Groom Faster without Rushing

Most groomers would love to be a little faster at their work. That whole "Time is Money" thing is easily illustrated in a grooming business. But rushing is a bad idea. Because dogs and cats are so sensitive to our moods and actions, a harried, hurried groomer can cause the animal she is working on to act up and behave in ways that slow the process down.

When we rush, we are also more prone to accidents. No one wants to risk injuring a pet, or ourselves, as we dash through our work. Here are some ways to help you increase your effectiveness without rushing.

  • Keep Grooming Records- If Fluffy's owner requests he be left just "a smidge shorter," this time, you will save time trying to figure out what that means if you have notes of exactly how you groomed Fluffy last time. Was he clipped with an A comb? You will know in an instant to use an O this time. Keeping good records can be a huge time saver.
  • Challenge yourself- Make it a game to see how quickly you can perform specific tasks. For example, can you shear a minute off your "face, feet, and fanny" trimming? If you concentrate on the job and do it methodically and in the same pattern each time, I bet you can. Then move to another basic task and see how you can improve your time there. Making it a fun challenge to shave time off the clock can make work faster and more enjoyable.
  • Keep your tools in good repair- Imagine putting a blade on your clipper, and it jams in seconds. You take it off, clean it, oil it, and it still won't cut because it is dull. You grab another blade, but it needs to be sharpened, too. You have just wasted several minutes of precious time. Clean, sharp tools work when needed and keep you moving quickly.
  • Organize! – Time searching for the brush you want; your favorite shears or comb is time wasted. Organize your tools thoughtfully, putting the ones you use most in your storage's prime real estate section. Put tools you use less often in a slightly less accessible place. Train yourself to return tools to their designated spot when you finish using them.
  • Know when the job is done- It may seem silly, but I have seen many groomers who wasted precious time on every dog by going over them repeatedly. One favorite groomer friend has been known to mutter to the dog on the table, "Well, it's not going to get better; it's just going to get shorter." So don't waste time re-grooming a pet that looks just fine.

Concentrate on being relaxed and efficient rather than rushed and disorganized. When you are calm, the animals will be easier to groom.


By Daryl Conner, MPS, MCG 

Daryl Conner has been devoted to making dogs and cats more comfortable and beautiful for almost 40 years.  You can find her happily working at FairWinds Grooming Studio with her daughter and infant granddaughter, or typing away at her latest grooming-related article. Daryl was awarded both a Cardinal Crystal Award and Barkleigh Honors Award for journalism.  She shares her meadow-hugged antique Maine farmhouse with her practically perfect husband and too many animals.