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To be a bit narked at this dog groomer?

(71 Posts)
SelectASweetBreadTwist Tue 24-Jun-14 08:02:28

We have a rescue spaniel who came to us with a whole raft of issues, including touch-sensitivity. Over time we have worked patiently and persistently to overcome this and he has progressed from a dog who wouldn't let you put a collar on him and who flinched if you tried to pet him, to a dog who leaps up with his tail wagging at the sight of his collar and lead, will stand to be towel-dried all over, can have tangles eased out of his coat with fingers and who has started to tolerate a couple of minutes of being brushed.

With the recent improvement in the weather, he gets quite hot and we have talked about getting him clipped to make him more comfortable. As it happens we have just had to put him in boarding kennels and the ones we chose were great, very understanding of his issues etc - and they employ a professional groomer.

We had a long chat with her when we went to view the kennels, explained all about his touch-sensitivity and the fact that when out of his comfort zone, he will growl non-stop. In the 18 months we have had him he has never bitten/snapped, but he does growl when uncertain/uncomfortable. We stressed more than once that he doesn't bite but does growl, and also repeated more than once that although we don't use a muzzle on him, we had no objections to the groomer doing so if she was in any doubt about him. We didn't want a show-standard clip, just a quick job to allow him to cool down. She was very confident, reassuring us that she works with tricky dogs all the time and he'd be fine.

The kennels have just dropped him off and he is exactly as we left him. In with his things is a scribbled note from the groomer saying "sorry, he started growling as soon as he came into the salon and I wasn't prepared to risk it. Had to still charge as he took up a slot I could have used for another dog."

AIBU to think she should have declined the booking when we explained his issues if she wasn't at least going to try to muzzle him as we had sanctioned? We KNEW he would growl, that's why we mentioned it upfront repeatedly to make sure she understood and was confident with insecure dogs!

JenniferJo Tue 24-Jun-14 08:07:00

I think you are being a bit U. Perhaps you should have stayed to help, rather than just drop him off.

SelectASweetBreadTwist Tue 24-Jun-14 08:09:23

We were on holiday, hence why he was in kennels, so we weren't in the country to help.

zippy539 Tue 24-Jun-14 08:09:41

He was in boarding kennels - she couldn't stay!

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 24-Jun-14 08:09:49

I think yab a bit u tbh.

She only has your word for it that he doesn't bite. After all the work you have put in, a groomer pudlshing the limits is surely the last thing you would want?

Perhaps she thought she'd give it a go and it didn't go as planned.

Can't you get a pair of clippers and try yourself? Or get someone to come to your home to do it? Maybe your dog would be better in the comfort of his home.

OwlCapone Tue 24-Jun-14 08:09:50

I can see why you're annoyed - especially as she charged you full price and had reassured you all would be fine. On the other hand, I can see her side too and maybe he was extra stressed from being in kennels and away from you.

Can you find a groomer who will let you stay to reassure him?

I have my spaniel shorn all over with no feathering bar a couple of inches of firing to his tail. Far more practical as he is in no way a show dog and makes it easier to spot ticks. He also brings far fewer brambles home in his coat smile

JenniferJo Tue 24-Jun-14 08:13:15

Sorry, I should have said maybe you should have waited until you could be around.

diddl Tue 24-Jun-14 08:14:02

I can't even think why you'd leave him to be groomed whilst you weren't even there to see how it went!

Did you book the groomer yourself or did the kennels?

I don't blame them for not doing it tbh.

Hoppinggreen Tue 24-Jun-14 08:17:47

I can see why you are a bit cross at having to pay but given the dogs issues why the heck did you think that it was a good idea to get a stranger to clip him when he was probably already stressed from being in an unfamiliar environment?
If he needed to go In Kennels you should have taken him to be groomed before or after and stayed with him .

RoganJosh Tue 24-Jun-14 08:17:53

I think that's fair enough if she decided she didn't want to attempt it, but she should refund you. Have you paid her?

WaywardOn3 Tue 24-Jun-14 08:18:34

Yanbu you told them what would likely happen and suggested a muzzle. I wouldn't be paying for a service my dog didn't receive!

I would have stayed with him if he had those issues as a familiar face in a scary new place can help some dogs. Then you could have ensured a muzzle was used and that the kennel didn't have to transport your dog.

Groomer sounds over confident in her ability to handle difficult dogs but fails to deliver when presented with such dog. She's being unreasonable to try to charge you.

Could you buy your own set of clippers and give it a go? It doesn't have to be perfect but it will help desensitise him to the noise and feel so that if another groomer can get past the growling he'll be familiar with clippers.

Fairenuff Tue 24-Jun-14 08:22:38

We stressed more than once that he doesn't bite but does growl

How can you give that assurance? All dogs bite. You cannot guarantee that he won't. You should have said that you had never known him to bite.

It would be better to take him to a groomer another time when you can stay with him to reassure him. Once he is used to the stranger touching him, you can try leaving him.

WooWooOwl Tue 24-Jun-14 08:25:24


They were told he was going to growl, therefore they shouldn't be surprised when he does. They shouldn't have charged for work they didn't do.

SelectASweetBreadTwist Tue 24-Jun-14 08:34:34

We did say that he hasn't bitten in the time we've had him. I was paraphrasing to get the point across, not quoting our conversation verbatim.

I think I'm frustrated that in her over-confidence, she didn't give any indication that "failure was an option" IYSWIM, especially as we didn't play down his issues - we didn't say he "might" growl, we said he "would" growl.

Our behaviourist had suggested beforehand that it might be a good thing we weren't there, as he wouldn't associate it with us and therefore possibly set us back with the other issues we're working on, but I see the logic of being with him as reassurance also.

TTTatty Tue 24-Jun-14 08:40:58

She should have muzzled him and got on with the job, I had a 'grumpy' dog (sadly pts now) that had a couple of different groomers (including one at a kennels) that never had any problem with her. I wouldn't be paying for a service I didn't get especially as you had explained the likely scenario.

diddl Tue 24-Jun-14 08:42:40

Maybe that was her intention when she accepted & it just didn't go as planned?

DartmoorDoughnut Tue 24-Jun-14 08:42:51

Personally I'd phone the kennels and tell them you wouldn't be paying her bill - or asking for a refund if it was just part of the overall bill.

I think you were more than fair and gave her all the information she would need, including letting her know that it would be ok to use a muzzle. If she was worried surely she could have asked the kennel staff for help? I'm assuming that his groom was at the end of his stay so therefore the staff there knew him by then and probably would have been happy to pop a muzzle on him if she'd asked ..

SybilRamkin Tue 24-Jun-14 08:53:45

YANBU - and I don't think you should pay given that you explained the issues to her and she said she could handle it.

Call the kennels and ask to speak to the manager.

FreakinScaryCaaw Tue 24-Jun-14 08:58:55

YANBU she shouldn't charge.

That's like when I was hairdressing in a salon and someone feeling ill or stressed but still charging for not doing their hair. Very strange way to do business. She's taken advantage.

jeanmiguelfangio Tue 24-Jun-14 09:01:40

Im no expert thats for sure, but surely there are a lot of dogs that would growl at someone new or in a new environment, or from a kennel situation. I cant understand why a dog groomer wouldnt be used to that, even without the backstory. And also they would have experience with dogs like that and use a muzzle (which the owner allows)
I can understand why the groomer would want paying for her time if you had cancelled or the dog tried to bite/be completely uncooperative but having explained everything first I think you are in the right. YANBU

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 24-Jun-14 09:08:11

It's important to bear in mind though that he may well have been much worse than op had said, because of the stress of the kennel environment.

Of course they are used to a bit of growling or resistance. But we don't know his bad he actually was

piratecat Tue 24-Jun-14 09:09:54

yanbu, i doubt she even really tried tbh.

mommy2ash Tue 24-Jun-14 09:17:18

before i had read your entire post i thought that the issue was going to be the dog was groomed but was now traumatised by it. my dog doesn't particularly like being groomed and once or twice we have had to leave it as he was becoming too stressed at the situation. i have a lovely dog groomer who has tons of experience so when she says the dog had enough i trust that she is right.

if your dog was too stressed or it seemed likely it could bite maybe it was for the best. to be honest i can't believe you thought it was a good time to get it done, with you being away and the dog already being in an unfamiliar place. i think you were being unreasonable to book it in the first place.

i think the groomer really should have told you upfront you would still be charged for the slot if she couldn't groom the dog.

InSpaceNooneCanHearYouScream Tue 24-Jun-14 09:20:44

I wouldn't leave a dog with that many issues in a kennels in the first place, let alone expect a dog groomer to cope with him. Sorry, YABU

Stinkle Tue 24-Jun-14 09:24:25


You clearly explained the issues, she assured you she could handle it. She can't now charge. Why did she not try a muzzle if you'd given permission?

We had similar with our spaniel - he's scared of the noise of the clippers and growls so has to be cut by hand with scissors (he's never actually bitten, but I can't guarantee what he'd do if he was really frightened).

We tried a new groomer, I explained that he had to be cut by hand and why. It's more expensive to cut by hand, but that's fine, we know this, she quoted me a price, no problem

An hour after I dropped him off I get a call to say they were unable to cut him as he'd growled.

I get there to find they'd tried cutting him with clippers, despite my explicit instructions not to and then tried to charge me.

No way was I paying

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