FINDING A GOOD DOG GROOMER
All Westies need to be groomed to high standards so finding an expert dog groomer can be a little taxing. Very few groomers know how to properly groom a Westie without making them look like a Wheaten Terrier, a Scottie, a Welsh Terrier, or only to give him/her a Schnauzer look.
A properly groomed Westie should have a head that has been patterned with the resemblance of a Chrysanthemum flower –a FULL ROUND TRIM that does NOT wedge towards the chin. The tail needs to have a carrot shape – thicker at the base and tapered towards the end with no trailing hair. The hair must be trimmed to be even with the tip of its tail bone. A Westie needs to have a skirt, and when it’s been nicely trimmed, it should be about an inch from the ground surface. As for the head, it needs to be trimmed to assume the chrysanthemum head shape (lion type). All hair clipping should be done in the hair’s natural direction of growth then neatly blended to the skirt and the legs.
A horizontally cut line should NEVER be there on the sides of the body. That’s inappropriate! As for the hair lying on top of his head, it needs to be brushed forward towards the eyes then trimmed nicely, so the attractive coal black eyes are seen clearly. The hair should have a “visor”effect.
Beware of a groomer who clips longer hair of your dog to be extremely short! This can cause a change of color as well as the texture of the hair that grows later on. Most of the time, when a long-haired dog has their hair trimmed down the dog appears to go into a state of depression. We do not know for sure why it happens, but we are pretty sure it does happen. The dog may shy away by hiding as if he/she is ashamed of their new appearance for several weeks! By knowing how a Westie should be groomed, you are sure to find a good groomer.
Poppy is only five months old. Thus her hair is still short. I am hand stripping her and just beginning the grooming of her skirt.
When ready to start searching for a good groomer, spend some time checking a few sources i.e. the Yellow Pages or online listings for the phone numbers of groomers found within your area. It is natural enough to start with those closest to you, but NEVER disregard those located an hour’s drive away. This is because, if the groomer can do a NICE job and your canine buddy needs at least an hour drive, then your time shall have been well spent. You could spend your waiting time shopping or having lunch with a friend. If it’s good weather, you can just as well spend the time under a tree in a park with a nice book.
Finding a good groomer is very important because you have invested much time and money to find a Westie who will be a true companion. Therefore, leaving him/her in the hands of a highly-qualified dog groomer, even if it causes you time inconvenience, will be of much value in the long run. Proper cutting and blending of your dog’s hair are very important, but the groomer, if they are truly concerned, will always keep you updated or informed if they find anything on your dog that needs attention. It’s sad to know that there are certain groomers, some with years of experience who ignore the conditions they’ve noticed that affect the dogs being groomed.
At my grooming shop, it is of much concern to me and anything that concerns your pet’s well-being will be communicated to you immediately so you can seek corrective measures. I have 100% concern about your dog’s health! So I do not just groom and consider everything done. Most of my clients have thanked me for informing them about their dogs’ conditions that were beyond grooming.
I am more concerned about the well-being of the dogs I groom—more than the owners themselves! I seek to develop strong ties with my clients, but love to see their four-legged buddies neater and lovelier, happy and healthy. I do everything possible to ensure my dog clients are in their best health possible.
A Competent Dog Groomer
A groomer who is competent and reliable will know how to offer simple solutions to simple problems. However, in the case of bigger problems that need the attention of a vet, they won’t hesitate to inform you. A good groomer should always offer their opinion regarding any question that you have. Most of the time, their opinions can save you a considerable amount of money you might have spent on a vet, or even something that can save your dog’s life. They also have attended to many dogs in the course of their work every day. This coupled with a groomer’s continually growing knowledge of and experience with many other dog-caring materials, and discussions with vets, renders them invaluable when it comes to your dog’s well-being. Before the actual grooming begins, the following should be done by your groomer, or he/she should portray these traits:
- The groomer should spend a little time checking your dog then discuss what you wish to be completed.
- Are they using shampoo you’ve noted to be fine for your dog? If not do they have an alternative that works well?
- Are they able to groom your dog to the right specifications of a Westie? If they seem unsure how it’s done, it’s time to take off and continue with the search. The fact that the groomer works in a grooming shop and is licensed is not enough proof that they know how a Westie should be groomed.
About The Grooming Facility
Now without further ado, let’s look at the things to consider when searching for the right dog grooming facility.
- How is the shop arranged?
- What are some of the things you can see that reflect the groomer’s general attitude?
- Does the shop look clean and orderly to a reasonable state? If the shop is too busy, it might be a little difficult to keep everything in order, but there should be an excuse for dirty grooming facility. A dirty surrounding can result in bacteria, mites, and fleas plus many other conditions for which your dog may come into contact.
- Check where the groomer keeps your canine buddy while waiting to be groomed or after grooming for pick-up. The cage should be free of spots but not a major concern if there are fewer flies around due to the dryers being used.
- The shop should have a temperature ranging between 75 and 85 degrees. Too cold conditions can result to chilling of your dog or puppy. A condition too hot is not good either. The shop should feel warm and cozy.
- How does the shop smell? It should be a little “doggie” but not too unpleasant levels.
Beware Of These Groomers
When it comes to how your dog is groomed, you should decide. Most of the “chain-type” shops may not be the best grooming shop to take your dog. But that doesn’t mean that any shop in any store cannot do a nice job. Most of the shops simply hire inexperienced groomers with the aim to groom as many dogs as possible in a day, without considering whether its’ done right or not.
It is evident that most of the shops will seem to offer to groom for all breeds of dogs (not a guarantee), but it is highly likely that the end results may be unpleasant to you. Therefore, taking your Westie in such a place may finally end up resembling a schnauzer or even worst.
A good groomer shouldn’t need you to take your canine buddy to their shop very early in the morning then pick them up very late in the evening. There is no point of your dog spending hours in a cage waiting to be groomed. One-half hour is enough before your appointment session, but as soon as your dog is groomed, you should expect a call to pick them up. Therefore, you should keep time when bringing as well as taking your dog to the groomer.
Should your dog’s hair be groomed improperly, it will still grow back regardless of how much clipping was done. All you got to do is be patient and wait for it to grow to the right size so it can be groomed by a qualified groomer who will re-shape it appropriately according to Westie specifications.
Stick With A Westie Groomer
After finding the right Westie groomer who knows what they are doing, stick with them, even if they are charging a little more than your previous groomer. These groomers are out there, but hard to come by. They are the second best friend of your Westie and are actually worth the weight of your dog in gold!