Welcome to the 2nd edition of our E-newsletter. We appreciate all your comments.You can now request appointments online at the website www.thepoochparlor.net. The shop hours are Monday – Friday 9am-3pm, Saturdays 10am -2pm. Student groomers are available M,W,F. You will only get a student groomer if you ask and schedule for a student groomer. We need more student dogs if you would please spread the word for us. 

My thanks to all my friends that helped me last month socialize Grouchy Greta, my miniature schnauzer. She is doing so much better with her growling. Now if I can just figure out her foot allergy! Please welcome the newest member of our grooming staff, Leslie Gordon. She has just graduated from the Pooch Parlor Pet Grooming School and she will be starting her own mobile grooming business in Kalispell, MT next year. We are glad to have her while we do.

We will be open extended hours 8:30-5:30 Mon-Wed the week of Thanksgiving, AND will be open on Black Friday. This seems to be a really popular day for people that like to use the self-service stations. We welcome the newest member of our student family, Elisabeth George, from New York. She is super shy, so please come and make her say hello. Please come in and meet the students, and let them know what you think of their work. Most of them are from out of state and a little homesick. We all appreciate you coming in and being part of our family! All of you make it so great for us everyday! Thank you!

Want to know how to clip your dog's nails? First, find out if you should! Here's 20 specific signs to help you decide.

"How do I clip my own dog’s nails?" is the number one question that is heard in the grooming shop from the conscientious dog owner. The real question is SHOULD you clip your own dog's nails. The average owner doesn't realize that nail trimming for your dog can trigger a huge fear reaction for your furry friend. The feelings it provokes for your dog are similar to those a human child would experience while having a needle vaccination. Children often throw tantrums and are impossible to comfort if they know they will be getting a needle immunization. Dogs are no different with nail trimming, except that their tantrums involve biting and releasing their bowels. This fear-driven behavior typically comes as a complete shock to the average dog owner, and the trust that is lost between dog and owner is significant and costly. The majority of dog owners find that the emotional and physical price to clip their own dogs nails, is simply too high.

Here are the factors to consider when deciding if you are in the twentieth percentile of dog owners that can clip their own dogs nails without causing emotional or physical pain to your dog (or to yourself):

  • Do you consider yourself an anxious person?
  • Do new experiences generally cause you to feel worried rather than curious?
  • Are you afraid to give or receive a needle vaccination?
  • Does the sight of your own blood freak you out?
  • Does the sight of your own dog's blood freak you out?
  • Does the sight of your own or your dog's blood freak your dog out?
  • Can you handle having your dog jerking and pulling while you hold him or her?
  • Can you handle hearing your dog whimper and/or cry out even when there is no physical pain?
  • Can you handle having your dog experience sustained fear that you are causing him or her?
  • Are you the first person to offer sympathy to a friend or child when they are worried or injured?
  • Do people tell you that you wear 'your heart on your sleeve'?
  • When trying new things, do you tend to move slowly rather than quickly?
  • Does your dog have black nails?
  • Does your dog handle changes with high anxiety?
  • Is your dog spooky when you hold or handle his feet?
  • Does your dog have bad experiences with nail trimming by you or others?
  • Has your dog ever been scared enough to bite you or someone else?
  • Do you need a muzzle for your dog to brush him?
  • Has the fear of making your dog's nails bleed stopped you in the past from trying to clip his nails?
  • If your dog's nails do bleed on your floor, furniture or clothes, will that upset you?

If you have answered yes to any 5 or more of these questions, you may want to reconsider whether or not you really want to learn how to clip your own dog's nails. Your dog may still feel anxious and worried during the nail clipping for a professional, but wouldn't you rather have them feel mad at the groomer and not at you, just as a parent would rather have their child mad at the nurse with the needle instead of themselves? And, the nurse and the groomer have both been trained (and hopefully have experience) in the quickest and easiest methods to keep their subjects calm. Experience goes a long way when it comes to fear triggers, and nail trimming is the number one fear trigger for dogs in the grooming room. The fee for nail trimming is not time or cost prohibitive, generally ranging $5-$20.00 per visit, and many shops like the Pooch Parlor take nail trims as walk-ins and accomplish this task in under 5 minutes. The cost of losing your dog’s trust and confidence in you far outweighs the cost of regular nail trimming at the groomers.

For those courageous humans that are confident they and/or their dog can try home nail clipping, check out the step by step written and video tutorial at http://www.thepoochparlor.net. Happy clipping!

Copyright 2010 DuAnn Lustig Chambers
Reprint Rights: You may reprint this article as long as you print the about the author information and keep all links active.
About the author:
DuAnn Lustig-Chambers owns and operates The Pooch Parlor Pet Groomer Academy in Ponderay Idaho. To learn more about pet grooming visit http://www.thepoochparlor.net and become a fan on Facebook

The question of the month is this: “Why do even professional groomers sometimes make my dogs nails bleed? Why can’t they just clip a little to make sure its not too short?”

The answer to this is surprising and simple. Just as in humans, dogs nails never stop growing. But, unlike humans, their quicks (the part supplied with blood) keep growing out. If the nails are not clipped or ground down naturally by the dog on a regular basis, the quicks get longer and longer, and eventually this will cause the dog to step on his feet incorrectly. This incorrect step throws the hips and back out of alignment and causes premature aging and arthritis. How many old dogs have you seen that have super long nails that cannot walk or get up normally? These dogs suffer terribly, and if they can’t walk, they soon die.

Long story short, we teach all groomers to clip the nails as close to the blood supply as possible to ensure that the dog will have a long, healthy and painfree life. The quicks of the dog will retreat away from the edge of the nail by 1/8 to ¼ of an inch. This is why dogs that run everyday never have bleeding nails and never need their nails clipped back.

If you have a dog with quicks that are grown out, the most humane way to get them to recede is to have the nails clipped back every 5 to 10 days until the nail length is back where it should be.

So the next time you pick up your dog from the groomer and one of the nails were clipped too short, remember the alternative. The Pooch Parlor groomers do the best they can to find exactly the right place to clip the nail where the dog’s nail won’t bleed AND the quicks won’t keep growing, but there is not a lot of wiggle room. Believe it or not, we care enough about the longevity of your dog’s life, that we clip more than ‘just the tips’.

Please send me your questions about your pooches on facebook

The Pooch Parlor is a place for pets and their people that want a clean, professional and family environment for grooming. We offer many services. Most importantly, you will find that every groomer here has gone through a rigorous training program to attain their certification at the state level. The training includes more than instruction about the technical aspects of grooming and scissoring, it includes strict codes of conduct and tight guidelines for ethical treatments of pets and their owners, safety practices, and cleaning standards. This certification is something we are most proud of, as the grooming industry is not regulated, and only 5 percent of all groomers spend the time and money to train under any qualified guidelines. You should also know that all employees are drug-tested and undergo criminal background checks.

The Pooch Parlor offers full service grooming by certified professionals, and the Pooch Parlor Pet Groomer Academy, the only grooming school licensed and bonded through the Board of Education, in the State of Idaho, offers training to students that come from all over the nation to acquire certification. We offer student grooming rates for those customers that want discounted grooming. The shop offers doggie daycare, dental scaling, self-service bathing stations, walk-in appts, and retail grooming items in-store or online. Also, we offer nail trimming or nail dremeling, anal gland expression, teeth brushing on a walk-in basis. We also have a camera handy and LOVE to take pictures of our customers with their dogs. There is no charge for family portrait and we email it to you, just ask Having pictures of your 4 legged kids is really important, since our time with them is never long enough during our lives.

The Pooch Parlor in Ponderay is owned and operated by DuAnn Chambers and her husband Mike. Mike is not a groomer, he is a remodeling specialist, with Git ‘er Done Construction LLC., and helps out in the grooming shop with all repairs and upgrades. Mike and DuAnn have been married 17 years, and have no human children. They share the love of dogs, owning a mini schnauzer, 1 year old ‘Grouchy Greta’, a Standard Poodle, Montee, 6 years old, and a Rottweiler cross they adopted that is 8 years. In their spare time, they love to SCUBA DIVE! We thank all of you our friends and customers for making it possible for us to LOVE what we do! Thank you!


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To provide a clean, safe, fun, family environment for dogs and their humans, where integrity, customer service and professionalism are held to the highest possible standard.