Aggression/Difficult to handle
After 23+ years of pet styling thousands upon thousands of dogs, I have never been bit by a dog. I have had a single cat bite me about four years into grooming and it was a friends cat. (No worry, we are still friends. :) )
This is a very important and close to my heart response in pets who are difficult to handle, because I have spent years in working with such pets because many grooming salons will not. Many groomers may not be experienced or prepared to handle such dogs in reactive situations resulting in someone or pet getting harmed while merely aiming to care for a dog hygienically.
Although, I have had multiple occasions in which attempts of a bite were made. Each helping me to learn of pet's behavior, response, care and safety. The result in working with such pet's is not only a timely one, but requires a multitude of key components in approach and care.
Whatever the reasons in which a pet is aggressive, bites or does not openly like to be pet or touched is one in which a dog trainer can help you personally identify. Previous "groomer" experiences, fear based reactions, highly anxious or nervous dogs are not a fit, here. A groomer is not the one who needs muzzling to protect themselves, no more than it is the dog who needs adequate training to correct such behavior because a dog comes to the groomer aggressive, scared and anticipating a muzzle or difficulty during their groom. It's mentally exhausting for both groomer and pet and physically dangerous when working with scissors and clippers on a dog who is trying to bite and already enters the groomers in fear.
As a groomer, I do not work in fear. Hence, why I have worked with many fear-based dogs merely sometimes, just to help the dog feel better with a nail trim or eye hair trim in getting what I can get done in the most comfortable way possible. However, upon countless repeat visits, most dogs still react the same in which I must muzzle to protect myself, approach the pet in heightened caution and revisit the same response 6-8 weeks later. As a groomer, I am unable to style the pet to a degree in which I have spent years of experience doing because the pet simply doesn't want to be groomed. Likewise, naturally caring for pet's, bonding and connecting with them is who I am. A dog set out to bite me or anyone else during a grooming is not in a position to receive the care and love I naturally enjoy and give. Hence, the disconnect.
A groomer is here to groom your pet. Brush, trim and clean. A pet's response to such is of the pet. Sometimes, a groomer and a pet are not a fit. For whatever reason. It does not suggest a groomer or a pet is "bad." It does suggest it is not a fit. Placing a muzzle on a dog, giving sedatives prescribed by a vet, and a groomer taking the time necessary to work through a pet's own aggressive response are all helpful in hindsight, however, does not necessarily address the underlying concern at hand. Sometimes it is a matter of finding a right fit for the dog.
Aggression response can be heightened due to the pet's environment in which they are being groomed. Again, working with certain dogs for years, I have muzzled consistently due to the protection of my body as well as worked in high caution in merely just brushing or coming close to pet the dog. Dogs still can bite through a muzzle. Dogs can work to remove the muzzle off. Dogs despite being muzzled can flail their entire body raised four feet off the ground on a table with a noose around their neck. The sheer witness of such can be astonishing if you have never witnessed what trying to make a dog feel better by caring for the dog in a grooming and the resistance of the dog to such is aggression. It's uncalled for and nobody or pet deserves to endure such.
I have worked in a vet clinic in which in rare and extreme cases, sedating a dog that requires grooming is the only option and it is one that is available to you. A veterinarian clinic that offers grooming is the best fit for a pet in this response, in congruence to an animal trainer. A vet clinic groomer has the adequate oversight of the dogs well being there at hand. Should the pet require assistance with medication, the vet is the one to administer and do so.
For the safety and well being of myself and other pet guests, aggressive or difficult to handle pets are not a fit here. My focus is on the arts of grooming as well as servicing pets who are receptive to care and enjoy being pampered so that I may offer you what you came here for.