One would never believe how much diplomacy counts in the grooming game. Dealing with dogs is much easier than coping with nervous, neurotic, uncaring, overbearing, and supercilious people, but it is all part of being a dog groomer.
Thankfully on the whole, dog owners care about their dogs (sometimes too much). Only occasionally is there a time when tempers are so frayed that the dog owner gets told how it is.
There are so many groomers about, there is no need to visit a groomer only once a year, or when the dog is in a disgusting state. There are occasions when the breeder is at fault, telling the new puppy owner that the dog should not be clipped until it is six months old; this usually ends up with the owner leaving the dog until it is a year old. By this time, the coat is looking scruffy and out of control, with accumulated mats.
The customer is always right
Groomers do, from time to time, fall out with clients, usually because of the neglect of a dog, but sometimes because the groomer wants to trim a dog a certain way and the client prefers the dog all clipped off. It is well to remember that the customer is always right. This may not be the case, of course, but, as a groomer, it is your job to give the customer what he or she wants.
Groomers that have a fetish for combing out knots and tangles and turning out a first class trim may be admirable and reserved recognition, but sometimes it is more appropriate to opt for something simpler and easier to manage. For example, perhaps the dog leads a lifestyle whereby he is forever getting wet and muddy; perhaps the owner never puts a brush near the coat; or perhaps the owner just wants the dog to have a very short haircut for their own convenience. In such instances, there is nothing wrong with clipping the dog all over with a #5 blade. For more on matted coats, read here.
Some groomers will refuse to do this. If the dog is comfortable and the client is happy, where's the problem? The dog must come first. A matted dog is an unhappy dog. He will be much happier having his hair, clipped short than he will be by enduring hours of having his mates and snarls ripped through with a brush.
Nervous Owners Some owners are reluctant to leave their dogs, this should not be a problem. Inviting the customer to stay and watch the proceedings, will prove you have nothing to hide. Once the owner is confident in your ability, they will happily leave the dog in your care.
Putting people and their dogs at their ease is a gift and is incorporated into the training of any good groomer. It may take a bit longer to trim the dog this way for the first couple of visits, but the effort is worthwhile.