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  • Topic: Who does cage-free grooming?

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    • March 17, 2014 4:06 PM CDT
    • Who does cage-free grooming?

      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.
    • March 17, 2014 5:39 PM CDT
    • Who does cage-free grooming?

      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 6:25 PM CDT
    • Who does cage-free grooming?

      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 7:02 PM CDT
    • Who does cage-free grooming?

      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.




      If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place.

    • March 17, 2014 7:07 PM CDT
    • Who does cage-free grooming?

      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 7:50 PM CDT
    • Who does cage-free grooming?

      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 7:53 PM CDT
    • Who does cage-free grooming?

      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!




      If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place.

    • March 17, 2014 9:32 PM CDT
    • Who does cage-free grooming?

      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 18, 2014 5:37 PM CDT
    • Who does cage-free grooming?

      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 19, 2014 1:03 PM CDT
    • Who does cage-free grooming?

      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 19, 2014 10:29 PM CDT
    • Who does cage-free grooming?

      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

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