This week we get to introduce one of our most cherished friends. An expert in her field and true dog lover; Janie Grabijn. Janie is the proud owner of poodle trim salon De Karseknip, has won numerous competitions and specializes in Japanese style trimming. She will turn your dog into a show-stopper in no time.
Q: Janie! it is such a pleasure to see you apart from the trimming appointments! Could you please tell us a little about yourself?
A: My name is Janie, I have my own groom salon; the Karse Knip. We used to always have Teckels, long-haired. And when I was four, my father got his first Bouvier puppy, which was Femmie. Very soon we had Anouk and Tara, both Bouviers. I later named my own dog after Tara. And Doris, that was the male born from Tara, Doris became my dog. I absolutely loved washing and brushing those Bouvier’s and my father also trimmed the Bouvier’s he had bred himself one day a week, so I was allowed to trim their paws and I loved that. I remember he always did this with friends on a Thursday evening, there was always a lot of laughter, and it was always very pleasant. I think this is where the passion was born.
And that passion came back when I was 16, I had done school then and told my father that I wanted to be a groomer. To which he said, ‘no it’s very hard and dirty work’. And yes, if you look at it negatively, you clean up a lot of pee and poo. But if you look at it positively, you get a lot of love back from every dog that comes into the salon. Of course, not all dogs fly into your arms, but I am always happy to see them. Then again, I really grew up with animals, as my parents own a pet shop.
Q: Scotty always looks beautiful thanks to you. Can you tell us a little about what you do at the trim salon?
A: I only trim poodles and specialise in Japanese cutting. I practiced this on my big poodle. What I think is important is to take on clients that I like, which in turn gets you clients. I was in the wrong corner for a while, which was not nice. I have clients I have such good contact with, they give me the nicest thing they have, that’s a big thing. So, it’s also normal when people call me in the evening with questions. I am often the front portal for the vet, and I have no problem with that, this is totally my life. It’s just part of it. I have also moved and there are quite a few people who must drive longer, those people still come.
I started at home during corona because we were not allowed to trim in a shopping street or at a pet shop. With me it was a point of contention, and in this case, it just wasn’t allowed. But home trims were allowed. So, I started doing that for the people who wanted it. You must imagine, during those times that people were sad because a lot was no longer allowed, that little dog was really everything. It was like a drive-in here!
Q: We sure understand, the salon was a fun outing. What would you say you like most about what you do?
A: The most enjoyable thing? I think I really like cutting by hand. It requires a lot of preliminary work, but I still cut every dog by hand. Really rounding it off, which gives such a beautiful look.
Q: It gives such a beautiful finish! Your dogs are so incredibly cute! As many as 4, can you tell us a bit about them?
A: Tara was Amber’s sister, she lived to be 12 and always had an immense ‘will to please’, I think that’s really a good description. She would also bark a lot, which is poodle specific. I sometimes found that difficult in the salon. My husband would sometimes say ‘I miss that French bulldog’. Then I really thought ‘my goodness, soon I will have two large poodles and a French bulldog.’ And these poodles don’t shed, but a bulldog does lose hair! So, I said to him ‘you take Tara with you!’ and Tara really became his friend.
Amber is really an old lady 13.5 years old. Amber has slept a lot in her life but is also very playful. Milly is very funny; she is now 7 years old. She is very focused on food, but she is very skinny. Maggie May is more like me, really a cuddler. Her breeder was messaging me at the time, she was sold to other people, but the breeder didn’t like them. Then he messaged me, and I honestly didn’t want a puppy. I then dreamt about her for 4 nights straight, I messaged him to ask if she was still there and picked her up that same week.
Emmy Lou is almost two years old, she is very regal and well mannered, she has had show training and run two shows. She also likes to run on her bike in the morning, as much as 4 km! Everyone is always very happy to see her, she has two friends a Pitbull and a Samoyed from the village. She is very watchful but also very loving towards me.
Q: We love that! Furmey tips – You are busy every day and the dogs are always around. Do you have a tip for people who want to take their dogs to work?
A: The most important thing is a good foundation. You must investigate what kind of school you want. We chose the kwibus method, which is a very positive approach. My children also went to a Montessori school, so I really liked this. For instance, I don’t call my clients by their surname, when someone comes here, I’m like; ‘Hi Greet how are you?’, people like that in my profession. They want cozy and familiar. So those basics, I went to that training every Saturday for 3 years with Tara and Amber. I also took the kids along, and occasionally clients if things didn’t go well for a while. I always enjoyed this so much!
What is also important besides training are the following points:
- A quiet place of their own, which you can cover with a rug if necessary.
- Of course, being house-trained also helps immensely.
- Give your dog some peace and quiet and tell your colleagues the same, don’t lift your dog all the time.
- A dog needs a lot of sleep, especially a puppy.
- You are the one who must protect your dog.
So, it’s all about rest, cleanliness, and regularity.
Q: Great advice. Furmey Facts – Do you have any facts about dogs or possibly poodles?
A: My mum was petting Emmy Lou, and she doesn’t like to be petted on her head. My mum thought ‘huh she has a lump on her head’, which is the hunting lump. A poodle is a hunting dog by origin and all hunting dogs have a hunting lump on their head. The smaller the poodle, the more the lump is gone. Those toy poodles often don’t have it anymore.
Oh, and that’s also nice, that’s why poodles have always had such a distinctive hairdo, those lumps are to protect the joints and keep them warm! The vital parts are protected by the coat growth, which is why this is also braided and papilloted, this is obviously a lot of work. Toilet is a term for a dog’s hairstyle in Poodles. There are lots of toilets and they all have a name. For example, I didn’t want those papillots on Emmy Lou so I took it off, which is why she will have to wear winter coats because this is way too cold. A dachshund, for example, also lacks this coat. The same goes for Maggie May her hairstyle is called a Miami Toilet, this is short with buns, which does require a jacket in winter.
Another thing few people know is about the French curly hair, which is the colour combination black and white or multiple colour combinations in the Poodle. That was recognized in 2019, the French had decided this should no longer be called a Poodle. I had Maggie-may be judged as French Curly Hair in 2020.
Q: This is also new to us. Furmey Tips – We have to ask, what is the golden tip for people to keep up their dog’s coat properly at home?
A: Wash after 2 weeks, and again 2 weeks after that. The problem is that when people wash their dog and then leave it in the garden right after and don’t blow-dry them. You must brush your dog all the way through before washing, and check with the comb, then wash and blow dry, afterwards brush all the way through again and check again with the comb. Oh, and use a cream rinse! I love the PSH (Pet’s show hairdresser) shampoo and cream rinse.
Many people really don’t do anything for 5 weeks and a week before they come to the salon, they wash it once, which does not make any sense. I always say; always comb and brush them at a set time, otherwise they get tangles, which hurt. And I didn’t become a groomer just to untangle and hurt them.
There are lots of good products, lots of different shampoos and anti-tangle sprays. But none of it is a cure-all. Sure, there are many products and many of them are good, but it’s really the treatment of doing. I then say, ‘you can buy a brush, but you have to take it out of the package!’. An example of a good brush is the Maxi pin.
Q: Furmey Tips – You are the poodle specialist; do you have any tips for a curly coat?
A: I sure do, most people don’t know this, dogs with curly coats can get tangles under their coat. Under the top layer. What happens is; you have two hairs, which grow just like human hairs (so you don’t have a shedding phase like a Labrador). You have three hairs, one of which is old, it must come out and it lets go. When you brush your dog, you take those loose hairs with you, and if you don’t, the new hairs will curl around it, causing huge tangles. Old hair that should have been brushed out. So, you must brush constantly.
Also, for places that dogs don’t like to be brushed. For example, I have my daughter’s puppy here for a few days and she doesn’t like being brushed on her legs. For some spots, dogs really need to let go of the power as it were. I do that for a few days in a row, just do the legs and add a sweet ‘good boy’. Then it goes a lot easier. So, a good tip is to touch everything from an early age, the legs, teeth etc. Then, after their first vaccination, puppies are allowed their first trim at around 12 weeks.
Q: Good to know. What is the best (business) advice you have ever received, or do you have any good advice that other people can benefit from?
A: You must keep very much in your mind the first thing you want. With me this was Poodles, at the beginning I also accepted other breeds but to divest that again is very difficult. You then go into a direction you don’t want to go into, I never wanted to hand strip, so I didn’t accept dogs that need hand stripping. I did do one once of course. But if you start something and then suddenly want to quit, people don’t like that. Therefore, stick with your gut feeling.
Q: On the picture your girls look too precious in Neverland green, but what would you say is your favourite Furmey colour?
A: I’d have to say that my favourite is the Bambi beige colour!
F: Thank you so much for your time Janie! Always a pleasure.