Questions about grooming and doggie psychology?

Hi, Here is the newest blog site to one of the best grooming facilities and grooming schools in the country.

I am the owner, DuAnn Chambers, and also the primary grooming instructor for the Pet Grooming Academy. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. I moved to northern Idaho (Priest River area) in 1994 and did not feel that I could support myself in this rural area with a psychology degree. So, I went back to school and received my grooming diploma in 1997 and have been grooming ever since.

I am childfree by choice and I live with my husband (whom I adore) and my 3 dogs, Mini Schnauzer, Annie-12, Monte-std pdle - 3, and Marli- Rott. cross-6.

My 4-legged dogs come to work with me and it’s a wonderful way to spend my days and make a living. I get to use both of my degrees every day in the grooming shop and I work with talented and fun dog-loving people. I now own 2 shops, and employ 6-8 groomers and bathers.

I start one student at a time, and have graduated dozens of students that have gone on to become hugely successful groomers and business owners. I love being a groomer! And I love being a teacher!

I have started this blog so that I can assist groomers with grooming questions, and dog-owners with dog psychology questions. In my 11 years of owning 2 shops and grooming thousands of dogs, I have come to notice a LOT of really cool things that co-exist for dog and owner.

Please help me to start my blog by sending me your questions regarding your dogs. Thanks a bunch for visiting my site, and I hope to be a service to you!

DuAnn Chambers

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Firestorm Smoke Does Affect Dogs During Grooming
Wildfire Smoke Effects Dogs

If wildfire smoke is affecting you, then it is also affecting your dog or cat - in all the same ways. As of August 2015, there have been a rash of firestorms across the Northwest United States,  filling the atmosphere with smoke, soot, and tiny debris, and with few days of breathing relief.  The smoke and the atmospheric debris created by the firestorms creates the same physical irritants for dogs as it does for their humans.  Its important for owners and groomers to be especially aware of dog's behaviors and newly exhibited symptoms during firestorms,  to ensure the safe-keeping of the pet during the grooming process.  Dog's eyes, lungs, and respiratory systems can be affected by the smoke inhalation, sometimes in mild ways and sometimes in extreme ways, depending on the baseline respiratory health of the dog.

When seen as a new pattern during prolonged atmospheric smoke conditions, these are signs of eye irritation in dogs:
-Crusty, tight matted eye corners
-Squinting eyes
-Clear or slightly colored discharge from the eyes
-Red eyes, and/or inflamed whites of the eyes
-Pawing at the eyes, or rubbing the face on the ground

Signs of respiratory irritation in dogs:
-Exerting more effort to breathe
-Wheezing, coughing, and sneezing
-Stretching the neck out for easier breathing
-Faster than normal breathing rate

Dogs that have existing heart conditions, such as heart murmurs, or enlarged hearts, are especially at risk for complications during smoky days.  Dogs experiencing extreme complications from existing heart conditions and smoke inhalation can show signs of sleepiness, dizziness, and even unconsciousness.

What can owners and groomers do to reduce irritation symptoms in dogs during smoky days?
-Use non-steroidal, lubricating eye drops
-Keep the door closed and use air-fine filters in the air conditioners
-Use Ionizer air filters indoors, especially in sleeping spaces
-Stay inside
-Keep heat and humidity levels low to reduce any extra stressors on the dog

Smoke pollution can adversely affect pets.  Knowing environmental stress signs to look for can potential save your pets life, and at the very least, help alleviate the momentum of continued pollution symptoms.

DuAnn Chambers
Happy Pooch Tribune

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Doggie kisses are valuable whether you want them or not

Doggie kisses are one of the nicest gifts your dog can give you.  Its' true that doggie kisses can be slobbery, smelly, messy, annoying and noisy.  Just remember, Valentine's Day is coming and there should be one time of year where doggie cases will be sincerely received and appreciated!  I encourage everyone to remember the incredible gift of love, devotion, and loyalty that goes into every slurp, messy or not!  Enjoy your kisses today!

Happy Pooch Tribune
Professional Tips to Pamper Your Pooch
DuAnn Lustig-Chambers

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Natural solution for incontinent dogs

Today we groomed an 11 year old Old English Sheepdog Sassy, owned by Sandy Sparling.  Sassy has been suffering from incontinence for several years, but in the last year, it has gotten much worse.  Sandy had Sassy on a prescription for incontinence called Proin.  Sassy is 70 pounds.

Sandy wasn't getting a lot of results from the Proin anymore, and so she bought a bottle of cranberry pills and started Sassy on 1 pill, 300 mg a day.  In four days time, Sassy's leaking had subsided by 80%.  That's pretty astonishing results!  Sandy checked with the vet to be sure the pills were safe to give her and she got the green flag.

Incontinence is an issue that is very common.  If you are needing help, cranberry pills are available at most supermarkets, and any holistic retailer.  It's a cheap, easy, non-intrusive remedy!

DuAnn Lustig-Chambers
Happy Pooch Tribrune
Professional Tips to Pamper Your Pet

Monday, January 3, 2011

hot spots in dogs

Today we had a dog come in the shop with hot spots in the base of the tail and on the thickest part of the hair on the back.  This dog was a thick, double-coated dog.  The owner of this dog had been to the vet to discover how to treat these hot spots.  The owner had asked a vet during a recent visit about why these sores were occurring.  The vet gave this owner several reasons for the sores that she did not believe (and I didn't either).

My personal belief is that thick-coated dogs often get hot spots in the winter time because of the snow and moisture that gets trapped in the thickest parts of the undercoat.  When the coat of the dog has not been combed or groomed regularly, the undercoat builds up in a way that will not allow moisture (snow) to dry out.  When the skin of the dog cannot dry out, they get a condition that is the same as 'dishwater hands'.  The skin gets mildewed and reacts with a skin infection.

Owners can avoid this process by brushing the extra undercoat out and moisturizing the fur and skin with emu oil.  Emu oil is the magic ingredient for irritated skin.  See our website for the best emu oil products,, or check out your local holistic retailer for emu oil pills.  The bottom line is, keep your dog's hair brushed out for healthy skin to avoid hot spots.  If hot spots cannot be avoided, free the area of bunched up hair so the skin can breathe, and moisturize often.

DuAnn Lustig-Chambers
Happy Pooch Tribune
Professional Tips to Pamper Your Pooch

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Dry or sensitive skin in dogs

Lots of customers have been having issues with itchy skin with their 4-legged dogs.  'Why, why, why?' they ask me.  Their are many reasons for dry skin, but when a great many more dogs are experiencing dry skin in the grooming shop, generally, it is the season, or season change, that causes this.  Here are the top 5 reasons that your dog may have dry or itchy skin:
1. The outside temperature is low, usually below 40 degrees.  The low temperatures create static in the air, which encourages itchy skin and/or dandruff.
2. You have an inside dog and you heat with wood or radiant floors.
3. Your dog has been playing in the snow often
4. You have recently bathed your dog. (Typically owners use the wrong shampoo for their dog's breed or they do not rinse the dog well enough).
5. You have a short-haired dog.

The majority of our customers that complain that they have itching dogs have or are experiencing one or more of the conditions above.  For this customer, we always bathe their dog in emu oil  shampoo and finish with a moisturizing emu spray.  We have many customers that request the emu treatment for their dog weekly.  You can use these professional products at home singularly or paired depending on the severity of the dog's itching. You can purchase the emu oil shampoo or emu oil moisture spray in either shop, or online at  You can also find emu oil pills that are available at any health food store.  If you have a dog with sensitive skin and itchy issues, try the cheapest, natural remedy first, EMU OIL.  Why does it work?  I do NOT know, I just know it works.

DuAnn Lustig-Chambers
Happy Pooch Tribune
Professional Tips to Pamper Your Pet

Friday, November 19, 2010

Why won't my dog be social anymore?

I was asked by my business coach, 'My dog sleeps a lot.  Is that normal?"  She told me her dog always wants to be upstairs where her bed is, and she cannot be coaxed to spend much time on the main floor being social with her family.

My reply to that Suzanne is that dogs and peoples base feelings and behaviors mirror each other through life.  Just as with humans that need more sleep as time passes, so it happens with dogs too.  Remember to multiply your dogs age by 7 to know how to compare her to a human.

My guess is that your dog is close to 10 years old, so you could compare her behaviors and feelings to those of a 70 year old human.  I have noticed that as humans age, they tend to filter out all environments, peoples, foods, and pastimes that are not their favorite.  Older people can and do become more predictable and patterned in what they do everyday.  Older people like to sleep, rest and nap.  Older people do not want to be in the middle of activity, they want to be in the space they are most comfortable.

Additionally, dogs needs mirror those of their human family.  My guess is that you need quiet and your own space (your own office) to focus on your work - what is important for you to do during the day.  It seems strange, but your dog wants a productive day also - sleep is her work, and that's important to her.  She needs her own space and her own things (like her bed) around her to get serious about her sleep.

Rest assured that your dog's need to sleep and not seek social time with her human family is not a reflection of her love for you. Just like you have designated times for work, and for personal, you may be surprised to find your dog being more social if you actively encourage and support her need to get productive sleep during your productive work hours.

Let me know if that makes a difference.  I would encourage to take your dog on a walk every day at the same time for 10 days, making it obvious that the work day is over, and family time is starting.  After you have started this new exercise regimen with her, I bet she expects and asks for it.  That will encourage her to interact with you in ways that you need to be social.  And if she is sleeping her life away, she does need to move her body sometimes to stay healthy.

DuAnn Lustig-Chambers
Happy Pooch Tribune
Professional Tips to Pamper Your Pooch

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sharing the grief of losing a pet helps to heal

Today my customer and friend,  Karen Smith brought her bichons in for us to groom.  She recently lost her 9 year old German Shepard, Bria.  We shared in the grief of losing a 4 legged family member.  Two years ago, Karen was a shoulder for me to cry on when I had to come to work right after putting my beloved 12 year old Mini Schnauzer to sleep.

Saying goodbye to our furry friends takes every ounce of courage that we have.  People that love their dogs as much as The Pooch Parlor family of customers, friends and staff does not occur in every day life. Finding empathy and sympathy from your friends and family when losing a pet is not hard.  Finding empathy and sympathy from another dog lover that values their dogs as children is very hard.

If you know someone that has recently lost their 4legged child, show them, hug them, call them, be there for them. We pet lovers need to share with those that UNDERSTAND the deep grief of losing a pet.  If you have a friend, or you have lost a pet, please add them below that so that we all may honor your dog or cat and share in the grief of your friend.

Karen, I honor the memory of your faithful friend Bria Smith, gorgeous and loving German Shepard. And I share in your grief of losing a loyal companion.

DuAnn Lustig-Chambers
Happy Pooch Tribune
Professional Tips to Pamper Your Pooch
Karen Smith, Bria the German Shepard, and Benson the Bichon, 12/2007