Bad Hair Day

I was sent a link to a news article yesterday regarding a couple whose “beloved” Samoyed had been shaved by a dog groomer.

As with everything else in the canine world, grooming is unregulated. It should come as no surprise that these groomers had no idea of the importance of the double coat in protecting against heat and cold or the consequences of clipping it off. I was pursued by a judge at a companion show who was also a groomer. She kept insisting that my Sibe needed a trim. I withdrew him from the ring and complained to the organiser after she also handled him really roughly – another common factor in dog grooming. I met a couple at another show who had not only shaved the guard hairs off their Sibe but were parading her round in full sun. Her coat had hardened and become like sharp straw.

The blame ultimately lies with the owners for buying a double-coated dog that they are then too lazy to acclimatise to being groomed. How “beloved” is a dog if you cannot even be bothered to keep its coat groomed? The groomer should of course have assessed the dog on arrival and recommended that the dog be sedated by a vet who could then remove the tangles. The owners should then have been reported under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and placed under RSPCA supervision to ensure that they maintained their grooming regime under threat of losing their dog.

That’ll be the day.

Grooming a dog is an important part of care and of bonding between owner and dog. It should be done at least daily as well as checks for lumps, ticks, grass seeds and any other abnormality. Buying a dog with a complex coat that humans have bred to need a lot of attention, not bothering to care for it then dumping the dog on a groomer who is not likely to acclimatise it gradually to being handled and groomed is not acceptable. The time to obtain advice about how to handle and groom a dog is before buying.

As with puppy farming, we need to stop treating owners as victims and put the blame – and the resources for education- squarely where it lies.

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