PETS Magazine: Ask the experts column, by Desmond Chan (Schnauzer's bad haircut)
Q: I recently sent my Miniature Schnauzer to a new groomer and she emerged with a terrible haircut! Her muzzle fur was far too short, and her whiskers and eyelashes had been cut as well. Meanwhile her leg furnishings were short yet choppy. What can I do to ensure my dog gets a good haircut, and what should I do now that her hair has been ruined?
A: There are usually two instances that lead to a less-than-ideal haircut: One has to do with the groomer’s skills and experience, the other is the lack of communication between the groomer and the owner.
To ensure a successful grooming session, first, do your research—check the groomer’s website and social media, and read any existing reviews of the salon. Find out if the groomer has obtained any certification and how much grooming experience he or she has.
Communication is key, so speak to the groomer about your pet’s concerns, and communicate your desired haircut or discuss any recommended grooming styles. If you can afford the time, visit the groomer’s prior to your pet’s session to see how he carries out his/her work. If you can, stay with your pet throughout the first session. Just ensure supervision is done in a non-disruptive way, as distractions to your pet may be dangerous during trimming.
Once the session is completed, check your pet before leaving the salon. Assess the overall haircut by allowing your pet to walk around. It should be neat and tidy, and balanced on both sides with hair kept short at places like the sanitary areas and around the eyes.
If your pet has already gone through a bad haircut, you may try tidying his fur up with a pair of thinning scissors. These are scissors with “teeth” that do not cause a
hole in the hair in one snip. It helps to tidy up strands that are out of place and blend the choppiness of your pooch’s cut. Be sure to trim with the blades parallel to the hair growth.
The worst haircuts will eventually grow out in about a month’s time and your pet will be back to looking scruffy and ready for a groom once again. If you can’t wait, try looking for another groomer to do a quick fix.
At the end of the day, haircuts are just aesthetics. As long as it doesn’t affect the movement and comfort of your pet—and if you’ve done your best to remedy the
situation—give it time while searching for the next suitable groomer. Don’t worry too much. Your furkid probably doesn’t even know she had a bad haircut!