Pantops Pet Salon
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Pantops Pet Salon & Spa
Charlottesville's Professional Dog Grooming

It's what we do -- it's all we do.

(434) 293-2424
Fax: (434) 293-8231
504 Pantops Center
Charlottesville, VA 22911

Retail Supplies

September 24th, 2014 by Jenna

     We have for sale a complete assortment of the grooming tools and shampoos that we use in the salon. The brushes and thinning tools used in our Brushout video are available….view the video for a demonstration of their use. A description of the shampoos that we use can be found in a separate article found in this section ( Our Shampoo Selection ). In addition we carry our cologne, some dental care products and a basic assortment of collars and leashes.

Factors that Determine Cost

September 16th, 2014 by Mike Cronk

As of 08/21/14 I need to make a minimum of $45.00 an hour per groomer to operate the business.  The profit after labor, rent, utilities, etc is not enough for me to be employed solely as an owner—I have to groom as well.  Not as much as when the kids were at home, but I can’t sit and just supervise—yet.

Our top groomer salary is $17 an hour—add benefits, medicare and vacation to that and I need to budget $23 an hour.  Labor for our industry should be around 50% of cost—that’s where the $45 an hour comes from—the remaining $ 22.00 per hour goes to rent, utilities, insurance, supplies, equipment, etc

Our groomers can do 5-6 dogs a piece per day by themselves and that’s it.  They can’t do more and maintain quality.  I can increase that production by hiring a bather-dryer and I do.  When she is employed, the groomers can do between 6 and 7 dogs (but then I have an extra salary to meet).

So, the first consideration in determining the cost of a haircut is the per hour fee.  The second consideration is the skill required—full coated dogs that are scissored by hand require much more skill than a clipper cut.  Take a Bichon Frise for example.  A scissor cut between 1.5 and 2 inches costs $68 and that’s if there are no tangles.  A clipper cut to ½ an inch is $58 and takes almost a half  hour less time.  If you bring in a Collie and it takes 2  hours to brush, bathe, and dry him, expect a charge of $90.  Add trimming of the feet, tail, and feathers—it’ll be closer to $100.

A third consideration is the density of the coat (whether it is matted or packed with undercoat).  Dogs that come in once a year to be clipped short for the summer cost more than those dogs who get the same clip but come in every 6-8 weeks.  For example, a 6-8 week short cut on a cocker is $58.  It will be more like $62 if the Cocker has a full coat.

Another very important cost factor is pet behavior.  Puppies and seniors generally require more time and patience, thus cost more.  Some customers expect that since their puppy is smaller that it will cost less, but it usually takes as much time or more to get them acclimated to the grooming process.

So, there you have it—time, skill, condition and behavior are factors considered in price.  Clients can get the best value for their buck by keeping the coat in a matt-free condition to reduce the labor charge.  Our posted price is based on a good condition—if we have to brush your dog an extra 15 minutes, expect a corresponding increase in your bill.

This is one of the best bargains going when I consider costs per hour of other service industries—called a plumber lately?

The Golden Doodle

September 11th, 2014 by Mike Cronk

The Golden Doodle was bred in the early 1990’s in an attempt to develop a guide dog for visually impaired individuals with allergies. The Doodle is considered to shed less than most breeds and hence can cause less allergies.

The Golden Doodles I have encounter have certainly received and displayed the wonderful disposition and temperament of the golden retriever. For owners who want an excellent companion that is friendly with other people and dogs, and like to walk a mile or so daily, the Golden Doodle is a great.


The Golden Doodle may not shed much, and that can be desirable, but it leads to a considerable amount of grooming. Brushing is required at a minimum of once a week. There are two types of coats most dog breeds have in varying degrees; a primary coat which is coarse and fairly straight, and an undercoat with the texture of cotton. Unfortunately, the Golden Doodle’s coat is primarily undercoat and highly prone to matting. In order to prevent such matting, frequent grooming is a must.

We have developed a grooming style for the Doodle, which we consider our style. The body of the Doodle is clipped to a length which may vary from 1/4 to 1/2 inches – the decision is yours. The legs are scissored into cylinders and the paws are rounded. The tail can have some length scissored off if it is fairly long. The ears are left long and slightly trimmed. The beard is trimmed to length as required. The cheeks are the same length as the body and the top knot is scissored round and blended into the ears. Because of the density of the coat, we recommend a bath and brush every three to four weeks and a full grooming every six to eight weeks.


Standard Groom

Golden Doodle


Short Clip, All Over

Golden Doodle

Dogs love routine

June 5th, 2013 by Jenna

Dogs Love Routine

The final step in the grooming process for most of our pets is the tying on of the bandana….the dogs go nuts! Tails wag and they start running in place from the excitement of being finished; they made it!

Dogs perform much better to a regular routine that takes care of their basic needs, and so do we. Whether we consciously know it or not, most of us follow a schedule with our pets everyday.

Here’s Lizzie’s, Up at 6:00am to go for that morning bathroom break followed by a 3 mile walk- of which 1/2 mile is off lead. At 7:00 she get’s fed- same diet and same amount. 7:15 off to work where she performs her receptionist duties for the day. At 12:00 we go for a short walk behind the shop where she can stretch her legs and go to the bathroom again. After work we go for another short walk and yes, another bathroom break. Then its time for sitting on the deck till dinner- I have a vodka tonic and she gets to watch! After dinner, one more trip outside. This is her routine everyday. On the weekends at the houseboat the timing is much the same- just different setting.

Your pet learns the sequence for grooming after a few visits and most of them know exactly what to expect. Initial brush out, nails, hair cut, bathe,dry and final clipping- followed by that bandana. Some dogs are so familiar with what goes on and when,that they don’t need a leash to go from station to station. Mica Schmeltzer, one of our standard poodles, goes on his own from the front door to the holding area, picks out a run and goes in. When its his turn for grooming he goes from station to station on his own- jumping up on the table or in the tub with very little assistance. Shay Collier, Shayna Petro and Willis Warnecke to name a few,do like wise.

When our pets know what to expect they are happier- and if they are accustom to a certain activity at a given time and you don’t allow it, they are liable to let you know.


WebSite Welcome Video

July 12th, 2012 by Jenna

June 8th, 2012 by Jenna

Welcome and brushout video

May 31st, 2012 by Mike Cronk

Dogs Love Routine And Discipline

December 16th, 2010 by Mike Cronk

If you have a consistent schedule for feeding, walking, playing, brushing and quiet time, you and your pet will be happy!  For example, Here is what Lizzie’s daily routine is:

5:30 a.m. Rise and shine for a 3 mile walk through the neighborhood and surrounding woods.  2 1/2 miles on the road at heel and 1/2 mile free on a path through the woods.

6:30 Breakfast – 1 1/2 cups dry food.

7:30 Off to work with me!  Salon Receptionist.

12:00 Brief walk and bathroom break.

3:00 Head home and turned loose in fenced in back yard.  Free play till dinner.  I am usually working in the yard and throw her a ball occasionally between chores.  Training during year one (sit, stay, come & heel).

6:30 p.m. Dinner 1/2 cups dry food.

7:30 Light brusing on the back deck paying attention to the ears, tail and chest.  Retire to the family room till bedtime between 9:30 and 10:00.

This schedule is adhered to every day as much as possible.  She loves it, anticipates it and is happy!  Yes, on weekends we alter it some, which she is flexible enough to accept, but for the most part routine is best!

Winter Newsletter 2010

December 8th, 2010 by Mike Cronk

Happy Holidays from Pantops Pet Salon!  With Christmas right around the corner, it is time to get dolled up for the holidays! Please take advantage of our $5 off coupon for the first part of December, as well as our Saturday hours for the Holidays!  We hope the season is treating you well this year, and look forward to seeing you soon!!

Our Holiday Hours are as follows:

Monday, Wednesday and Friday, we open at 7:30 a.m.

Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday we open at 8:00 a.m.

We are closed when the last appointment leaves, so we are flexible!

We will be closed December 25-28th, and January 1-3, and resume normal business hours on January 4, 2011. 

Have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year! Laura

How creative is your pet?

August 31st, 2010 by Jenna

“Reaching the Animal Mind” by Karen Pryor is an awesome training book is opening my eyes to just how creative animals can be. Karen has trained a variety of animals—dolphins, wolves, gorillas, etc She trained her fish to go through a hoop for food although one time she wasn’t ready with the treat to reward him. The fish dropped to the bottom of the tank, respiration doubled. She said she didn’t know a fish could get so upset! You can see it happen in this video.

A whistle marks a correct behavior for dolphins. After they hear the whistle, they get a treat. Typically, Karen uses this technique to convince an animal to repeat a behavior, or to move closer to the desired behavior so the treats are repeated. With Malia the dolphin, she decided to try a game now called Show Me Something New. So she would only whistle/treat a new behavior, thus encouraging Malia to be creative and explore new ways to earn her fish. The first few behaviors Malia came up with were normal things that dolphins do… waving fins, a tailslap, etc Eventually she ran out of those behaviors and began to branch out. She offered aerial flips and twirls, even a beautiful upside-down jump that Karen has never seen another dolphin do.

Then, there was Malia’s art project. The cement at the bottom of her tank was covered with a thin layer of silt. For her new behavior, she swam circles at the bottom of the pool and used the tip of her dorsal fin to make beautiful loops in the silt. Karen tried the Show Me Something New game with another dolphin. Hou did a few flips, spit, and nodded. He “was able to innovate, but Hou was not Malia. Malia, face it, was an artist.”

You can try the Something New game with your pet—not just dogs, if Karen can train a fish then cats can be trained too! A version of the game is called 101 Things to Do With a Box. Set a box on the floor and say ‘Yes!’ (or use a clicker, etc) and treat each time your pet does something new. Don’t cheat and give suggestions, just wait it out and see what happens.

If you’d like to know more about Karen’s style of training (clicker training, in the dog world), the best resource I’ve found is actually a free e-book called Mind to Mind: Training Levels. I do highly recommend “Reaching the Animal mind” for the psychology involved and hilarious anecdotes but “Mind to Mind” has more practical instructions.

Let us know what your pet comes up with!!