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When does a difficult dog become a dangerous dog?....

Our groomers work with difficult dogs everyday. But there is a fine line between a difficult dog becoming a dangerous dog. The hardest conversation to have with an owner is to let them know we can no longer groom their dog because it is too dangerous to continue.

We think of dangerous dogs as large aggressive banned breeds, but any breed of dog can be dangerous for pet professionals to handle. It could be a chihuahua, yorkie, or pug or a larger dog like a spaniel or labrador, breeds that you would not normally associate with being 'dangerous'.

A difficult dog may be fidgety, wriggly, maybe a little bit growly or snappy.

A dangerous dog is unpredictable and behaves in a way that could cause serious injury to itself or the groomer. They may writhe round when a brush or the clippers are put on its body, they are scared and the fear translates into aggression. A dangerous dog could be so out of control that it takes 2 or 3 members of staff to safely diffuse the situation. We might not be able to get close to it to pick it up, restrain it or muzzle it safely.

A nasty bite can cause infection, torn ligaments in the hands, arms or fingers or even broken bones. After a bad bite the groomer could need hospital treatment and be off work for weeks, months or worst case never be able to groom again. Not to mention the mental stress and financial implications from being bitten badly at work. Worse case a bad bite could end their career.

It is the owners responsibility to brush their dogs coat between grooms, if you can't get near your own dog with a brush, how can a stranger?

It is the owners duty of care to inform the groomer if previous groomers have removed their dogs from their books due to dangerous behaviour. Likewise if your vet refuses to trim your dog's nails without sedation it is highly unlikely that a groomer will be able to do them.

Very reactive dogs may need to be assessed by a trainer, or taken to the vets for sedation for grooming or nail trims. Some 1-2-1 groomers will have the time and facilities to work with difficult dogs but should know the history before they take the dog on.

If your dog is un-groomable we will charge up to 100% of the cost of the groom depending on how much work has been done, and the time taken to complete the groom. If another staff member is taken away from their own duties for a prolonged period of time a handling charge of £25 per hour will be charged on top of the price of the groom.

Sadly we are seeing lots of dogs who have serious behaviour issues that need addressing to prevent escalation into a more serious situation.

We do have CCTV covering our salon so all grooms are recorded and can be reviewed in the event of a serious incident occurring in the salon for customer feedback.

Our staff are happy to discuss your pets requirements, however if you have been refused by another groomer it is important to find out why to allow us to risk assess prior to accepting an appointment.

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