I have a number of dogs that are just petrified coming to the groomers. They see me and the fear kicks in! They shake and try to get away from me! I went to one client’s house to finish a groom as the dog was getting anxious. I remember walking past the house and the dog was looking out the window. He saw me and the look on his face! If the dog could speak I’m sure he’d say “shit, how did she find me”!
At one stage it would upset me that the dogs behaved like this. What was I doing that they didn’t like me? They hadn’t had a bad experience here? They always get treated well?
Now I don’t get so upset. I have a better understanding what is happening to them. My girl Belle hates going in the groom lodge – only when she knows that its groom time right enough! See dogs don’t like being groomed! Its a necessary evil. They may like being pampered on the sofa at night in front of the TV but start putting them in the bath and rubbing shampoo on them, nope, they ain’t happy.
Dogs don’t like smelling of Vanilla and Raspberry! They like to smell of dog! They don’t care if their paws are hairy, or if they can’t see that well. They are dogs and like to smell and act like dogs. Dogs love nothing more than to run in muddy puddles – the look of content on their faces when they do this! Dogs scent is super sensitive – ever wonder why your dog licks your leg when you’ve just put moisturiser on? They need to smell “you”, coconut moisturiser disguises your scent.
I have a number of anxious dogs who come to see me. As I work from home, with a private garden, they are coming to quite different surroundings, compared to a commercial groomer. When I collect the dogs at the front door, they always seem quite happy to see me but they know what’s coming. Some dogs just don’t like it at all, despite our best efforts of getting them to a groomer as soon as they are able to. And thats ok – I don’t like doing certain things!
I no longer get upset when a dog reacts as if they hate me! In my own wee head, I’m quite convinced of this! Its the grooming they don’t like. I can take my time and be patient with them – I allow myself lots of time to groom dogs. Being based centrally in Grangemouth, means I have dogs from other areas travel to me because of what I offer – freedom for the dogs to move, patience to groom and an understanding of how to work with anxious dogs. I will even groom a dog in the garden if that’s what gets them through the experience.
So next time your dog looks petrified to be here, please don’t think its me! I promise you that I care for your dog as if its my own.