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  1. Lockdown has been quite productive for me, I recently qualified as an IMDT dog trainer. Big things for me, studying isn't my forte, neither is standing in front of loads of people I don't know trying to teach them how to train their dogs. I'm very much a visual learner and struggled at times. Whilst i've really enjoyed the process and learnt alot, i'm loving working with Walkies with Una and Colins K9 Training Services as 'on the job' learning is really helping me develop and put what i've learnt into practice. 

    It'll be a long time before i'm abloe to set up on my own and for now, i'm applying what i have learnt and continue to learn to my grooming process. It's important for me to help your dog see the process as a positive process, not just being dropped at a grooming salon and pushed into the process. 

    For me, training and grooming go hand in hand. What you put into your dog, you'll get out has always been my moto (in more ways than one, but feeding is a blog for another time!) and it's been really helpful in not just my grooming business, but also with my own dogs. Adapting to each dogs individual needs, watching them flourish and understand that grooming isn't the horror it's been seen as before, and working with the owners on what they can do at home to ease the process, it really is a positive process that we can all work towards. 

    Time, patience, love, grooming, positive reinforcement. There are many more, but for me, starting the basics at home and with me and a trainer, your dog will absolutely see the grooming process as positive and look forward to me turning up with my table and hair dryer. Being able to handle your dogs paws and perform vet checks, both your vet and me as your groomer will absolutely love you! The more the dog sees as a positive process and change, the more helpful it is to us.

    What you put into your dog, you will get out. 

  2. Life is strange at the moment. Those jobs getting done that we've been promising for years; catching up on stuff you meant to clean for ages; and the dog is getting more walks and attention than ever before. 

    I've had a few messages to ask if i'm working during lockdown. Under government advice, groomers are not allowed to work (there is a loophole for those with vans but most aren't working to avoid any risk of contamination). As much as i would love to be out there with your dogs as usual, I am high risk and hiding away until this is over, but i can't wait to get back to grooming! As much as short haired dogs are great when you have a busy life, i really am missing some scissor and clipper action at the moment! 

    So, what can you do at home to help your dog? In all honestly, i've seen so many people attempting home grooms with clippers. Don't. I've also seen pictures of tongues that have been cut, some really bad hair cuts and some even worse face cuts! The best thing you can do right now, is to maintain your dogs coat and keep them used to the grooming process. 

    For curly, silky and long coats, you need to brush and comb daily. Use a decent slicker brush and metal comb to get right underneath the coat and make sure they are matt free. Remember, a groomer should only attempt to dematt for a maximum of 10-15 minutes, if not we advise that a total shave off is more comfortable for the dog. Areas to watch out for are the face, underneath armpits and around harness areas, legs, feet and neck. 

    For double coated dogs such as retrievers, please make sure you don't shave! It doesn't help them feel cooler. Get a good undercoat rake and a slicker brush and get that old coat out, you'll be surprised at how much comes out! 

    For smooth/short hair coats, i use a zoom groom or rubber brush. Easy coats to maintain, just give them a good brush! 

    What can i do to help them learn grooming is a positive experience? 

    Most of you who know me, know i prefer to make sure your dog is finding the whole experience a positive one. Little steps such as getting used to the hairdryer, or nail clips (or a scratch board if you know how to use one of those), brushing regularly and especially in those areas your dog hates such as feet, face etc, and making sure you're rewarding as you go will all help. 

    If you stay on top of home grooming and coat maintainence, the less likely we'll need to do a total shave off when i'm allowed back to grooming. Grooming isn't about me popping round every few weeks. It's about you as an owner also putting the work in to make sure the dog is happy with all aspects and to keep their coats maintained. It will also help you to notice any unusual lumps and bumps and give you a good idea of their overall well-being too! 

    Give the dog a break from a walk, try some scentwork, or canine enrichment and some work on grooming at home too. It's just as mentally tiring for the dog than an hours walk! 

    As always, if you have any questions or need to ask, please message me via my facebook page

    Stay safe, stay home, stay brushing!