Pet Differently: Discover the Difference

Pet Differently

A New Kind of Pet Salon

Our Story

As longtime pet owners and pet lovers, my wife Jenni and I couldn’t help but notice that the typical grooming shop would take our dog Maddie behind closed doors for service from groomers who often had inappropriate or very little training in an industry with little to no government oversight or regulation. When we picked Maddie up too many hours later, our high-energy Springer Spaniel was always exhausted and stressed.

So Jenni—a hairstylist, educator, and salon and cosmetology school owner—opted to groom Maddie herself. I watched in awe as Maddie would happily lie on her back, eyes barely open and practically snoring while Jenni filed her nails and gave her a massage. Jenni knew how to provide the “royal treatment” and Maddie loved her spa days!

In 2018, we founded Salty Dawg Pet Salon to “pet differently” by creating a unique culture around pet services. We wanted pet parents to feel good, knowing their pets are having an amazing experience, so we created a space that lets them see everything going on. Our “baby” was born from the Paul Mitchell Schools culture and raised on its technical education: we take licensed hairdressers through an expedited process, teaching them to groom animals. We were able to fast track them, thanks to the schools’ technical training in “hard skills” such as scissor cutting, clipper-over-comb technique, and knowledge of hair texture, skin, and nail conditions.

Ultimately, we reproduced the same experience that Jenni gave to Maddie. We also discovered that Paul Mitchell graduates bring the “Be Nice” culture with them, making the shop environment so much fun!

John Kanski, CEO

John Kanski

Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer

John Kanski has served as Salty Dawg’s CEO since inception. He is a Paul Mitchell School owner with locations in Illinois, Texas, Georgia, and Wisconsin. John’s entrepreneurial leadership drives the success of all he does, from business to family life with his wife Jenni and their two beautiful children.

Winn Claybaugh


Winn Claybaugh is the dean and co-founder of Paul Mitchell Schools, recognized six times by Franchising Times for franchising excellence. Winn and his husband George Morales bring education, fashion, and branding background to the team.

Rethinking Pet Grooming

When people visit a salon, they expect a great haircut, style, and service, and they also expect an experience. Why should your pet be any different?

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