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Grooming Table Workspace – Safety and Productivity with Chuck Simons

Special Guests

Chuck Simons

Chuck Simons is the inventor of Groomers Helper®, the world’s most used pet safety and positioning system, as well as an accomplished photographer, writer and lecturer. Chuck is often found at grooming shows demonstrating the leading pet grooming products and presenting business building seminars. Chuck owns and operates The Pet Salon with his wife Beth, an NCMG®. Chuck is the winner of the prestigious “Barkleigh Honors Award” and the “Cardinal Crystal Achievement Award for Outstanding Contribution to The Industry.”

In this episode, Joe Zuccarello is joined by Chuck Simons, founder of the Groomer’s Helper. Hear Chuck’s fascinating origin story and learn how to increase your productivity through safe pet handling practices.

  • What does a black lab, a casino, and a love story have to do with the founding of Groomer’s Helper?
  • What should a new groomer pay first, rent, utilities, or insurance?
  • What does risk management have to do with a grooming loop?
  • What can reduce incident reports by as much as 75% and increase groomer productivity by about 25%?
  • Can a dog smell confidence pheromones on your breath?

Tune in and find out!

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    Joe Zuccarello: Welcome to Hey Joe! A podcast answering questions asked by our listeners. Created by pet professionals for pet professionals. And now your host, Hey Joe’s very own Joe Zuccarello.

    What’s up everyone? Joe Zuccarello here and welcome to Hey Joe!, a podcast brought to you by Paragon School of Pet Grooming. Check out our site at ParagonPetSchool.com for lots of really cool information on a variety of programs, products and to connect to educational resources such as webinars, podcasts, current events, special news, certifications, and lots of other helpful information to help you grow yourself, your team and of course your business. Let’s get started with this week’s episode.

    Hi there, everyone, this is Joe Zuccarello, your host of the Hey Joe! Podcast. This is a podcast where you get to listen in on a real coaching call between myself and an expert in the industry. A lot of the questions that we get from you, our listeners, typically start with the words, Hey, Joe. If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times, if I only had an extra set of hands. This is what I hear when I interview groomers who are looking to improve their speed, control, or even just focusing more on safety in grooming. Do you find yourself in this predicament or find yourself asking questions like, “Is there a better way?” or, “Does it have to be this difficult?” or, “I understand I’m a newer groomer, but how in the world can you do all of the things that you need to do with a dog on the table and all at the same time?” Well, then you are going to be very impressed by my guest today.

    Today’s podcast we are talking with Chuck Simons, inventor of The Groomers Helper. Chuck is an icon in the grooming industry and he never fails to attract the largest gathering of people at trade shows watching him demonstrate this device. You’ll want to be sure to stick around to the very end of the podcast to hear something really cool that Chuck is giving to all of the Hey Joe listener audience out there who just purchased products from Groomers Helper. You’re going to want to stick around and hear that special offer. And of course, as always, you can go to ParagonPetSchool.com to learn more about The Groomers Helper and to download the transcript from this podcast.

    Chuck and I today will be talking about safety and positioning on the grooming table and how that benefits the professional groomer. Thank you to the Hey Joe listener audience out there for providing us questions that we use to find the subject matter experts to bring those answers directly to you. So, keep those questions coming. It’s very easy to submit your question. Just simply email us at heyjoequestions@paragonpetschool.com and we will go to work for you finding answers to those questions. So if you want to submit your questions for use on a future podcast, again, the email address is heyjoequestions@paragonpetschool.com. So you can go to our website right now and don’t forget to hit the subscribe button if you haven’t already.

    Let’s get started with this week’s episode with Chuck Simons. All right, Chuck Simons, thank you for joining us today.

    Chuck Simons: Hey, Joe.

    Joe Zuccarello: I see what you did there. That’s awesome. Hey, Chuck, I did do a nice little intro of you but you know nobody can actually introduce themselves or give themselves enough credit as much as themselves personally, so why don’t you tell us a little bit more about yourself and your company and kind of what’s going on over at Groomers Helper?

    Chuck Simons: Got you. Well, I used to own a number of companies. One was Atlantic City Casino Supply. I made the green felt layups on all the tables in Atlantic City and a lot in Vegas and Tahoe and I had a black Labrador Retriever. I met my wife at this business and she fell in love with my black Labrador Retriever, not me. So when he passed away, it was like she lost a child. She couldn’t eat, sher couldn’t sleep, it was really a very traumatic experience for her. So, I asked my local vet, who was a friend of mine, if she could come down and work as a vet tech, and he informed me that it takes two years to be a vet tech, but my groomer needs a bather.

    Bess went and worked there at minimum wage, and we’re talking about thirty-some years ago, and she would bathe eighteen dogs a day and come home whistling, and happy, and… how many people find out their passion in life? So, I said, “Bess, go out and knock on doors, tell them you’re a groomer, make yourself some money!” She said, “you don’t understand, there’s forty different cuts on a dog, you got to go to school and you got to learn it.” So I said, “okay, let’s send you to school”. So she went to a school locally, graduated with flying colors, and I said “Bess, go knock on doors, tell them you’re a groomer, make some money”. She said, “you don’t understand, I could do one dog a day. I got to go work somewhere and get my speed up.”

    So she went to work for a company in Ocean City, where the owner was nine months pregnant. The owner gave her the keys and said bye-bye. Bess was baptized in fire and brimstone. She had to open the store, she had to take in the customers, she had to do the bathing, she had to do the grooming, she had to check the customers out, she had to clean the store and lock up at night, so an education there. After a couple of months I said, “Bess, instead of splitting 50/50 with your absentee owner, why don’t you go knock on doors and tell them you’re a groomer, make yourself 100%?” She said “you don’t understand.” I said “I’m sorry dear, you don’t understand. I just bought the pet salon, you’re working tomorrow.”

    Joe Zuccarello: Oh wow.

    Chuck Simons: And I was her first bather. The first dog she booked for me was a pit bull, and that was in 1988. August of 1988. So August of 19… 19 will be 31 years. And she still has a passion for it, and I still have a passion for it, and that’s how we got into the pet salon. Then, I saw her going in the back room and crying because she couldn’t finish that Shih Tzu’s face, it was a biter. Or, she couldn’t cut that dog’s nails. It was just a struggle. And so a famous veterinarian by the name of R.K. Anderson, from Minneapolis, Minnesota invented a product called the Gentle Leader, which is a halter for dogs, just like a halter for a horse.

    Joe Zuccarello: Right, I remember those.

    Chuck Simons: And they’re still around. And then his partner was a machinist who actually sold agility equipment, and R.K. asked his partner to make him a clamp to put onto the grooming arm that could hold the Gentle Leader on a grooming table, and they make this thing called the Alpha Lock. It didn’t look too much like the Groomer’s Helper, but when R.K. sent me the foam rubber dog with the Gentle Leader on it, he also sent me an Alpha Lock. Well I didn’t use the Gentle Leader because you can’t groom a dog with a halter over it’s muzzle, but I hooked my Alpha Lock right to the loop, and it acted like a cross tie, like a cross tie for a horse. And darn if the dogs didn’t calm down. One person can do nails. It was just amazing to me, the transition that just happened. So I kept blowing smoke up R.K.’s butt, and I kept saying, “you know, I really would like the Alpha Lock.”

    He called me up one day and said, “Chuck, we found 300 of these things in our garage. The groomers are not buying them. I’ll gladly sell them to you.”
    I said, “as long as I can get the patents with them.” And that’s how the Groomer’s Helper started.

    Joe Zuccarello: Wow. Wow, that’s incredible.

    Chuck Simons: I paid R.K. a royalty for a number of years until this fantastic man passed away. So that’s how the Groomers Helper came about.

    Joe Zuccarello: You know Chuck, one of the things that I was prepared to talk about today, right off the onset, was innovation. The definition of innovation is exactly what you just described in this story that’s led you up to where you are now, and I know you’ve got lots of tricks up your sleeve for the future. But the definition of innovation is the improvement made to systems, methods, or processes, and-

    Chuck Simons: Sure.

    Joe Zuccarello: -that is, literally, exactly in a nutshell when you just described there. Many of our podcasts here at Hey Joe center around safety in the workplace. One of the things that I know you and I have talked about before, and it just rings true for me, is this concept of risk management. What is risk management, and why is it important for our listener audience to pay attention to that? Our listener audience, again, is comprised of people just getting in in the industry, some of these people are salon owners and managers, some of them are veterinarians, or they’re kennel owner operators… So take a moment and just give us a 30,000 foot view of what is risk management?

    Chuck Simons: Well, when I do my seminars, I go ahead and put in line what a groomer needs to pay for first. Would it be rent, would it be utilities, would it be payment on the mobile? The first thing I say you need to pay for is insurance. Because if you have an umbrella insurance policy, that’s risk management. Now you don’t have to worry about something happening and you being on the hook for it. You’re actually languishing under that umbrella of protection. Accidents happen. How do you prepare for that?

    Well the first thing you do it make sure that when the accident happens, it’s not actually hurting you. So that’s the first thing.

    Now, that covers you for risk management but that doesn’t really do anything physically for you. So what would risk management be in the grooming shop? No slip floors, so that in the bathing room your employees, or even somebody you invite in, is not going to slip on the floor. That’s risk management. You’re seeing all the potential liabilities that could happen, and you’re doing everything physically possible to stop that from happening. So then if you’ve done everything that you physically can do to stop accidents, and you can foresee that, well then the next thing is to be covered God forbid it should happen.

    Joe Zuccarello: So what you’re describing is looking at your business from a very proactive position, and not only covering yourself from a… you mentioned insurance coverage, we have a podcast that talks about proper insurance coverage, and why that’s important. So for all of the Hey Joe listeners out there, maybe go and tune into that. So when you’re talking about the risk management, not only is it from an insurance perspective, but it’s also making sure that you have the equipment that puts you in the best position to provide a safe environment for not only the pet, but also the pet groomer, and the pet parent, and everybody that might come into contact with the business. Your product, the Groomers Helper, is one of those pieces of equipment.

    Chuck Simons: Sure. And it’s not only the groomer or the pet, but it’s also the business owner. Because the business owner, at the end of the day, takes it on the chin for everything. So if a groomer makes a mistake, the business owner’s responsible. If the pet bites a groomer, the business owner’s responsible. If one of the business owner’s employees over handles a pet, the pet gets injured, it’s the business owner’s responsibility. Again, at the end of the day, it’s the business owner. The business owner needs to be aware of all the risks in the shop.

    There’s two major risks in the shop. One is injuring a pet, and the other is a pet injuring an employee. Very rarely do we think about the customer coming in, but believe it or not if you invite a customer back into your grooming shop, and their own dog bites them, you’re responsible.

    Joe Zuccarello: I’ve heard of that before.

    Chuck Simons: Well, you’ve invited them back in. It doesn’t matter that it’s their dog, it was your responsibility to protect them from their own dog. That’s how insurance goes. So the Groomers Helper will reduce the area that the dog can bite the operator by about 90%. So we’ve just reduced that risk by 90%.

    Joe Zuccarello: Okay.

    Chuck Simons: So as far as the pet is concerned, it calms the pet down and establishes the pet’s footprint. But moreover, it calms him down. The groomer doesn’t have to wrestle, struggle, or re-position the dog, so there’s less hands on the dog. And believe it or not, the pet smells the groomer’s confidence, and calms down. The pet also smells the groomer’s reluctance and fear, and that could cause a bite. So it helps the groomer from being bitten, it helps the pet from being over handled. It is the great medium if you have a very loving, maternal employee and then you have a very rough employee, it levels out the playing field for both of them because the one that would struggle or over handle a pet doesn’t need to anymore, and that allows the one who’s maternal and loving to actually do more work.

    Joe Zuccarello: Right, right.

    Chuck Simons: So, it has great benefits not only for the people, but for the business owner. Especially, we get numbers from a lot of different corporate stores, it has reduced their incident reports which are bites to groomers, and injuries to pets, substantially. And I’m talking about more than 75%.

    It has one other little side effect. Because the girls don’t have to chase the dogs around the table and dance with the dogs, or be so afraid and aware that it takes them a lot longer, it’s reduced payroll by about 25%. Because the girls can groom more dogs with less handling.

    Joe Zuccarello: Right. So let’s… I definitely want to come back and unpack that, the confidence and the fear and the comfort aspect.

    Chuck Simons: Sure.

    Joe Zuccarello: And I think before we go there, I think we need to talk about just what you, you started to kind of hint on this and I want to go down one small path first, and that is, when you’re talking about controlling the environment, when you’re talking about eliminating the space or reducing the space in which the pet can travel, and so on on the table top… I’ve heard you use the word control and I’ve heard you use the word also when we’re talking about safety, but you said something earlier that I wrote down, and it’s positioning.

    So, as it relates to control and restraint of the pet on the table, how do you see that in regards to the different between control and restraint?

    Chuck Simons: Well, control and restraint are pretty rough words to use, and what it brings to people in their mind is actually wrestling the dog, controlling them. A lot of people think in order to be dominant, you need to be aggressive, and that’s not the case.

    In order to be dominant, you need to be confident. A dog smells your fear, he smells your confidence, he smells bombs, people buried under avalanches. Their olfactory sense is how they really perceive the world. Their vision is not as great as ours, a little color blindness in there and they’re looking at their eye level which is down about our knees. They are a different animal than human, and again, they use those olfactory senses. If a handler at a dog show were apprehensive, she’d chew a mint because she wouldn’t want the dog to smell her apprehensiveness. And that’s where they smell it, they smell it on our breath. They smell our love, they smell our fear, they smell our confidence, they smell on your breath if you’re going to have a seizure in two or three minutes. Because there are seizure dogs who can tell you, and there are service dogs for epileptic people, for people who have convulsions, so they can smell that minute difference, in guess it’s called the pheromones that come out of your breath.

    Joe Zuccarello: Right, its like a chemical reaction that’s happening.

    Chuck Simons: Absolutely. When the groomer knows, in her mind, that unless I stick my hand right in your muzzle you can’t bite me, the dog knows it. He’s already smelt that confidence, and he’s already subordinated to you as the alpha of his pack.

    Joe Zuccarello: Yeah, I’ve seen it over time, Chuck, I’ve seen the whole who’s going to win this wrestling match scenario play out on grooming tables, and quite frankly, nobody wins, right? I’ve, unfortunately, I’ve witnessed groomers all but laying on dogs, and holding them down in order to do-

    Chuck Simons: That’s called the alpha roll, and there’s really no necessity for it. A good analogy would be for thousands of years we’ve been cross tying horses. That’s a rope from the halter to one side of the stall, a rope from the halter to the other side of the stall, or trees. Once you control the head you control the whole body, but with a horse, if you get into that stall and his head is not under control, that horse can actually kill you. It can stomp you to death. So they don’t play around. We’re unaware of this. I was aware of it because I owned a horse, and when I saw that the Alpha Lock, which is not the Groomer’s Helper, turned the grooming loop into a cross tie, that was it. That was the natural progression of the grooming loop, was to be a cross tie and not just hanging a dog in a loop.

    Now, the Groomers Helper actually pulls that loop away from the trachea, and the dog is in between the two, the grooming loop and the Groomers Helper. When the dog backs up, it puts the pressure on the back of the neck and the sides of the neck where the pressure points are, where the mother did in the litter, so when he backs up and it kind of tightens down, he just releases and goes forward and calms down.

    I have to thank God, it really is a remarkable tool. I can’t say that I invented cross tying, that’s been around for thousands of years, but we certainly know that a hundred thousand dogs a day plus are groomed on it safely.

    Joe Zuccarello: So Chuck, let me just come up for air for just one second. I want to take a moment to just remind our Hey Joe listener audience out there who we’re talking to.

    We’re talking to a really brilliant man in the grooming industry. His name is Chuck Simons. He’s the founder and owner of Groomers Helper, and Groomers Helper, if you’ve ever had an opportunity to go to any of the trade shows, you see probably one of the best attended booths, during any type of demonstration, is Chuck’s, because, Chuck, you’re just so dynamic and you’re so passionate, and there’s a belief, and a confidence in you, in your product and what you’re doing for the industry.
    You know, one of the things, Chuck, that we talked about was… you started to also kind of talk about time saving. When I talk to groomers, and groomers ask me questions, and again, this podcast, we get questions all the time from people out there, and they submit it using the email address heyjoequestions@paragonpetschool.com. For any of you out there that are listening, you can feel free to also follow along. You can go to paragonpetschool.com and learn more about Chuck’s products, or you can simply visit the Groomers Helper website on the internet to also learn about all of their products.

    One of the things that comes up over and over and over again to the Hey Joe email address is, how do I make more money? Or, how do I save time? And these are areas that I know that you have focused in on as some of the core and true benefits of the Groomers Helper. So many of out groomer friends out there, they say listen, the only way that I can make more money is grooming more dogs per day. And this is a tiring, and very exhausting job. So, I don’t know that that’s the… in fact, I do know that that is not the ultimate solution, but if it is a way of making more money which is grooming more dogs, how does the Groomer’s Helper save on efficiency and time management?

    Chuck Simons: Well, I have to say… and I guarantee it… over 100,000 units have been sold, only six have been returned in twenty years, because when groomers get it they-

    Joe Zuccarello: That’s a pretty good track record.

    Chuck Simons: Yeah, its a great track record. When groomers realize that they are no grooming hands free, that they don’t have to hold the beard on that biting Shih Tzu, so their hands don’t ache at the end of the day. They don’t have to keep lifting that Golden up because they’re de-matting the back end and he’s constantly sitting. They don’t have to reposition their dog a thousand times a day because they can bring the head and face to them one time and he’s got to stay there. Just not repositioning all your dogs a day is going to guarantee you one more dog a day. Most groomers are doing two, three, and four extra dogs a day with less stress and struggling than they did it without the Groomers Helper, because they’re no longer dancing with the dogs.

    Joe Zuccarello: Right.

    Chuck Simons: I say this in all honesty, and you used the word positioning… you as a groomer are position the dog where its optimum for you, they’re not dragging you around the table and positioning you where they want you. So all that struggling, all that stress, that’s gone. And the more you use it, the more confident you get, the more ability you get to use it. Through my seminars I tell groomers, okay, so you can groom eight to ten dogs a day, maybe twelve if you’re good. Get yourself a minimum wage bather and I guarantee you eighteen to twenty dogs a day. They also, most groomers, single groomers, are grooming one dog at a time. They’ll bathe the dog, they’ll drive the dog, they’ll brush and comb the dog, and then they’ll finish the dog and then they’ll go get the next dog.

    We believe in rotational grooming, having two tables, even if one’s a portable table. With the Groomers Helper they can’t jump off, fall off, or hang themselves, so one dog in the tub, sitting in the shampoo, especially if it’s flea shampoo it’s got to sit on them for a while. One dog on the drying/ brushing table, and one dog on your finishing table. And so you go do the bath, and then you go over and you do the brushing and then you go over and you do the finishing, and you’re rotating. So you’re actually putting out a lot more product, than if you did it one at a time. And I know that a lot of people will say, well that’s like manufacturing, you know? But it’s not. Again, you can take your time doing that, and again the dog’s going to stay there because he’s hooked to the Groomers Helper. You don’t have to worry about him taking off on you.

    Joe Zuccarello: The other thing then, Chuck, too, is let’s say the groomers out there that are listening are content with doing seven or eight dogs a day. Let’s say they just don’t want to do… and really, that meets their financial needs, or, hey, maybe they’re finished earlier that day…

    Chuck Simons: Absolutely, absolutely. It is a tremendous handling product, but the stress, the struggle it drops is priceless. That’s something that came along with the invention, or the many inventions that it comprises of. So yeah, when they are off, they’re not stressed. So they can go out and actually speak with people.

    Joe Zuccarello: Well exactly, they can become a member of society. And you’re right, because you know I’m a very big proponent on the whole customer experience, the pet, that’s absolutely, but also the customer experience. The biped customer, the one that’s connected to the leash at the other end, and their wallet, and their checkbook.

    Chuck Simons: That is 9/10ths of the ballgame, because they love you because you love their dog, and if you don’t have enough time to tell them how much you love their dog, and how great their dog is, and how you want to see them again, or if there’s any health problems, this is what customers are looking for. They’re looking for that dialogue. So groomers that are that busy, that can’t give their customers that time, are missing out. Because in our grooming shop, 31 years, we’re on fourth generation of dogs. Mothers and fathers brought their babies in with their dogs, now their babies are bringing their babies in with their dog. And that’s how you keep a client forever, is to become what I call, one of the family. You want to be one of the family, you want to know when its the dogs birthday, you want to send him a birthday card, you want to know when it’s the owner’s birthday, you want to send them a birthday card.

    9/10ths of the ballgame is your ability with the owner, because you really can’t advertise for customers. You get customers from customer referral. And when somebody sees, because you’re not struggling, that that dog looks beautiful, they say, hey, where do you get your dog groomed? And the customer says, I would only go to one place, and that’s XYZ.

    So again, those skills, those customer skills, are just as important as your grooming skills, if not more.

    Joe Zuccarello: So Chuck, this podcast is brought to the listener audience by Paragon School of Pet Grooming, and one of the things that I have just really enjoyed is watching new people, watching the students, watching the folks that have committed to becoming a professional dog groomer, who are learning the foundation, the beginnings of what some veterans out there have been doing for decades. But these young people, not necessarily always young, but these new people, young in the industry, these new folks, these new hires of existing business, students of grooming schools… how do you see the Groomer’s Helper helping to train new employees, or working with maybe recent graduates? I know that at Paragon we use the Groomers Helper every day with our students, and wouldn’t it be a shame if, while learning, students are not exposed to the tools that can best assist them going forward in their new career? So how do you see that working with new hires in grooming salons, or students?

    Chuck Simons: There are two trains of thought. There’s the old school where the groomer teacher wants to teach the people how to handle dogs, how to understand the responses of dogs, and what their actions could mean, and that takes a while. Normally, in a three hundred- five hundred hour course it’s very hard to teach somebody how to be a dog trainer and a groomer. So they’re going to learn more of how to be a groomer if they don’t have to struggle with the dog, if they’re not worried about hurting the dog or the dog hurting them. We believe that grooming schools are strategic partners of ours. We’re helping them teach their students better.
    As far as learning the signs of aggression, or learning how to handle the dog, the Groomers Helper does that, but they can learn that down the line, and that’s experience. And I think experience is worth everything. So once they leave the school, when they learn at the school that they can protect themselves, they can protect their pets, they don’t have to do the alpha roll or struggle with their pets anymore, they feel more confident in learning other techniques, other training techniques, other signs… I really believe that every school should be teaching with the Groomers Helper because I really don’t believe that you can teach what experience is going to teach.

    Joe Zuccarello: Chuck, to your point, when we’re talking to our listener audience out there, and again, Hey Joe listener audience out there you can follow along by following our website at paragonpetschool.com, go to our website, or go to the actual website page and follow along with the Hey Joe podcast page. We’re talking to Chuck Simons, and Chuck is just really just touching on some very incredible but very important content as it relates to how people go about their normal day in a grooming salon.

    Grooming is tough, and beyond all of the tools and equipment that are created to make a particular groomer’s day easier, or less stressful, one of the things that Chuck, I’ve heard you talk about as it related to the Groomers Helper, is this seat belt analogy for new people, new hires, new students. Enlighten the Hey Joe listener audience out there about what you mean by seat belt.

    Chuck Simons: Let’s say you work for a cab company. You wouldn’t get in that cab unless the cab had seat belts, because its not your diving we’re worried about, its somebody else, texting or whatever, that runs that red light that hits you, and that seat belt and that airbag is going to save you. Seat belts are very very important.
    Well when you have a dog and he is just on a grooming loop, he can jump off the table, he can fall off the table, he can hang himself… There is so many things that could happen, so how do you put the dog in a position where he’s calm, and those things can happen, and that’s the Groomers Helper. The Groomers Helper will reduce his area that he can travel by 90%, and that’s very, very important. Now he knows where he lives and he’s calm, now go ahead and do what you need to do.

    It is the safety belt for pets and for groomers and for the business owners. You’re going to have less injuries, you’re going to have less accidents, you’re going to have less of everything because it’s not a new position every day on a new dog, it’s the same thing over and over. And people that get good with the Groomers Helper, they’re making money. The profit or the return on investment on the Groomers Helper is huge. I mean, it’ll pay for itself in the first couple of weeks, but then I’ll make you thousands of extra dollars. And again, the stress and the struggle that it drops is priceless.

    Joe Zuccarello: So here’s what’s really interesting, is that I’ve been taking some notes as you’ve been talking and there are three words that keep coming up over and over again. Those three words are fear, and comfort, and confidence. At first, I started writing those down thinking you know, that’s for the people. But then I started to look at that, and I keep listening to what you’re saying, and it sounds as beneficial in those three areas for pets as much as it is for-

    Chuck Simons: No, no, it’s more beneficial for the pets, and let me explain that. You get somebody that comes in who has been to groomers who over handle the dog, and of course the more you struggle with the dog the more it struggles back. Push on a dog, he pushes back. You pull on a dog, he pulls back. You struggle and wrestle with him, he struggles and wrestles back.

    So a new customer comes in and says, look, you might have to muzzle this dog. So you say, wait a second. You take him in the back, you put him on the Groomers Helper, you put a comb through his beard, you go ahead and cut a nail, and you go back to the owner and say, listen, I have a helper with me, we’re going to be able to groom your dog.

    After the second or third time, that dog is on the Groomers Helper, he calms right down and becomes a normal dog again. You’re no longer struggling with him, so he has no challenge to struggle back. And you can ask most every Groomers Helper owner, the dogs expect to be put on it. You don’t put it on them, they’re going, oh my god what’s going on here. But you put it on them, they feel safe, just like you feel safe when you throw a seat belt on.

    Joe Zuccarello: So you know, Chuck, what’s interesting about all this… And I bet the Hey Joe listener audience out there’s saying, all right guys, you keep talking about this Groomers Helper but I can’t see it, I can’t see it in action.

    Sorry folks, that’s one of the limitations with audio podcasts, is that it doesn’t necessarily-

    Chuck Simons: All they have to do is go to the website, groomershelper.com, there’s many videos. Our customers have made many of their own videos on YouTube. It’s been out a long time, and there’s a lot of top groomers who’ve developed their own techniques. One of them is Luther Edmondson, in Texas. He showed me where he could take the Groomer’s Helper and put it around the dogs foot so they don’t pull back and forth and back and forth when you’re trying do clean feet.
    And again, it’s a very adaptable product. It will fit the smallest dogs, it will fit the largest dogs. It’ll fit the smallest tables, it’ll fit the largest tables. It’s very, very adjustable.

    Joe Zuccarello: So Chuck, to that point, what do you say then to groomers, because, again, I’m kind of like a bug to a light, right? When you’re doing doing a demonstration at trade show, I eavesdrop. I stop by and I just watch you, and I watch what you’re doing, and I’ve probably seen it a hundred times.

    Now, it’s always different with Chuck Simons. When you’re doing your demonstration you’re always, there’s always some cool ad lib, and you kind of inject experiences and stories from other groomers, and that’s what makes your demonstration so powerful. I’ve seen it, and you just kind of fly through to reposition this there, and this there, and move the clamp here… What do you say to groomers, then, Chuck, that think it’s… maybe they’re intimidated by… it kind of, they might see it as complicated, or hard to use. What do you say to them?

    Chuck Simons: There’s one moveable part, it’s very, very simple. It’s the hitching post for your dog, and there are positions that you can put the dog in. There’s position one, position two, position three. It’s a very, very simple product. To look at it you wouldn’t know what to do, but with the videos out there, it’s very simple. It’s a one-way tether. The dog can’t pull it but you can pull it, and you can let it out or let it in, or not use it. But I’d rather have it, not need it, than need and not have it. We don’t want groomers to change the way they groom, we just want to give them more time, and less stress, and less struggling, and use it and adopt it the way they groom. A lot of groomers say, well I only use it on the bad dogs, and that’s not the case. You want to use it on all the dogs because you want to be able to produce more dogs.

    One of the things, too, is they think it’s a restraint system. It’s not how mush restraint you can use, it’s now how much you don’t have to use. So I say you want to make the dog comfortable. Two fingers between the loop, slack on the rope, a little peanut butter on the arm, a lot of petting and praising, and you get more with positive reinforcement than ever than negative reinforcement, or trying to force yourself on the dog.

    Joe Zuccarello: So its definitely more of a positioning system, or a –

    Chuck Simons: Absolutely.

    Joe Zuccarello: It could actually be almost like those anti gravity boots. I’ll sell you the rights to this one, but it’s an anti-restraint device.

    Chuck Simons: Okay, okay. And again, it has a lot of benefits. You can actually sit while you’re grooming, because you can do half the dog to the front arm, half the dog to the back arm, bring him to the side arm, and never get off your stool. The Groomers Helper I liken… I liken your clippers and your scissors to your paintbrushes, the dog being your canvas, and the Groomers Helper is your easel. It’s holding your canvas. You wouldn’t try to paint a picture hanging from a rope. You wouldn’t try to carve a log that was rolling down a hill, you have to stabilize it, and the Groomers Helper stabilizes your dog, stabilizes your canvas so you can do some fine work, and not have to worry about hurting the dog or getting bit.

    Joe Zuccarello: What a mental picture. You wouldn’t try to paint a canvas while-

    Chuck Simons: Hanging from a rope.

    Joe Zuccarello: -If the canvas was hanging from a rope. And moving, spinning around. Oh, and by the way, it might try to bite you along the way.

    Chuck Simons: There you go.

    Joe Zuccarello: It seems so ridiculous when you put into those terms.

    So, Chuck, we’re going to need to wrap up, but one of the things that Hey Joe listener audience out there, all of our listeners, Chuck and the team at Groomers Helper, they have really stepped forward, and they are making a really cool offer available exclusive to our listener audience. And that is 10% off of an order by just mentioning Hey Joe when they’re placing the order.

    Oh, and a free grooming loop.

    Chuck Simons: There you go.

    Joe Zuccarello: So what better way… It’s got to easily pay for more than the shipping costs of getting it sent to you, if there is shipping costs, I don’t know. I hope I just didn’t give away your shipping costs, but my point is is that-

    Chuck Simons: We ship by UPS mail, it’s usually the cheapest route we take.

    Joe Zuccarello: There you go, so-

    Chuck Simons: Because we know that the shipping costs are part of the problem.

    Joe Zuccarello: Right, so why pay the freight, why pay too much money out there. So Groomers Helper is making sure that they ship in the most economical way, the most financially friendly way, but they are taking 10% off to all of the purchases that are made by mentioning the Hey Joe podcast, and offering a free grooming loop thrown in on top of that.

    So, again, I know for out listener audience out there you’re at a little bit of a disadvantage on this podcast because its audio and you can’t see the demonstration. Chuck has lots and lots of demonstrations offered at his website, and I’m sure that the team at Groomer’s Helper would be thrilled if you called them and say, okay, explain this to me further. So they want-

    Chuck Simons: No problem. I’m always available, always available to my customers. I usually answer the phones, I’m usually the guy at the trade shows, and if it’s not me, it would be Ed, is our CEO, and he knows just about as much as I do, maybe more.

    I’d just like to say to your listeners that if they enjoy that 10%, then we have a pro groomers club. For a small investment of $25, you get two grooming loops worth about $32 and 10% on all the products forever.

    Joe Zuccarello: Oh my gosh. I don’t know, Chuck, but that seems kind of like a no-brainer to me. What a great offer that… what did you call it, the groomers club?

    Chuck Simons: Yes, the pro groomers club, and that’s certainly on the site, and then for our Canadian groomers, and you’re close to Canada, they can go to groomershelper.com/canada, and they’ll be very, very surprised when they do.

    Joe Zuccarello: All right, I like that, I like that.

    So to all of the listener audience out there, thank you again, Chuck, for helping us and our audience today. I know that not only will your information be very helpful but I anticipate you’ll be receiving lots more success stories from the people that have yet to experience a Groomers Helper.

    I just want to put a shout out there to all of our audience, for all of our great questions that come from the Hey Joe listener audience. Again, it’s very easy for you to get your questions answered. So if there’s subject matter that you would like us to cover in a future episode of Hey Joe, it’s very simple. Just simple email us at heyjoequestions@paragonpetschool.com, and you might just hear your topic discussed with an industry expert in the near future. And please share this podcast with members of your team that you work with, and friends and family in the industry who you think should know about, and listen to it.

    Chuck, thank you again for everything that you do for not only the Hey Joe listener audience but Paragon School of Pet Grooming and the industry in general. We really do appreciate it man, you’re fighting the good fight.

    Chuck Simons: Thank you, sir. And regards to Melissa and Mark.

    Joe Zuccarello: Oh, absolutely. I’m sure they’ll be happy to hear. Take care of yourself and we’ll talk again soon.

    Chuck Simons: You got it.

    About Joe

    Joe Zuccarello is president of the Paragon School of Pet Grooming, leaders in grooming education on campus and online. He possesses more than three decades of experience in the pet grooming, product development and pet business consulting disciplines.

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