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  1. 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 https://facebook.com/lizfureverfriends/

    Stay safe, stay home, stay brushing!

  2. If you have a dog that's nervous, doesn't like being left or doesn't like the grooming process, in home grooming can be a lot less stressful for them. In their own environment with familiar faces, they're alot calmer. They also tend to get more rewards from their owner too!

    Not all owners like the mess ( i do clear up!) that it can leave, but if your dog is happy with their groomer and relaxed in their environment, then that's a positive experience. My own dog hated being left, never mind in a scary place with a big bath and dryers. Even now, i cant use a blaster on him, but luckily he's short haired and loves playing the towel game. It's just the one thing in life he just doesn't want to enjoy. And i won't force him to. 

    I bring everything to you and your dog. I just need somewhere to bath or shower your pup, and a quiet area to put my table up with access to a plug socket. Depending on your dogs experiences with groomers, and how relaxed they are, we'll take it in stages. It might be the first time is just a bath and getting used to the dryer and a sniff at a couple of other tools with some rewards and praise involved. Making the whole process positive each time and taking those extra steps into a full groom. A happy dog makes my job a lot easier. The risk of cutting a pup with scissors if they're wiggling about or writhing about on the table, is not one i'd take lightly. 

    Getting them used to standing at home when you're training, brushing those legs, and rewarding, is something that you should be doing daily as a pup. Your groomer will thank you for spending the time to get them used to the process, because it makes our job easier and your pup is happy for it to be done because they realise it's not the end of the world and they'll probably get rewarded at the end of it too!

    I don't mind if the owners stay in the room to watch, help, learn brushing techniques or ask questions either. The more you ask, the more we get an understanding of what you need to do at home and what the next stages are on the next groom too. Every little helps, every groom is taken a step further because weve worked together.