Dog Grooming Houston SchnauzerDog Grooming Houston | Schnauzer

Like many other types of dogs, the schnauzer is not limited to one size. There are, in fact three breeds of schnauzer: the miniature, the standard, and the giant schnauzer. Here’s a closer look into each breed:

Miniature Schnauzer

The smallest of the schnauzer breeds came about by cross breeding the original, standard schnauzers with other breeds such as the affenpinscher and the poodle. Miniature schnauzers typically weigh between 14 and 20 pounds fully grown. They are incredibly smart dogs with tons of energy, thus making them great indoor family pets. These little guys are very loyal and quick to bark at anything that may be a threat to their home or their people, though they are usually non aggressive. They do require training at an early age because of their above average intelligence and sometimes excessive barking. Miniature schnauzers come in a variety of colors including black, black and silver, salt and pepper, as well as pure white, and sometimes multi-colors although the pure white and multi-colored mini schnauzers are not AKC approved.

Standard Schnauzer

The “original” breed of schnauzer, these dogs weigh between 35 and 45 pounds and belong to the working dog group. They were used to hunt rats and other rodents as well as to protect their home and people. They have even been used as police dogs. Their colors are the same varieties as their miniature cousin.

Giant Schnauzer

The largest breed of this group, the giant schnauzer weighs in between 55 and 80 pounds fully grown. Giant schnauzers are actually not related to their smaller cousins. Instead, they were bred independently through crosses of many large breeds including Shepherds, Dobermans, Bouvier des Flandres, and Great Danes. Their larger size and loyal nature made them perfect for guarding farms and herding livestock. Giant schnauzers are equally as intelligent as their smaller cousins and should be trained young as well. They are great family dogs because of their loyalty to people and eagerness to please.

Dog Grooming for Schnauzers

These dogs do shed, but much less than other breeds. They are double coated, with a wire haired top coat and softer undercoat. That being said, their hair requires at the very least weekly maintenance with brushing and combing to prevent tangles. The typical schnauzer cut has sharp angles and is very visually striking. The back should be shaved with a #10 or, for a white or multi-colored schnauzer you will want to go a little longer (#7 or #5) so you do not irritate the skin or risk sunburn. Their legs and skirt should be well blended and left long with the feet nicely rounded. Their faces are partially shaved, leaving a beard and sharp, angular eyebrows. The ears are also shaved to emphasize their allertness.

Note from the Groomer

I have to admit that these dogs are my absolute favorite breeds to work with. I love the sharp angles along with the softness of the legs and skirt. The schnauzer design perfectly compliments the breed’s spunk and feisty, “I’m awesome so look at me” attitude.  Call us today to schedule your pup’s grooming!

The Difference Between the Best Dog Groomers in Houston and the Rest

Is there a difference?  Absolutely!  Many dog groomers in our busy city are not in the business for the right reasons and that can show up in their attitude toward your pet as well as in their dog grooming skills and finished product.  It is extremely important to look for the right qualities in your dog’s groomer.  Here are some tips I’ve put together of a few of what I consider to be crucial qualities that only the best dog groomers in Houston have.

All of the Best Dog Groomers in Houston Have an Absolute Love of Dogs!

   Dog Sitting on Lawn It may seem surprising to some of you, as it was to me when I first began my grooming career that there really are dog groomers out there that have a hatred of dogs and most other animals.  Their lack of empathy and love for the dogs they work with can come across in their attitude toward you and your pet as well as in their finished haircut.  It’s very important to get to know your groomer well and watch for signs that they care for your dog.  Only the best dog groomers in Houston are always happy to see your little guys and gals as well as their parents!  The best dog groomers in Houston are understanding and empathetic to the fact that some dogs misbehave because of past life experiences and trauma and are in need of more love, one-on-one personal attention, praise, and steady training.  I have personally turned a traumatized dog that would bite viciously for his nails and feet into a completely passive, though his tummy was full of treats, happy dog in one grooming session!  He continues his training each time he comes in so that it is reinforced that those areas that were problems for him in the past are now a good thing in his eyes.  Other dog groomers would most likely muzzle him, sedate him, or just send him home instead of working with him.  The number one thing that separates the very best dog groomers in Houston from the rest in Houston is that complete and absolute love for all dogs no matter what their past has done to their present state of mind.

The Best Dog Groomers in Houston Are Low Stress Dog Groomers

Dog Sitting up

We all know that our amazing city of Houston can also hold a lot of stress in day to day life.  Behind the scenes of Houston’s dog grooming world there can be extremely stressful situations that can also be difficult to handle.  There are typically many barking dogs in close proximity to each other and dogs that are in the process of being groomed so noise can be an issue for some.  There are dogs that can be hard to handle and require much more time than usual which can affect timing on other dogs and scheduling.  Sometimes customers that don’t understand the entire grooming process (preliminary cut, bath, drying process, and cutting again followed by the final scissoring and finishwork) can pressure the groomer to speed through the process.  Those are only a few examples of the most stressful situations most of us dog groomers face on a weekly and sometimes daily basis.  The key is to be able to handle that stress with ease and work through it in a positive way.  Only the best dog groomers in Houston can do that.  Many give up and return a poorly groomed animal or react poorly to the dog during the groom.  The best dog grooming in Houston should be about treating each situation with a positive attitude and maintain their number one quality, that insatiable love for animals we talked about previously in this blog post.

 When it Comes to the Best Dog Grooming in Houston, Communication is Key!

Puppy isolated on white

Communication with your dog groomer starts when you make your first appointment and should continue throughout the entire grooming process and after drop off or pick up.  The best dog groomers in Houston are easy to talk to, can visualize your style and preferences as well as describe their own ideas to you, and have a thorough knowledge of dog grooming, health, and other aspects of your pet’s life.  The Houston’s best dog groomers will ALWAYS call you immediately if any complications arise while your pet is away.  Other dog groomers wait until you pick up or they drop off to bring up issues and sometimes that can affect the outcome of things like cuts and lacerations or ear infections and that kind of thing.  You should always be able to contact your dog groomer before, during, and after the grooming process to make changes or ask questions if you need to.  The best dog groomers in Houston are always there for you and your pet!

The Best Dog Groomers in HoustonThink Outside of the Box

Dog and Cat on Grass

Most dog groomers are pretty creative and have almost always been drawn to the arts.  The best dog grooming in Houston comes from the ability to think outside of the box with design, function, and ways of getting things done.  They understand how different hair types affect the overall look of certain designs as do body type and some aspects of daily life and communicate these things to the pet parent.  There are very few actual main breed designs and they are typically assigned to certain breeds as standards, BUT that does not mean you have to stick to those guidelines.  Unless you are showing your dog, you can put virtually any type of cut on him or her.  The only things that will hold you back are hair type and condition, really.  Still, you can put a schnauzer cut on a yorkie or a lion cut on a lab if you like.  It can be fun to come up with combinations of style like the lion/lamb cut where the mane is full like a lion but the back legs are fluffy, yet tailored looking.  The best dog groomers in Houston have the God given talent and skill necessary to give your four legged family member the designer look or simple style you desire.

Allergy Free is the Way to Be!

Although it is definitely not a requirement to be one of the best dog groomers in Houston, it definitely helps if you are free of dog related allergies.  Many breeds have dander and other allergens on their hair and skin.  These can make already existing allergies even worse if you are shaving or cutting hair.  Hairs are constantly flying around the grooming room and can be breathed in or stuck to clothes or even in skin during the dog grooming process.  If you are prone to allergies, you may need to groom slower or even restrict the breeds you groom.  OR, just groom Bichon Frise’s because they are a hypo-allergenic dog!  Of course, the best dog groomers would not restrict themselves to only Bichons.

I hope this helps you in selecting your new dog groomer or your decision to stay with the one you have.  Either way, we are always here for the best interest of the dog as well as the family and want only the best for all involved.  Your four legged friend deserves the best love, the best treatment, the best family, and the best dog groomer in Houston.

License for Images CC:

Dog and Cat on Grass [ CC by Anna Langova
Puppy isolated on white [ CC by George Hodan ]
[ CC by esther matheus ]
[ CC ]

Puppy Grooming Houston

Puppy Grooming HoustonIt’s Time for Puppy Grooming Houston!

It’s Springtime which means it’s already starting to heat up in our humid city.  It also means it’s time for some dog grooming and puppy grooming Houston!  Many of you are first time puppy parents and I’m sure you have tons of questions and have run into some situations you might not have thought of with your little guy.  Have no fear, Hot Shot Dog Grooming is here to help!  We’ve got the know-how on all kinds of information including  puppy hair types, puppy grooming tips, grooming schedules, shampoos to use, and vaccination schedules.  If we leave anything out that you might have questions about, feel free to add it to our dog grooming forum or give us a call!

Puppy Grooming Houston | The Basics and Where to Start

The latest look in the doggy world are those designer pups.  Hollywood influence has definitely promoted the toy and small designer dog look with fluffy hair and dogs that never touch the ground because they fit in a purse.  There is nothing wrong with the designer dog look.  In fact, I LOVE that big stars have started the scissor dog trend again because I absolutely love the challenge and artistic aspects of scissoring.  The problem is, many new pet parents that choose dogs like that are unaware of how to achieve that designer dog look.  It doesn’t begin or end with the occasional puppy grooming Houston.  You MUST brush fluffy coated dogs every single day!  That goes double for your puppy because these fluffy breeds have very easily tangled, fuzzy hair as pups.  Most puppies will try to play with your brush and/or comb at first and that’s okay.  Take time to let your pup get to know the process and that it’s a good thing.  Start by letting your puppy explore the tools the first time, brush a little next time, then a little more, etc.  Create a scheduled time to brush them every day.  A friend of mine has a white toy poodle that knows that when the 6:00 news comes on it’s time to be brushed.  It doesn’t take much time and will give you and your new puppy some quality bonding time!  After your puppy is 3 to 4 months old you can begin your scheduled puppy grooming Houston!  A routine should be in place with your grooming schedule.  Every few weeks you should allow your pup to visit with new people, dogs, and environments including the grooming salon.  No, that does not mean he should be groomed that often, just get used to the surroundings and that it’s not a scary place to be.  When you and your pup are ready, the grooming should happen once every 4-6 weeks or as needed depending on your cut and maintenance schedule.

Puppy Grooming Houston | Bath Time!

Not all shampoos are created equal!  You CANNOT use just any shampoo on your puppy.  There are dangers of the chemicals in adult dog shampoos that can harm your puppy and even blind them.  It’s best to select a puppy specific shampoo.  If in doubt, check the back of the bottle and it will always tell you if it is safe for puppies or not.  Absolutely do not ever use human shampoo on your pet.  It is formulated for human skin and has a higher Ph.  The only one I would use if you have to is a Head and Shoulders shampoo or Selsun Blue.  Baby shampoo is fine because it is tearless and gentler.  Bath time can involve every member of the family and be a super fun part of puppy grooming Houston!

Have a few towels ready for shaken out fur, splashes, and drying after the bath.  REMEMBER: to brush your puppy before the bath to remove any tangles!  Water makes knots and tangles tighter and more difficult to remove later.  Let the water run room temperature or very slightly warmer.  You don’t want to freeze or boil your pup!  You can use a gentle sprayer or a simple cup to gently get your puppy’s hair damp so that you can apply the shampoo.  A little goes a long way with shampoo.  Most are formulated so that you can dilute them almost 50% but they don’t want you to know that so you keep buying their products.  Apply a little shampoo on the back of the neck and along the spine then work it into a lather all around the body.  If it seems like it’s not lathering properly, simply apply a little bit of water and try again.  If that doesn’t seem to work, add more shampoo.  To apply shampoo to the head and face area just put a little dab on the top of your puppy’s head and work it into the crown of the head, ears, and cheeks/chin, then slide your thumb down the bridge of the nose so that you keep the shampoo out of his eyes while getting his face clean.  Gently rinse all of the soap off all over.  Take care not to get water or soap in your puppy’s nose, mouth, ears (can put a little cotton in the ears to protect them but not deep), and eyes.  Towel dry your pet and brush then you’re done!  If bathing occurs regularly (once a week maximum unless you’re just rinsing with water), your whole family will enjoy puppy bath time as much as puppy grooming Houston.

Puppy Grooming Houston | Vaccination Schedule

Most Salons require the first set of puppy vaccinations before the first puppy grooming.  Vaccinations help your new furry baby stay protected against some very contagious viruses and bacteria spread from pet to pet.  I personally believe that vaccinating your dog is a very important part of keeping them in good health.  The first round of puppy vaccinations should be given between 6 and 8 weeks of age.  It covers the first round of Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus (DHPP).  All puppy shots including the first round of the Rabies vaccine, which is given at 16 weeks of age should be given before your puppy’s first grooming.  That’s why the first groom should be around 3-4 months.  For more in-depth information on vaccinations including a full schedule and broken down information on what you’re vaccinating against, visit our dog grooming and puppy grooming Houston Forum under the Dog Health tab.

Dog Grooming Houston | Lion Cut How-To


Dog Grooming | Lion Cut with Natural Mane

Dog Grooming in Houston | Lion Cut | After

Throughout my years of dog grooming in Houston, I have fallen in love with some breed patterns more than others and many of their variations.  I love the sharp lines and angles of the schnauzer cut, the soft, fluffy lines of a lamb cut, and the fun and free look of the lion cut.  Each of these patterns can be varied in many ways to look however you want.  My own four legged baby, Louie has volunteered to model and demonstrate how a lion cut with a natural mane is done.  He loves his spa time!

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On the Dog Grooming Side of Things

Different Aspects of Dog Grooming From the Groomers Perspective

There are many different things that go into dog grooming that many pet parents are unaware of.  From check-in to check-out there are many behind the scenes issues that groomers have to deal with.  The purpose of this blog is to inform all of our pet parents of what happens throughout their dog’s grooming process and beyond.  Everything that keeps your dog healthiest and happiest is our priority at all times.  This article will give you all more honest insight on the groomers perspective when  facing conflicts in the dog grooming room.

Ethical Dog Grooming Concerns and How We Handle Them

First of all, let me start by telling you that most dog groomers completely understand that things happen and sometimes it can be difficult to keep up with the best care for your dog.  We are here to help in any situation in the best way possible so never feel afraid or embarrassed to bring your dog in or have us come to you for an always free consultation on how to better care for them within your personal dog grooming budget and needs.  Believe me, we’ve seen it all before and have the experience to help!  Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, Let’s move on to some of the issues that us dog groomers deal with from time to time.

Dogs with parasites – This unfortunately is a common occurrence in this Houston, Texas weather. Summertime is prime time for flea and tick infestations.  The heat and lack of or even overabundance of water drive these nasty critters closer to homes and their pets.  So, what do dog groomers think when they see dogs come in with fleas/ticks?  Probably something along the lines of “Eew” and that’s about it.  We give the dog a flea and tick bath where they sit in a pet safe (but not parasite safe) lather before being rinsed clean of these little blood suckers.  Ticks have to be removed with hemostats to make sure the entire body and head are removed before being put in an alcohol solution.  Now, if a dog continuously comes in with these parasites then it’s time for the dog groomer to speak with the pet parent about solutions for eradicating the pests.  The only time we get frustrated is when we see animals come in completely infested over and over again because it’s so easily preventable.  Another common parasite is ear mites.  These little mites live deep inside the ear canal and can cause pain and damage to your dogs ears if not treated.  Our reaction to ear mites is pretty much the same as it is with fleas.

Pet Parents That Don’t Understand Their Dog’s Pain- Some pet parents just don’t understand that their dogs can feel pain just the same as we do.  That’s okay!  We are here to help educate all pet parents out there how to properly care for their pets so that they can better enjoy their furry family member even more!  There are situations that we deal with as dog groomers that can make us uneasy because they are unsafe for the animal.  For example, we have had customers in the past that have dogs with extremely grown out nails and want them trimmed.  That’s not a problem!  We can definitely do that, but only as far back as is safely possible without harming the animal.  Dogs nails are like people nails in that they hurt when they are trimmed back too far.  The staff at Hot Shot Dog Grooming will never perform any service that may potentially harm the animal when it is completely unnecessary.  If your dog has excessively long nails we can refer you to a vet that can sedate your dog and perform this procedure painlessly.  Another common example is when we see overly matted dogs come in and their pet parents want them de-matted.  We are more than willing to de-mat any dog that can safely be de-matted.  If the tangles are too close to the skin, in an area that is highly prone to cuts like the hocks, armpits, or ears, it’s not safe to de-mat them.  The risk of cutting the dog or causing brush burns or excessive pain is to great.  The dog groomers perspective on customers that won’t budge on the brush out idea (being honest):  If you want it long and fluffy, brush it out to begin with or shave it down.  We will not harm animals simply for aesthetic appeal.

The Unsatisfiable Pet Parent – This is a kind of tricky thing to write about because we always want to satisfy all of our clients in every way possible.  There are times, however where we try everything to accommodate a pet parent and their pet to no avail.  In fact, that is one of the reasons I came up with the blog section about dog grooming terminology and blade uses etc.  We want it to be as easy as possible for everyone out there, whether they are our clients or not to be able to go into their dog grooming salon and have a pretty clear idea of what they want for their dog as far as style goes.  Still, there are occasions, though few and far between that a client will want us to achieve the unachievable for their particular dog.  For example, we cannot make a completely matted dog look fluffy and beautiful.  As we groomers put it, “we don’t have a magic wand” that can make everything perfect all of the time even though we would love to!  Also, we can’t jump inside the pet parent’s mind to see what they would like done so please, feel free to bring a picture, illustration, at home drawing, or other sources if you have something specific in mind.  Do NOT tell us to “just do your job.”  Our job is to make the pet parent happy to the best of our ability with whatever situation we are working with, while also considering the safety and well-being of your pet.

Strange Dog Grooming Requests

From time to time we get strange or unreasonable requests from pet parents.  Most of the time we welcome these interesting or challenging ideas and appreciate when our clients think outside the box.  Some of you might wonder what dog grooming professionals think when you request unique things for your dogs.

Hair Dye – This is actually one of our extra services and can be a great way to express your creativity and dog grooming style.  There has been much controversy on this topic in the dog grooming world.  Many believe it can be harmful to animals, but there is no evidence of such a statement as long as you use pet safe hair dye.  It can be very challenging and frustrating to the groomer simply because the dog can move at any time and spread the dye from the desired area to another part of it’s body.

Setting Strange Patterns – Sometimes we are asked to create some pretty interesting patterns on poodles and other fluffy dogs.  We have a long-time client that likes to get a checker board pattern shaved into her lab during the summer.  As creative beings, most dog groomers love to be able to “play” and create new, fun works of art while grooming.  On the other hand, if your dog is too wiggly it may just be impossible to work with.  It’s like forming a clay pot with sand..just doesn’t work out too well.

Tattoos and Piercings – Yes, some pet parents like to get piercings or tattoos on their dogs.  The only tattoo that should be on a dog is an identifying marker that shows the dog has been surgically altered or something else that is medically necessary.  Many people out there including a few of us have tattoos and/or piercings of some kind.  BUT, we as humans choose to have those things and to go through the pain.  Your dog doesn’t.  It’s not fair to the dog to put them through any unnecessary pain just for visual appeal.


In summary, dog grooming is not about judging or criticising anyone no matter what condition their dog may be in.  It’s about the pet’s well-being as a whole and we are here to make the lives of our clients, both human and four legged alike happier, healthier, and more enjoyable for the lifetime of the pet and future pets to come.  Education is the first step and we are here to help with all of your pet parenting needs.  If you have further questions, feel free to post on this site or contact us today!

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