Livingston, New Jersey

I took my 2 shitzu bichons in for grooming and insisted they leave them as long as possible. When I picked them up they were shaved so bad you can see their bare skin.

Stay away from all Petcos, all they do is shave your dog, it doesn't matter what the customer wants!!! When I called and complained to the manager, she said that I had signed a waiver saying they could shave them.

When you go to the store, they hand you a paper and say initial here, here, here and sign. They do not explain to the customer what you are signing.

Product or Service Mentioned: Petco Manager.

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So this person is mad that they shaved her dogs, yet they signed a paper without reading, hello who has an issue here?


I have a shi tzu bichon myself, and that is why I do self-grooming at home! Saves tons of money and isnt a traumatic experience for your pet! Best of luck to you!


I took an apricot miniature poodle I was fostering and asked for the typical poodle cut with leg poofs and poof at the end of his tail and was very satisfied he looked great. She did a good job exactly what I wanted.


Thank you groomers for explaining all that =] unfortunately most customers don't want to hear it. They brought their dogs there for you to make them "pretty", they're not all that concerned with health or logic.

It's much easier to stamp your feet and cry that the groomer "took the lazy way out" then to listen, learn and comprehend the reasons why the dog needed to be shaved.

I'm sorry you're all so under appreciated.


In the grooming world, "as long as possible" usually means your dog is very matted. In most cases, this means your dog will have to be shaved very short.

The groomer very likely DID leave them as long as possible without causing the dog significant pain.

As for the fact that "they do not explain to the customer what you are signing," you are obviously not illiterate.

It is not the groomer's job to read to you what is clearly written on your service contract. It is your responsibility to read what you are signing.


The only thing I'm seeing here that should have been done, is the groomer calling the pet parent to let them know that shaving was needed. If there were mats that needed to be shaved out, the owner should always be called first and informed of the situation at the very least. A 5 min call is what can prevent all this drama.


Well said Anonymous! And well explained.

I, too, have spent much time explaining to a client WHY their dog cannot be brushed out and will be better off shaved. That matted release gets signed and the length their dog will be when i finish is clearly spelled out on the grooming estimate and it never fails that some customer comes back and is horrified that their dog is now naked!

I frequently take before and after pictures and even save the pelts of hair that are shaved off in case they try to say the dog wasn't matted and many try to do that. The poor dog doesn't serve to be injured during grooming nor does a groomer deserve to be bitten while trying to deal with a customer's neglect of their dog's coat and skin.


Anonymous, thank you for such a well written explained post toward this "hair obessed" customer.


The details of this complaint lead me to believe that both of these dogs must have been matted, in which case I do not feel that this is a fair complaint against PETCO. If the groomer felt it was necessary to shave the dogs and if the customer was asked to sign a matting waiver, then the two dogs were most likely too matted to comb through, scissor, and possibly even bathe without extensive dematting work.

In fact, if the dogs were indeed matted, the groomers should be commended for acting in the best interest of the dogs and not in the best interest of the customer.

People, especially people with an unhealthy attachment to their dog's hair, have a delusional belief that groomers have a magical ability to easily undo month's of coat neglect in about an hour. Furthermore, these people are also usually the ones who do not put forth the time or effort to maintain the long coat they so covet. I have personally had many conversations with customers like this who neither seem to care nor understand that the dematting process is usually very painful for the dog and can often result in severe skin abrasions. It can also be dangerous to the groomer, resulting in a severe *** wound.

Furthermore, severe matting cuts off circulation to the skin and traps moisture, which creates a bacterial and fungal breeding ground that isn't coming out without the special shampoo I'm sure this customer refused to pay for. Not to mention, dematting is phsycially exhausting, and shaving is significantly faster and ergonomically healthier. An efficient, well trained groomer with quality equipment should be making $25 or more an hour, so unless this person payed the groomer her entire day's wages to dematt these two dogs, s/he has no room to complain about the haircut.

I also have a hard time believing that the necessity of the haircut was not explained at check-in. I have had plenty of experiences spending the better part of the morning explaining to a customer that I need to shave his dog because of matting only to have him come back later and either act surprised or insist that the dog wasn't matted.

Finally, I don't think that it is fair to say that people should not go to PETCO because they had to shave these dogs. Grooming is a difficult profession. It is physically and ergonomically demanding and most groomers get physically injured or burnt out long before they desire to stop grooming. Also, we put a huge investment into our training and equipment. We put a significant amount of time and effort into building up and maintaining clientele. PETCO neither paid to purchase nor to maintain this groomer's equipment, and if s/he opted to shave these dogs rather than dematt that is her right. No groomer should have to turn away loyal request clients in order to spend an entire day dematting two shih tzu mixes for a customer who neither puts forth the work or effort to maintain the coat nor, obviously, appreciates the hard work and equipment degradation that went into shaving off the matts without cutting the dogs or giving them razor burn.