Top tips from Suzanne O'Sullivan LCGI on customer communication when dealing with matted dogs
No owner likes to be shocked, put yourself in their shoes for a minute. Not particularly doggy-minded, the kids take preference.... they read in a magazine once that kids should have a dog so off they went shopping on the internet and now that cute puppy stinks, so you're hired to clean it up. Without any consultation between groomer and owner, or just a quick " this will need to be a short haircut today" - who can blame the owner and kids for being shocked and appalled? As groomers we see this every day but these are your average ignorant people, and it is wise , professional and fair to sit them down and chat about what's going to happen here.
It's all about communication with your clients. If you've had to clip a 10 month old Yorkie who was matted solid, his first experience of grooming hasn't been the nicest, so he may go home to his whole family gasping and pointing at him.... suddenly everyone is completely different towards him . So he goes under chairs and hides away and appears "traumatised" by that bad groomer. Turn it around, warn the owner this might happen so tell them that it is important to treat him as normal, so the psychological effects are not blamed on you.
I ALWAYS keep the matted coat , and I show the owner before they see their dog. I demonstrate how difficult it is to pull apart, so impossible while still attached to the dog. In cases where the owner is very shocked, I will generally keep the coat for the days following the groom. I have had situations where the husband has called to have a row after the wife has brought the dog home and proceeded to bad mouth me all over the locality. It's always useful to have that coat in your possession, though they rarely follow through on their threats in my experience.
Suzanne O'Sullivan LCGI
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