I'm a bather at a grooming salon. It seems like no matter what I try I can't bathe the dogs quickly enough. The groomers always get impatient with me, and it's started negatively impacting my relationship with them. I'm fairly new at this sort of thing, but when I ask them for tips about how to improve, they don't say much. It's getting to the point where I'm starting to look for a new job, because it seems I'll never be good enough at this one. It's very frustrating, because you would think this sort of thing wouldn't be that hard to get down.
Some questions I'd love to have straight answers for so I have something to work on would be these:
How long should bathing dogs take? I know it varies, but having a time estimate for a few of the main breeds (shih tzus, standard poodles, Yorkies, golden retrievers) would really help.
Any tips for bathing dogs quickly, while still actually getting them clean? I've noticed a lot of groomers cut corners, leaving grease in the dogs' hair or soap in their ears, or neglecting to brush their teeth. I really don't want to do that. I want to get the dogs clean, but I need to be faster.
Thanks so much.
I don't have an estimate for you by breed. I have a relatively short-haired (2-3" hair) 40 pound dog and my mom has long-coated dogs, whose coat hits the floor in some cases, ranging from 40-70 pounds. She has a pro grooming set-up as she shows her dogs.
I can bathe and condition any one of those dogs in 20 minutes and get them thoroughly cleaned and rinsed. If I skipped the conditioner, it would be 10-12 mintues a dog.
ETA: I'm not a professional groomer or bather, I've just been helping my mom out for years so have gotten a routine down and now I am a lot faster than she is.
You have to get the dog completely wet to the skin, both to get him completely clean and to make everything else (like lathering him up) go quicker. It helps if you have a plan instead of going haphazardly with the sprayer. I gently lift the dog's nose up from below with one hand and then start getting his neck wet (keeps him from leaning his head down and getting water in his ears,eyes, etc.) Then I work back in sections, from top to bottom. Especially if the dog has really thick hair/dense undercoat, it's quicker to get him totally wet to the skin using the sprayer againt the pattern of hairgrowth. Keep the sprayer really close to the body when wetting or rinsing–makes things a lot quicker. You're not going to hurt him with the sprayer!
I put the shampoo in my hands, rub them together and apply to the dog. I work a section at a time, again working front to back, top to bottom. If it's a long-haired breed, you have to make sure you get all the way to the ends of the feathering.
Same routine as wetting him to rinse him, though takes longer to be sure all the soap is out. And you want to lift his head with one hand when you're rinsing his upper neck so you don't accidentally get soap running into his ears or eyes.
Conditioner is the same routine as the shampooing.
Don't know if that's any help!