Join Date: Feb 2012
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Congrats on your Hav! I understand how nervous you are about taking your pup to the groomer's.
I hope some of these answers help:
1. approximately how long does it take.
It should take 1.5-2 hours. It also depends on how the grooming salon is run. Do they have one drop off time in the morning, and then they call you later for pickup, or is there a certain pickup time (like drop off at 8:30AM, pickup at 3PM or 5PM). Either your dog will stay there for the time she is groomed, or she will stay there longer depending on the schedule. If your pet is severely matted, dirty, flea infested, or has any behavioral issues such as biting or fear of the high velocity dryer, the groom will take longer.
2. I know this will vary greatly, but about how much should I expect to pay?
The price really depends where you live. Maybe $40-$60? More for a mobile groomer. Some places have Full Haircut services and mini-groom services. The mini-groom is more "Face, Feet, Fanny" where your dog is bathed, brushed, blowdried, sanitary trimmed (stomach and potty area shave), feet trimmed up (pads and rounding the feet), and maybe light trimming around eyes if you request it. The Mini-groom will cost less than a full haircut service. For people who want their dog's hair long anyway, the mini-groom is a great option to maintain the long hair look.
3. What, if any questions, should I be asking the groomer?
Ask them what vaccinations they require, ask to see some pictures of drop coat breeds, and if they have Havanese pictures, the better! Ask questions about hair styles - just because you see a lot of drop coats shaved down, doesn't mean that's all the groomer does. Sometimes that's just what clients request. Ask how they handle aggressive dogs. This will indicate what their handling style is like (also make sure you let them know that you are not asking about your dog, that your dog is not aggressive)
If your dog gets nervous in car rides, probably best to not feed her before the appointment. Also, walk her and tire her out before the appointment. And if you do go to a salon where it is by appointment, please pickup as soon as you get the call that your pup is ready.
Tell them exactly how you wish the haircut to look. Tell the groomer the exact amount of hair you want taken off or left on. Do you want the ears trimmed? tail trimmed? do you like fuller feet? Do you want the anus exposed or just lightly trimmed? Do you want the sanitary shave where the stomach is shaved? How do you want the bangs to look? more natural, more like a visor? Tell them specifically DO NOT SHAVE DOWN THE BRIDGE OF THE NOSE. And, be realistic in how you will maintain the hair. If you want 6 inches of show coat type hair but have an active lifestyle and little time to brush and comb in between, long hair is probably not the best option.
4. Do I tip the groomer?
It is not expected, but always appreciated! And do not feel bad if you don't tip even though you are thrilled with the service. The best "tips" for groomers are referrals and talking highly of them to everyone you come across!