Jane Bridges runs Canine Cuts – a dog grooming business – from a wooden outpost, on her family farm.
The grooming parlour is approached from a long farm track that leads from the country road to Sheepwash in Devon.
It’s quiet and in the summer the surrounding fields are heady with the scent of cut grass and wild flowers. Even so, upon arrival, nothing quite prepares you for the big-hearted welcome you are about to receive.
When I first took my dogs to see Jane – I have three Cavalier King Charles Spaniels – it was not without some trepidation. Up until that point they’d been groomed elsewhere.
But after a nasty experience – which left one of my dogs cut, bleeding and in severe discomfort – I needed to find someone who would love and care for them, and who most importantly, knew what they were doing. Enter Jane.
Introducing Jane Bridges – Expert Dog Groomer
Jane has lived in Devon for most of her life, either in Sheepwash, Highampton or North Lew. She finally settled down on a farm half-way between Highampton and Sheepwash. She has only left this corner of Devon briefly when studying away at university.
absolutely useless at languages!
Jane says she hasn’t traveled a great deal, but she has been to Florida in the US, Germany, France and The Bahamas. She swapped Devon for a couple of weeks of bliss on Grand Bahama Island once some years ago.
If you have a dog, both you and your dog need to see Jane.
She traveled with her husband Stephen, throughout the UK attending horse shows. They have even competed in Germany. Despite having experienced a tropical paradise and the United States, the horsey trips to Germany were the ones Jane enjoyed the most.
Jane originally trained and qualified as a book-keeper and accountant. She worked for a firm of accountants and serviced many local companies around Okehampton in that capacity. She then set up her own business sub-contracting her book-keeping skills to a few local businesses and built her own client list.
Jane is a good people person and an excellent manager. She used these skills when employed as the property manager for the Red Lion Yard shopping hall in Okehampton. But a few years ago after developing arthritis she was told she had to get out of the office environment. Her consultant said she should avoid sitting endlessly in a chair all day.
Jane was advised that if she didn’t change her life-style, she’d stiffen up and lose much of her movement. He went on to say that the only reason her arthritis hadn’t taken complete hold was because she’d been working with horses and running around after her children. Both activities had kept her moving and relatively supple.
Cainine Cuts – Why Dog Grooming?
With Jane’s ongoing interest in horses and dogs it seemed sensible to find work that would involve them in some way. She had been clipping her own horses and those of friends for a while, and she groomed her own dogs. But horses only require infrequent clipping so for a future career it didn’t seem viable.
Dogs however were a different matter, and happily Jane discovered top UK dog groomer Colleen Slater lived locally in Honiton, Devon. Jane enrolled on a training program with Colleen and shortly afterward opened Canine Cuts.
Apparently this would help me appear near the top of any advertisement listing! It must have worked because Canine Cuts has been running successfully now since 2008.
What You Can Expect For Your Dog
Canine Cuts performs all aspects of dog grooming – bathing, clipping, hand stripping, nail clipping and breed styling. Jane also does the nasty stuff like anal gland evacuation. She has also groomed cats but freely admits she has not been trained to do it. Jane make sure clients know she would not be happy preparing a cat for a show. However she has prepared many, many dogs for shows!
Dog Grooming In Sheepwash But Covering Further Afield
Canine Cuts is based between Highampton and Sheepwash, approximately 4 miles from Hatherleigh, 9 miles from Holsworthy, and 10 miles from Okehampton.
That makes me giggle a bit!
She also has clients that travel to see her from Barnstaple and Exeter which she find surprising. I think think that speaks volumes about her service.
Jane enjoys dog grooming. The pleasure is all hers when she sees the change in the dogs. Some arrive in a terrible state and are obviously uncomfortable. It is heartening to see the different she can make to not only their appearance, but also their general condition and demeanour.
Jane says that she derives pleasure transforming a dog that fears being bathed into one that is fragrant, clean and relaxed. She also is rightfully proud of the fact that breeders trust her with their top show dogs. She prepares them for important shows and helps to present them as good examples of their breed.
I also love it when farm dogs are brought in. You can certainly smell them! Whether I take off their coats or just rake and demat (or remove whatever else they have in their coats), it gives me great pleasure to hand back a smart and tidy dog. I get huge job satisfaction.
Professional Dog Grooming In Devon – The Real Difference
Some dog groomers have not been trained and can clip a dog’s coat off completely. While this can be what the owner requests, it can also be a bit of a surprise when an owner arrives only to find their dog practically bald.
With Jane you will get a breed cut which is the dog equivalent of evening dress. Jane does not groom in the owners’s house, but will pick dogs up if necessary and bring them back to her parlour. She finds – strange as it may sound – that dogs relax more out of their own environment. Like children they tend to behave better in other people’s houses.
Is The South-West Good For Business?
Jane says that the South-West is a great area for to run her business as the people generally are wonderful and there are a lot of dog owners out there.
She wants to grow the business so she can employ some help and occasionally take a few days off.
Her ideal client is someone with the cash to spend on their dogs and who also have a great love for their dogs; someone with poodles or long haired breeds, and who would want the dog’s coat kept on and allow Jane to style it. Unfortunately as theses longer coats require so much day-to-day care, most people request that she removes the coat anyway.
Jane isn’t sure if she has any famous clients, as some dogs are brought in by assistants and employees of the dog’s owners. However she does have some successful clients whose dogs are regularly shown at Crufts. And as Jane says, they know who they are.
Rescue Dogs Need To Look Good Too
Jane grooms regularly for some dog rescue charities, this includes Many Tears an excellent charity which rescues bitches from puppy farms.
Many Tears have a couple of foster parents local to Jane who bring in bedraggled and woe-begone rescue dogs when they are ready to be re-homed.
Jane beautifies them for their adoption photos, and of course prepares them for being handled and groomed by their new owners.
Any Funny Dog Grooming Stories Jane?
Jane did say she couldn’t give stories without embrassing the owners concerned. But if anyone worries about the condition of their dog’s coat, she tells them about a dog she once groomed. She found a clothes peg embedded in his coat that the owner had no ideal was there.
I didn't have the heart to tell her we had spent half an hour on the 'phone discussing the wrong breed
To book your dog in for the best grooming experience ever – call Jane on 01409 231139