Where your dog chooses to go

1-2-1 Choice Led

Consent based Grooming

Fear Free Certified Professional

Salon location

Shipston on Stour, Cotswolds

Empathy Dog Grooming

Fear Free, Force Free, Choice Led

There are many aspects to Dog Grooming and the Salon Environment that are difficult and challenging for dogs to cope with. Fear and anxiety levels can often be raised to the point at which dogs become overwhelmed and start to exhibit stressed and negative behaviours.  Fear Free, Consent based grooming reduces fear, anxiety and stress and gives the dog back choice and control over being handled and their groom, empowering them to build trust, feel calm, comfortable, and ultimately learn to enjoy being groomed.  I work 1-2-1, hand in paw with YOU and your amazing companion using compassion, empathy, communication  and lots of patience alongside ACE ( Animal Centred Education) Free Work, interactive games, treats and bespoke strategies specific to the story of you and your dog.

All dogs are different which is why their grooming journeys need to be too.

About me

My name is Caro

I live with my Georgian Ovcharka rescue dog Kaali, Bella and Bogie our cats and my husband Nick. We have four grown up children who all swear I love dogs more than them! My background is in fostering and socialising rescue dogs with issues and helping to provide support once they are rehomed and I still volunteer for and support the Animal Welfare Charity Mayhew Georgia.

I became a Dog Groomer because I simply love working with dogs. I quickly identified during my training what a challenge the Grooming environment could be. Loud noises, smells, being handled, people, other stressed dogs, dryers, water, and standing restrained for extended periods.

Working in a busy salon, I realised just how many dogs have difficulties with the grooming process and exhibited recognised signs of fear, anxiety and stress. I also noticed how negative behaviour often escalated and I knew I wanted to work differently. I also knew that research shows given time ,and a Fear Free, Consent led grooming approach, many dogs could actually learn to cope better, lose their negative associations, and even begin to enjoy being groomed.

So Empathy Dog Grooming was born. A Fear Free, Force Free, Choice led environment where dogs are given the freedom to consent to and control the pace and progress of their grooms.


Caro and ‘Kaali'

I am a City and Guilds level 2 qualified groomer
Fear Free Certified Professional
CPD Certificates in Dog Anxiety, Canine Massage and Compassionate Handling and Behaviour in the Salon
Dog First Aid certified
Fully Insured

Fully insured


and protected

What can you expect?

The Salon

A calming, dog centred space, that fully embraces The Five Freedoms (Animal Welfare Act 2006) ensuring that the best levels of care and support for your dog are in place while in my care.

Complimentary Initial Meet & Greet

Getting to know you and your dog is crucial to our shared success. I want you both to feel entirely comfortable with me. After registration this 30 min relaxed, informal visit takes place and gives us a chance to start to get to know each other. It’s an opportunity to observe your dog in the salon environment using ACE(Animal Centred Education) Free Work which can consist of reward based canine interactive toys, different surfaces, salon equipment, games and puzzles. Most importantly I get to hear you and your dog’s story and begin to plan how I can support you both best.

Multiple Visits

I care deeply about your dog's emotional well-being so all canine fear/anxiety/stress levels are carefully monitored and if your dog is experiencing raised levels for any reason, a certain procedure may need to be stopped. Grooming appointments might need to be broken down into multiple short visits to work through these fears and avoid flooding or overwhelming the dog. Sometimes dogs with previously acquired negative associations with equipment or procedures need a much more gradual breakdown to reintroduce the dog to the procedure/equipment. Some dogs may require home visits or even in some cases veterinary or pharmaceutical support.

Compassionate Interruptions to Grooms

I use minimal restraints and value and respect your dog's freedom of choice. Some dogs find parts of the grooming process scary, overwhelming, uncomfortable, or even painful. This is particularly true if they are senior dogs, have health, behavioural or mobility issues or matted coats. If your dog feels scared, stressed, or overwhelmed, I won’t be able to achieve what may have been planned. They may need lots of additional time for breaks and support, or indeed it might be necessary to stop the groom entirely. In this case I will suggest some targeted practical homework and offer shorter more focused grooming appointments to support the dog going forward.


I use lots of food-based reward training techniques to support your dog to feel comfortable and secure. If your dog has allergies or is on a specific diet for any reason, you can bring some of their favourite treats from home, or I can discuss appropriate treat alternatives with you and your veterinarian.


All Groom Plans are tailored and salon equipment /tools chosen, to support your dog’s individual emotional and physical needs and care for them nose to tail. Vegan Shampoo and Skin Care products are chosen to compliment your dog’s skin and coat type.  Appointment lengths will vary according to your dog’s individual grooming plan and temperament.

All Services are priced according to Size, Temperament, Weight, Coat & Type of Groom /Styling requested.
All Grooms include a short ACE Free Work session.

0 – 10kg

Small Breed


Full Groom from £30 - £45
Bath & Blow Dry from £20

10 – 25kg

Medium Breed


Full Groom from £45 - £60
Bath & Blow Dry from £25

25 – 40kg

Large Breed


Full Groom from £60 - £80
Bath & Blow Dry from £35
Giant Breeds POA


In loving memory of our extraordinary Labrador Retriever “Hero”. Guide and mentor to so many fearful, troubled foster street dogs. He taught them how to live with humans, to find their feet, their confidence and forever homes. We miss him so much.

A haven for all anxious, fearful, sensitive dogs plus dogs which have previously acquired negative associations with equipment or grooming procedures.  Hero’s Dogs individually tailored desensitisation and socialisation plans are aimed at supporting  dogs and their guardians to build positive grooming associations over time and at their own pace in a caring, fear free, force free, choice led, calming environment.

£35.00 Initial session (ACE Free work)
£20.00 per 30 mins
£30.00 per 45 mins
5 & 10 Session block booking discounts available

Grooming & Salon Socialisation package

for Puppies & Guardians

Hero Pups
  • Building a trusting relationship between puppy, groomer and guardian, ensuring the puppy is gradually introduced to the salon environment and equipment in a fun, interactive and positive way entirely at its own pace.
  • Every element of the grooming process is carefully introduced using positive desensitisation and counter conditioning techniques. Guardians are encouraged to participate and through homework support their puppies progress and build confidence in caring for their puppies’ coats regularly in between grooms.
  • Puppies will only progress to the next step when they are fully confident and at ease with the step they are on. More sensitive puppies may need two or three sessions to get comfortable with a particular step. More confident puppies may be able to combine steps.
  • Our shared goal is a relaxed, cooperative and happy young dog, who reacts positively to and enjoys being groomed at home as well as in the salon environment.

'Hero’s Pups' Grooming and Salon Socialisation Package includes:

  • A welcome pack
  • Lickimat
  • A copy of Sue Williamson’s excellent “Taking the Grrr out of Grooming Your Dog”
  • Up to 10 grooming/salon socialisation sessions
  • 10% discount off all grooms until your puppy reaches a year old


Fun, relaxed introduction to the salon environment through ACE Free work (guardian present)

Introductions to salon equipment, tools, being handled and individual elements of grooming utilising ACE Free Work

Step 3
Exploring basic grooming and handling of sensitive areas (Paws, Face, Hygiene)

Step 4
Introductions to water, bathing and drying

Step 5
Full Groom

Get in touch

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Mon - Fri 8am - 5pm

07496 378199

Empathy Dog Grooming
GL56 9RB

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