My short bio: Hey guys, this is my first AMA. I am a male dog groomer in what is a typically female dominated profession. I own the salon I work at. I have about an hour before my next appointment. AMA!

My Proof:

Bonus pic with puppy!

EDIT AGAIN!- I'm trying to reply to everyone, I wasn't expecting this many questions! I'm really enjoying this!

Edit- You all think you're so funny. Yes I groom both males and females. That's why I put a comma to separate the words. Also, people have asked why I stated I am male. The reason it because it is a mostly female dominated profession so I thought it was of some significance.

Comments: 1579 • Responses: 35  • Date: 

HeyitsGray748 karma

I am a male and I used to be a dog groomer as well!

How do you not get the urge to destroy everything and everyone when you find that you are scheduled to groom multiple husky dogs in one day?

For myself, this a task that made me want to die.

GroomerGuy445 karma

I am very careful with my scheduling, I am the only full-time groomer in the salon and I have one other that works a few days a week so there isn't usually an overbooking issue. Now where I use to work it was a big problem.

Also, for some reason I don't see a lot of husky's in this area. People have them but not many bring them in to be groomed unless they are inside dogs.

souryellowfruit186 karma

So I have an Alaskan husky / malamute and I've never taken her to the groomers, I've read that you're not supposed to trim their outer coat. What exactly do you groom on them?

GroomerGuy467 karma

Yes, you really shouldn't do any clipping to their coat. It can damage the coat and they need it to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Usually I just bathe the dog, blow out and brush it's coat to remove excess undercoat. I will usually trim the pads and feet if needed. Clip their nails, clean their ears and send them on their way. :-)

kdan2919371 karma

How do you feel about expressing anal glands?

GroomerGuy533 karma

I don't think too much about it. I've had some where the smell lingers for a minute and has made me gag a bit, but usually it's not to bad. Once it squirted up and hit me in the face. I have never been so disgusted.

LuigiFebrozzi9 karma

Came here to ask this, cmon op

GroomerGuy19 karma

Sorry, my appointment came in. I'm trying to catch up now. I'll post the reply.

KlimRous239 karma

So we currently take our dog, a Shar-Pei mix, to the groomer at a local chain pet store. I would love to take her to an independent grooming salon (we have a few here) but I wouldn't know a good one from a bad one. What are signs it's a good salon and what are red flags that indicate a bad one?

GroomerGuy75 karma

/u/EetsaMeMeowio hit the nail on the head.

ChristopherKaya199 karma

When my fiancee brings in our Pomeranian for a lion cut, do we look like douchebags?

GroomerGuy155 karma

Nope! I love doing lion cuts on Poms!

GHarriott189 karma


GroomerGuy258 karma

This is pretty typical of schnauzers. Are you doing it yourself or are you having a professional do it? I would seek a professional for nail clipping because of the schnauzers thick black nails, you may cut in to the quick. Also, if you are doing it at home you may not be clipping fast enough. A lot of owners will hesitate or do the clip slowly which actually causes more pressure and discomfort for the dog.

GHarriott96 karma


GroomerGuy240 karma

I found that a lot of times dog will do better on the table at a groomer or vet than they will at home. They will also be able to restrain your dog so that he cannot harm himself or others.

lolwtfdesu30 karma

I have a schnauzer/pug who hates getting her nails clipped. I sit down with my legs stretched out and quickly flip her onto her back (I usually do this on a couch or with a pillow underneath so her back is supported) and just clip the nails like that.

I find this way is best because it's easier to see the quick from the underside of her nails and her head has a smaller range of motion so it's harder for her to snap. I recommend clipping a little nail at a time if you can't see the quick, but going as fast as you safely can.

If you do hit the quick, I've heard that if you light a match, put it out, let it cool and then press it on the bleeding it will stop it. I'm not sure how true that is but I saw it somewhere on /r/Rabbits

I'm not a professional, but this is what I do. Hope this helps!

Edit: because words

GroomerGuy54 karma

Agreed, if you are going to do it yourself, only take off small amounts at a time and do it quickly.

I've not heard of the match trick before, but you can pick up some styptic powder at any pet store or a styptic pencil in the shaving aisle. You can also use corn starch to clot blood in a pinch.

jessmom166 karma

How often do you see that phenomenon where people and their dogs start to look alike, like in the opening sequence to 101 Dalmatians?

When I was a teen I lived with (and therefore became the assistant of) a groomer, and I noticed it quite a bit with some people. She specialized in Bichon Fris├ęs. The hair on some of those ladies was amazing.

GroomerGuy202 karma

Lol I was asked this a few weeks ago. It definitely happens. Especially when it comes to severely obese dogs. Often times the owner is also severely obese.

visualdestini146 karma

What do you do if a dog is aggressive or generally dislikes the grooming process? How do you calm them so you can finish the process?

GroomerGuy221 karma

Most dogs do not put up too much of a fight. In the event I do have a dog I need extra help handling, I have a tether attached to my grooming arm the secures to the noose around their neck which restrains them enough that I can complete the task. I also use vocal stimulation, meaning that I talk to the dog to try and comfort them or a serious of clicking noises to temporarily distract their attention so that I can clip a nail or something.

visualdestini79 karma

Thanks! I've always been curious. Do you ever use food or is that frowned upon?

GroomerGuy251 karma

I never give a dog food while it is being groomed. Some dogs may have allergies that I am unaware of. I do have treats available at the front counter for owners to give their pet if they choose to do so.

UnsuspectingPenguin146 karma

Are you currently seeing anyone? Cause, damn, you look cute!

GroomerGuy306 karma

Thanks! Yes, I have a boyfriend.

captainvye88 karma

Have you ever brought fleas home?

GroomerGuy167 karma

No, most of my clothing that I wear is slick so things don't stick to it. I also spray my working area with a flea and tick killer to prevent spreading to other animals throughout the day.

PurpleWomat67 karma

Why are there so many more dog groomers than cat groomers? Are the qualifications radically different? Are cats harder?

GroomerGuy459 karma

As you may know, cats are basically a liquid. This makes them hard to handle. I have occasionally groomed a cat in an emergency, but typically turn people away or try to refer them to someone else. They also require special blades that are a little different than what I use on dogs. Their skin in very thin and lose so without the cat blades there is more of a risk of the cat getting injured.

I have considered getting education in cat grooming so that I can expand my clients since it is a service that is occasionally requested.

Monztur81 karma

We had a rescue cat years ago that was a morbidly obese long haired Persian with fur matted to the skin over her entire body, it was absolutely tragic. We tried to cut a bit of it out ourselves, but it was clearly just causing more damage. This cat was huge, and mean as hell and it took ages to find a groomer who would take her. I am eternally grateful to the woman who finally agreed to shave it all off, she was a completely different cat afterwards. It'd be nice if more groomers took cats, at least in awful situations like this.

riffraff10021451 karma

These types of trim jobs are fairly routine for vets, so you might consider that if it you're ever in a similar situation.

GroomerGuy65 karma

Vets are certainly the best option, but it will be more expensive because they will almost certainly sedate the cat to make it easier. If you have the money, I say go to a vet because sedating will make the groom stress free to the cat.

rare_comments62 karma

Do you like your job? Most pet groomers I know love it.

Thoughts on Scotties?

GroomerGuy106 karma

I love my job. I wanted to be a vet, but couldn't handle some of the aspects of the job after working at a clinic for awhile.

I like Scotties, I wish there were more around my area. I only ever see a few.

thepulloutmethod29 karma

Do you see this as being your lifelong career?

GroomerGuy89 karma

Eventually I made fade out of the actual grooming a bit and only keep certain clients. I would like to build a custom facility eventually that would employ multiple groomers, daycare staff, and training. I would probably take on a primarily management role.

audersaur45 karma

My dog is terrified of the (super quiet) nail grinder we use at home, and I'm terrified of using clippers. How do you deal with dogs who are afraid of getting their nails done?

GroomerGuy66 karma

I would recommend taking them to a qualified groomer or vet. They will be able to restrain the dog enough to get the nails clipped. Also, most dogs seem to do better when they are in the salon and having someone else do it as opposed to being at home and having their owner do it.

Whiskeydrinks43 karma

Have you ever considered grooming female dogs as well?

GroomerGuy126 karma

Did I not use the comma in the title correctly?

Arina22241 karma

My dog once got so scared she pooped on the grooming table. My grandmother was really embarrassed and said we shouldn't take her back there, my grandfather says they deal with that kind of thing all the time. Who's right?

GroomerGuy106 karma

It really isn't a big deal. I do put notes on profiles of habitual poopers though that way I am prepared. lol

bidoville40 karma

Hola! What's your biggest pet peeve when dog moms and dads drop off dogs? What should dog parents know about grooming so everyone wins?

GroomerGuy67 karma

I would say it is when people give me excuses for their dogs condition. It never seems to be the owners fault in their eyes. It's always "my kids aren't brushing him", "I left him with my sister and this is how I got him back", "He got matted just last night"

Look, I understand life happens and sometimes fido takes the back burner, but take some responsibility. I'm not dumb, I know all that matting didn't happen last night or even over the course of a week when your relative was watching it.

AintNoSunshyne39 karma

What's easier to work with big dogs or small dogs?

GroomerGuy167 karma

I get this question a lot. I work with more small dogs because a lot of the small breeds require cutting. However I think big dogs are easier. They tend to mind better and are more easy going. I've always told people that I feel like I'm more likely to be bitten by a chihuahua than a pit bull.

ScootaloosaurusRex38 karma

How would you recommend taking care of a long haired chihuahua terrier mix? He hates getting his hair brushed and hates getting his nails cut.

GroomerGuy66 karma

Is your dog biting at you when you brush him or just screaming/yelping? If they aren't trying to bite, I always tell people that they are just going to have to make the pet deal with it. They may scream and cry because they want you to stop and it usually works because then the owner feels bad. I can assure you, you are not hurting them by brushing as long as your aren't using a brush too coarse for their coat. A soft-medium slicker brush should be fine.

ckellingc35 karma

Corgi owner here.

How do I make the top coat more soft without drying her skin out with shampoo?

GroomerGuy56 karma

I don't think there is much you can do if the coat has a more coarse or wirey texture. I would recommend using a de-shedding tool to remove some undercoat which will make the hair lighter and give a softer feel. You can also use a conditioner on the coat. Furminator makes a really good deshedding conditioner that will help you remove the undercoat and keep the hair and skin moist and soft.

rickwinston35 karma

What is your favorite city in Michigan?

GroomerGuy56 karma

Hmm, well I've only ever been to Detroit for the Auto Show and some town where I went to summer camp as a kid. I'm gonna go with the summer camp town. I learned to water ski and wasn't afraid of getting mugged there.

petit_cochon20 karma

Our golden smells. How can I make him not smell? We bathe him occasionally,'s not enough. He's well-groomed. Clean enough. Just a strong, constant doggy odor.

GroomerGuy34 karma

All the below answers are good suggestions. If you can find the source (ears, butt, skin/coat, etc.) If it is the ears it could be infection, skin/coat could be diet or like /u/beepborpimajorp said if your are letting him air dry at home that is the likely cause as well. I use a high velocity dryer which leave the coat softer, fluffier, and doesn't allow it time to get that wet dog smell.

BoiseAudi19 karma

Have you ever groomed a Black Russian terrier? What are your thoughts on the breed? How difficult to groom?

GroomerGuy25 karma

I have never groomed that breed. I think if I was in a larger city I might see a breed like that, but around here it's mostly the more popular breeds that are common like yorkshire's, maltese, shih tzu, schnauzer, cocker, poodle, etc.

haveluck17 karma

How do you get into dog grooming? Is there a school where you get certified? Because a PetSmart near me is hiring groomers and it looks pretty rewarding

GroomerGuy53 karma

Do an internet search for dog grooming schools in your state. There is bound to be at least 1. If you sign on with one of the big retailers like PetSmart and Petco, be prepared to sign a contract. They are providing you with your education and will likely require that you stay with them for a set period of time or you will owe them money.

I got in to this because I had been in school to become a veterinarian and started working at a clinic. I'm a bit emotional when it comes to pets and couldn't handle the euthanizing. I always felt bad. That was just helping, I couldn't imagine myself in a doctor position administering the drug, so I turned to this so that I could still work with animals.

metatronic2915 karma

Have you ever had a dog poop on you?

GroomerGuy55 karma

Poop, pee, menstrual blood, vomit, glands, you name it, I've had it on me.

lild142513 karma

What breed is the most difficult to groom?

GroomerGuy28 karma

I think a lot of the "doodles" are pretty difficult. It really depends on what kind of coat they have. If it is a doodle with a straight to wavy coat, it isn't that bad, but the curly coats can be difficult especially if the owner hasn't been brushing it. I have spent 6 hours on a doodle before.

sirtimid9 karma

Just got my first dog a few months ago. Going to the groomer for the first time next week. Is there anything I should look at for that indicates either a good groomer or a bad one?

GroomerGuy17 karma

Take in the surroundings, is the shop clean/smell nice? This is a good indicator of how they keep the conditions in areas you can't see. A dirty, smelly salon may not be taking the proper steps at sanitizing equipment, and cages. You wouldn't want to expose your dog to an illness.

The groomer should be knowledgeable about your pets needs and what the breed requires.

This one isn't always true, so use your own judgment, but I like people to know that I don't use cage dryers. I hand dry all dogs with a high velocity. Cage can be ok, but the dog should only been in it for a small amount of time and be monitored. If the shop is busy and understaffed they may forget that fluffy is in the cage dryer and then the next the you know your dog is suffering from heat stroke.

They should also require up to date vaccinations. This is protecting themselves and the other pets.

jules_fait_fer6 karma

How much will it cost to groom my 2 year old purebred Australian labradoodle Bella? She's never been to a groomer before and I think she has an ear infection. I put a flea collar on her a year and a half ago and although she runs in the woods every day she's been scratching a lot.

I would like 2" of hair and if you could leave her face long too that would be great. And DONT make her look like a poodle.

So ill pick her up in a couple hours?

...just kidding. Hope your day's going well bro.

GroomerGuy5 karma

I sense a fellow

kbslasher884 karma


How does one quickly dry a Pug???

GroomerGuy3 karma

With a VERY powerful dryer. lol