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I know I overshare. And I know this is highly insignificant in the big picture. And I know it's just hair and it will grow. But I'm soooo bummed. 

Katie and Maggie's groomer moved away. And when I say away I mean far away - like a 17 hour round trip (I checked.)  She had been Katie's groomer since we moved here in 2015 - I think she had only been groomed twice by someone else. And I knew I was spoiled. She hand scissored Katie and she only charged maybe $60. She taught me so many things. She helped me get a few decent grooming tools and figure out at least the brushing thing. I don't think Katie's had a matt on her for 2 years. The girls adore her and she's one of the few people trust implicitly with them. And we won't even mention that her shop was 5 minutes away from home. 

But life must go on and dogs must be groomed. So today I took them to the groomer who replaced my beloved groomer. And it's not a disaster. It's not. It's just hair, right? That's what I always think when someone is bemoaning the way their dog was groomed. But, she cut.off.their.beards. I did not know this was a thing I had to tell her. And Maggie, I can't say anything. We're still working out the brushing kinks. She doesn't like it, and she has hair that tangles. She was kind of a mess (but not that big of a mess.) But Katie! All she needed was a bath and a trim and she came home with a summer cut and no beard! And to add insult to injury she shaved up about 2 inches on her tail. She didn't have a single tangle in her tail. Why would she even do that? 

I know, I know. It will grow back. Eventually. But I'm whining here. And now I am in search of a new groomer who is exactly like the old groomer. And I don't think it's a thing. And somehow I'm sitting here wondering exactly how I could justify driving 17 hours every time the girls need their hair done. 

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My Chase came home looking like a poodle once - no beard and a poof on the top of his head. That was the last time he went to a groomer, I learned how to do it myself!!

Next time - Take pictures with you of how you like the girls to look. Write down important bullet points and attach this to the pictures. 

I've thought about trying to learn, but I can barely make my hair look presentable. The thought intimidates me, all those curves and whatnot. I'm afraid I would cut off something important (like an ear!)

I would be devastated if my groomer moved away.  She has been my groomer since - wow, since uh at least 15 years.  I really get your upset. 

Suggestions if possible:

1.Do you have contact with your former groomer?  If so, I would contact her and (not whiney or complaining - well not much) tell her that the new groomer cut the girls all wrong - ask her if she could contact the new groomer and explain in 'groomer language' how to cut the girls.

2.Talk to the new groomer.  Show her a photo of each dog in a good cut - tell her exactly what you are not happy about with the cut. (If you don't have photos of your girls, ask some of us with doodles with similar coats to share ours). Check out her reaction - is she defensive, negative, willing to learn, wants to please you - depending upon that either never go back or give her a second chance.  The first time my wonderful groomer cut Ned as a puppy, she shaved between the eyes - she didn't know better - Ned was still in the doodlekisses calendar with that cut!

3. Start looking for other groomers. 

It's awful, right? Even women who aren't dog people understand when I explain it's like their stylist left them. Hair is a big deal. 

I am in contact with the old groomer. I asked if she had any other recommendations for someone who could groom the way she did. She gave me a name, but it's a place where you drop them off first thing in the morning and then pick them up at the end of the day. All dogs get bathed and dried before anyone starts getting cut, and I won't do that. They get groomed on my day off. I don't want to be without them for the whole day. I like them! I miss them when they're gone. The problem with the new groomer is that I don't think she does scissor cuts. No fancy poodles for her. I guess not all groomers are created equal. 

I did mention to her as I was leaving with Katie that I like her beard longer, and she seemed okay with the constructive criticism. So maybe she could learn. She seemed nice enough, and I watched her grooming Maggie for a while, she seemed like she did a good job with her. It's just the cut I don't love. 

I did ask for some new groomer recommendations on facebook. Maybe someone will have the name of the perfect person. I really just secretly hope that our old groomer will hate her new job and come back. 

Our boys are scissor cut too and I think there are not a lot of groomers who do it and don't charge big big bucks for it.  I love my groomer.  Maybe you should check out the groomer your old groomer referred you to.  It might not be a terrible place at all for the girls to go to.

Maybe I just need to move! I'm sure they have jobs in the groomer's new state! 

We are having family pictures in 2 weeks - against my will. I passionately hate having my picture taken. The only reason I agreed is because my kids are invited to the photo shoot too this time. Maybe they'll look better in two weeks. I guess at least we'll be able to see their eyes.

That's a good idea to have the groomers talk.  I do my own grooming but every spring take him into a groomer for a short cut & sanitary cut (scared to do that myself!).  When I interview a new groomer I first make sure they know a doodle from a poodle and then ask (bring in my dog) what they would do.  I think that's in their head even if you tell them differently.

I had a great groomer at a local reasonably priced place for about 2 years. Price was great and so was the cut. Better yet Georgia got VIP treatment because the groomer liked her and Georgia was so easy. She moved away and the groomer that took her place was not good. I tried a few other groomers, and after the last bad groom where I also sense she was treated well, I started doing it myself.

The first few cuts take a long time and you just have to know it's a learning experience. Make sure you get good tools--it makes a difference. I'm still getting the hang of it, and it does take more time. But considering the cost, the amount of time traveling to and from the groomer, and my worry about how Georgia is doing, it is better for me.

How did you even begin to learn? Did you watch videos? I watched an instructional grooming video once and I was completely overwhelmed. I'm not opposed to the idea, but it looked so hard!

I did watch some videos just to pick up some tips.  Doodles have such a variety of coats that one way of clipping doesn't fit all.  You can check out the Doodle Grooming group.  It's not as hard as it looks.  I bought a variety pack of combs and started with the longest comb and got shorter as I got more confident.  I now use 3 combs.  One for body, one for legs & one for muzzle.

I’m curious which combs you use for different areas. I always use the same one except for the sani area. I might like to try this. 

1/8" muzzle 1/4" legs 1/2" body. Legs are hard but I use sissors in some areas around his legs & feet.

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