National Association of Professional Creative Groomers

Promoting safety and education in the grooming industry since 2009

News

Oh the Shame!

Posted on September 1, 2014 at 3:10 PM

You know, as president of the NAPCG, I often have to answer questions regarding skepticism about creative grooming. Some of these concerns are very legitimate, the most obvious being, “Are these products safe for pets?” While there still groomers out there using very dangerous products, I can honestly and confidently defend the members of the NAPCG and will spend as much time as necessary explaining exactly how these products work as well as what is (and what is not) safe for use on pets.

I think the inquiry that requires the most amount of patience on my part is the,”Oh that poor dog. He must be so embarrassed!” or “The other dogs will not want to play with her because she is pink!” These are ridiculous statements typically made by humans who impose their own emotions onto animals. So let’s break this down a bit.

First of all, neither dogs nor cats have any idea what they are ‘supposed’ to look like. They don’t care about color or style. They don’t grab a book from the library and see what their breed standard groom should be. Let’s take poodles for example; poodles come in numerous colors and have many different styles of grooms. Their grooms are typically chosen based on their lifestyle, the amount of maintenance an owner is willing to do at home, and the grooming schedule they are placed on. No red poodle has ever suffered from depression because he really wanted to be a black poodle instead. White poodles do not congregate together and shun an apricot poodle because of its color either. In fact, canine vision does not allow them to see colors in the same spectrum humans do, so how would they even know if they were an unnatural color such as purple as opposed to a natural color such as silver?

I’ve heard pet owners say that their dog was embarrassed about being groomed and hid under the bed for days. I assure you this has nothing to do with the physical appearance. But if your dog or cat hasn’t been groomed for months and the coat has become matted, your professional groomer will often have to shave them very short to avoid harming them and at the same time remove neglected coat. As someone who has lost all of their hair to chemotherapy, I assure you that it feels ‘funny’. Skin that has been covered with matted, pelted, or long hair and then has to be shaved exposes skin to sensitivities it was previously protected from. This is why your pet’s behavior returns to normal within a few days; the skin becomes desensitized.

Lastly, dogs and cats do not share the same modesty that human beings do. Do you honestly think they become embarrassed by their physical appearance when they are more than content to poop or lick their genitalia in public? Will a dog react negatively when one states, “Oh look at you!! You poor thing!” Yes, they will. But it isn’t their groom they are reacting to; it isn’t even your words. It’s the negative body language and energy they are reading from you.

Creative grooming isn’t for every pet. If your dog is shy, withdrawn, or has social anxieties he or she would not be a candidate for creative grooming as it would draw the very thing they fear the most….attention. But most pets thrive on human attention. If a little pink or blue color brings them extra attention, then why not? They don’t care ‘why’ people stare, take their photos, or ask to pet them….they just know they are loved.


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