Many dogs are nervous when visiting the salon. There are many reasons why they feel this way; a negative first grooming experience can impact future visits and leave your dog fearful of the grooming environment. At Barks and Bubbles, I strive to introduce your dog to grooming in a low-stress force-free way. I will only ever work at your puppy's pace and stop a groom if your dog shows any signs of fear.
No one puppy is the same, so puppy packages are bespoke, below is some information on the puppy package I offer at my salon.
£125 (Six sessions)
How long will each session last? Approximately ( 15 mins to 1 hour 30 mins)
How many sessions will my Puppy need?
Generally speaking, I start with six sessions for all dogs.
What does each session include, and what's involved
Freework/play is a hands-off session; your dog can explore the salon and approach me if they want to, with no pressure!
I can watch your dog and take notes; it's a fact-finding mission. I will identify which tasty treats they prefer; this will help me in step two. I can also see if they avoid certain surfaces; this allows me to make the bath or table more comfortable.(15-20mins)
Introduction to the bath and the grooming table using positive reinforcement and desensitising protocol.
This session allows me to introduce your dog to the table and the bath using positive reinforcement. I will add value to these two areas by using a food reward the point of this session is to help your dog feel confident.(15-20mins)
Sessions 3 and 4
Introduction to the sounds and tools in the salon using positive reinforcement and desensitising protocol.
These sessions allow me to introduce your dog to the salon equipment using positive reinforcement. I will watch their reaction to see how confident they are with brushes, dryers, and the running water in the bath. I can then decide if additional sessions or homework are needed or if we can move on. Introducing the dog to the equipment slowly helps them become comfortable and less fearful in the long run; your dog's grooming experience is less stressful. (45mins)
Introduction to the Bath Plus Dry either with a hairdryer or towel (Includes nail clip and ear clean). Also, a continuation of the steps above.
Your dog will have a bath; I will start without shampoo to ensure your dog is okay with the water on its body. This benefits both me and the dog as if they are fearful, we can stop, and there is no shampoo to remove. I can then add an extra session to help with bathing. If the dog is okay with bathing, they will have an excellent cleansing bath that will remove dirt and grease from their coats.
This is followed by a towel dry for dogs less confident with the dryer or a hairdryer dry.
I will introduce your dog to the nail clipper (please note that I will only clip nails if the dog is comfortable; if not, I will need you to do some homework, and I will then work on this with them at future appointments)(1 hour)
Mini Groom; this is your dog's first mini-groom!
It includes bath, brush and blow dry, hygiene trim, puppy trim or clip, nail clip and ear clean.
This puts all the above steps together, but please be aware that I will stop the groom if any fear arises. This is because I don't want your dog to become afraid. I do this as a scared dog is hard to groom, and your dog will be fearful of coming for their groom; they will already be anticipating how they felt at the last appointment. (1 / 2 hours depending on size and coat type of dog)
How will you decide which elements of the grooming process need further work?
It will be clear what elements the dog is uncomfortable with; by watching their behaviours and body language during the sessions, I will then be able to tell you what needs further work.
How often do I need to bring my Puppy to the salon?
Ideally, the sessions should be weekly so we can make the dog's trip to see me a regular part of their routine.
What happens if my Puppy is still not ready for a full groom at the end of the Puppy package?
I would offer extra PAYG sessions, and if I thought your dog needed additional support, I would recommend a local force-free trainer/behaviourist they could work with.
If your dog feared the salon environment or getting to the salon was a trigger, I would suggest a groomer who went to their home has an alternative.
I would also suggest a vet check to ensure everything is ok medically.
What support do I expect from my client?
An Open mind understands that not every dog will enjoy being groomed and that adaptions may be needed.
Cooperation follows the instructions on homework handouts and practices every day.
Please be patient and do not try to rush the process.
What will we get in our Welcome Pack?
1. Appropriate brush with advice on how to use
2. Puppy treats
3. 10% off the first full groom
4. Links to helpful product sites, FB pages and books