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The Grooming Idustry According to Shawn H.
Bows, shears, Oster’s, forcepts, Speed Feeds. Sound interesting? These are items used everyday by pet groomers, or as they prefer, Pet Stylists. For shawn H. of Shampooches Pet Styling in Marysville, these are just a few. Shawn started grooming school in 1990 at Maser’s Academy of Fine Grooming. Where just a few of her in-laws serve as bathers or groomers themselves. To Shawn, grooming isn’t just about shaving a dog down and calling good. Shawn likes to ask what her clients want done. Whether it be a Cairn Terrier in a Westie trim, or a Poodle in a full-scissor continental trim. Shawn personally prefers scissoring a poodle all day long. As a Certified Master Groomer (CMG), she has been grooming for 21 years and poodles just “stuck” on her.
Some might ask, “What is a Certified Master Groomer?” A Certified Master Groomer has taken a series of certification tests, grooming each a dog from each group (sporting, non-sporting, long legged terrier, short legged terrier). To pass the grooming test, a groomer must score atleast 85 percent. After you succeed with this, you move onto taking a 400 question test which covers breeds, handling procedures, anatomy, temperments, ect., which is required 300 correct to pass. If you get an overall score of 80 percent, you are then a Certified Master Groomer. Shawn received her certificate December 30th, 2008.
While there aren’t many CMG’s in the state of Washington, Shawn happens to be the only in Marysville. Along with that, she is the only groomer that offers a whole new world of grooming by doing creative grooming and patterns. Creative grooming uses non-alcohol based hair dyes on the dog to create vivid colors and shapes. Patterns are trims seen in the show ring that can take up to 4 hours to complete. There is a Certified Master Pet Colorist group, but Shawn has yet to master basic dyeing. Where can you see creative grooming? There are creative shows held in Las Vegas every year in September. It is still fairly new to the industry, and is still being frowned upon in some states, like Florida.
When asked why a Poodle is her favorite dog to groom, Shawn simply stated that “They’re a whole new level of difficulty and art work.” I asked her what her least favorite was and she replied “Goldendoodles or Labradoodles. Mostly because the owners don’t understand that they aren’t a hybrid dog. Breeders tell them no brushing is required so they all come in matted to the skin.” Thus leading us to the importance of grooming…
“How often should I get my dog groomed?” Sadly, an uncommon question. Shawn recommends every four to six weeks, depending on your dog’s coat.
”Why is is so important?” Grooming your dog is VERY important for many reasons. Number one is their overall health. If your dog is severly matted, those matts are pulling and tugging on your dog’s skin every time they move. Just like someone pulling at your skin or hair. Trimming nails is important, too. If not trimmed on a regular basis, nails will grow into your dog’s pads, causing pain when they walk. Shawn highly suggests seeing a groomer on a regular basis, and brushing your dog at home.
I asked Shawn what the worst case of matting neglect she’s seen she answered, “Probably the puppy mill dogs I helped groom in February.” Shawn was a volunteer at the Everett Animal Shelter to help clean up some of the dogs seized from the Puppy Mill in Goldbar.
What’s her most memorable moment in her 21 year grooming career? “Getting bit by a cat in Mill Creek. He had bit right down to the bone in my arm while his mom was just standing there. I went to the doctor’s two days later and they said if I had gone in later they would have had to amputate my hand. The whole thing put me out of work for three years.”
Sure, Shawn has her doubts about being a business owner, but she knows nothing other than grooming. “If I wasn’t a groomer, I would probably be in Interior Design.” At the end of the day, Shawn loves knowing dogs feel and look ten times better, and the owners are happier with their pet.
Maser’s Academy of Fine Grooming: http://www.masers.com/school.htm
Shampooches Pet Styling: http://shampoochessalon.com/