The dog grooming industry is not licensed or regulated in any way, but it’s coming. Not all groomers are irresponsible people. I would think most become groomers because they like dogs. Without licensing and regulations, however, there is no way to ensure each groomer is meeting industry safety standards. Would any of us consider having our hair cut, colored, and styled by someone who took an online course or a couple of days of on-the-job training? Probably not, and safety isn’t an overwhelming concern for cuts and styles but many would not risk it, yet we are willing to turn our pets over to people who have little training and no regulatory oversight.
Since Harley died while in the care of a groomer I have come in contact with wonderful people working toward licensure and regulatory oversight of the grooming industry. One of them is a groomer and advocate for licensure and oversight; he is known as Jun the Groomer. Jun is a young man with a passion for his profession and the dogs he grooms. Check him out on Youtube, Facebook, and all other social media sites. He has also written a couple of books. I am very impressed with his passion for dogs and the badly needed licensing and regulatory oversight on the horizon for the grooming industry. Recently, he has come under attack for his views on regulatory oversight. I get it, people don’t like change. Neither do the big box stores who employ people off the street as groomers because it will be more costly for them when licensing and regulatory oversight goes into effect. But what is more important money or safety for the pets people entrust to groomers?
As a pet owner, I admit I was ignorant about the grooming industry. I assumed it was regulated, licensing was required, the usual. I didn’t think to check it out. A groomer I had a few years back cut the pads off one of our dogs’ feet and didn’t bother to tell my daughters when they picked her up. Returning home the girls noticed our dog was limping and licking her paw; on inspection, they found her pad had been snipped off. I was at work and one of the girls sent me a picture and asked if the groomer had called and told me about the dog’s foot. No, she hadn’t. A few days later the groomer closed up shop. I don’t know the reasons she chose to close. I didn’t blame her for the paw incident. Grooming is not an easy job, and this particular pooch isn’t easy to groom.
I asked around, got the name of a groomer who came highly recommended and took our dogs to her for a couple of years. I noticed the dogs put up a bit of a fuss when I dropped them off but didn’t think too much of it. When I picked them up a few hours later they didn’t seem any worse for the wear and looked adorable. Hindsight being 20/20 I wish I had paid more attention. Harley did not like this woman and it was pretty clear the morning I left her in the groomer’s care. When I handed Harley to the groomer Harley stiffened and put out all four paws as if to put distance between her and the groomer Later, we found Harley dead on the boulevard a few blocks away; the groomer was careless and Harley got off the grooming table and ran out the door. Would Harley still be alive today if licensing and regulatory oversight were in place? No one can say for certain, but the probability is certainly higher she would still be alive.
Jun the groomer uses techniques to gain the dog’s trust, to establish a relationship. And, Jun believes groomers should not rush the process, and it is a process because groomers are working with dogs who have their own personalities and bents. Grooming is not a one-size-fits-all process. Jun’s dream is to one day open his own grooming school where he will teach the techniques that have led to his success in the grooming industry. His dream will become reality, of this I am certain…..