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Discussion Starter #1
I was wondering if anyone has ever heard anything or had any experience with any of the "learn at home" grooming schools. I received some literature from Penn Foster Career School for a distance learning for dog grooming. I really need to learn to groom at home, with 2 standards the cost right now is tough. When we got our first poodle, I did months of research and knew the costs involved with grooming. I even found a local groomer, who I love, and who gives me a great deal because I was one of her first customers when she moved to this area and have recommended her to several people. Anyway, with the economy what it is, my husband has been out of work for a year now, I lost a great job last October and although I'm back to work full time now, I'm making about half of what I was at the last job. Needless to say some things get cut back and grooming, even at the great rate my groomer gives me, is still more than we can afford and I don't want my dogs to pay for our unfortunate situation. I've also thought about asking my groomer if she would mind teaching me how to groom my dogs at home. We do the brushing of course, and I can trim FFT (sort of, still not good on those toes). If anyone has heard anything, positive or negative on the distance learning thing, I'd appreciate any input.... thank you!
 

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It's doable. You can learn alot from the internet. But it's going to be tough, and if you are looking for grooming as a career I don't know that any shop is going to give you a chance without you having hands on training.
But if you just want to groom your own dogs that should be very easy.
 

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If you're just going to groom your own dogs, I don't think you need to do a school course (unless you really want to!).

I am teaching myself to groom my mini poo at home. I asked a lot of questions here and of my breeder about the equipment I needed. Then I watched YouTube videos! Just searched "how to groom a poodle" and so many came up. I've only groomed him once (full groom), but I've done his fft twice now (he's 5 months old). I'll be doing his second full groom next weekend.

Yes, I agree that the feet are hard! Especially because my poodle doesn't like it so I need to go slow and take many breaks. But I do think it's one of those things that will will improve with practice (and I think he will learn over time to be more patient letting me shave his feet).

I think if you want to teach yourself you can do it! My poodle's first groom wasn't beautiful, but it wasn't horrible either, and hey, it grows back, right? I actually had a lot of fun with it, and I'm looking forward to doing it more and getting better at it.
 

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Also, I wanted to add that asking your groomer to teach you might be a bad idea, unless you intended to PAY her to teach you. If you ask her to show you how to do it, you are ultimately letting her know that you won't be using her services anymore (which she may or may not know already), so she could have a bad response to it, depending on her personality.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I don't think I want to do it as a job, more to just help out right now while we need it. IF I got good enough I wouldn't mind working at it part time at a shop evenings and weekends, just to help out at home, but have no plans to go into it as a career.

Although, I've often thought if I could pick any job, regardless of pay if it were just to do something I loved to do... it would be something with dogs. They bring me so much joy and I truly love working with them in everything from simple obedience to the beginning agility that we've tried to just walking them in the park.

I guess I can keep dreaming....
 

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The best DVDs start with well prepped coats. That is not the type or video she needs. ...although I watch mine a lot. The Kalstone book is a must have, I have seen a few horrible videos on UTube that would lead a new learner down a bad path. If someone wanted me to train THEM how to groom their own dog properly, I don't know if I would do it. They could open a shop someday. I would let them know that it costs hundreds in equipment PLUS the cost of learning.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Believe me, I would be MUCH happier to let my very talented groomer handle the heavier grooming chores and stick with the FFT and brushing between. I'm sure I will not be able to make them look nearly as nice as she does, and I do realize there is a huge investment in equipment. I'm beginning to think I would be better off just getting a second job to support my dog costs and activities, rather than invest in all of the equipment that is necessary. Thank you all for your posts and I have huge respect for the pro groomers who responded. Thank you!!!
 

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Believe me, I would be MUCH happier to let my very talented groomer handle the heavier grooming chores and stick with the FFT and brushing between. I'm sure I will not be able to make them look nearly as nice as she does, and I do realize there is a huge investment in equipment. I'm beginning to think I would be better off just getting a second job to support my dog costs and activities, rather than invest in all of the equipment that is necessary. Thank you all for your posts and I have huge respect for the pro groomers who responded. Thank you!!!
Just to let you know, my investment in grooming equipment (the necessities, not what I would love to have if money was no object) was only about $400. With two spoos, I imagine you would recoup that cost in a matter of 6 months or so.
 

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I also agree that investment in a basic grooming equipment for two dogs would "repay" itself in NO time .

A clipper, vac-dryer and some hair products are really all that is necessary !
Table can be any stable surface for the beginning, but even brand new tables can be found for 150 $ , as Olie posted already.

In this economy I am sure that one can find a groomer who would show basics for a fee :rolffleyes: if necessary. KPoos learned how to groom all by herself as well as Plum and some others !

It is doable , obviously, if somebody is willing to learn : ))) !!!
 

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Yup sure did and my dogs look better than if I would take them to groomers around here. We don't have a lot to offer in the way of good grooming here. Just get the Kalstone book (I went to the Half Priced book store and got it used for $11) and watch videos online. I really want to do a correspondance course to learn all breeds but if I opened an inhome business I would be kind of picky about what dogs I groom. I like the smaller to medium sized dogs because grooming them is fast and easy.
 

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You don't really need grooming school; you can learn without incurring the expense, since you're just wanting to learn how to groom your own Poodles.

I learned to do FF&T first, investing in the cordless Wahl Arco trimmer. I had a standing 4-wk grooming appt. for my two Standards, but hated how fuzzy their faces got in that time! I also wanted the tails done MY way - shaved only 2-fingerwidths, and in a V, not straight across the butt, and cutting the end of the tail straight across just below the tail tip. I got so that my face and feet shaves were better done that the groomer, and their tails were lush and full! Then I started practicing on topknots . . .so, invested in shears.

I learned to groom my Poodles in several ways - first, from this website:
Grooming the Standard Poodle for FF&T.

Cathy has photos, diagrams, and written instructions on how to do the face, the feet, etc. It's really helpful. I didn't find Kalstone's book to be of much help at all.

Also extremely helpful was a grooming forum. I learned how to properly use the HV dryer, and was able to figure out how to bevel, do the tuck-up, and even rear angulation from written instructions and photos.

Then, I got a DVD from Muddy Creek Grooming

Which is very well done - you can clearly see what she's doing and hear what she's saying. She shows how to hold the clipper, in what direction to clip, which blade to use, and also goes over tools - how to change the blade, and so on. This dvd made a huge difference in my Poodles going from looking "pretty good," to looking like they were professionally groomed. Well worth the $35. The Poodles used are the toy and mini, and I have Standards, but it didn't matter - I couldn't do the belly the way it was shown on the DVD even if I had a mini; I do the belly by having the dog lay on his/her back! lol Same with inside of thighs and the armpits.

Before I purchased my K9 II HV dryer, I dropped them off to be bathed and blow dried by the groomer, then I did the clip. You can't do a decent job of clipping or scissoring without the proper blow dry and brushing. I paid about $350 for the K9 II, and it works well for fluff drying when you take the end piece off the hose. It paid for itself very quickly!

You can start by adding a litttle at a time. Have fun!
 

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It would be worth the initial cost if you do all the grooming yourself for the rest of their life.

If your dogs are well behaved it will be pretty easy to groom them too.

You will need a few different blades, a #15 should work for face, feet, and tail.
20$
Depending on the length you want on the body, you should probably get two blades, I'll say a #7 for summer, #3 for winter
40$
Clippers 130$
Table 80$
Shears(scissors) 100$

So that is 370 give or take.
That is the price of 3 trips to the groomer,

You could cut out the cost of the table, and one of the blades, and save 120$

Bringing it to 250$ about the price of two grooms. That is based off the groomer charging you 60$ per dog.

I would just learn online for free, ask questions, look at grooming forums, look at youtube videos etc. Learn as you go on your dogs. They don't need to look like pageant winners the first few times.

If I wasn't already a groomer I would be learning to do my own dogs :)
 
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