Passion and Profession
"Choose a Job You Love, and You Will Never Have To Work a Day in Your Life."
My name is Betty Peto. I am the Groomer Chick.
Dogs are my passion and profession. :) I am a dog groomer, dog trainer & dog owner in one person.
I am engaged with hobby pets as well as working, helper or self-protection dogs. I acquired my Grooming (2010) and also my Dog Training Certificate (2008) in Europe.
I think dog grooming and dog training are really deeply connected to each other. We need both to achieve cooperation (grooming without the use of muzzles and grooming loops) and an excellent hair quality.
I don't just groom doggies, I use training, socialization, and desensitization techniques with my four-legged clients to make them love all the grooming steps.
Dogs seem to really enjoy spending time with me. My furry clients pull the leash in the grooming salon before and after their spa day as well. Some had even refused to leave. :)
This is Betty and Mr. Toki /tɜːkɪ/ (on the right), Betty's Malinois. When you'll arrive, Toki'll be recharging in his favorite spot after our morning or noon exercise.
"The difference between good and excellent is: Details." ~Unknown
Since dogs have different upbringing, they need customized attention to fit their needs. Betty tailors her services according to her client's individual needs. She has experience with:
- puppies, adults, and seniors
- high and very high energy level doggies
- doggies with nail sensitivity
- doggies who have spinal (or other) injuries
- doggies with disabilities
- doggies who had previous bad experiences w/ grooming
- rescue dogs with no previous grooming experience
- all canine hair types.
"When dogs are better understood inside and out, they will get the type of attention they need to feel secure.
Then they will feel comfortable. Then they will cooperate." ~Groomer Chick
and to Since I experienced the discomfort of being uncomfortable with a seemingly average situation to others, I understand and respect the dogs' feelings when it comes to seemingly no big deal happenings, like blow-dryer or nail trimming. I feel their anxiety and I see their desire for a change. I appreciate them letting me know how scared they are and how much they would like to avoid the situation the way they learned it (wiggling, kicking, growling, biting, etc.), without judgment. Digging deeper for the root cause to find the fastest working and most comfortable solution helps my furry clients to understand I am no harm, nor is my equipment.
Muzzling and force create violence and will magnify the behavior and everybody is going to be in danger.
I am dedicated convincing my canine clients the gentle way, that dog grooming is frustration and pain-free and it is fun. Sometimes, magic happens right at the first meetup. Sometimes dogs have been wounded so much psychologically that it takes time and a lot of practice at home and at the groomer to keep them comfortable meanwhile making little by little progress. Habits take time to develop and transform.
I have yet to meet a dog though, who we could not desensitize with joined forces with the owner to the point that he/she lets us do all the grooming steps.
I do not use muzzles or sedate dogs. With canines, who are showing early/late discomfort signs, I identify the triggers and let the doggy owner know about the findings and I suggest ways to practice with the dog.
I stop the grooming before stressing out my furry clients and tailor their grooming experience with a safe, stress-free, cooperative, session in mind as a priority.
I am a passionate advocate for early training and desensitization since prevention is the most comfortable, easiest and fastest way to get dogs love their spa day.
I am also dedicated offering only the grooming methods which are dog-friendly, pain-free and comfortable.
My favorite subjects are gentle detangling and non-violent dog nail trimming. I wrote an ebook for professionals and dog owners since no professional guidelines exist out there about how to trim dog nails the safe way. (Further ebooks are in progress.)
I am currently working on articles for dog owners to help them understand basic grooming steps and techniques so they will be able to make an informed decision about their dog's grooming needs.
"A Smooth Sea Never Made a Skillful Sailor."
My family always had dogs and I loved to hang out with my pup at home. I enjoyed training them to jump hula hoops and even made my blind cat jump over my laying dog. Dogs are my everything.
At one point in my life I got a fridge magnet: "The more people I meet, the more I love my dogs."
When I was about 8 years old, I got attacked by a pack of stray dogs. We lived in the countryside. We literally owned the last house on the street. There were a creek and a small lake on the other side of the creek. Then started nowhere, an endless field with some trees...
One day I was running along a creek to meet with my best friend. I was already competing in running, so I enjoyed the mini training on demand.
Around midway, a pack of 8-10 dogs ran up from the creek side, encircled me, barking and launching at me. I instantly froze, no one was around. For some reason, I knew I should not run. So I screamed "DAAD" as loud as I could since I knew my dad was home and I was hoping he will hear me. Meanwhile, a medium sized dog ran up again to get my leg but could get only my pants by my ankle. It started to shake my leg and I could kick the grip off. By then I was screaming and crying and barely saw anything through my tears.
Miraculously, my dad did hear me screaming, jumped fences like in the movies and literally, saved my life. I got so scared, I could not walk or talk and I was crying like a fountain. He picked me up and took me home.
Every single time I saw a dog after that incident, while I was walking or on a training (I used to exercise on the street, wintertime since the running field was not lit after dusk.) I was sweating all over and I felt super anxious.
I still loved dogs, I just could not understand whether they were running towards me to sniff hi, or to bite me and based on the incident, I assumed every dog just wanted to bite, except for ours.
It took me until my college years to get the courage to do something to understand dogs. I was volunteering at a shelter when I started my first year near Budapest and had an opportunity to overcome my fear.
The man who got paid to take care of the dogs at the shelter was really happy to see me there. He gave me full control over the facility and the dogs but did not tell me any instructions about who bites and who doesn't.
I had to figure out ways to clean the cages and convince dogs I do not bite, nor should they. It was a challenge, to say the least. Sometimes it took me 15 minutes or more to figure out ways to get the food and water bowl out of a kennel, without getting bitten.
My persistence paid off. After a few weeks, all dogs got their walks on a leash with me on the other end and I managed not to get bitten. I spend all my free time in the semester at the shelter.
I got an award for my dedication for being a volunteer there and at the ceremony, I saw the local dog school's show. I could not believe how well behaving those dogs were. Sitting, keeping meat on their noses until their owner let them eat it, they were healing and doing agility, funny tricks and more... The single fact that the dogs were off leash and not running into the crowd just mesmerized me.
After the show, I remembered the name of the dog school and called them to be a volunteer there. They let me know that the bite-work lessons were free to attend. I sensed that they did not really believe in my dedication, so I had to prove it. I went to every single bite-work lessons, even wintertime. I did not have a car so I was walking all the way there and back, even when it was around freezing. After a few weeks, the owner of the school saw that I was serious, so he let me stick around for free for other classes so I was able to learn more. I got doggies to practice on after a while and was doing basic obedience and bite-work with them since I did not have my own in town. After about a year and a half, I successfully passed their dog trainer exam and went to the capital to further deepen my knowledge at another dog school, the best one in Hungary. They made the following viral Christmas video. They even had a Mirror Method School in Dallas, TX.
I was giving private dog training lessons for the English speaking clients of the school I started at and helped arrange the weekend lessons with other trainers.
I went to every single competition I could afford to go in Hungary and abroad to learn from the pros and helped to coordinate animals for film and commercial shooting. (Like training cats, dogs, and rats.)
I really wanted to start my own life and I needed money to do that, so I packed up and went to England to save some money and I worked as a live-in carer for the elderly for 8 months. I deepened my English knowledge and learned a lot about life, the end of it and it helped put my perspective in place how to organize my time on Earth and to be aware, it'll end at some point.
I saw Cesar Millan's show in London in early 2010. After the show, I was determined to meet him ASAP. So I put all my money "on the red". I got a ticket to L.A. and there I flew, all by myself with a big dream and a stubborn, 22-year-old mind.
Within 3 days after landing in L.A. I visited the Dog Psychology Center for the first time. With a rental car, with broken GPS in it, no internet on my not so smart phone, I was holding a printed map and driving towards my dream. Towards a place I have never been before, nor was I sure the center will be there. I could not get in the center that time, rather I've been escorted out form to gates from the private property. I was holding up my tears until I got in the car, but boy when I closed the door... I felt devastated, but I was not planning to give it up that easy, right by the finish line. I was thinking about my next attempt to achieve my precious goal.
Cesar was giving a book signing event at a local Barns & Noble. I was writing and practicing my little 5 sentence speech for days to make an instant impression, significant enough so Cesar would let me see the center. I went there 3 hours early, just in case. There was already a line!
Have you ever heard that you just need to ask the Universe what you want? I did ask the Universe, then Cesar just in case and I got my signatures along with a phone number to schedule a visit to the Dog Psychology Center. I was shocked and over the moon. I pretty much had a blackout because of happiness and joy.
That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship with Adriana Barnes, the director of the center.
I had to go back to Europe to apply for a fiance visa to be able to reside in the U.S. I had to wait 19 months separately form my fiance to be able to get back to the U.S. Those were the hardest, darkest months of my life, with the brightest light at the end of the tunnel. :) We made it and we are inseparable ever since. I got my citizenship in 2016 and I was the happiest camper and still am. These are the wishes Adriana and Jose wrote to me when I had to go home...
I used to volunteer in two grooming shops back in C.A. Both experiences made me rethink dog grooming and encourage me to elaborate my own one-on-one dog-centered grooming style and behavior modification methods and to open my own shop.
We moved to Austin in 2013 and we enjoy the dog-friendly, live music capital of the world very much ever since. I call it the "Big Broccoli" since it is full of trees and it's like a dog park. Dogs are welcome everywhere! :)
"A Smooth Sea Never Made a Skillful Sailor."
I wanted to share my story so you will have a better understanding of my desire to understand dog behavior and where my will and superpower comes from to keep dogs comfortable, still and happy for their spa day meanwhile letting me give them a doggy "hairdo".
Natural and Eco-Friendly
"Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value." ~Albert Einstein
I use natural / organic / environmentally friendly shampoos, conditioners, cleaning products, BPA Free plastic bottles, even my laundry detergent & fabric softeners are Eco-friendly. (7th Generation)
I use only dog-friendly services and provide it with dog-friendly equipment which is designed to keep a living, feeling creatures on the other end of the fur.
I do not use dematting rakes, high-velocity blow-dryers, cages, cage dryers, hemostats to remove ear hair, hair dyes, hair whiteners or darkening shampoos, etc.
Learn more about the shampoos and conditioner I use, here.
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
Cesar Millan's unique and easy to understand approach was among the first biggest influences in my life. His books made me better understand not just dog behavior and helped me deepen my English vocabulary so I could learn more about training and behavior modification as an addition to my grooming knowledge.
Dr. Ian Dunbar
The way Dr. Dunbar designed dog training, kickstarting canines right from puppyhood makes a huge difference in the everyday life with the dog as well as on the grooming table. Dr. Dunbar's Courses, books, and videos are a tremendous help not just for me, but also to any doggy owner who wants to replace the unwanted doggy behavior with desired ones.
Emily, aka "Kikopup" is a terrific progressive reinforcement trainer who mastered the clicker training method and uses only non-violent techniques to modify unwanted behavior. She gives private dog training lessons and has an endless supply of free, high-quality dog training tutorial videos on youtube.
Hope you'll enjoy your visit to my site, you will find the blog posts exciting & you will come back regularly for new info! :)
Thank you for your time & have a wonderful day! :)
Belly rubs to your dog(s)!