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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



Shih Tzu


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


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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