All For The Love Of Dogs!

for-love-of-dogs_blogShannon Moore, NCMG  |  Espree Animal Products, Director of Education and Grooming

In this day and age, so many people pick up a pair of scissors and clippers and claim to be a groomer.  Everyone chooses their own path and creates their future.  You have to work for it! Whether you choose to attend grooming school or intern in a grooming salon to get an education, it is necessary to put 100% into your education in order to become a good pet stylist.  Over time, your skills will improve and you will learn as you go.  Regardless of whether you are in the industry for 6 months, 6 years, or 25 years, you should never stop learning.  Even the most seasoned pet stylist attend seminars, go to grooming shows, or dog shows and learn a trick that they can apply in the salon.

Think about how much goes into a full service groom!  You have to evaluate the skin and coat, select the right products to use on a particular pet, the actual bath and prep, correct brushing and drying techniques, and finally the groom and finish work.  Not only is it necessary to have a really good grasp on pet care, health and safety, skin and coat, coat types, pattern trims, breed standard, profile, and the list goes on and on, you have to act like a professional.  With all of this knowledge and information, sometimes we have a tendency to forget that this is our profession.  Grooming is a skilled profession that takes a lot of tenacity and hard work. It allows us to bring out our creative and artistic side too.   The dog is like a canvas and we can artistically wield our scissors and clippers and create a masterpiece.  It is a talent that not everyone is blessed with.  It is a talent and it is our profession.

It is our responsibility to act in a professional manner, not only with the client but with the dog as well. I always tell groomers be honest and open with the client.  Let them know if there is a problem, or if you have any concerns, and let the client know why.  Remember this is their baby, they cherish their pet, and will appreciate any advice or concerns you may have.  Don’t play veterinarian, but referring to the vet is a good habit to create.  Being professional, being honest, and keeping a clear channel open for communication is the basis for creating a good relationship between the groomer and the client.  Good relationships turn into repeat business, referrals, and a solid foundation for your business. I am always grateful that we have the opportunity to have a career doing something we love…. All for the love of dogs!

The Fascination of Learning As A Groomer

rosie_blog-photoBlog Article Written By: Tracy Schumann

I first picked up clippers in 2006, I did not know anything about grooming. I was a former teacher and current dog trainer.  Rescuing a toy poodle, I needed to know how to groom him.  Within the same year I opened up my own shop, again not knowing anything.  As I ventured out to grooming seminars and grooming competitions I started learning how to properly hold shears, clippers, and the proper technique for bathing and drying dogs.

One thing that fascinates me about grooming is learning about different shampoos and what they are supposed to do.  I love trying new shampoos, and having four dogs I do a lot of bathing. Here is a short list of different types of shampoos:  medicated, flea, moisturizing, whitening, color enhancing, deshedding, facial, and many more.  Some shampoos will be a good degreaser, but not a good shampoo to clean the dog from dirt.  Once you have a dog clean you may have to apply a different shampoo to enhance the color (Black for instance) or to crispen a coat if it is curly (i.e. Bichon).

While you have all of these different shampoos, you have to take into account the water, is it hard or soft. The water type will affect how your shampoo works on the coat.  So, when you travel, what worked very well at home may not work when you travel.

Some shampoos work better on one type of coat and not so well on another style of coat.  Think of all of the coat types that are out there.  Drop coats, curly coats, double coats, and wire coats.  For example, what you use on a Yorkshire Terrier you would not use on a Miniature Poodle.

Something else to touch on is the dilution rate for shampoos.  A majority of shampoos is 16:1, and some  are used at full strength.   The dilution rate also relates back to your water; you may have to leave the shampoo on a little stronger than recommended.  I.e. if it says 16:1, you may have to dilute 10:1.  Some shampoos that recommend full strength, depending on the coat type, I might dilute slightly.

Not Trimming Your Pooches Nails Regularly Can Cause Health Problems!


Sarah Drouin NCMG | Pet Tech CPR Certified | Award Winning Stylist | |  (484) 464-2025

I must trim hundreds of nails per month. When I tell clients that it is a necessity to trim their Pooches nails monthly, they are usually surprised.

When you let a dogs nail grow out too long/far, the vein, also referred to as the “quick,” grows with it. Therefore, you can only take off so much at a time.

I explain that they should come two weeks after the initial visit with me. This way we can take more off, as that vein will have time to recede back. This will be an ongoing process until we can get them to the desired length.

Did you know that not trimming your Pooches nails regularly can cause health problems? Such as, tiny toe fractures, arthritis, and joint deformity.

Again, this isn’t just an aesthetic problem, it’s a functional one: Compromising your dog’s weight distribution and natural alignment can leave her more susceptible to injuries, and make walking and running difficult and painful. This is especially important in older dogs, whose posture can be dramatically improved by cutting back neglected nails. It’s almost like seeing a chiropractor in just a nail visit!

By grinding away the nail all around the quick – above it, below it, and on both sides – the quick has no support nor protection, and within days it will begin to visibly recede.

Part two of my favorite Espree products


Sarah Drouin NCMG | Award Winning Stylist | Pet Tech CPR Certified | Serving PA/DE | (484) 464-2025

Do you have clients that are active? Those clients need a little extra TLC, I use the Cooling Hip & Joint by Espree on these clients. What I love about  this product is that not only does it clean and rinse easily it smells great. I like to explain to the clients that I bathed their active pooch in a cooling menthol shampoo which helps with their joints, muscles and hips.  It cleans a very dirty dog and it leaves a fresh smell all while leaving the pet feeling great!

Allergies are a huge problem for a lot of dogs. Espree  Avocado Oil shampoo is my go to for my clients who have allergy issues.   My personal dog has allergies and this product has been a miracle for us. It helps relieve itchiness up to 14 days. I have not only seen the benefits as a client of this product, but had clients tell me it has really helped at home.

We all have our senior citizens; We have a special place in our hearts for these guys. Why not have a special shampoo for them? Esprees Senior Care  Shampoo, has arnica for sore mucsles. So it does all the benefits of the Cooling shampoo but with the added arnica. I absolutely love adding extra comfort for my senior clients.

My final shampoo pick is the Coconut Oil & Silk Shampoo. I love to use this on my dry dull coats. But I also like to use on most of my flat coated dogs. It not only nourishes and cleans, It leaves strength, texture and an unbeatable shine.  Oh, I forgot to mention I am addicted to the smell that is left on the dog!

Treating your pet like royalty is not as expensive as you think…


Sarah Drouin NCMG | Pet Tech CPR Certified | Award Winning Stylist | | (484) 464-2025

Like many of us, you probably want to treat your dogs to something nice. Does that mean we should spend a fortune to do so? I’ve got some great news. NO!

No offence to anyone who actually likes chicken feet, but have you have passed the chicken selection in the grocery store and seen those strange looking chicken feet?

Well, raw chicken feet are excellent for dogs! Okay, before you say gross, think about it. Dogs are carnivores. Yeah, I know there are new studies that say this is false, that dogs are omnivores. Well, I let you do your own research on that, but here is a link that supports my decision. ( )

Now, my dogs love raw chicken feet! Chicken feet consists of bones, skin, and tendons, but no muscles. These are packed with protein, calcium, collagen, and cartilage that are easily absorbed by the body. These are the essential nutrients required for good joint movement to minimize arthritis and joint pain.

Another inexpensive healthy excellent treat your dogs will go crazy over is raw FROZEN chicken wings. Now, before I go any further I’m sure you are thinking, “I heard that was bad for them!”. Raw chicken wings are okay. I will explain, when you cook a chicken wing the bone breaks down collagen. Without collagen, the bone is brittle and easy to break. This means the bone can break and split and really hurt your pooch. So, remember RAW & I like frozen chicken wings. They are great for keeping their teeth clean and breath fresh. PLEASE ALWAYS REMEMBER TO NEVER LEAVE YOUR DOG UNSUPERVISED WHILE CHEWING ANY TOY OR TREAT.

Lastly, I really like fish skin sticks. Also, known as cod skins, they are dehydrated cod skin. These are excellent for more than ONE reason. They provide a healthy and satisfying snack that is high in protein and low in carbs. They also make a deliciously satisfying crunch which dogs will appreciate, much the way you might love the crunch of a crunchy potato chip.

I will add a few more notes here, please remember when adding anything raw or different to your dog’s diet, that they may have some loose bowels. Present new foods slowly. Also, if you’re worried or your pooch has any health or diet issues, please consult your veterinarian or nutritionist for your pooch.

Always air on the side of caution, we are giving you some really inexpensive ideas to really treat them like a Royal Pooch!

Groomer/Client Relationship

groomer-client-blogTrudy VanArsdale  |  Professional Groomer/Owner of Groomer Grooming Salon  |  Nash Academy Practical Skills Instructor  |  Nash Approved Site  |  Nash Academy Graduate

How has your clients chose you as their groomer?  It could be you’re the only groomer in their town, word of mouth by another client, an advertisement you had placed, a local veterinarian or  your a personal friend.  Whatever the reason, it is up to you whether you keep or lose clients.

First impressions definitely last!  When a new client is expected that day, I
like to personally greet them by introducing myself and calling their pet by name. Standing and talking to them and holding their pet is the beginning process of the pets trust in you.

You, the professional, need to understand breed standards and also be
knowledgeable of different coat types, so you may answer any questions your client may have.  Each one that walks through your door may have specific needs.  Listen thoroughly to what those might be. They want to know you are educated in your field, you have compassion for their pet, and you understand what they are looking for in a groomer. Definitely give them a specific time to pick up their little friend.

Execute the best groom possible on their pet according to age, skin, coat type, and temperament.  After 20 years of grooming, with new clients, I like to talk with them about how the grooming process went.  Full honesty is always the best policy!  This is the time to discuss any issues you may had with their pet,  recommend the next time frame for their groom, the maintenance between grooms, and hopefully schedule them for their next appointment.  Hopefully, you have established a wonderful groomer/client relationship that will last for years!


New Year, New You?

Sarah Drouin NCMG | Pet tech CPR Certified | Award Winning Stylist | | (484) 464-2025

Lots of people welcome the new year with a lot of goals.

Do you have any goals for your Pooch?  Maybe the vets been talking about a diet to help your Pooch drop a few pounds. Maybe you were hoping you could walk your Pooch a little longer. Possibly setting up regular grooming for your Pooch. Feeding your Pooch a better quality food, or even showing a few new tricks to him?

There are lots of ways to set some healthy goals for your Pooch.

Dogs love a day to day routine. They like things in the same pattern all the time. It makes them more confident and less anxious. But adding to that routine can be just as healthy when you stay consistent with it.

Ideas can even stretch to, swimming, going to the lake house, going on a car ride to the corner store when weather is permitting. Even getting them to the park in a different scenery, it can be healthy for the both of you! Mix it up, make it fun and enjoy your time with your Pooch!

Some Of My Personal Favorite Products…


Sarah Drouin NCMG | Pet Tech CPR Certified | Award Winning Stylist | | Serving PA/DE

Have you been scrolling social media and seen some really cute haircuts on dogs? I mean, like how did they achieve that?! We have all been there and we all still do, I am sure! Well, I really want to share some of my favorite products from Espree with you! I will list just some in this article, if I listed them all you would certanlty be overwhelmed!

Lets talk about styling products! Maybe you recently saw my video on “How to get a floppy topknot to stand.”. If not check it out!

My first pick is Espree BOOST Spray! I really like to use this on my own poodle as well as other poodles who have that whimpy, floppy topknot! Pet owners don’t expect show trims, but they sure love their beloved pet to look amazing when leaving the salon! Boost is not only great for poodle topknots. I love this is westie heads as well! We aren’t going to put chalk and pull a westie head completely like in the show world, but we can still achieve a really nice westie head with this very product! I use it for bichons as well! It is really a great product. I know, you don’t want to put a lot of crap product in your pet clients head. I know that, but I’m not referring to crap product. This has lasting volume and control without all the heaviness of crap product! TRUST ME! My clients love what I do, and they honestly don’t ever complain about any tacky felling. My pet clients don’t come back in matted because of it either. It dissipates in time.

My next pick is Espree Freeze! Oh man, have you ever done a yorkie topknot, its beautiful right?! Well yes, until that pesky little broken stray hair pops out and then oh! another! Ugh, how frustrating is that? Well Espree’s Freeze spray is excellent to keep those pesky hairs in place. Oh and I can not forget about eyebrows! I can scissor eyebrows and ah, perfect! Put the dog away and then I realize that perfect eyebrow is now falling to the side. AH! I use Espree’s Freeze Spray and BAM! That eyebrow is in place! I love it! Do you have any full coated dogs that you groom? Well when I groom those full coated dogs, it can be frustrating when the part you made is now making its own part! Oh man, it is hard for me to part my own hair perfect, let alone a dog! This spray is strong enough to give an all day hold and control but  light enough to comb back through! AMAZING!

My third pick is Espree High Sheen Spray. Oh man, After I groom a double coated dog, I love to hit the coat all over with this stuff! I know what your thinking, “Does it make the coat greasy?” The answer is “NO!” I use it well enough on the coat and I work it in with my fingers, getting it through the coat. I find that its gives a beautiful shine and smell to the overall dog, but it seals that loose hair. You know, we have gone in a and force shed that dogs coat and now we have woken the dead!!! So after I brush and comb that coat out, I spray Espree High Sheen Spray all over rub in and I have a glossy beautiful sealed coat!

Okay, so I’ve let you on to some of my secrets. Yes, My clients notice a difference! I want the very best for my clients as I know you do as well for yours! Be sure to look out for my part 2. I will share some awesome products for in the tub! Ive got some good stuff to share!

My Dog Wears Clothes


Shannon Moore, NCMG  |  Espree Animal Products, Director of Grooming and Education

The days are becoming cooler in most parts of the country right now, and we do need to keep our pups warm.  Some caring pet owners are choosing to keep their pet’s hair longer, while others are choosing to put clothes on their pets.  Neither one is better than the other, and both still require work on your behalf.  With longer hair styles, owners are needing to brush the pets out to prevent their dogs from matting and tangling, and they are having to visit their favorite pet stylist more frequently.  But, the owners who are choosing to dress their pets in those trendy, couture outfits have their work cut out for them as well.  And it is more than just doing more shopping!

There is nothing cuter than watching a pup strut down the street with clothes on that are more fashionable than mine.  The intricate detail and the craftsmanship of clothes for pets today is to be applauded.  They are absolutely stunning and usually made better than the clothes I am wearing.  With that said, those pet parents also need to invest in a soft slicker brush, a comb, and hydrating spray.

Every time you take that cute little sweater, jacket, or dress off your adorable little (or big) dog, make sure you take  less than five minutes to do a quick brush out.  In as little as 5 minutes, tangles and mats can begin to form behind their ears, under their arm pits, and on their belly.  It is nothing that a quick 2 – 3 minute brush out can’t fix. Lightly mist hydrating spray on your pet then use the soft slicker brush paying particular attention to the armpits, behind the ears, and the belly. It is a good idea to double check and make sure the hair is separated and divided by using a comb.   So remember, every time you bundle up your pet with those cute and trendy clothes, do a quick brush out to prevent your pet from being so matted at their next grooming appointment.

Upselling Special Packages


Shannon Moore, NCMG  |  Director of Grooming and Education, Espree Animal Products

So many times I hear groomers say they can’t charge extra for services because they live in a small, rural town, and people just won’t pay for anything extra or they have an older clientele, or they do not do a lot of prissy pooches.   I immediately ask “Have you ever tried?  How did you upsell your client?”  Have you ever considered designing a program where the caring pet owners have a selection of packages to choose from and you, their groomer makes a recommendation as to what they need?

Most of us charge extra for a Shed Less Package, so why not try introducing it with other specialty products.  Espree has recently launched a Senior Care Shampoo and Gel.  It’s a great package upsell for senior dogs.  It’s chocked full of Arnica to help soothe tired muscles, relieves inflammation, and pain. Or what about a Deluxe Spa package where you use Lavender & Chamomile Shampoo and spritzer, a luxurious facial, and Lavender & Kava Paw Balm. Another great package idea is Stop the Itch geared toward dogs with seasonal or non- seasonal allergies.  Avocado Oil Shampoo and an Avocado Oil Spray to keep itching, scratching, and chewing at bay for 10 to 14 days to provide temporary relief. A Holiday Package is another idea.  Bring a little Holiday Cheer into your salon!  Cranberry Spice Shampoo with matching cologne, a cute Holiday bandana and bow, and maybe send them home with a stocking stuffer like a few dog treats.  These are just a few ideas for special packages.  The possibilities are limitless on what you could do in your salon.

I often use a café chalk board and feature one package a month. I display it in the lobby to introduce the new service.  And for those stylists that have more of a challenge with add on services, I will do the first one at no charge and let them know when they pick their pet up.  I tell them that” today the upgraded services was complimentary because I wanted them to be able to see the difference.”  This works great especially with a Senior Package because they can see their pet moving around better and feeling better.   Another benefit to doing a complimentary add on the first time is that it helps build the relationship with the client. It’s a win win for everyone.  The pet gets a much needed service, the client is thrilled that you gave them something at no charge, and you, their groomer have just made the relationship stronger and could possibly get a referral from the client.  So in the end, everyone benefits!