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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a bit emotional this week so things that normally don't bother me are and this may be part of this situation. But as a store owner, I really do need to know what is the best way to handle certain situations so I don't alienate customers or get a bad reputation.

I had a new customer come in today who gave her fiancee a 'Schnoodle' puppy as an engagement gift. She herself has a Schnauzer who has some horrible health issues. She has allergies to most dogs and this is why she chose the Schnoodle thinking to get a dog she's not allergic to, and to hopefully avoid some of the health issues she's dealing with her Schnauzer.

This Schnoodle is shedding. Ok so we're all thinking the same thing...is there something more in her then Schnauzer & Poodle? She's wanting something like a shampoo to stop the shedding. So I start by saying lets try to see if we can help the issue from the inside out. I talk to her about changing his diet and maybe adding some good EFA's to his diet. Then I talk to her about quality shampoos and conditioners but want to start first with the food and EFA's. I don't want to sell her things that she will think will be a sure fire fix because if this dog has something else in him and has an undercoat, he will shed. But what I've started her on should help with shedding even if he has an undercoat. I also don't want her to use these things on the dog and get upset with me, the store, and the products if they don't completely stop the shedding. So I do bring up the subject of the only problem with designer dogs is there is no registry to help authenticate lineage. Now I know no person wants to hear they spent a lot of money on a dog and they could have been taken advantage. So she was understandably 'cool' when I brought this up. She then informed me how much "research" she did when deciding to get a Schnoodle and she didn't want the health issues she's having with her Schnauzer. So without even thinking I start to tell her how when purchasing from a breeder who is in the show ring, they will try very hard to make sure genetic health issues is not in their breeding program because their goal is to better the breed, etc...you know the drill... And again I can tell she is putting up a wall and I'm most likely offending her. So I just stop and say that I just want to try and help her with this puppy because I'm sure he's adorable and she's totally in love with him. She then tells me her fiancee is in love with him but she's kept up a protective wall so that if he does bother her allergies, she can give him to someone else. And she tells me her allergies are worse with him then her Schnauzer. So if she's thinking unemotionally, she knows the chances are there is something else in him then Schnauzer and Poodle.

So...am I over thinking this and not worry if she's unhappy with the results she's getting from what I've sold her and not say anything about the fact that her puppy that is not supposed to shed may have an undercoat may indeed shed?
 

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Well, I for one, appreciate any feedback I can get on Aolani - I take it, process it and then see if maybe the advice I've been given will help. When I've gone to the hollistic dog food shop I'm always told to address the issue from the inside out (I think Liza was there once and heard the same thing too) and I agree becuase ever since I've altered Aolani's diet and added supplements he has less staining and hasn't really been sick (knock on wood). I believe we get passionate when we speak with other people who are not as aware and maybe that turns people off - I've just learned to accept it and allow them the opportunity the process the information (if they want to) at their own leisure. I've also heard that you never really know what you're going to get when you cross breed (it's really not 100% and if you cross a poodle or any other "hypoallergenic" dog with a non-hypoallergenic dog you may still end up with a dog that had fur and sheds) so it may not be that there is another breed mixed in there somewhere at all. However, she seems detached from the pup so I don't know if any advice, whether good or bad will make her change her mind about keeping it, but hopefully she does consider your knowledgable advice. Don't feel too bad Crystal -there's only so much you can do to help sometimes.
 

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I think it's great you are trying to help her!

her logic doesn't make sense though - why get a mixed breed if you're worried about allergies? Why not just get a pure bred that you KNOW is hypoallergenic.

I'm sure she didn't want to hear what you were saying, even though it was the truth. It sounds like she wanted a magic cure for her to not be allergic to her dog anymore and we know that isn't going to happen.

Too bad she didn't come into your store BEFORE she bought this snoodle!!! I think you handled it right - you told the truth, didn't tell her what you thought she wanted to hear while making a profit from it.
 

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Well, she can always do a DNA to confirm what the dog has in his genetic pool.
 

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Schnauzers do shed somewhat so she may be fighting what's natural to that dog...poodle or no poodle mixed in. You know, you would think with the internet at our fingertips people would do more homework before making such a commitment when there are known allergies with which to contend. If a dog is suppose to shed, nothing you give them is going to change that.
 

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Schnauzers do shed somewhat so she may be fighting what's natural to that dog...poodle or no poodle mixed in. You know, you would think with the internet at our fingertips people would do more homework before making such a commitment when there are known allergies with which to contend. If a dog is suppose to shed, nothing you give them is going to change that.
I was about to comment that I think schnauzers do shed..and I believe I've been around some that have shed a lot! So any shedding dog mixed with a nonshedding dog still has the potential to be shedding depending on genes they've inherited.
 

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Schnauzers are a double-coated breed, so no matter what, the dog will shed some.

Honestly, it sounds like you did everything you could to help this woman and if the products don't work to her approval, it is not due to any fault of your own.

Her allergies aren't from the dog hair anyway, they are from the dander and something in the saliva. I wish people would stop calling some dogs hypoallergenic, there is no such thing. My mother has severe allergies & asthma and even with taking the allergy shots from the doctor when I bring the dogs to visit (freshly bathed) she still gets somewhat sick from them.
 

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Sounds to me that you were really helpful to this lady. It is going to be a bit of a minefield when it comes to the mixed breeding etc. Some people are really certain that it is the best way to go, hard to hear it after the fact. Maybe you will feel better if you can work out sample scenarios in your head of that kind of situation. How maybe you would deal with it next time. :grouphug:
 

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I think you handled this just right - you gave her the information and now it's up to her what to do with it. In fact, she may already be suspecting she made a mistake with the mix breed and that's why she didn't seem happy with what you had to say.

Don't let her reaction get you down - you were in a "no win" situation. If you had sold her something that didn't work, she'd be unhappy too.
 

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There is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog. No, not even Maltese are hypoallergenic. All dogs have dander and all dogs have saliva. These are the 2 main things people are allergic to. Dogs with a double coat (that would also mean they shed more) tend to shed a lot more dander than those with single coats. You don't have to get into a conversation about the mutts, but simply explaining what dogs produce that are allergens and you are offering ways to attempt to reduce it, but you cannot make the dog hypoallergenic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks everyone. I just need to have in my mind how to respond to situations like this before they happen because I don't always think fast on my feet, if you know what I mean.

Honestly, I had forgotten that Schnauzers were a double coated breed but I did know they shed very little. Even their AKC web site description says they shed very little. And I know a lot of people who are allergic to dander are ok with Schnauzers. The reason I think there may be something more in this dogs lineage is due to the fact that this woman is ok with her Schnauzer so I find it hard to imagine she would not be ok with a poodle. I did tell her that some people are allergic to dogs saliva. But can a person be ok with one dogs saliva and not another? My understanding was if a person was allergic to a dogs saliva, they were allergic to all dogs saliva. And if this dog is shedding more then her Schnauzer...well we know poodles don't shed...so again that's why my line of thinking was that there may be more to this dog then just Schnauzer & Poodle.

I guess when it comes down to it, if a person has felt they've done their research and they already 'know everything' about their dog, if I try to say anything that may dispute what they think they know, it will be offensive. I can go with what Jackie said, that since all dogs do have dander, some breeds more then others, perhaps she just can't handle this puppy's dander. But that still won't address the shedding issue, which is what she came to me about.

This is what I thought of last night...let me know what you think. I tell her about my products and how they might help with shedding, but then also follow up with something like "since Poodles really don't shed, except like we humans do, and you know how Schnauzers shed, if your puppy continues to be shedding more then he should I would really suggest you talk to your vet about it". And then let the vet, who can actually see the puppy, tell her if perhaps she has something more then a Schnoodle. Of course the vet then may go on to suggest a prescription diet or one of his shampoos. :smilie_tischkante:

Why did that guy have to go and make 'designer dogs' so 'fashionable' with the Labradoodle? :angry:
 

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Crystal, I honestly think you handled this situation quite well. I have to admit that before I joined SM, I used to be one of those people who totally fell for the designer dog thing...I thought cockapoos and maltipoos and cavachons, etc were adorable and I probably would have gotten one if I hadn't have found SM and start to do some research. Now I understand that I was a little ignorant and am thankful that I know better now. I can completely understand how difficult it must be for you to want to educate people, but to do it in a way that they dont get defensive...especially owning a store, you have to be careful about what may offend customers. I can imagine that's a really hard thing to balance...but really, you do a GREAT job!!! You're being an honest and ethical store owner by telling her that there may be other causes for the shedding and that you can suggest products that MAY help but they won't eliminate the cause. You could have just as easily not cared about her situation or what ends up happening to the puppy, and just swore up and down that your products would miraculously stop all shedding. I have met some store owners that would do that. But not you. So...please don't beat yourself up. You handled this situation PERFECTLY!!!
 

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Well, she can always do a DNA to confirm what the dog has in his genetic pool.
Just a side note...I think the DNA tests that are out there don't always do the trick (unless I'm doing something wrong). I got one done for Bailey because I was curious to know what he was mixed with. I was told by the rescue that he was a Shih Tzu/Poodle mix but I don't see an ounce of Shih Tzu...I think maybe Bichon though...? All the test told me was that he had Poodle in him...well duh, I could have told you that :smilie_tischkante:
 
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