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BURN-OUT . . . A day in the life of a pet stylist

Updated: Nov 8, 2023

Snuggie Bear is finally on my grooming table, she’s a cute little Maltipoo. She turns into an angry, screaming, demented, snapping turtle when I try to touch her feet.

Do I coax, baby talk, try bargaining with the tiny little monster or send her home instead of fighting with her? Her nails are getting so long that it’s literally deforming her feet, potentially causing permanent damage and making it painful to walk? I’m at least the third grooming facility to battle with Snuggie Bear and I don’t want to turn her away

. Unfortunately, she won’t be the last to test my patience today.

Then Freddy the Doodle arrives, our receptionist wrestles and half drags him into the grooming area while his owner repeats multiple times in a high pitch squeal…what a good boy he is, if someone will just pet him and give him peanut butter during the entire groom including his bath (she supplied his favorite peanut butter). Oh did I mention her previous groomer would also comb out his tight matting against his tender skin (you can literally see the mats pulling on his skin), then use a 1” guard-comb without charging her extra because it’s devastating for her when a horrible grooming shop shaves him. LOL… she doesn’t understand why her previous pet stylist ghosted her.

Pets react to the stress level, especially if it’s their first visit. Some express their anal glands, pee, and poop as they enter the reception or grooming area. The demanding or confrontational pet owners determined to get that difficult style regardless of the coat condition or discomfort to the pet. The constant pressure to get pets out on time and even the stress on the pets being groomed is a lot of pressure on the pet stylist. The level of stress in grooming can effect frustration and job satisfaction for stylist and shop staff.

Now let’s get back in touch with the reason most of us (pet stylists) chose this AMAZING career!

Professional pet grooming can either be a nightmare or a lucrative, gratifying, career with the ability to develop your creativity and make a difference.

· I’m super excited to help you turn that around!

· To offer you the tools to Get Your Passion Back!

· Set Your Own Rules, Choose your own income.

· Take Back and Maintain Control Over YOUR CAREER.

I’m passionate about empowering professional pet stylists! Let’s Get Started!

GET AN UNDERSTANDING OF ANIMAL PSYCHOLOGY here’s a few helpful tips . . .

· Avoid direct eye contact with a new dog, regardless of whether the dog is well socialized or not. Dogs are hard wired to view direct eye contact as a threat (eye contact is meant for trusted pack members).

Feel free to make direct eye contact and even baby talk the owner, dogs are very aware of where your energy is focused without being triggered.

· When interacting with a new pet, baby talk should be low and slow, high pitch represents instability and triggers reactive (negative) emotions in most animals, especially predators.

· Hold your ground with neutral emotion and energy, whoever takes up space is more easily accepted as a leader. It’s a win, win for handler and dog.

· Resistance free grooming works like magic, if you’re interested in our Dog Whisperer training, please contact us. Utah School of Pet Grooming is dedicated to supporting and helping pet stylists achieve their career goals and dreams whether a student, new stylist, an experienced stylist or business owner. Calm an animal down quickly; wipe out resistance and reactive or even aggressive behavior within minutes by understanding instinct for immediate results. Easily work around the face and clip nails on a calm, relaxed pet.

CHARGE WHAT YOUR WORTH - Find, Feed, Create . . . Self Worth

· Dig deep, what do you offer that is distinctly you: Why did you choose this career? Are you creative? When you work with an animal is it an act of love? Are you dedicated to the comfort of the animals in your care?

WHATS YOUR WHY? When you find it, put it into words and repeat it to yourself often.

The first person you’ve got to convince is yourself.



Remember Snuggie Bear the Maltipoo, and Freddy the Doodle? Two difficult, reactive, pets that created more stress in the shop and a more challenging day for me and the shop staff. I spent the time to work Snuggie Bear through her past trauma created by her owners and exacerbated by the well meaning pet stylists that worked with her, both had good intentions.

Snuggie Bear first, So, I took deep breaths and calmed myself. Found my neutral energy, moved to the back of the demented, snapping turtle disguised as a cute little Maltipoo. Started at her hip where she was not as reactive (and no teeth) with a soft hold and neutral energy, instead of trying to force her. Resistance free grooming gets the quickest positive response. It’s about recognizing when Snuggie Bear is in a reactive (negative) emotional state. Break it down into simple steps. Be patient, when reactive with a soft hold and a subtle release when the Snuggie relaxes. Lots of pauses (releases), when Snuggie is relaxed (if I release snuggie when she is reactive I would leave her in a reactive state).

The next step was to speak to Snuggies’ mom. I explained the extra time I took to work Snuggie through her issues, asked mom to leave Snuggie’s nails alone and allow me to continue desensitizing and making all future grooming experiences positive.

NOW the reschedule script “Would you prefer to reschedule Snuggie Bear in 6 or 8 weeks?”

NEVER ask if they would like to reschedule, simply assume they will reschedule and offer 2 options.If the owner resists rescheduling; I let them know I probably won’t be able to continue working with Snuggie Bear because all of my clients reschedule and I’m usually booked at least 12 weeks in advance.

As long as you reschedule a minimum of two new dogs a day within two months You’ll have created job security, be earning more income and your days will get easier. You’ll have increased productivity, more control of your time, the dogs will be happier, more pleasant and most important your confidence will continue to grow along with job satisfaction. Within one year you’ll have a high quality, well established client base. Within two years there will be a waiting list for new clients.

Thanks and BEST of LUCK . . . Lynne Jones

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Aug 11, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Thanks, good information

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