7 Qualities of High Quality Pet Stylists

blog photoI’ve been working within the pet grooming industry for a very long time. Frightfully, probably long before many of you were even born. I feel very fortunate to be surrounded by top end pet stylists, especially in the past 5 years being on the film set of Learn2GroomDogs.com. All of our 40+ Training Partners are at the top of their game. They are simply some of the best professional pet stylists in the world.

As I work beside these talented stylists, I’ve seen a few very common threads. Outstanding pet stylists are tenacious. They push themselves constantly by developing a deeper understanding of the grooming process:

  • any type of dog (or cat)
  • with any coat type
  • of any size
  • using any technique

Then add in:

  • many times the pets are in poor condition
  • the pets often have a less than perfect temperament and the stylists still get the job done well

These exceptional pet stylists don’t entertain frustration. They have the ability to see through the dirty, messy mound of fur. They see the potential of what could be. With their ever growing set of skills, they see beauty Blog quoteof what the finished product could be – not what is on the grooming table before the process begins (for more on this topic, read my blog, Begin with the End in Mind). They feel the creative challenge calling their name. The only question left in their minds is not IF they can do it – but HOW they will accomplish the task in a safe and comfortable manner for the pet.

Here are seven qualities I’ve seen in almost all high-quality pet stylists:

  • Appreciation of Knowledge

High-quality pet stylists know, the more you learn – the more you want to learn and the more you will earn. Building a strong foundation of knowledge insures that you will always do the best work possible. As your knowledge base improves, you will immediately be able to apply that knowledge to every pet you groom. Even if it’s a #7 shave off, a knowledgeable pet stylist will always try to improve the dog’s appeal. They draw upon a vast array of learning experiences to complete a task – and most of it is not learned in school!

  • Value High Quality Products & Tools

High-quality pet stylists know their products and tools will make or break them. If the shampoo does not leave the coat squeaky clean, you will never get a quality finish on the coat. Coats need to be dried with the correct type of dryer using the correct method for optimum coat preparation. It’s impossible to produce a velvet finish with dull blades or shears. It does not matter what product or tool we are discussing. High-quality pet stylists know they need to invest in the best. Period.

  • Firmly Understand Time is Money

High-quality pet stylists know time is money. There are always options for the pet based on the condition of the coat, the pet’s temperament, the amount of time you have on your schedule, and the amount of money the client is willing to spend. High-quality pet stylists instantly know how to weigh out the variables and select the best option.

  • Self Confidence

High-quality pet stylists are confident in their abilities. Yet, at the same token they are humble. Even though they’re highly confident they know there is still room for personal growth. They freely share their knowledge with others while they continue to build their skills to an even higher level.

  • Understand Canine and/or Feline Psychology

High-quality pet stylists are keen observers. They understand canine and feline body language. Animals are pretty transparent when it comes to their behavior. There are always clues to an animal’s behavior, even if it is subtle. A high-quality pet stylist will always try to gain the trust and understanding of the pet they are working on.

  • Compassion for the Pet

High-quality pet stylists are compassionate to the needs of the pet. They understand each pet is an individual. They all have different tolerances to standard grooming and practices. High-quality pet stylists will always live by the Golden Rule – maintaining a calm, cool, and collected composure at all times.

  • Always Push to Improve

High-quality pet stylists always push themselves to improve. Once they have mastered one technique, one skill, one breed, they always know there’s more to learn just around the corner. Learning and improving is a never ending journey.

Outstanding pet stylists are humble, talented, practical, and passionate – sincere with exceptional character. They go after the goal of being the best they can be and they don’t give up. For them, there is always room for improvement. They raise the bar for themselves and set new and better standards for our industry.

What skills would you like to hone to become the best you can possibly be?

Happy Trimming!


Author of “Notes From the Grooming Table”

StarMark Clicker Dog Training System Review

StarMark Clicker Dog Training System

StarMark Clicker Dog Training System

  • Scientific method of training your pet safely and easily
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  • Includes free step-by-step training guide

Ergonomic training clicker based on scientific principles of operant and classical conditioning.

List Price: $ 6.17

Price: $ 0.94

Instructional video on use of Starmark Pro-Training Clicker.
Video Rating: 4 / 5

Groom your pet with dog clippers

Groom your pet with dog clippers

When selecting suitable dog clippers, the user should consider some aspects. The type of the dog is important for the selection. Some dog breeds have long fur and their clipping has to be done more often than others. Mostly, it will be once in a month. For frequent clipping of such dogs, the 2 speed dog clippers will be the best choice. The texture of dog’s fur is also important to select dog clippers. The one speed dog clippers are enough to cut thin fur. However, high speed and speed changeable dog clippers are required to groom thick furs.

The easy maintainability is yet another important aspect to consider when choosing quality dog clippers. The user should check whether the required blade types and accessories are easily available before purchasing a dog clipper. Whether the blades and the other parts require regular maintenance is another aspect to look into when selecting one. It is important to keep in mind that some dog clipper models are heavier than others and their vibrations may be stressful for many as well.

If dog owners decide to groom their dogs, the first thing they have to do is to brush and de-mat the dogs fur. Cutting matted fur without taking proper steps may damage the dog clippers more often. Dog owners should raise the matted fur with a long-tong metal comb and cut the matted areas underneath. It is easier to cut fur underneath the matted fur with a curved pair of scissors than an average long teeth pair of scissors.  After cutting the fur, the dog has to be brushed with a double bristled brush.

Thereafter, the dog has to be shampooed and should be secured on a grooming table to start clipping. For clipping, a long bladed clipper is good to start with. The blade may be changed to a smaller one when styling the coat. The dog clipper should be kept near the ear of the dog for a while for it to become familiarized with the noise. Usually, the clipping is started from the dog’s neck to tail. A smaller blade or a trimmer has to be used to clip the fur of the face. Special care has to be given when clipping ear fur and fur on the face. After clipping, the dog has to be re-brushed to remove loose clipped fur as well as to check for places where the clipping was missed out. As soon as the clipping is over, the blade of the dog clipper has to be removed and oiled.

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2015 Westminster Dog Show is Right Around the Corner

WKCDogShow2014_599x310v2.599.310.jpgFor many people, watching the Super Bowl is a highlight of their sports viewing. Me? Not so much. I’m honestly not that interested in football. Sorry. However, mention the Westminster Kennel Club dog show and my eyes light up.

Guess what? It’s right around the corner and I can’t wait! The 2015 dog show airs on TV February 16th and 17th. This is always an annual event for me. Although I’ve never been to the show personally, it’s a fabulous learning event for me. I spend the evening glued to my big screen TV like most football enthusiasts do for a playoff game.

As a professional pet groomer, I’m a visual learner – probably just like you. I find one of the best ways to learn about my trade is to see it. The Westminster annual show is a great way to learn about the breeds, especially the new ones!

Every year the American Kennel Club accepts new breeds into the registry. In the past decade, it’s been hard to keep up. Since I wrote Notes From the Grooming Table in 2004, the AKC has added almost 60 new breeds! That’s a lot of new pooches for us pet professionals to recognize.

And are they slowing down? One look at the AKC Foundation Stock Service registry tells you – no. Currently there are almost 30 breeds and development that have not been accepted into the American Kennel Club – yet. Some of the candidates in this group are totally new breeds. Others are ancient breeds relatively unknown outside their local areas around the globe.

At one time I prided myself in being able to identify and instantly recognize most breeds registered by the AKC. Not anymore. Plus, many of the newer breeds have names that are hard to remember let alone pronounce! I have to continue to really pay attention and study the new breeds coming onto the scene.

Luckily for me, and you, many of the new breeds are represented at Westminster. They’re exceptional specimens and very well presented. Generally, the camerawork is excellent as the dog struts around the ring. I can get a great idea of the size of the breed and coat type. By seeing the dog, I get a great awareness of how to groom these new additions to their breed profile. I have to really pay attention though. Many times I record the show so if I want to review a specific breed again, I can.

Take advantage of this great learning tool. The 139th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is taking place at Madison Square Garden in New York City February 16th & 17th. There are 2711 dogs entered in this year’s event. Check your local listings for television viewing on CBS and USA Network for the Group Classes on Monday and Tuesday nights. Best In Show airs on Tuesday evening once the Group Classes have concluded. If you want to watch individual breeds show, check out the breed rings at www.westminsterkennelclub.org or via the Westminster app on your mobile device.

Author of “Notes From the Grooming Table”

220 Pet Waste Bags, Dog Waste Bags, Bulk Poop Bags on a roll, Clean up poop bag refills – (Color: Blue) + FREE Bone Dispenser, by Downtown Pet Supply Review

220 Pet Waste Bags, Dog Waste Bags, Bulk Poop Bags on a roll, Clean up poop bag refills – (Color: Blue) + FREE Bone Dispenser, by Downtown Pet Supply

220 Pet Waste Bags, Dog Waste Bags, Bulk Poop Bags on a roll, Clean up poop bag refills - (Color: Blue) + FREE Bone Dispenser, by Downtown Pet Supply

  • 220 strong quality pet waste bags – leak-proof
  • 11 rolls, 20 bags per roll + free bone dispenser
  • Each bag is marked at perforation for easy separation
  • Color: blue – bags are unscented
  • Large bags, size: 12.5″ X 8.5″

Strong quality pet waste bags. Very easy to open, each bag is marked at perforation for easy separation, no fumbling for where to tear the next bag. Guaranteed to be Leak-proof. Bags are Long and wide for easy pick up. Size: 12 1/2″ L x 8 1/2″ W. Each bag is carefully marked with the Downtown Pet Supply Trademark, the mark of the best bags on the market today.

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New Avenues of Expansion ? Dog Grooming Shears

New Avenues of Expansion ? Dog Grooming Shears

Today’s world has opened avenues of all kinds for everyone. There is so much happening, and every individual is in a place where he or she wants to be more involved, and more in control of everything in their life. With regard to those members who are significant to their life, people are trying to adopt a more hands on approach, as is apparent from many choices.

As far as the world of pets goes, there is a sea change in the attitude. While initially pets were just another possession, slightly different since this one has a life, today, pets are more like members of the family who share similar privileges. With almost the same treatment as children, they are also enjoying benefits with entire legacies and fortunes being left to them.

With regard to their care, everyone is more conscious and more attentive to the needs of their pets. This is why the existence of special ranges of pet care is not just available in the market, but also makes for a very profitable line of business. All the way from shampoos and conditioners, to powders and combs, and to every kind of accessory you may think of, there is something available for each pet.

People are so involved with their pets and their care that several owners, or parents, as they would like to be known, even look to groom their dogs by themselves. This is not just another way of spending quality time and enjoying the experience of bonding, but also an interesting outlet to enable them to see their dog the way they would want them to look.

Dog grooming products have ample scope, and there is a growing demand for them. This is a very good business to be in, since there are more and more people looking to own pets. There is a belief which has been amply reinforced that dogs have a very therapeutic effect on the family, and therefore, there is today a larger section of families that owns pets. With all members including children waiting to pitch in, people are even grooming their dogs themselves. The demand for combs and brushes, and even dog grooming shears is clearly not going anywhere.

Everyone is more quality conscious, and is willing to pay a price for improved quality. Whether for themselves, their children or even pets, they want only the best. Therefore, if you are among those who manufacture dog grooming shears which are of superlative quality, you can never go out of business. There is plenty of scope for expansion and growth, and the need for better standards can ensure repetitive business provided you can stick to quality.

For more information please visit: http://www.theshearsdepot.com/dog-grooming-shears.html

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Protective Winter Pedicure for Dogs, at Archie’s Grooming Salon in Bideford

Bring those four legs in for a nurturing foot care treatment and protect those precious paws against the elements.
Pedicure includes, deep-cleansing fizzy foot bath; hair and mat removal between toes; neat foot trim; nail trim and protective foot-pad wax. 
All for just £12, or only £5 when added to the Pamper or Spa Packages.
Your dog’s feet can suffer from fluctuating temperatures over the autumn and winter months, including rapid drying out and cracking of the pads in a centrally heated home. Compacted mud, sand and even ice between the toes can cause pain and discomfort. Excess hair growth between the pads will collect debris and incubate bacteria which can lead to infections and mobility problems. Our pedicure will prevent and protect against these potential problems.
So why not treat the feet of your four-footed friends and keep them foot-lose and twinkle-toed throughout the winter months!

The post Protective Winter Pedicure for Dogs, at Archie’s Grooming Salon in Bideford appeared first on Dog Grooming Bideford.

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