I got into grooming after my own boy Fyn, wouldn't even go through the door of the groomers. He would shake, refused and blatantly wouldn't even attempt to go there, so i wanted to know more about why. Obviously something had happened there, but i didn't ask, just didn't go back.
But, being me, i delved more into the why's and wondered what really was upsetting Fyn at the point of going to the groomers and started to learn more about triggers and varying other behaviours that he was showing in relation to the grooming salon.
So i signed up to do an intense grooming course. But even there, some of the handling of dogs terrified me. If this was happening and acceptable behaviour in a grooming school, then no wonder my own dog was terrified. So, even after qualiying i knew there was a better way. The way i work with dogs is different to most anyway, always has been as i think about the overall picture, not just getting the job done. Alot of my clients when i first started out were just so happy that they had someone who had the time to build a relationship with their dog, that they didn't care that the dog hadn't been able to do his legs today, or couldn't tolerate the dryer. They were just over the moon that a positive relationship was being built and the dog was always happy to see me.
But even now, 3 years into my journey as a groomer, i'm learning all the time. I've done a level 5 ISCP behaviour course and have a much better understanding of canine signals and how to read their body language than most groomers. I've furthered my knowledge by becoming a dog trainer, and a positive one at that. The cross over between the roles is amazing and has helped me to better myself as a groomer by having a better understanding of what the dog is trying to communicate!
I'm now on my journey on the Holisitic Dog Grooming Academy Diploma and i have to say, my mind is blown. Even things such as holistic therapies (which i do use some of but had very tiny understanding of), or even how my own self care affects how the dog groom goes, it really makes me wonder how you can qualify as a groomer in 4 weeks. There's so much more that we should be taught or should know and it's only since researching and studying that i've been able to add much much more to my grooms, and the dogs positive enjoyment of the grooming process.
By joining up to the HGA i also made a pledge, which can be found here https://www.holisticgroomingacademy.com/holistic-grooming-academy-member-pledge?fbclid=IwAR02YbCic9HL7_cxcwiZeQEblwTmz7cQnx75xWQzlF_iYNvi9oYojnE2i6E
The groomer pledges to invest in their ongoing education in positive, science-backed methods of behaviour, training and grooming techniques.
The groomer pledges to only use positive, non-dominant based methods when caring for your pet.
The groomer pledges to be totally transparent with their approach to caring for your pet and will offer you a bespoke care plan to suit the individual needs of your pet.
The groomer pledges to work with your pet using consent and choice to encourage cooperation and trust.
The groomer pledges to never use restraints with aversive tools that will cause your pet unnecessary emotional and/or physical suffering.
The groomer pledges to be honest with you at all times and offer you advice based on their knowledge and skill-set. They will refer you to the appropriate professional in cases where they feel they can’t help.
The groomer pledges to adhere to the code of ethics of the HGA so long as their membership continues, and understands that failure to do so will result in the immediate termination of their membership with the Holistic Grooming Academy.
These are all incredibly important points in the grooming process, and im very proud that i work holistically with my clients. It might not be perfect show stopping grooms, but your dog is happy and that is what matters to me.