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    • March 19, 2014 10:29 PM CDT
    • I wouldn't think having a small run is much different than a kennel or cage.

      I'm one that would not want a 'cage-free' shop for my dogs to go to, nor would I want to work that way. Where I'm at now, our own dogs sometimes are loose, there's one that is almost always loose, but he was raised in a shop and 'knows' how to act, stay out of the way, etc. Only a few client dogs are allowed to roam, and those are only ones we have known for years and can trust to behave.

      Not only do you have to worry about dog-on-dog interactions, but also you'd want to dog-proof everything, including cords. If they don't chew on one, they can walk into one and pull your equipment off a table, or yank the plug out of the wall. Then you also have to worry about door-charging dogs that try to escape past your feet the instant the dog is cracked. Trying to grab a dog on the floor can be extremely difficult vs working with a dog in a kennel.

      If it's a completely separate room, for each separate dog, it seems a huge waste of space to me. Unless each "cubby/room" is so small you might as well just use kennels.

      Just my $0.02

    • March 19, 2014 1:03 PM CDT
    • I offer MINIMAL Cage grooming.


       This simply means if you drop your pet off on time, and pick it up when I call (20 minutes or so before he is done) or at the scheduled time, the dog wont' have to be in a cage at all unless I have to sit him there to clean up something or some other 2 handed task.


       You will find that clients are careful about the times the first couple of visits, then they are comfortable leaving the dog in your care, (think taking advantage of you by getting free pet sitting) and then you need more cages.


      I dont' trust any dog to not pull back out of a collar, that said, I DO have a place I can tie dogs that are cage frenzied.  however, those are hard cause they can pee on the floor or wall, so I dont' do that unless I really know the dog.

    • March 18, 2014 5:37 PM CDT
    • Those cubicles -  I used them in my first shop (many years ago!) they were there when I bought the shop and they worked fine - most of the time!!

      The only time they didn't, was if the dog didn't want to be unleashed and come out, then watch out - envision  piranahs Hee hee.  Then you had  2 choices: sweet talk them to come to "Auntie Pat" and if that didn't work go in fast with a towel and a leash! My present shop doesn't have them.

      One hint if you go this way - ok 2 hints:)  One put a proper collar on each dog and have a quick release chain that will open if you give a tug this would maybe eliminate piranah teeth.  2nd use Marine paint!!  If they pee with regular paint the color can release on your dog - ask me how I know;( but the marine paint is perfect and doesn't wear when scratched.

      Hope this helps, Good luck on your new store - Pat

    • March 17, 2014 9:32 PM CDT
    • Yes, exactly. Lol... I guess it would still be a cage, but open on top. My idea is to create private little suites, not "cages".
      I was thinking of getting pens, and hooking them to the wall, maybe? It's just another idea.

    • March 17, 2014 8:01 PM CDT
    • So. . . basically it WOULD function exactly like a cage, just not "look" like a cage? ;-)

    • March 17, 2014 7:53 PM CDT
    • Eeeek! to the choke chain and short lead! That sounds way dangerous. I think a small kennel would be more comfortable for the dog than that!



    • March 17, 2014 7:50 PM CDT
    • I'm sorry, I should have been more specific. Dogs would not be put together if they were not of the same family. I did a demo dog at a shop one time that offered cage free. It was basically some open cubby areas with divider walls to keep the dogs separate. There was an eye hook sort of thing in the wall that the dogs were hooked up to with a choker and short chain. There was no door on the front, but I'd consider putting a door instead of the eye hook. I don't like the idea of the choke chain.

    • March 17, 2014 7:07 PM CDT
    • I don't advise doing cage free grooming unless you have a set up like poodlemom72. If you are going to do strictly one-on-one appoinments that's one thing. But like canadiangroomergal said, having a bunch of dogs run free together is just asking for trouble. I used to work for a woman that had the dogs all running around her feet all day. There were fights. There was poop and pee all over the place, you couldn't always clean it up quick enough and some clean dog was bound to step in it. Her shop stunk to high heaven from all the marking going on. That was the WORST way to do cage free. What you are talking about (having a certain area partitioned off to keep the dogs) would certainly work a lot better than what she did, but unless you take certain precautions you could still put clients' pets at risk.  If you are determined to have it work, the only safe way I could see it being done is if you hired someone to watch the dogs at all times. You will be grooming, so you watching them would not cut it, as your attention will be focused on the dog you are working on (as it should be). Cage free grooming CAN work and be a great thing. You just have to always keep the dogs' safety in mind when you are planning your protocol.

    • March 17, 2014 7:02 PM CDT
    • It does sound nice, but I don't care for the reality of it unless you are only doing one dog or family of dogs at a time. 

      I have had more clients check to make sure their dogs are not interacting with other dogs than those that have shown a dislike that their dog would be kenneled.

      If you are building small suites, I would want them at least 4 foot high. It should stop most dogs from jumping over. Definitely you want a door on them.  You do want easy clean up. A dog is much more likely to mess in a larger area than if they are in a kennel. I would use bathroom wall board for the walls with a good heavy caulking at the floors to stop left lifters from getting urine into the next run.



    • March 17, 2014 6:25 PM CDT
    • I do cage free grooming. I have one big kennel I use to keep multiple same family doggies seperated if one is clean and one is not, but the way I handle it is I am by appt. only. I dont have a drop off time in the morning and a pick up timein the afternoon. I dont have an abundance of daily grooms so I am able to do this. If I have one coming in and the one before is still here, I just go straight to the tub, I have used my one big kennel if I know an owner is gonna be late..I like it this way it works for me...

    • March 17, 2014 5:39 PM CDT
    • I don't use a cage free enviroment, I do have 2 rooms that I can use for bigger dogs or those that don't like being crated, but in my humble opinion having dogs running free and 'playing together' is a recipe for disaster.  It sounds lovely to the client but I am busy grooming and cannot watch all of the interactions that are going on, it only takes a few seconds for a fight to start.  Another groomer in my area lost a clients dog this way.  Pat

    • March 17, 2014 4:06 PM CDT
    • Cage banks are expensive, and cage-free grooming sounds appealing if I were the client. I was thinking of taking the money I'd use for kennels and using it instead to build holding areas for the dogs to stay in. Does anyone else have this setup? I've seen it before when I lived in California, but never actually worked in a shop that had it. Would you suggest building half walls, say 3ft high with a door or gate on the front? Or open in front, no door? What are the best materials to use for easy clean up?
      I'd probably keep a few kennels for drying, and I'm sure there's some people out there that might feel safer knowing their dog is in a kennel.

    • August 17, 2013 2:48 PM CDT
    • I feel like I'm going to be spending a bundle on these anyway. What kind do you recommend ? Cleaning, Safety and durability are all #1. I don't want to see stuck toenails! The plan is to have 5 students max at one time and have two groups of dogs coming in/Out.


      So maybe 10 cubicles in total? What do you think? Or should I just have something built? The other option is using wire crates for extra air ventilation and building a box type thing around them so they can stack?

    • June 29, 2012 6:44 PM CDT
    • I just got a new bank of petlift cages today,  after my husband got them off the trailer, I am not to sure about them, they seem a little cheap for the money I spent,  I had them put dividers in all 3 sets of cages to expand them, but the back of it has this material holder that I know my dogs will chew.  I bought these for my own show dogs, these would never work for the grooming shop, no grate or tray, and also hard to tell if the door is latched down.  I am calling to see if I can return these.

    • June 12, 2012 7:54 PM CDT
    • Thanks Barb. Yeah, I have the nice Midwest collapsible crates for my dogs. I think it is also a 48". (with the side door). I guess I could stack them and use zipties to secure. Even as a temporary fix until I can get cages that I really want. I am also interested if Paps husband would be willing to make and ship these... ;)

    • June 12, 2012 9:35 AM CDT
    • My fiberglass cages are over 60 years old. I am not kidding. I got them used from a kennel going out of business. They were free! Can't beat the price, LOL They are in perfect working condition. My exbuilt a frame to stack them in so I have a full wall bank on wheels. Love them.


      At my animal shelter, we just redid our iso room with fiberglass from General Cage. Everyone is love, love, loving them. We had stainless steel. They were noisy and cold. We gave them to another rescue organization and they are currently being used to raise kittens in fostercare!

    • June 12, 2012 6:53 AM CDT
    • I use wire cages, stacked, and have never had any issue with dogs getting out of them. 

      I'm not saying it couldn't happen, but I think it's probably pretty rare.


      I didn't buy a bank of cages, but rather have individual ones stacked.  You can get huge wire cages meant for huge dogs.  The biggest I own personally are 48 inches long, but they come in a 52 as well.



    • June 11, 2012 11:08 PM CDT
    • email me.
      shipping would be the biggest issue.  

    • June 11, 2012 11:04 PM CDT
    • Just out of curiosity, would your husband build fiberglass cage banks for other groomers, and if so, what would the the ball park charge?

    • June 11, 2012 10:52 PM CDT
    • Well, we used the fiberglass ones way back when I was in grooming school. They seemed to have held up okay. But, I read on the BBS from a groomer or 2 that dogs were able to chew threw them. Paps~ Is it easy to have them built? Thanks for the info.

    • June 11, 2012 10:40 PM CDT
    • I have to disagree about fiberglass. They can't chew through it as there are no exposed edges. I have fiberglass cage banks that my husband made me. He is in the fiberglass business. They are quieter than metal and very easy to clean. We have them on a roller base so they can be moved easily for cleaning. I've had them for 6 years and they still look great. The metal doors show a bit of rust at the welds but the cages themselves are perfect. 

    • June 11, 2012 8:56 PM CDT
    • Wow! Thanks for that. It's exactly what I needed to hear, but didn't want to! :) So, there aren't any other cages from the major suppliers you'd recommend?

    • June 11, 2012 5:29 PM CDT
    • I'd try trying to get some second hand. Sometimes you can find some real bargains.

    • June 11, 2012 3:36 PM CDT
    • just a suggestion, I ordered the wire cage banks from petedge, I had a lab bust through it in excitement. sigh.  I bought a used set of Endemco online, maybe put an ad out??  We now leave the big guys in an x-pen or attached (with their collar/lead not a slip lead) with an eyebolt in a stud (on the floor)  works well in my small shop, depends on your volume/space.