Nickie and her husband  Doug are the fantastic owners of Uptown Woofs in La Jolla! By a quick visit to their Yelp and Facebook page you can easily get an idea of just how adored these two are in the community of La Jolla. And don't even get me started on the absolutely adorable pictures that are posted on a daily basis of the wonderful furry friends that come into their shop!

 Nickie has been grooming and showing dogs for over forty years. Her family has been in the pet industry for 3 generations, and now her daughter will be the 4th generation. Nickie's been involved in running her family's kennels, training and grooming in conformation shows, and she has groomed in the same St Louis community for 17 years, 9 of those years owning her own shop. Nickie specializes in hand scissor cuts and working with dogs that have issues. As Nickie says, " Grooming takes both trust and respect." For friendly, outgoing, non aggressive and healthy dogs, Doug and Nickie run an open-shop. The cage-less approach allows the dogs to roam within the secured grooming area having fun and meeting new friends, and still under their constant supervision.  Although we are absolutely positive St Louis misses this awesome family, La Jolla just would not be the the same without Uptown Woofs!

Nickie and Doug with their adorable grandson!

When deciding on a groomer, what specific traits should they have, and what are the 3 top questions to ask?

"Look for recommendations from friends, veterinarian and other dog owners you meet at dog parks etc. Then you should check Yelp and other ratings sites to see customer reviews. We also recommend walking in grooming shops unannounced to see if the animals inside the shop look happy."

Laney being a good girl, while Nickie, her owner grooms her.

How often do you recommend getting your dog groomed and why?

"Every 4 to 6 weeks. This helps skin by removing oils that attract dirt and allergens. Ears also need to have hair removed and cleaned, along with nails done."

Lotta and Laney, Nickie and Doug's fabulous furry friends are just too cute for words!

What's your favorite part of your job?

"Seeing the smiles on their faces as they come in and seeing them even happier leaving…and exhausted from play."


How do you soothe a dog's grooming anxiety?

"We are cage free and allow them time when they get here to explore and get comfortable in the environment before we start grooming. We also use positive reinforcement. We do not necessarily recommend CAGE-FREE for all groomers. It takes a trained behavioral expert to know what dogs can be free and what dogs can’t be. So, in some cases a caged shop may be safer for your dog."

Roald being a very patient and good boy while Nickie works on his paw.

How can I control my dog's fur/shedding?

"Making sure they have a healthy, well balanced diet first and foremost. Allergies cause skin problems and shedding.  Getting them groomed regularly with quality hypo allergenic products keeps the skin healthy, and we remove the loose fur during the grooming process."

Lilly enjoying a nice blow out!

Can I teach my dog to let me trim their nails? 

"It’s best to leave trimming your dog’s nails to the professionals. There is a chance of Quicking their nail causing pain and bleeding. A few Quicked nails can train a dog to HATE having their nails trimmed. If you are confident in your clipping/dremeling skills, less trimming but a more often approach works best. Keeping your dog’s nails as short as possible is healthy and prevents various other paw problems."

Please share a funny/memorable grooming story.

"A yorkie came in for his regular grooming and Mom was worried about his breath getting really foul all of the sudden. We said we’d take a look when we had him on the table to see if he had an abscessed tooth or other dental issue that might be causing the foul smell. When we looked into his mouth we saw a nasty, slimy black, stinky blob on a molar that appeared to be a severely abscessed tooth. We called Mom and suggested an immediate vet visit was needed. The vet unfortunately had to put the little guy under as he was very guarded about his mouth…once under the vet poked at the black mass and eventually started to pry at it when it came off completely. Turns out it was a large garden snail that the dog chewed and the shell got stuck OVER his molar and began to rot…and emit a horrendous odor. They went ahead and performed a dental cleaning while he was under but he’s otherwise OK…Mom is now very careful to NOT let him disappear under the bushes to go Escargot hunting."