Dog howling too loudly
Why Im not friends with dogs. The Whippet Media

Why I’m not friends with customers dogs?

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9.3

Should We Get Along With Every Dog?

As humans, we are bound to meet people in our life time who we just don’t get along with. Maybe they have an annoying habit, maybe they’re boring, maybe we just meet them on a bad day and they never talk to us again. But it’s generally accepted that we will never be best friends with these people, and no one questions it.

Dog and groomer best friends
Why Im not friends with dogs. The Whippet Media

So why should we be expected to get along and enjoy working with every dog we meet?

Of course we should treat every dog with absolute kindness. But let’s be honest sometimes there is a personality clash and we just don’t enjoy the few hours we spend with the dog.

There are different triggers for different people. Coat types can be a major deciding factor in whether someone grooms a dog. With many groomers turning down tedious hand-scissored, fluff-dried dogs. Sometimes breeds alone can put people off.

How many of us have had a negative experience with a Shar Pei? Which put us on edge for the entire breed? 

Shar Pei Wanted poster
Why Im not friends with dogs. The Whippet Media

In my case, it’s noisy dogs. I can ignore a dog barking in excitement when someone arrives, even the odd howl doesn’t get on my nerves. But when a dog has separation anxiety. The high-pitched whinging throughout the entire groom makes me want to tear my own ears off. I don’t know why I find it so extremely irritating. Most of the time it’s not even that loud compared to some of the barkers, but the excessive noise for no clear reason just gets on my nerves.

For these dogs I give the owner two options: work with a behaviourist to fix the problem. Or find another groomer and be their problem. why im not friends with my customers dogs

It may seem harsh. But what’s the point in stressing myself out for 2 hours because the dog can’t see its owner?

Ear defenders help but they don’t fix the problem. And on top of that, the crying upsets all of the other dogs in the salon too. That’s just not fair on them.

In case anyone was wondering, there is a difference between true separation anxiety, and attention seeking behaviour that mimics anxiety.

I found this out when my dog trainer came to work with my standard poodle in our garden. While my miniature poodle was in the house she began crying loudly. I apologised to the trainer and admitted she had a touch of separation anxiety, and explained she would soon run off to have cuddles on the sofa with my parents.

Pomeranian leg cocking
Why Im not friends with dogs. The Whippet Media

The trainer explained that in true separation anxiety, the dog doesn’t care that there is someone else there, they find no comfort in it and continue with the anxious behaviours regardless of the attention they’re being given.

This explains why some dogs in the parlour will display anxiety behaviours for the entire duration of the groom, while others will stop the moment they are given attention by the groomer.

The other behaviour I can’t stand is pure stubbornness. This can be a trait in certain breeds (English Bulldogs are the first that spring to mind), and I find it so unreasonably frustrating. I used to be quite tolerant of this behaviour and I would work with the dogs on their terms. There is a knack to grooming these dogs in such a way that you encourage them to think that they want to do what you want them to do.

Why can I no longer work with these dogs without wanting to curl up in a corner and DIE!? Why i’m not friends with customers dogs

Because now I live with one of them. Jack the Golden Retriever is, for lack of a better word, a dick. I love him, but I absolutely refuse to groom him. I can put up with him sitting down for the majority of the groom, he’s had four operations on his cruciate ligaments. I can put up with him refusing to turn around in the bath, because maybe it’s hard to turn so sharply with bad back legs.

But I can’t stand him rolling on the table like a fat sausage until you have to support his entire weight to stop him falling headfirst to the ground.

I can’t stand him punching me in the face when I’m least expecting it, usually knocking one of my contact lenses out as he does it (although that’s him being rude rather than stubborn). 

Which dogs can you absolutely not get along with? Let us know on the Whip It out facebook page where we will be discussing this very topic on episode 16!

Listen to our other Whip It Out Dog grooming podcasts HERE

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