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Old 12-03-2012, 09:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What would be the best way to do this? (grooming!)

So I apprenticed at a groomers for 4 years, we took it really slow but by the end I could finish a dog decently.
She moved away a year ago and I haven't continued since I don't have a place to do it really. Anyway I want to get back into it-I occasionally groom friends dogs and just miss it. I'm still not confident in scissoring the faces. I can do it but each time it feels like I'm guessing at what I should be doing.
I considered going to grooming school so I would not only be certified, but I could get all the training and be fully confident. It seems like a waste of basically $10,000 though since I can do everything else fine, it's just the head I need to improve on.
So here's the question. My dad suggested I could ask a groomer who did grooming competitions and stuff, if I could pay her $1000 to teach me how to do faces, and job shadow for a little bit.
OR I'm considering using the $1000 to buy more/better grooming equipment, and just improve with time.
My boss gave me a lot of her equipment when she moved, so I have all I need right now, but I definitely could use some newer blades and scissors and stuff.
Anyway, what do you think would be the best choice? If I do groom again, I'll be stuck doing it at my families house which is kind of inconvenient, but I know I wouldn't have enough money to rent a place yet. Hopefully if it turns successful I can rent somewhere out. But for now I'll just try it from home.
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Old 12-03-2012, 01:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Look into your state laws first. In Indiana, there is no such thing as a certification and you're basically paying $10,000 for a piece of paper saying you completed a course. That's an expensive piece of paper!

If it were me, I would invest in some equipment. You can learn everything online about faces, or what you're most unsure about, and practice hands-on on some friends dogs. Then, I would start at home just advertising somewhere simple like Craigslist and build a clientele list before thinking about renting somewhere. When you can make a steady income to pay the bottom line like rent and utilities, then I'd start to look at getting your own shop. Or, you can look at working at an already established shop such as PetSmart or somewhere local. Just make sure you take a good look at the pros and cons first before making a decision.

Good luck!


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Old 12-03-2012, 01:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The only piece of advice that I can give you, if that is what you want to do, and it's what makes you happy then do it.


Get the better equipment and set up a home shop, I think petsmart also sends groomers to pet school on a work contract (so you could get the trainer and experience you desire paid for-I am not sure about the quality of this, but my cousin did it and she is very happy).

When I look for a dog groomer what I look for is experience. I am most likely to hire a person with 10 years experience then someone with 2 years experience with a fancy piece of paper.

The second thing I like to see is a portfolio, maybe that person with 2 years experience is passionate and dedicated, maybe the person with 10 years experience is just knocking hair off of dogs and isn't very creative.

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Old 12-03-2012, 02:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Eh there are a lot of competition groomers out there. But I would just look online. Or buy DVDs. Also go to seminars. Go to grooming expos.
Also if you are starting your own business. Coming from a groomer. DO NOT start your prices out ridiculously low, just because you think you aren't experienced enough to charge what you are worth!!! Grooming is a difficult job


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Old 12-03-2012, 04:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I think that the best place these days even for seasoned groomers is an online place & I think it is called

Howtogroomdogs.com & for some reason Melisa Verplank is in my mind as one of the instructors but I will have to ask my FB friends. FB- Pro Groomer Network & Critique your Groom are great places to learn. Also FB has a Barter Pet Groomer page & I buy used stuff on there Esp. SHEARS.

howtogroomdogs is an online I believe $40 a month & I have heard great things about it & even contemplated brushing up on my techniques.
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Lilith, that is good advice; I was thinking when I read your post, Sawyersmomma, that I don't think people up here are that sophisticated about groomers. Like, I never checked for certification before I took my dogs somewhere to be groomed, I just cared about word of mouth recommendations and a clean shop that looked well-run. But if you DID shadow a groomer for a day, I'll bet you could do that for way cheaper than $1000...maybe even just the cost of grooming a standard ($100 or so?). You could pick a day that they were doing faces. That's just my opinion, but you already have 4 years experience! That's a lot! Another thought: maybe you could challenge the exam for the certificate somewhere down the road if you want to get it? Oh and lastly, when you're grooming for a living and you want to see if you're getting something right, you could take Sawyer to the best groomer you know and see how they do it.
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks all! I guess I just lack confidence. I live in a small town and there are actually loads of groomers, so I want to somehow stand apart from the rest.
I know it's good to research online, I just feel like it's not the same as actually DOING it. Anyway, if I just job shadow that lady I'm sure she'd let me watch for free. I met her before and she was really nice. She's slowing down and said she's glad to see younger people interested in it.

What would your best recommendation for the equipment be?
I know for SURE I need new scissors. I have the $99 set from pet edge, but could use a much better set. Other than that, I've got the HV dryer, Andis II speed clippers and quite a few blades. I recently bought a Bravura.
I can't think of what else right now, but I have all the basic needs. What would you recommend I upgrade, or look into getting as well. I know shampoo is a good idea-what kinds do you recommend? would you bother with specific colour types first, or just get a basic one, a medicated, and flea one? Other ideas? Sorry, my brain is asleep.
And how many blades of each would you recommend?
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:27 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I'll let the groomers speak to the equipment issue, but I found when we lived in Slave Lake and Williams Lake that the groomers are booked right up all the time, I'm not sure you would even need anything to make yourself stand out. But, here's something just to kick around...what if you provided a pick-up or drop-off service? When I was grooming years ago, we used to do that on an unofficial basis just because we had good customers who'd been loyal to the shop for years and could be trusted to pay by mail or whatever, but in this day and age a person would probably want the money up front. But the customers back then loved it! On my way to work I'd pick up usually 2 dogs because not everyone needed that service; then on my way home, I'd drop them off again (they would leave a key under a flower pot or whatever). It wasn't a big deal but it helped people who worked long hours, and they got to come home to a freshly groomed dog. Just brain storming
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:50 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I have 4 10 blades, 3 7 blades, 2 of everything else. You can stand out by hand drying every dog. And doing one dog at a time. That way they get personalized service.


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Old 12-04-2012, 09:13 AM   #10 (permalink)
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If all you need is more practice with heads - I would suggest purchasing the Super Styling Sessions DVD. It is a four-disc compilation of just heads of various breeds. Super Styling Sessions || Instructional DVD's || Heads Compilation - their website lists is for $99 - you can buy it from petedge for $89.95. I think you're in Canada? not sure about shipping to there. They are doing a special (from both websites) where if you purchase the head compilation, you get another DVD for free. Super Styling Sessions DVD | PetEdge.com

Keep in mind ordering directly from Super Styling Sessions website - you can pick ANY DVD for free - on Petedge, I think it's only the Mixed Breeds DVD that is free.
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