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Why It's Tough to Find a Groomer for Big Dogs: Explained

Updated: Aug 22, 2023

As a pet groomer, I have noticed a surge in requests for grooming services for large-breed dogs. This trend affects the time available for other types of pets in our salon. Last year, I had to stop taking new large dog requests to ensure I had enough availability for the ones I already had in my rotation. In this blog post, we will discuss the impact of this trend on local grooming salons.


Large-breed dogs are becoming increasingly popular among pet owners, with breeds like Golden Retrievers, Labradoodles, Goldendoodles, Bernedoodles, and Standard Poodles leading the pack. These breeds are known for their loyalty, intelligence, and affectionate personalities, making them great companions for families and individuals alike. However, owning a large breed dog comes with challenges, including the extra care and maintenance required to keep them healthy and well-groomed.


As a groomer, I can attest that grooming large dogs requires more time and effort than their smaller counterparts. Our salon typically accommodates only two large dogs per stylist per day, which limits our availability for other pets. Grooming a large dog involves longer bath times, brushing, drying, and hair clipping, which can take up to four hours. For comparison, I can dry a Shih Tzu in about 10 minutes, while some Goldendoodle clients in full coats can take 45 minutes or longer to hand dry. This time constraint is a significant factor, considering most groomers work an eight-hour day.



Golden Retriever

Labradoodle

Goldendoodle

Shih Tzu

Bath

20-25 minutes

15-20 minutes

15-20 minutes

10-15 minutes

Drying & Brushing

45 min - 1 hr

45 min - 1 hr+

45 min - 1 hr+

10-15 minutes

Haircut

1 - 1.5 hours

1 - 2 hours

1 - 2 hours

45 minutes - 1 hour

Total Time

2 hrs +

2 hrs +

2 hrs +

65 min+




Gilligan - 3 hours start to finish

Abou - 2.5 hours start to finish

Coco - 1 hour start to finish


Taking care of large dogs requires more time and effort, and can put a lot of physical strain on our bodies. During the COVID-19 pandemic, 1 in 5 American households adopted or acquired a new pet. Many of these pets, particularly large Poodle mixes, weren't able to receive proper socialization and obedience training during the shutdown. As a result, we are now seeing more large dogs without effective training, who often use their body weight to toss us around. This can be challenging for us as we deal with several such dogs each day, leaving us feeling sore and reaching for ibuprofen at the end of the day. However, given the physical demands and repetition involved in our job, this is not a sustainable way to work. Therefore, many salons have implemented limits for large dogs, and services for them are usually more expensive than those for smaller breeds, as we need to account for the extra time and resources required.


While we strive to offer fair prices to our clients, grooming a large dog is not cheap. In our salon, most small-breed dog grooms start around $85 and take about an hour. However, if we were to take on a large dog, we would have to decline booking at least two small dogs to ensure we had enough time. This means that the large dog groom would have to cost at least $170 to avoid a loss for our salon. As pet groomers, we love animals, but we also need to make a living to support ourselves and our families.


In conclusion, we have observed an increase in requests for grooming services for large-breed dogs, which is affecting our availability for other pets. We encourage pet owners to understand that grooming a large dog takes more time and effort, and comes with a higher cost. Our best advice is to find a groomer who adores your dog and get on a recurring schedule with them. In the end, our goal is to make all pets feel comfortable, beautiful, and happy, and we appreciate the support and loyalty of all our customers, regardless of their pet's size.

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5 comentários


Carol McElheney
Carol McElheney
12 de ago. de 2023

Golden Retrievers should not be as difficult to groom as a doodle. If the owner brushed the Golden regularly they shouldn't mat like a Poodle mix. If you want a real challenge, try grooming a Bouvier who has never been taught to submit to grooming as a puppy.

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oakcitypets
13 de ago. de 2023
Respondendo a

You are right. The Goldens I groom have no mats because they have consistent grooming. Grooming a Doodle is not necessarily more difficult than a Golden Retriever; they simply require different techniques. I have had the pleasure of grooming a couple of Bouviers during my career, and I adore large dogs.

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graziaadriani
10 de ago. de 2023

A bit of fact checking:

Labradoodle, goldendoodle, bernedoodle are not breeds. They are mixes. They are not known for their intelligence or loyalty since they are badly and unethically bred and not bred for temperament. Most of these mixes have very unreliable temperaments, which is why so many end up in shelters.

The reason why many groomers don’t take doodlemutts is because of their size, their difficult temperament and their unmanageable mixed coat. Adding to this the fact that unethical breeders don’t explain to buyers that there dog’s coats are much more difficult to maintain than the coat of any purebred dog, so you usually have owners with unrealistic expectations. Most groomers do not have an issue with taking large…

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oakcitypets
13 de ago. de 2023
Respondendo a

You are correct that Goldendoodles/Labradoodles mentioned in the article are mixed breeds, which may result in variations in their traits and temperaments. However, as a groomer, I have encountered many mixed-breed dogs that exhibit the traits discussed in the article. I appreciate your input, but the article is not claiming that groomers take issue with accepting large dogs. It is merely explaining why some groomers may have difficulty accommodating them in their busy schedules.

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