with Stuart Simons

Can you just keep him looking like a puppy (he’s 14)?

I don’t want him to look like a poodle, can you make him look like a teddy bear (he’s a poodle)? 

Why is my dog’s haircut more expensive than my own? (Did you bite your hairdresser? Did he trim your privates?)

These are just a few of the questions that we get asked at least once a day. They are very common and go with many other questions that are of the same ilk.

All breeds of dog, except mixed breeds, have a breed standard haircut. This is the haircut that you might see in Crufts or at your local dog show. The breed standard is there to accentuate your dog’s genetic build and muscle structure. It is considered that the breed standard is the best look for each individual breed. We as groomers are trained to make your breed of dog the best that it can possibly look for the coat and genetics that it has been given.

Different breeds have different coat types and take a different amount of time to groom. For example a Yorkshire Terrier with a nice silky straight coat may take 5 minutes to dry whereas a Poodle of the same size with a dense curly coat may take 45 minutes to completely dry. All of the dogs are different. We may get a dog in that doesn’t like the blaster (high velocity dryer) and so may take a lot longer than a dog of an even calm temperament as the drying process is less intrusive.

All dogs need grooming and should regularly attend the groomers. A good dog groomer could possibly spot changes in skin and coat as well as behaviour that you may not have spotted. Remember, we have our hands all over dogs for 8 hours a day, 6 days a week. If anything is going to be flagged up, we may well spot it. We have spotted lumps and bumps in many dogs, most of which are harmless fatty lumps but some of which are cancers that if treated early can be cured. We have helped dogs tell their owners of the tooth pain that they are suffering and the gum disease that they are having to live with. Sometimes your groomer can be the voice of your dog.

“Sometimes your groomer can be the voice of your dog.”

“I have a Staffy, he doesn’t need a groom” this is not true. Staffordshire Bull Terriers and other short coated breeds benefit from a groom too. They enjoy feeling clean and pampered as much as the most coiffured poodle. These breeds have an undercoat that can be effectively removed with a coat rake or Furminator. Also, the blaster can get rid of the undercoat

 too. Any hair that sheds is effectively dead hair. No one wants that lying around their house. Let us deal with that for you.

Matted Dogs:

“My dog has a few knots, I have tried to cut them out myself but I can’t, I don’t want him shaved though” This is a very common problem and one that I can sympathise with.

We as groomers love dogs, we wouldn’t be in this business if we didn’t. Everyone wants their dog to look like a teddy bear or a puppy all the time but the reality is, they like to roll in poo. They love a good old forage and a muddy puddle. All longer haired dogs need to be brushed every day to achieve a constant knot free coat. Poodles and Cockerpoo’s or anything with a curly coat, twice a day. If this isn’t performed, your dog is likely to get matted or knotty. Matted dogs can get very uncomfortable and some of the most severe cases have had to have limbs amputated as the Matt has got so tight, it has cut off the blood supply to the specific area. Groom Dog City follows the 5 Freedoms set out by the Animal Welfare Act.

The 5 Freedoms are:


De-Matting a dog can be a very painful process, it consists of pulling on the matted hair a bit like trying to comb a knot out of your own hair. Imagine that all over your body!!! That’s why we don’t do it. If your dog has a few knots, sure, well get them out, but for a dog that is matted, this would be a hellish few hours and not something that we as dog lovers are prepared to do.

The alternative is to shave your dog, a much better idea. We use blades that can seamlessly get under those pesky matts leaving your dog a lot happier to come back in to the salon and have another groom at a later date. Yes, you may have a short dog for a while but guess what…..IT GROWS BACK!!! Hooorrraaayyyy. (thank goodness, because if it didn’t, we’d be out of a job).

So please remember, when your groomer says that your dog has to be shaved, it’s not to get at you, no one is judging, it is simply what is best for your beloved doggy. We all have one main thing in common and it has four legs and a waggy tail!


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