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Commonly asked questions...

It’s natural to have tons of questions when considering leaving your beloved pet with a stranger for the first time. To help you, I’ve provided a list of some of the frequently asked questions I'm confronted with below.

Canine Hairdresser

What size is my dog?

SMALL - Chihuahua, English Toy Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier, Toy Poodle, Pug, Pomeranian, Italian Greyhound, Bichon Frise, Border Terrier, Boston Terrier, Cairn Terrier, French Bulldog, Lakeland Terrier, Miniature Schnauzer, Shih tzu.


MEDIUM - Australian Shepherd, Bulldog, Basset Hound, Border Collie, Cocker Spaniel, Springer Spaniel.


LARGE - Chow Chow, German Shepherd, Alaskan Malamute, Boxer, Dalmatian, Golden Retriever, Rottweiler, Labrador.


DOUBLE COATS - Newfoundlands, Chow Chows, St Bernards, Bernese Mountain Dogs and more, have 'double coats'. This takes more time to work with. If required an extra 20% - 25% charge will be made depending on the dog.


If you are unsure please contact Jenny at the salon for advice before booking.

Trimming the Fur

What type of groom will suit my dog?


You may not immediately think that short-haired breeds need grooming. However, because they shed, they benefit greatly from our undercoat removal techniques. This groom means that much less of your dog’s coat ends up on your floors and furniture at home and they are left with a more comfortable, beautifully soft and shiny coat. This groom includes:

  •  Brushing for removal of dead coat

  •  Bath with double shampoo and condition

  •  Blast dry for removal of remaining loose hair

Ideal for: All short-haired breeds including Labradors, Rottweilers, Great Danes, Short-haired German Shepherds, etc.



Long-haired breeds have a dual coat which consists of a fine undercoat and a thicker outer coat. The temperate climate in the UK and central heating during winter months means that this undercoat is generally not required and therefore ends up on your floors. By grooming out the undercoat in these breeds your dog is left with a more lustrous and shiny coat and you have less cleaning to do at home! This groom includes:

  •  Brushing for removal of undercoat

  •  Bath with double shampoo and condition

  •  Blast dry for removal of remaining loose hair

Ideal for: All long-haired breeds including Golden Retrievers, Collies, Newfoundlands, etc.



Some breeds don’t shed their fur and they benefit greatly from regular clipping to keep their coats healthy, clean and tidy. If you are unsure of which style to choose, our trained team can help you to identify the grooming style that best suits your dog’s needs and your own preferences utilising our extensive style guide. This groom includes:

  •  Brushing to remove undercoat and deal with minor matts and tangles

  •  Bath with double shampoo and condition

  •  Blast dry for removal of remaining loose hair

  •  Clipping and styling according to your requirements

Ideal for: Cockapoos, Spaniels, Westies, Labradoodles, Poodles, Schnauzers, etc.


If your dog just needs a good bath or a tidy up with the clippers please get in touch. I am able to accommodate small jobs such as these, often at short notice, as I won’t need to book a full session for you.

How do I pay?

I accept payments by card, cash or BACS transfer.  Services can be paid for in advance, via the website or on the day of the booking. The booking form uses Stripe and accepts Visa, Mastercard + American Express. Stripe is an established and well known, reliable payment system.

The prices quoted are a guide. On arrival at the salon, or at the time I collect your dog, I will assess whether the booking is correct and advise of any additional charges or extras required. If you have selected the wrong size dog or need further services after you have booked on-line, you will be advised and the correct price agreed upon before I proceed.

Where are you located?

Hill Top Dogs are located within 15 minutes drive Cheadle, Leek and Ashbourne and 20 minutes drive of Uttoxeter.  The salon is situated within the grounds of my home and there is space for you to drive in and turn around.

What time should I arrive?

I am a drop-off only salon only and as such I don’t have a waiting area for owners and dogs, so please arrive at the agreed time of your appointment. As you can appreciate I am a small business and lateness and no shows cost me so if you’re late delivering your dog, I may have to reschedule the appointment. If you’re running late please let me know and I will try to accommodate.

How long does the groom take?

Most appointments are around 2hrs - 2.5hrs long. The appointment length will depend on a range of factors - size of dog, state of coat, services required. At the time I collect your dog or upon your arrival at the salon I will give you a final assessment of your dogs needs and the time it will take.

What happens when we arrive?

At your first appointment I will spend about 15 minutes looking at the condition of your dog’s coat and their general health.


I  will discuss the way you want your dog to be groomed and hopefully the coat will allow for this - there are times that the coat’s condition will not allow for the cut you want. If that’s the case, I’ll try to agree a stepped approach towards the style you want for your dog - perhaps short clipping on the first groom, followed by future grooms increasingly in the style you want.

During this consultation it is important that you share as much of the knowledge you have about your dog as possible. Previous groomer comments and recent vet visits are all relevant to our working with your dog and can help me to achieve a much improved grooming finish for you both.

My dog’s pregnant, can you groom her?

No. This can be very harmful for the dog and the unborn puppies.

My dog’s in season, can you groom her?

I can, but it’s vital to ensure that your dog is comfortable with being groomed during this time. Where possible, I am happy to reschedule with enough notice. But if you want to go ahead with the groom, I will first check to see that your dog’s happy and may have to cancel if she’s not.

What happens if I don’t like the haircut?

Tell me, I won’t be offended. I will always groom your dog in the way I have discussed with you. However, there may be times when what you thought you’d asked for, doesn’t match what's delivered. This is why I have a detailed, pre-groom consultation and keep detailed records of how each dog is styled. Feel free to share images of the type of style you want to achieve. If the final outcome is still not what you expected, I will work with you to rectify this on future grooms. Unfortunately refunds will not be possible.

My dog’s coat is extremely matted but I don’t want it clipped off - can you help?

Dematting a coat can be extremely painful for your dog. In line with the Animal Welfare Act (2006), I will not cause pain to a dog and therefore in certain circumstances I have to partially or completely shave / clip off the dogs coat.  By clipping off the matts I will instantly improve the health and welfare of your dog and then will advise you on how to avoid matted fur in the future.

My dog bites when groomed; how will you handle this?

For puppies I have the Puppy Package to introduce them to the grooming studio. This helps them overcome any fear and hopefully any 'fear based agression' or biting.


If your dog is a biter, please let me know and I may use a muzzle (with your permission - if that's not acceptable I won't be able to groom them and any refunds would be as per my Terms & Condtions.


Biting or scratching dogs take longer to work with - I have to be even more careful with clippers and scissors in case of injury to the dogs or to me. I may add a 15% surcharge to the fee to cover the extra time the groom takes.

My dog has a 'double coat'. Does this cost more?

Some breeds e.g. Malamutes, Newfoundlands, Chow Chows, St Bernards and more, have 'double coats'. This takes more time to work with. If required and extra 20% - 25% charge will be made depending on the dog.

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