive things in their ear like - wheres mommy? Do you want to go for a walk? Do you want a cookie?
And of course, you have to have lots of those close by to distract them. Sounds silly, but it works!!

September 30th, 2008, 09:46 PM
hazel those are really great points:thumbs up, I was so annoyed thinking about that groomer I never thought of that. When I see a dog do paw it's super cute :lovestruck:

Good luck stacer:goodvibes:!

September 30th, 2008, 09:54 PM
I would be doing everything in my power to make sure as many people know as possible about these "professionals". How dare they hit your dog! Even yelling at her was bad enough. They obviously have never had any training. :frustrated:

Word of mouth is a wonderful thing. It works to spread the news in a good way. It works twice as fast to spread bad news. Get yapping!! :rolleyes:

October 1st, 2008, 12:08 AM
Have you tried a dremel? Petey is the same way about his nails. Every time was a HUGE all-out BATTLE. I was scared of trying a dremel for some reason, but finally got one last Jan, and WOW, what a difference. I can actually do his nails now without too much fuss, and I can actually do them myself and by myself! Something that couldn't be done and still can't be done with clippers.

October 1st, 2008, 05:46 AM
I would have smacked him right back on the nose!!! Stacer, Skylar was on the vet table when she had her nails done, I held her collar, a tech held her tail cause it kept smacking the vet *L* and the vet just took each paw and cut the nails, she wasn't impressed and kept licking him, but he'd just laugh and talked steady to her about what a pretty girl she was.....he had just finished examining her so was 99.9% sure she would never bite, he just went forward "matter of factly" and cut away, didn't give her a chance to complain or pull away. I've ordered the dremel for Brinas nails, I'll let you know how that goes because she also hates getting hers done.

October 1st, 2008, 06:07 AM
Oh poor Skylar :grouphug::grouphug: I take Puddles to the vet to have her nails done as she has extremely long fur between her toes so we have difficulty seeing her claws and she is much quieter for him.

October 1st, 2008, 06:30 AM
As Molly will absolutely NOT allow me to trim her nails, when I take her to obedience school, the owner dremels her nails for $15, and never a problem.

I do Bear's myself as he's quite mellow.

ANY one who even so much as tapped my dogs on the nose would be rightly screamed at, and I would refuse to pay for the service.

I would file a complaint with the BBB in your region. These people are in a position of trust, and do not deserve to have any business.

October 1st, 2008, 07:19 AM
If I were you, I'd put the business name in Google and find a review site and leave a nasty review. I don't know about anyone else, but I always use google to review things before I buy them or go to a new place like a restaurant or pet store or anything. So maybe they are on ZooToo or something where you can leave a review and other people will see how nasty that groomer was to your poor pup.

October 1st, 2008, 03:36 PM
She will give her paw without hesitation if asked, but only for a short period and if you put any pressure on her paw not allowing her to pull away, she flails a bit and rolls over onto her back. so we've been asking for her paw and rubbing it then giving her treats, or when sitting on the couch relaxing we try to give her "paw massages", she doesn't mind the back paws being touched.

We didn't pay, he only cut 2 nails, hardly worth $$ even if he didn't smack her.

There is a website, I'm going to go leave a review. I wonder if we should call around to other groomers and ask what their methods are for trimming nails of unruly dogs.

I thought the exact same thing Boubou, what do they do to stressed/"misbehaving" dogs whose owners aren't there?

They seemed to be an experienced couple, they were probably in their 50s.

I just found this on their website:

Patient Grooming for Anxious Pets - No Sedation Used.

Yeah right!

October 1st, 2008, 04:02 PM
OK, so I just sent this message to them via their comment/question section on their website.

My husband and I were in yesterday to have our dog Skylar's nails clipped and I'd just like to express my dissatisfaction with the methods used to "calm" my stressed dog. I don't feel that using harsh tones or shouting at a stressed dog will illicit cooperation or cause them to be more complacent. Nor will smacking them on the nose (twice in Skylar's case by the male groomer). I should have expressed my anger yesterday when she was smacked but was stunned and mystified as to why a groomer would feel it necessary to hit a dog while the owner is standing right there, or at all for that matter. I can only imagine what is done to uncooperative dogs when the owner is not present. I really think you should look into more positive reinforcement methods, give doggy treats generously and try using a little kindness when dealing with scared dogs. Needless to say we will not be using your services in the future for any of our grooming needs.

I also left a review on their page.

October 1st, 2008, 04:14 PM
great reply Stacer!!!! direct and to the point!!!! I'm so sorry you and Skylar had to go through that!!

Ford Girl
October 1st, 2008, 04:31 PM
I agree with Frenchy - sometimes it helps to not be in the room, dogs act differently when their owners are not there, ask your vet to do and you can wait outside, worth a try.

Poor pooch, poor you. I'd be P*SSED!

October 1st, 2008, 05:54 PM
Wow. I'm thinking I'd be in jail and that jerk would be in the hospital. I'm sorry that Skylar, and you, had to experience that. I liked your review though. You ought to also write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper about the incompetence of these people.

But I worry about the same thing happening, so I never leave Hazel alone at the groomer's. We don't have much choice for groomers in my area, and the very first time I took Hazel in I stayed with her because I thought she'd be nervous. While I was sitting there, I watched an employee repeatedly thump this little maltese (I think it was a maltese) on the nose and jerk it forward. She was trying to shave the muzzle and the dog kept backing up. I thought the same thing - if this person is so comfortable thumping that dog with me sitting right here, imagine what goes on when no one but employees is in there. The woman that grooms Hazel was recommended to me by a friend, and I make sure that her appts are always with that one groomer (who loves Hazel by the way) and I am the one that helps her get Hazel in and out of the tub, and onto/off of the drying table and the grooming table. I guess they don't normally let people help them like that, but I use the excuse that I have to make sure they don't jar her leg around too much (the one that has the plate in it). I have told everyone I know that uses the groomer to never just leave their dogs with those people, and I notice that there seems to be alot more owners hanging around than there used to be.

Hazel hates the groomer bad enough, I can't imagine how hard it would be to drag her in there the next time if they had been mean to her.

October 1st, 2008, 07:01 PM
Good reply to those jerks Stacer :thumbs up.

October 1st, 2008, 07:55 PM
Oh I can soooooooooo relate to what happened to you here.

About three years ago, I moved my dog back in with me after she had lived with her co-owner (my sister with whom i'd shared an apt) for a couple of years. She had only within days had her first flight, weathered it fine, and adjusted very well to her new digs.

She badly needed to be groomed when I got her moved, so i promptly made an appt at a fairly well known local groomer the day after her arrival. Now my dog, who had a car accident that made her a bit touchy about her rear end had only one previous issue with a groomer when that groomer had been rough with her around said back end, too soon after the accident. Otherwise, this is a dog that is just overjoyed to see new people, including the groomers. She's more likely to lick your face off rather than bite, unless cornered or hurt.

As per usual, i dropped her off at the groomer and left them alone to do their work, as she becomes extra hard to manage if i'm there watching. I gave the groomer a full breifing on my pup's sensitive areas etc. Had no issues with this previously and this was a trusted groomer right? Ah no....

Within about twenty minutes of drop off, I got an angry phone call on my cell to pick up my dog who was (stress the point), "VERY aggressive" and unmanageable? When I got there to pick her up, my dog was so eager to get out of there it was unreal. I then got the full run down on how my 16 pound dog was uncontrollable and aggressive. MY only thinking was that perhaps I had overloaded her by taking her for a groom so close after a flight. Needless to say, I felt extremely guilty over all this as I took her home, distraught that I would never get her nails clipped or her fur under control (she's a bugger to let me do this stuff at home) Besides which, this "professional" groomer had somehow managed to shave her back, and that alone (she's part lhasa apso and looked like she'd been run over by a lawnmower)

So on the advice of my sister, I decided to call one other groomer who suggested I bring my dog by for a meet. MY dog at this point was still highly stressed and nervous. All we did was have a meet. I explained somewhat what had happened, but of course didn't name any names not wanting to needlessly slander anyone. I got a "let me guess" from this new groomer, who named that aformentioned one and said she had gotten numerous clients from them, mostly small dogs, one of which had been hit with the clippers by this particular groomer when they wouldn't sit still. Well that just broke my heart, because I certainly had a feeling that mine probably got a good clip with something, she just seemed so fearful, and is not normally afraid of anyone. This "professional" groomer evidently expects a very well trained, purebred dog sort of thing.

Needless to say, this new groomer, and groomers after her, had NO problems with my dog. I even sneakily watched one from out in the lot while she did her thing, and I had NO issues with anyone after. And with me out of the room, my dog was as good as gold, and hardly moved.

Some people just aren't meant to be dog groomers or work with animals at all,..i wonder why some of them do, when they so clearly do not like animals.

October 1st, 2008, 08:36 PM
That's a great reply Stacer ! :thumbs up

I went with Nelly tonight and told my vet I didn't want to be in the room (last time it was 2 vet techs) so I left but was listening on the other side of the door , I trust my vet and his staff 100% , just wanted to make sure Nelly would behave. And she did. Next week it's Chloe's turn :eek:

Boubou , are you guys thinking of opening a grooming salon in my area ? :pray:

October 1st, 2008, 10:16 PM
Great response! That should get them where it hurts!