About Barking Mad Dog Grooming


Salon-01Hi. My name is Valerie and I am the owner and groomer at Barking Mad Grooming. I have been a groomer for quite some time now. In fact, I am 1 of only 10 Master groomers in the North Island. I have always loved animals. While I have worked in many other occupations, when the opportunity presented itself -to do the one job I had always wanted to do- I grabbed it and have never looked back.

I have always had a dog in my family and currently have 2 Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers, which I have shown and who are both NZ Champions. My old boy is now 13 and has been used as a stud dog. My Dame has had two litters. I think it is fair to say that I know a fair amount about dogs.


I opened Barking Mad Grooming 3 years ago. Prior to that, I worked in approximately 5 different salons where the emphasis was put on quantity, not quality of service. I decided that this style of work was not for me and frankly, I felt it wasn’t fair to the dogs. I simply couldn’t stand to have to rush through the grooming process and watch the dogs suffer because of it. So, I opened my own salon.


In my salon there are no holding crates, the dogs run free, and play with either the toys or other dogs. They can just chill on a bed or armchair until Mum or Dad arrives to pick them up. The emphasis in my salon is stress-less grooming. I like to think that the dogs I groom enjoy the experience as much as I enjoy grooming them.

All my clients know that when they book in their dogs, I need their dog’s name. In my salon, the dog’s come first and they are the most important client. I never give a pick up time, as some dogs can “get up on the wrong side of bed.” If this happens during the grooming, I allow the dogs to rest. I work on dog time. Corporate chains or bigger companies may need to keep tight schedules so as to increase their turn-around time. I am fortunate in that I do not have to work this way. I will text Mum and Dad when their beloved pet is ready. I also make sure that dogs with a timid nature are scheduled to be in the salon on their own. If the dogs are happy, I’m happy.


90% of the time, I work on my own. I do work with one other person. She is studying to be a Master groomer and shares my love of animals. She works in the salon two days a week and on these days, dogs who need more socializing can be accommodated. I will also allow parents to drop their dog off for the day, on those two days when I have an extra pair of hands. I groom all dogs from a Chihuahua, a Mountain dog, or a Great Dane. No dog is too small or too big. All dogs, regardless of size, need to be professionally groomed and I am happy to do it!