How to better communicate with your groomer

Like bows and bandannas? Let us know so we can make sure your pup goes home with them!
Like bows and bandannas? Let us know so we can make sure your pup goes home with them!

I love seeing all the adorable haircuts our groomers give dogs all day. I so admire the skill, patience and care that our talented groomers put into every grooming client. We work so hard to give dogs the hairdo their owners like for them! Communicating what sort of look that you want for your dog can be tricky so this blog is all about how to ask for what you want and so you and your groomer can better understand each other and get the haircut for your dog that you desire!

One of the first questions we ask most clients is how much length we are taking off your dog’s coat. A puppy cut is a great basic cut for many breeds but it just indicates that the hair all over the dog (legs and body) will be the same length: no fancy patterns. Whether you want about half off, an inch of length or trimmed close to the skin be specific.

We often hear “don’t make him look like a poodle”. While we understand you probably don’t want a big top knot and pom poms on you pup’s feet, there are many different cuts that poodles get and many different ways they can look after grooming. While we might be able to get an idea of what you don’t want it’s more helpful to know what you DO want your dog’s cut to look like.

Bringing in a photo is a great way to show us the style you are looking for but it is not perfect. If your dog is an adult and you bring in a puppy photo we won’t be able to make them look the same as when they were young (as much as we wish we could!). Dog’s coat texture changes as they grow up and there is just no way to get that fluffy puppy hair back on an adult dog.

Speaking of coats: the hair type and texture can affect how a haircut looks. What may look great on one dog might look a little different on another dog because of these differences. Even purebred dogs of the same breed can have a lot of variation in coat type. Our groomers can help advise you if the cut you want is possible with your dog’s coat.

Variations in coat texture are especially noticeable in designer and mixed breed dogs. While we love teddy bears, doodles and all American mixed breeds there are not breed standard cuts for any mixed or designer bred dogs. This means we don’t have a starting point to reference when we talk about the look you’d like for your pup so we might ask a few more questions to get an idea of what you would like. Our groomers groom many many mixed breed dogs and love them!

Most importantly if there is anything you’d like different about your dog’s haircut let us know right away. The best time to fix or adjust a haircut is within 48 hours of when your dog was in for grooming because they will still be clean and brushed out well. While we strive to make each cut what our clients want sometimes a dog’s coat condition prevents us from leaving the coat as long or setting the pattern that you might want. Ask your groomer if spending more time brushing at home or more frequent visits might help get the look you desire.

Kayd Roy

Minneapolis, MN

Freelance Graphic Designer in Minneapolis

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