So, we were talking about that lightbulb moment and how so many dogs simply cannot avoid grooming...let alone learn to ENJOY IT! What a thought! Imagine going to the dentist every 6-8 weeks for a root canal! ICK! At Shag to Chic we saw the opportunity for a much softer approach than the dreaded root canal scenario. So many dogs have emotional scars that stem from beyond the grooming table and some were just never given the time or shown how to enjoy grooming in a way that resonated with them! That can be any pooch that has been re-homed multiple times, suffers from medical ailments, abused, not given adequate guidance, all the way to dogs who simply have a disposition/perceived reason to be fearful or cautious of humans or new situations and need that little extra boost. Before we all peg ourselves to be terrible dog owners because our pooch doesn't like grooming, i'll use myself as an example.
I have a chihuahua, his name is Diego. He's been with me from birth, has been given every bit of love and kindness a dog could ask for and i've had many well trained dogs in the past. That sounds like the beginning of a success story, right?! You would also inherently suspect the groomer's dog is perfect, but alas, he has his own agenda most days. He has Addison's disease and spent most of his puppyhood being poked and prodded at the vet (love vets fyi, they saved his life) and felt sick every day until he was finally diagnosed. It was easy to caudle a sick pooch, perhaps over caudle. Because of this he had very little guidance during his development stages. We spent most of it having diagnostics done and enduring many life threatening midnight emergencies. Fast forward 8 years and Diego now needs extra support and confidence building to achieve what most other dogs do easily.
For this reason among others, one of the first things that you'll notice different from other local groomers is we work as a team in this salon, instead of one on one, start to finish. There are few things more stressful to a dogs emotions than the expectations we can put on them without setting them up for success first. Grooming can seem scary to so many dogs and most often happens only every 6-8 weeks at best. Having to stand, concentrate, behave and LIKE IT for sometimes hours on end with a "start to finish" groom, often only reinforcing their fears or anxiety towards the process. It would be like expecting a 2 year old to master 90 minutes of focus with sharp tools nearby while trimming their wild/all over body hair and spinning in circles! It even sounds stressful!! We aim not to defame anyone with that statement. Just like some toddlers excel or are settled creatures, some poochies do well with a "start to finish" method too. in fact, there are times we even have dogs in this salon that like this method! BUT, around 65% of our Shaggy pack comes to us with fear and anxiety towards grooming and being handled by a groomer. That's too many to ignore the stresses and we certainly saw the need for the lightbulb! We do everything in stages at this salon. That means everyone comes in during the morning hours of their appointment day and have the chance to rest before em"barking" (yup lol) and relax between each step! As a team we will then take the time and every opportunity to encourage and help your dog build confidence thru the process. That means not making them go thru something they may deem as stressful, alone or with the only the person holding the sharp tools! In the toughest cases, it's not uncommon for one stylist to be trimming while one encourages/supports/guides and yet another distracts. Sometimes even all 5 of us help! No rushing because the next appointment is showing up.....everyone's already here! Depending on each dogs individual needs, we tailor their time spent with us. Some stay for only a little while and some spend the day with us enjoying their rest time between each step. Whatever your dog's needs, we're set up to make sure your dog is given every opportunity for success while building not only a relationship with our team of stylists, but with grooming as well!