Taking your dog for a grooming session is like spinning the wheel of fortune. You think you know what you’re gonna see when you come pick the little furry boi or gurl up, but that’s not always how it works.
You see, in times of worldwide social isolation and our best efforts to stay home, our beloved pets haven’t had a decent wash and cut in ages. Many have grown their fur way beyond their recognizable selves, and given the first opportunity, no owner would wait any longer to take them to the grooming salon.
After the session is over, things have changed, literally. According to people on social media, their dogs are not only unrecognizable, they’re literally different dogs. Can you go from being a proud parent to a cocker spaniel with luscious locks to a cute short-haired beagle in less than an hour? Yes, you can. Is there a conspiracy that groomers around the world have been mixing up doggos and handing their owners the wrong ones? You could call it that.
Let’s see it to believe it in the most hilarious post-haircut ‘not my dog’ moments shared by confused owners and hand-selected by Bored Panda for an ultimate cuteness overload.
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She had to have all her teeth removed, she had a giant sore on her leg and under her tail and she was a giant matted mess.
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To find out more about the art of dog grooming, Bored Panda reached out to Lindsey Patton, an Indiana-based professional pet groomer with 17 years of experience. Lindsey is also a member of the International Professional Groomers Inc. and the National Dog Groomer’s Association of America. She said her “commitment and passion for my job has allowed me to assemble a loyal and steadfast client base,” and you can see some of her recent dog transformations on her Instagram account.
Lindsey explained that a good groom is always the result of the groomer and owner working as a team. “As a pet owner, acclimate and desensitize your dog (or cat!) to every possible scenario they might encounter during the grooming process.”Imagine that during the grooming session, “as professionals, our hands literally cover every square inch of your pet’s body… oftentimes more so than your veterinarian does during a routine health exam!”
And according to Lindsey, it’s the owner’s responsibility to normalize these activities to your pet at home. In fact, “the more your pet is exposed to prior to visiting the grooming salon, the more comfortable and confident they will be in a proficient salon setting,” the expert groomer explained.
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When it comes to dramatic pet transformations, Lindsey said that in some of the most dramatic cases she’s dealt with in her career, some dogs and cats have truly looked unrecognizable.
In cases when “the extensive matting requires them to be 'stripped' down with a very close clipper blade to safely & humanely remove a badly felted coat, we are just as shocked as the owner when we fully reveal the end result.”
However, Lindsey assured owners that “never should a professional groomer put an animal through torturous hours of de-matting just to appease a demanding human customer... Or, worse yet, for monetary gain by charging additional fees for de-matting services.”
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On other occasions, owners may be stunned not only because of an extreme case of matting, but also because of a misunderstanding of the owner’s instructions for a hairstyle. It can indeed result in “a total alteration of breed character.”
“For example, certain breeds known for their distinct traits—such as a Schnauzer's eyebrows and beard or a Poodle's trademark topknot and tail pom—look starkly different when these characteristics are taken away.”
Having said that, Lindsey said that pet owners must be willing to accept the fact that it’s not the hairdo that makes their dog who he is. “Whether their pet is meticulously coiffed or shaved down to his birthday suit, he is still the same animal who casts no judgment and loves unconditionally,” the groomer concluded.