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Certifi - What?

It might be shocking realization for many to hear that grooming is not a regulated industry. There is no union to provide a governing body and not all groomers are diploma certified. Not everyone has what it takes to be a groomer and it often takes a hands on approach to find out. Many of my clients have been with me right from when I was a start out groomer of whom I am very thankful for. These clients have seen me progress through my career and have watched me excel in what I do. My own personal experiences have helped to shape into the groomer I am today. Grooming is a career choice that has the power to defy your mental, physical and emotional capacity in many ways.

I can openly admit that long before I became a groomer I was that oblivious dog owner who owned a golden retriever that would, like clockwork, develop gross hotspots. He loved to swim, was older, and a little bit rounder in the midsection. Every summer his skin would react to the water and heat and not being dry 24/7 and I would shave him around June. Now, being educated as a groomer I know better

golden retriever on beach
Sonny shaved

but back then I thought I was doing what was best for my happy go lucky, please everyone, golden retriever. Unlike Courtenay, the town I grew up in had maybe two groomers. I didn't know what to ask or what to look for in a groomer. I just knew my dog had skin issues and I thought this was the best option for his comfort. I was also the client that kept coming to check on him even though he wasn't finished. And the best part was that Sonny loved her. I had no idea what training she had or what standards of cleaning she kept but Sonny loved her. Sonny and his skin conditions were a large part of why I ventured into dog grooming.

My grooming salon in downtown Courtenay has a total of five certifications hanging on our wall. Cleanliness, safety, calming, energy work and my grooming diploma all relate to my personal standards of grooming and my education level for my trade. When I took Sonny to his groomer for a shave I had no knowledge to look for certifications and I know not everyone notices the certificates on my salon wall and that's ok. The certificates are an accolade for me and knowing they are there helps me to sub consciously accentuate my abilities as an educated groomer. Not every uncertified groomer is an awful groomer by the way. I have a very good friend who is an amazingly talented groomer. She is not certified and her work is stunning and her reputation is equally as outstanding as her work.

Reputations can be extremely futile when it comes to groomers. The outcome of a groom can sometimes be based on the lack of care on an owner's part at home which leaves us groomers with few options for a haircut. It is a groomer's job to help owners maintain a dog's coat outside of their home. When a doodle comes in what we like to call 'pelted' like a sheep, there is nothing more we can do but sheer it. It hurts to brush

it out, similar to having a rat's nest in your own hair and having someone else brush it out. Sheep do not have their coat's brushed, they are sheered and the same goes for an unmaintained curly coated doodle coat. This can often lead to the untimely review of "they shaved my dog". Trust me when I say, as groomers, we would rather not shave. We like the fluffy teddy bear look but not if it means putting a dog in pain.



With the rainy season upon us and doodle's dogs abounding here's a tip to prevent matting. DO NOT TOWEL DRY! Friction is largely the cause of matting in curly coats especially. When their coats are wet those little ringlet want to retract even more. A towel dry causes friction hence tighter matting. Squeeze dry, don't rub and follow with a slicker brush.

Grooming isn't for everyone and as easy as it may seem to trim your dog's face or feet at home we as groomers really wish you wouldn't. It's so much easier for us to get that cute round teddy bear face if there is more hair to work with than less and your pup may really dislike us coming at their face with grooming shears after the kitchen meat shears were just closing in on their eyeballs. I'm overexaggerating I know.

Stay tuned for more blog posts. Let us know if you would like to read about anything in particular the comments.

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