Criteria For a Perfect Grooming Area - The Grooming Series
A good grooming area has easily accessible power sources. This stall has two plugs just above where the white cord is. My blower hangs off of this barn support, about four feet off the floor. Theblower has a plug in port on it, so with this set-up I can have three of whatever plugged in at the same time. This is very helpful.
It needs to be easy to clean up hair in. The rubber mats on the floor of the stall help with that, however, the hair blows through the wire mesh of this stall and into the interior of the barn, so this year I am going to try switching to a fully enclosed stall so that I can keep my barn clean. White hair everywhere annoys my husband!
The floor needs to be blower friendly. Using the blower will stir up any debris on the floor. A dirt floor might work, but a bedded stall area would be miserable to work in with the blower. And, when things are blown into the air it tends to frighten the dogs that are unaccustomed to the blower.
It needs to be in a convenient location. If using your location is unhandy that provides a great reason to procrastinate about grooming. It is also VERY convenient to be able to set up an area that is dedicated to this task for the time it takes to groom all the dogs on the property. In my case this means I need a dedicated grooming stall for most of the summer.
It needs to be small enough that you can reach a dog at liberty from anywhere in the stall. I have found that if I turn my pair of dogs loose in the stall, rather than tying the dog I am working on, the dog I am working on is less stressed. Sometimes I need to tie the dog for a portion of grooming, but usually not all of it. And, I can trade off working on each dog that gives them breaks. This helps too. I always bring a pair of dogs in, because that provides emotional security to both dogs. It is also helpful to have other dogs and/or livestock in sight or sharing a fence line outside the grooming stall.
A table or shelf is a must! Anything placed on the floor for more than a few moments is likely to be marked by male or female dogs. So, all tools should be placed off of the floor when not in use. Some dogs will shop through my supplies on the table if the table is low enough to do so. I prefer a table four feet off the ground. If you plan to leave your grooming supplies in the stall, as I often do, be sure to protect skinny power cords from rodents. Also, NEVER allow dogs access to a stall with power cords plugged in. It is truly amazing how far up a motivated dog can go to reach a power cord.
Have a broom and large trash can nearby. I usually leave my trash can in the corner of the stall with me, and the broom just over the fence. Dogs love to crew on brooms, so it needs to be out of reach of the dogs.
It needs to have at least two locations to tie a dog. In this stall I can tie a dog from the wire mesh that surrounds most of the stall. The reason for multiple locations is that some locations are better tolerated by the dogs than others, depending on a number of factor, such as who lives on the other side of the fence. And, some dogs like to be tied in corners while other dogs worry about that.