Woman says dog groomer must get ‘consent’ from her pet during haircuts
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Featured Image Credit: Cavan Images/Getty Images / Reddit
A woman has been met with some very confused responses after telling a dog groomer they must get 'consent' from the dog before getting on with their job.
Let me just start off by saying that without a doubt, consent is extremely important, and nothing to be joked about.
However, when we talk about 'consent' we're usually talking about humans - not dogs who, as much as we might wish otherwise, don't have the ability to share their thoughts, feelings and personal preferences with us.
With that in mind, it's hard to say whether dogs have any feelings about getting their hair cut. They might look great afterwards, but do they really know, or care?
We'll probably never know for sure, but one dog owner named Susan is apparently convinced that her dog has a lot of feelings about getting groomed - so much so that it can even give groomers the go-ahead.
Susan's concerns were laid out in an email addressed to a groomer and shared on Reddit, in which she explained that she was looking for a groomer who could care for her dog 'in the non-confrontational manner I believe is best for him'.
She introduced her dog as Dooley, a *deep breath* '18-month-old Bernowdoodle'. That's a cross between a Bernese mountain dog, chow and standard poodle, apparently.
"This would be his first haircut as I have not found a groomer willing to work within the parameters I believe in," Susan explained.
The owner explained that 'any groomer could easily handle the haircut', it was their approach to the cut that she was struggling with.
“I’m having difficulty finding a groomer willing to wait for him to consent to each part of the grooming,” she said.
Now, as I mentioned earlier, Dooley is not capable of giving verbal consent, but Susan believes he is capable of offering up some non-verbal go-aheads.
“He will consent by maintaining eye contact with you while you are working, and if he looks away he is withdrawing his consent, and you will need to stop until he grants it again," she said.
Though it might seem unusual, Susan's request came from a good place as she explained she didn't want Dooley to be 'psychologically uncomfortable'.
However, she didn't necessarily make things easy for the groomer, as she also requested that Dooley not be 'restrained in any way', even if it was just having a lead attached to the 'grooming platform'.
Susan also said she'd prefer to be present for the grooming session since 'not everyone is as fluent in [Dooley's] language' as she is.
Her email was shared to the Reddit thread 'r/doggrooming', where the poster said they wanted to believe it 'isn’t real', adding: "but I know it is. Good lord!"
Susan's requests have been met with mixed responses, with some convinced the post is satire while others suggested the dog owner was being a bit over the top.
"I’m all for cooperative care, but if you’re going to do the whole eye contact/chin rest/whatever cue as consent thing, you’re going to have to do the grooming yourself. No groomer has time for that, or if they did, it would cost hundreds because they’d only be able to do one dog a day," one person wrote.
I wonder if Susan will ever find the perfect groomer...