February 2021

Red Rover, Red Rover, Bring Your Doggie Over: Dog business offers professional grooming, daily PlayCare, and overnight boarding

Author: Cheryl Alexander | Photographer: M.Kat Photography

Red Rover owner Paige Grisette has always been a dog lover. “My earliest memories include dogs,” she said. “I don’t ever remember a time when my family didn’t have dogs, and as an adult, I’ve always had a dog or two.”

In 2008, Grisette realized there was no dog wash on Hilton Head Island, so she wrote a business plan and became a professional groomer. She attended numerous trade shows and seminars gaining industry expertise and learning dog psychology. In 2009, she opened the original Red Rover on New Orleans Road. Six years ago, in 2014, she decided to expand the business to include PlayCare and boarding. To accommodate the spatial requirements, she bought and renovated the building at 25 Bow Circle, which is the current location.

Grisette believes the employees and training are behind the success at Red Rover. “The team at Red Rover is young, smart, happy, honest, ethical, and team/service-oriented, and those are attributes that can’t be taught,” she said. “I frequently get comments about how professional, helpful, and knowledgeable my team is.”

All employees are trained in “dog language,” the physical cues delivered by a dog’s tail, eyes, ears, mouth, and stance. Collectively, these cues telegraph what the dog is feeling and, to some extent, what they will do next. Upon completing a “final exam” in dog language, Red Rover employees then learn how to supervise groups of dogs.

“In PlayCare groups, there are multiple conversations going on at once, so the group supervisor must be able to read ‘conversations’ quickly and when/if needed, intervene with appropriate action to eliminate negative energy,” Grisette explained.

Two daily objectives guide decision-making at Red Rover: (1) ensuring safety—of both dogs and people and (2) providing a positive experience for all two-legged and four-legged customers.

“How we make sure each dog’s experience is a good one might mean making slight adjustments to their care,” Grisette said. For example, during group play, a supervisor may observe one dog unengaged and not having much fun. The solution might lie in some one-on-one time and extra TLC or perhaps moving him/her to a different group. And importantly, Red Rover supervisors never make assumptions based on previous visits, she explained. “Just like people have different daily moods, so do dogs.”

Grisette understands that dogs are happiest when they are with the people and environments they know. When you register your dog for PlayCare or boarding, the first visit is complimentary, with the objective of getting all the unknowns out of the way. When your dog comes back, the experience is now a familiar one PLUS they know you will be back.

In addition to daily play and overnight boarding, Red Rover provides haircuts by two professional groomers and full-service bathing. When dogs are at Red Rover for a bath, employees apply a different skill set they learned via Red Rover’s training program. And after a multi-step process—which includes cutting nails, cleaning ears, and expressing anal glands—dogs emerge about an hour later looking brand new. And if you want to do it yourself, you can! DIY bathing is extremely popular with Red Rover customers.

For more information, visit theredrover.info or call (843) 671-WASH (9274).

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