One of the most common questions I get is “how long will the grooming take?” I find this important to address because I understand that your time is valuable, but I also want you to understand why it is important to let me work at the pace of the pack. My shop may not work for someone who needs a quick in and out groom, but I am more about quality than quantity. I want my client to be happy with their groom, and most importantly I want their dog to be comfortable coming back. Dogs work on a pack mentality, so if one dog is stressed it may cause the others in the room to also become anxious. I have to work around the dog to ensure their comfort-ability and sometimes that means giving them breaks, pets, and words of encouragement. There are some dogs that may take more time than others, causing me to get behind on my schedule. Like people, some pups also do well on some days and come in other days with an off mood. Taking the time to understand them, and how they are feeling, allows me to connect to them. I deal with puppies, elderly dogs, disabled pups, anxious fur friends, you name it I have at least one! The reason your pup comes back in the door with a wagging tail is because the environment is safe. Keeping a safe environment allows for them to understand that once the process is over they can play with other fur friends and eventually go home.
I have yet to meet a dog that enjoys the grooming process, tolerate yes, but grooming is an invasive job. I have to squeeze anal glands, pull ear hair, clip nails, tickle their pads shaving out the hair, all while not being able to clearly communicate why I am doing these things. I am thankful for my patient fur clients, but I don’t blame the wild pups for expressing themselves the way they do. Grooming is not a job for everyone and it definitely tests your patience. So I appreciate my clients understanding why some days they may have their dog in 2 hours, while other days its closer to 4. I promise I am not keeping your dog longer than necessary, I just need to keep the environment safe for everyone. Rushing through a groom can cause serious injury to myself or your pup. You coming in to check on your pup, not only distracts them from their focus of finishing the job, but also takes away my alpha role. When you come in to get your dog that is their reward for being good through their groom, they get to go home. This is why it is so important to wait for my call, not just to make it easier on me but also to not confuse your pup.
So the last thing I would like to address is what is going on when I am not working on your dog. The reason I became a kennel free grooming salon is so that the environment was more welcoming for your fur baby. Not only are they coming to get pretty, they also have the opportunity to play and make friends. Your appointment time is the time I am able to get them into the tub, once they are washed and dried they have the option to nap or play until it is their turn on my table. Unlike salons that use kennels, they are free to roam and do as they please. Being put into a cage can be confusing and very boring for longer grooming times, but most hardly even notice the time go by when they are free roam.
So to answer the main question it can take anywhere from 2-3.5 hours for a small dog and 3-4.5 hours for a large dog. If you need a quicker service, my slower days are Wednesday and Thursday. My busiest day of the week is Saturday so please understand I don’t give out times. These times vary and can sometimes go quicker than expected depending on the behavior of your dog and the previous one before it. Just know they will be in good hands, and they will enjoy their experience. Thank you for taking the time to read and I hope this gives you a better understanding of the grooming process.