Article by Linda Healy
Every new groomers asks this question to themselves with each dog, until at some point they gain the confidence to know what “good” or “great” grooming is. The lack of confidence from not knowing, may be one of the hardest pieces to overcome, when learning to groom. How do you teach a student, or anyone for that matter, to recognize good grooming? For the new groomer, experience will build confidence, with the support of another “good” grooming mentor or instructor, telling and showing them good from not good enough grooming. Those groomers who are self-taught, may never have the joy of knowing in their heart, that their grooming is “good enough”, no matter how good they are. If you are a groomer lacking confidence in your work, consider these 10 standards that are a product of every well-groomed dog.
1. The finished dog looks and smells clean
2. The ears and eyes are clean inside and out.
3. Nails are cut appropriately
4. The finished dog is mat free
5. The finished dog is balanced and symmetrical from every angle.
6. The finished dog has no cuts, nicks, or irritations on the skin
7. A final comb out finds no straggly hairs under the ears, tail, pads, or between the toes.
8. The finished dog is happy and comfortable
9. The finished style was completed with the blessing of customer approval
10. You see joy in the customers face when you bring out the finished pet.
In the case of exception, due to the temperament or condition of the dog, number 9 should never be compromised. No matter how easy or hard the grooming is, having the customers blessing on how the groom was completed, will set the bar for what is “Good” or “Good enough” for them. Always doing the best you can in the interest of a safe, happy, finished dog, is a good standard for new groomers to go by. Asking your instructor, or a grooming mentor who is honest with you, to review your finished dogs, will help you to gain the visuals and confidence to soon be your own best judge.