If you have stumbled across this article and aren’t a groomer, you may want to leave now. Groomers everywhere are dusting off their pitchforks, lighting their torches, and uniting under a singular cause- the Doodle. Golden, Labra, Sheepa, Micromini, Berna, you name it- anything can have the word doodle behind it these days. The interwebs are filled with funny memes stating that poodles will basically breed anything and breeders of dogs are proving this theory correct. As a busy working grooming shop owner, I see these dogs flock into our salons like wolves in sheep clothing wearing their hair and fur coats of many colors. I hear the collective groan of groomers around me mentally contemplating the angst and time involved when dealing with owners and these sheep/wolf/dog clients.
Problem above- now I offer a solution. We educate our clients and we educate ourselves. I saw a mild rant earlier today from a groomer whose experience and skills I wholly respect. It indicated that groomers don’t understand the coats or the coat cycles that accompany these beasts of our businesses. And she is so right. I propose that every groomer who grooms at least one doodle go back to the drawing board and learn the inner workings of coat presented by poodles. Years ago, the poodle was the bread and butter groom of the Groomer. In fact, one could argue, our industry is built upon the popularity of the poodle. People needed groomers to maintain these fractious coats and an industry was spawned.
Fast forward to today, and many groomers learn to shave down shih tzu, schnauzers, and mixed breed dogs long before they ever get to steward a poodle client from puppy coat through coat change and into an adult groom. There is a hole in the education of groomers and I believe Doodles are flaunting that missing link. If a groomer doesn’t understand the stages and fragile nature of the curly coat- i.e, breakage, regular trimming, combing, etc.- how can that groomer advise and help maintain a combination coat which is based upon such coat?
So, I challenge every groomer to find a poodle friend and embrace their dedication to coat maintenance. Learn from them how they brush, comb, groom, and otherwise maintain these kings and queens of dogs. Your Doodle clients will appreciate the application of this knowledge to their dogs. Likewise, this knowledge will benefit you when a fractious owner demands a puppy cut on a pelted 90 pound puppy who missed most of his obedience classes.
I encourage you to embrace your Doodle clients. Educate yourself and then educate them. The Doodle is the new Poodle…think of it as Job Security! Happy Doodling!