You know your dog needs to be bathed and groomed regularly, no matter the breed, size, or coat of the dog. Regardless of his behavior — if he barks, howls, or yaps — your dog will need a regular shave and a haircut. Of course, the more active the dog, the more likely he will get into some muck and yuck and will need to be groomed more frequently.
Our dogs are on an every-three-week grooming schedule and don’t seem to mind it too much. However, I’ve had some dogs really throw a fit when I get them ready to go to the pet salon.
I think our groomer, Michele, is the best in the business. She’s been grooming our Schnauzers for the past six years. They always come home with the perfect Schnauzer skirt around their torso and legs and a shorter cut on their backs and heads. Their beards and mustaches are always trimmed perfectly, providing a perfect accent to their beautiful eyes and face.
This past weekend was the three-week mark for us to take our dogs to the groomer. Kramer, who we recently adopted, came to us with a short summer cut that just needed to be slightly trimmed. His liver-and-tan fur went from a darker brown and tan before his bath to a lighter, shinier brown and tan afterwards. The complete grooming made his light brown eyes shine. We were told he was the perfect gentleman during the whole process.
For our little white Schnauzer, Dusty, the grooming was overdue. It rained in Georgia every day for the past three weeks, which is uncharacteristic of this area. The ground is always soggy, and the moist red clay seemed to be everywhere, giving Dusty’s feet and mustache a reddish hue. We attempted to wipe her down after each visit outside or after her daily run in the park. We even washed her face and feet a few times. However, this proved futile and only a professional could get it done the right way.
Dusty likes to throw a little fit when entering the pet salon. I think it’s more from her excitement and her way of announcing herself than any worry she has about grooming.
For our Schnauzer boys, Buzz and Woody, the visit was more of an ordeal. They refused to walk into the groomer on leash and threw a fit if we tried to carry them in. Instead, we kept them safely in their crates and wheeled them inside on a pull cart designed for show dogs’ crates. This also provided a safe, familiar, and comfortable spot in which to wait until it was their turn. They preferred this much better than being temporarily housed with the other dogs in the main grooming area.
The real challenge was getting them from the back of the SUV onto the crate. As soon as I opened the back door the excitement began. They barked and let out squeals that rang throughout the parking lot. The shrill noises that came from our dogs were so loud that it could frighten those who didn’t know them. The employees simply smile and say, “Here come the Link boys!” On one occasion, someone rushed to our car to see if the dogs were okay. They thought we had accidentally closed a door on their paws or something. Yes, the noise was so loud you would have thought we were killing them.
When we had Pomeranians, I did all the grooming of our dogs at home. Money was tight for newlyweds, and the bathing was not too difficult since the dogs could fit in the kitchen sink. I remember our little five-pound girl, Baby, seemed to have three pounds’ worth of thick coat to wash. It usually took several rinses to get all of the soap and conditioner out.
The trimming was a totally different story. Whether I used scissors or shears, their fur would always come out uneven. Our Poms never really had much issue with the home-style grooming. They actually pranced around the house afterwards, being very proud of how clean and good-smelling they were.
I believe it’s a very good practice to keep our dogs bathed and groomed regularly. You can do it yourself, especially if you have the skills. But I know my limitations. I have a few skills, but grooming isn’t one of them.
Does your dog like to be groomed? Do you groom your dog or leave it to the professionals? Share your stories and pictures in the comments below!
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