• Our VIP Program: “Very Important Puppy” Train to Groom For Life Package

    September 8, 2017 | Blog | LoveFurDogsAdmin
  • (Updated Aug 2020) Our state of the art program benefiting young puppies and new dog owners at Love Fur Dogs is still getting incredible results for your NEW PUPPY!

    All dogs need to be groomed regularly throughout their lives, and as with ALL other training, the earlier the better. Our program is based on canine developmental science to socialize a new puppy to be comfortable with grooming for the rest of their lives! Our train to groom package, or our VIP (Very IMPORTANT Puppy) program makes a HUGE difference in how your dog experiences grooming throughout its life. 

    The worst case scenario would be one in which we never see the dog until it is over 6 months of age, starting puberty, and either a matted mess or never having been around a grooming table, a brush or deep combing, or the sound of a blow dryer. When those dogs come in, their first grooming experience is often uncomfortable for them, coloring negatively for the rest of their lives their perception of the grooming process.

    Jennifer has received special training in how to use the best science that we have about how puppies develop, at what ages, and how they best learn, in order to help them acquire a skill they will need all their lives: how to be groomed.

    What experts know, and have been encouraging groomers and pet owners of young puppies to act on, is that puppies should be trained to groom from their earliest weeks. Once the puppy is weaned and  has its first round of shots, usually around 8 weeks of age, we are now offering and recommending that this be their first visit to the grooming experience as well.

    Our VIP Puppy program, based on a model designed by national experts, will help your puppy live a lifetime of ease and comfort with the grooming process, whether done by you, the owner, at home, or by professionals in a shop. Being able to be groomed at home and also by a professional is one key piece that helps assure that they can live happily ever after!

    What we know is that EARLY socialization is KEY for puppies of any breed. If you wait until your puppy is older, a matted mess, to actually teach them to have those vital toenail clips, or to have their hair brushed out, combed or cut, your dog will struggle with those basics for the rest of his or her life.

    In our VIP program, you will receive a free indepth consultation with Jennifer, coaching you on your individual dog’s needs and maintenance requirements, and FOUR full visits to the shop for mini- and full grooms over 8 weeks – along with a VIP GRADUATION Certificate – all for only $100. Every two weeks your pup will get to be gradually socialized to grooming and will develop lots of positive associations with the experience. And once your puppy has had its first round of shots, as early as 8 weeks of age, it is safe to be in our grooming shop. 

    8-10 weeks: A 15 minute visit with the owner staying for play, smells, sounds, handling, and treats! Jennifer will do a full individualized consultation about the type of coat your puppy has and its unique individual grooming needs.

    10-12 weeks: A 30-45 minute visit reinforcing skills needed for a lifetime, a min-bath (not the head/face yet!) more sounds, smells, treats, and NO FORCE handling for various grooming techniques appropriate to your pup’s coat type and breed. Owner picks up immediately, or stays, 

    12-14 weeks: A 45-60 minute visit with full bath and dry, nails, and where breed appropriate, some face and sanitary area trimming, socializing, mini-groom, and more reinforcement, and solid skill building. And treats!

    14-16 weeks: A 60-90 minute fuller groom, depending on your dog and its coat type, where the puppy gains confidence and begins to experience how good it feels to be well-groomed. Puppies by now will even anticipate your delighted reaction in seeing how gorgeous and adorable they look after their grooming! Bows, bandannas, or bow ties complimentary!

    All four visits, expert coaching and consultation, and a diploma, all with lots of hands on staff time, for only $100.

    And we do not crate them, or use high velocity dryers, or any other overwhelming procedure with them at any time.

    Every dog requires grooming, whether it is a natural fur coat breed that sheds, or a haircut breed that mats and requires regular cutting. Puppies need to start YOUNG to learn to be handled the way that grooming requires, whether done at home by you, the owner, or in a grooming shop by a professional.

    Grooming tools and equipment make odd noises. Learning to stand on a grooming table is a totally new feeling for a dog used only to being on earth. No dog naturally will like having their toenails trimmed, and yet having this done routinely is absolutely vital to their life long skeletal health. They can learn to be comfortable with paw handling and nail trims. Hair dryers can be upsetting if the puppy doesn’t learn to be around it early on. We recommend you reinforce these skills at home as well.

    We give lots of treats and kisses during these visits. VIP Puppies get to run around the shop, with a staff person supervising, smelling things and discovering the shop on its own. We socialize them to the sounds, the smells, and the equipment. We teach them holding, brushing, clipping, blowing, washing, combing and brushing GRADUALLY – in small doses – while they are very young and can easily adapt. And we do it with love, fun, no stress, and NO force of any kind. Nothing is required, nothing is forced.

    My worst experiences as a groomer include the very, very sad experience of the extremely matted 8 month old puppy who walks into our grooming shop for the first time needing a major groom – painful and long and scary – LONG after the damage is done. And so, without fail, the groom is traumatic. The older puppy now has a permanent early life trauma imprint on his brain that will forever shape how the dog will experience grooming for the rest of its life – as a nightmare. These puppies’ owners have failed them, and are sentencing them to a lifetime of trauma-invoking grooming experiences.

    Don’t wait until its TOO late!

    People who love their dogs TRAIN their dogs. And they start the training as soon as 8 weeks of age, in developmentally appropriate steps.

    Training isn’t just sit, stay, come, leave it . . .it is also helping them acquire the skills they need to stay HEALTHY for their lifetimes. Grooming is one of the things that all dogs need early careful training for their lifetimes.

    Dogs that have natural coats that shed off, such as German Shepherds, Huskies, Labs, etc., also need to learn to be bathed, brushed, nails trimmed, and de-shed. Early training is best and SO important to their lives.

    But Puppies that are of the “haircut breeds” variety, and their owners, have a very special challenge to face: Coat Change. Puberty in dogs is manifested by what is called “the coat change”. Puppy hair is wispy and light and easy to care for. But between 6-12 months, depending on the size/breed, when puberty begins, a coat change is visible along the spinal area near the skin. Being fixed/neutered/altered does not change this skin and coat evolution.

    And if you own a “haircut breed”, the 6 months or more after puberty begins is an inexplicably sudden time of major mats and super tight tangles that appear virtually overnight. Left unattended for even a few days, these “coat change mats” will consume your puppy and require very soon a total shave down as your only way out.

    I can’t tell you the number of times a customer in my lobby has said to me, “Jennifer, I know you warned me about the dramatic matting that occurs during coat change, but I just didn’t believe you!” And then they present me with a solid matted 9 month old and ask for me to brush them out and restore their fluffy puppy. After I give them the “Painful and Expensive” speech, warning about the scars (potentially for life!) that the puppy will bear, and they insist on the brush out because they want the fluffy, but of course did not do the work to keep the coat in the condition needed to be kept at the length they desire, I am at a loss. I will try to brush the puppy out, because I believe in trying to always preserve coat. But they don’t then see the next four hours and how that puppy suffers. I finally started saying I was going to blog about this.

    ALL dogs need to be groomed, and for the rest of their lives. ALL. For all their lives.

    If you love your dog, you will START EARLY and train your puppy in all that they need to live a long healthy safe comfortable life. That includes grooming.

    There is one catch to our very effective and helpful VIP Puppy Program – you have to be ready to stand by for a rapid pickup. VIP puppies will not be staying at Love Fur Dogs for more than one hour or two at most – times are all spelled out above. The whole point of this process is that the entire grooming experience is to be non-stressful. So set these appointments up at a time when you can be standing necessary. And we recommend doing these VIP grooming/training sessions early in the day while the shop is most quiet.

    Come in early and often! Don’t wait until its TOO LATE! Your pup deserves to be confident instead of anxious, happy instead of scared – for the rest of its life and for all of its important grooming needs.