Hey Adam! We have been working with you for over three years, and are super happy with how relaxed and calm our dogs are after your grooms! We are surprised though that when you come over, the dogs are not all excited about their upcoming groom. This is confusing to us, as we imagine that the dogs should just be all happy to get groomed by you! Why don't our dogs look forward to their grooms?
Dogs look forward to walking in a park, socializing with other dogs, eating, etc. Grooming doesn't fall into that category of activities that are fun for them to do. Dogs see grooming as getting wet without being able to run around and "shake it off", and having to lay, sit and stand in different positions while I cut their hair. For instance, the dog would need to remain seated or laying down with their leg extended towards me so I can clip their nails. This is not nearly as fun to do as playing in a dog park with other dogs.
But I heard other groomers call grooming "a doggy day spa". I imagined it's like a spa day to my dogs?
This idea is an anthropomorphism, which is attributing of a human characteristic or behavior to an animal. It is a marketing tactic to make grooming seem more appealing.
Think of going to the dentist. There are gentle dentists that will do their very best to help you feel as comfortable as it can get, but you still need to sit in the chair with your mouth open. Does that sound like a spa day?
All sales tactics aside, what is really important to me is that your dogs are able to build trust with me. A big part of that trust that I have with the dogs that I groom is that they know that I know that it's not a spa day for them and that I feel compassion for them rather than expect them to like it.
Most dogs that come to me do so after showing signs of trauma from their previous groom. I am happy to be there and work with them so that they can heal their old wounds, develop more trust and confidence with grooming, and finally get to the place where they can be happy after a groom=0)
Disclaimer: The contents of this blog are intended for informational purposes only. The contents are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your vet with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition of your dog/s.