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Discussion Starter #1
I was wondering - does one have to go to a special grooming school to become a professional groomer or one can get training by being an apprentice in a grooming shop :rolffleyes: How does one become a groomer ?

Also - when you are a professional groomer, can you choose to do just dogs or you have to groom anything that enters the shop LOL ???
 

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In general it depends. In the US you do not have to go to school and most places do not require it.

I called around when I was 18 to the different grooming shops looking for an apprenticeship. I got one at a place that was also a daycare/boarding/training facility. There I was pretty much trown into the field, doing mostly bath trims and a few full grooms. I had a pair of wal-mart clippers and some dollar store scissors and I went to it. I worked there for 9 months.
I moved to NC a year later, and 10 months or so after that I walked into a petstore that offered grooming and asked if they were hiring. I pretty much lied through my teeth and got a job as a substitute groomer. It moved into full time within a week. I worked there for a few months before quitting to start a receptionist position with a company that pretty much was fake. I then moved to a different grooming shop where I learned SOOO much more about the industry, the good, the bad and the ugly.


I will say though that many groomers can be catty, unwilling to share secrets,and unwilling to help out the newbies. Find a good mentor, and stick with it. if you have the knack for it you may have the gift and a long career ahead of you.
 

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oh! and to answer part two of your question- it depends, most shops will let you do the breeds you are the best at

I do well with schnauzers poodles and cats- but really hate to do cockers and maltese Just be up front and let people know what you are willing to do and not do
 

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My daughter went through petsmart as she needed a job and they hired her first 2 months doing bathing brushing and then she jumped the q and went on to Acadamy ahead of a few others.
She has to stay for 2 years as they paid for school and motel for the month and is doing really well with lots of requests making much more money then her high school friends that went on to collage to work at Mcdonalds now.

I called around my small town ( she lived in a bigger city) and nobody would take me on to train but at over 40 maybe to old to learn anything but doing my guys I guess
 

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My daughter also worked at PetSmart as a bather for about 1 1/2 years. She LOVED her job and was interested in going to PetSmart's grooming academy, which as Mandycasey'smom said would have been a free-tuition set up if Katy would've comitted to working there for a certain number of years... Enter human personalities, conflicts, etc., and Katy decided she couldn't work at our local PetSmart anymore... she called around to several grooming shops and most were friendly but not helpful. One woman, when asked if Katy could come and apprentice (Katy was even willing to pay HER for the experience) told Katy that she would never find anyone who would let her learn from them - and she said it in an extremely nasty way. Luckily, I had an acquaintance who used to give us complimentary grooms at the humane society I managed so I called Linda... she was TICKLED to have Katy come, watch and learn at her home based grooming shop!!! Unfortunately, she was only here for another month or two before moving south for better climates, but she was willing and Katy learned a lot!

I think it all depends on the individual personality of the groomer, how helpful they want to be, and who you know!! Katy is now capable of taking care of her standard poodle between grooms (she's not confident scissoring yet so Meau does get pro grooms periodically) and she's helping me learn what I need to know to keep Lucy looking trim between hairdresser appointments.

Good luck on your journey!
 

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The best way to become a professional dog groomer is to go to an up and up accredited grooming school with a good, steady business with a track record of placing graduates. It is not the only way, but one of the better ways. Usually the course will be 3 months long. A good grooming school is one where you are working on dogs by yourself every day under the guidance of a professional instructor. Some schools only have a few dogs, or you have to share a dog. You want the school that gives you maximum number of dogs to groom. Also, you want a school with more than one instructor. There are many different ways to do things, different techniques and styles and beliefs. None are right, or better than another. Having exposure to different styles and theories will help you become a better groomer.

The next best thing is to serve as an apprentice. Again, you want a busy shop and you don't want to be stuck doing laundry. You need a clear contract on what will be taught and by when. The drawback here is that you are usually exposed only to one persons style. But it is a viable option.

On line programs are really not worth anything. The most important part of dog grooming is learning to handle and be comfortable handling all different types and sizes and conditions of dogs. You just don't get this on the internet. You can help yourself by going to the humane society and working with those dogs, but this is often not a good way to learn. Most will be shave downs in very poor condition and can be dangerous. You need a positive learning environment under professionals who can teach you proper handling techniques.

Most groomers will say that after school or apprenticeing, you need to work in a shop for about a year before going out on your own. This really depends on you and how you progress. When you first start out, you will accept almost anything that walks in the door in order to make ends meet. As you improve and grow your clients, you can weed out dogs that are not desireable.

A good school will not only teach you grooming technique and dog handling, but also dog behavior, psychology, business management and customer service skills.

I am a professional dog groomer. I have my own highly successful mobile business and have not accepted a new client in over two years. I only groom dogs under 35 lbs who are groomed every 6 weeks or less. I didn't start out that way, but over the years I have build my clientele to this level and only lose clients due to them moving or dying. I went to an accredited school and was trained in all aspects of dog grooming, care, behavior and training. When I graduated, I was well equipped to run my own business.

Dog grooming is not glamorous, it is hard, messy work. Physically it can be very demanding. The pay isn't great, but the way to make money is to have your own business. You will never make much working for someone else. Feel free to ask me any questions.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you all for such an in depth and detailed advices and for sharing your experiences :beer::top::beer: !!!! There is absolutely no other question I need to ask : )) !!! You guys are grrrrrreat :first:
 

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VERY WELL SAID Fur Elite !! I totally aggree!
I've looked into grooming schools in this area (with the thought of establishing a home based business for myself) and I have to say, WOW, they are crazy expensive!! Is tuition really high in your neck of the woods also?
 

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Have you seen correspondance schools? I want to take a correspondance course because I can go as fast or as slow as I want to and I don't have schools in my immediate area. Plus I think it would benefit me to learn how to groom all breed types and the one that I liked also teaches you how to care for your supplies. I mean it basically covers everything from how to groom to how to run a business for around $1800.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well I am still hopelessly "googling" grooming school in my area :wacko:!!! NOTHING is coming out (and I live in MAYOR metropolitan area LOL) Just unbelievable :scared: !!!!???

There is only one , kind of training, facility - some private person offering lessons but than I found on the business rating site MANY bad comments about the groomer :smow:

It is just ridiculous - there are more pets than people in this country and one would assume that there are a LOT of groomers and a lot of places to get training :eek:hwell:...

Strange indeed ...
 

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I honestly think a lot of people are just self taught or they apprentice under someone else. It's impossible to find a school close to me too.
 

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Wishpoo - Where in CA are you? I went to grooming school out there.

To All -

I agree with Fur. Grooming school gives you a well rounded foundation. You learn not only grooming (all breed standard cuts) but handling, sanitation, safety, you get exposure to a variety of techniques, time management and most schools will help in job placement and business practices. You get instant feedback on everything. Yes, it is expensive but if you research the school and find a good one you will not be let down. Also, most schools have financial aid programs which is helpful.

An apprenticeship or getting a job as a bather would be the next choice. In this situation you get good hands on and you also have one or possibly more professionals to ask questions to (the more groomers the better cause then you get variety in styles). You learn the job from the ground up.

As for the correspondence school I have issues with that as you SEE how to do something but get no real practical experience. It's so different when the dog is on the table and you have to groom from beginning to end (bath to finishing) having maybe 10+ dogs in a day. When I first was looking for a job I had to do many "grooming tests" where the groomer I wanted to work for put a small poodle or similar type dog on the table and said "Let's see how fast you can do this and how good he looks". They would then proceed to time me. Imagine my horror being fresh out of grooming school. I had done many poodles but not being timed. I can not imagine how long it might have taken if I had not had so much practical experience already. In the grooming biz, TIME IS MONEY! Most shops are looking for groomers that can hit the ground running and the more practical experience you have the better. I know cause this is what I would do. :) Now don't get me wrong, 3-4 months in school does not make you an expert but it certainly gives you the confidence to get out there and know your stuff.
 

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Agreed Canine Design. I know of no reputable shops that would even halfway entertain hiring someone without practical experience either gained in a shop as a bather/rough in person or through school. If someone wants to work at home as basically a shaver-down of friends and relatives pets, perhaps correspondence would work. You aren't going to learn how to do the cute pet clips, however, without day in and day out mentoring from a professional or a school.

Most groomers today are definately not self taught. There are still some old groomers out there who have been grooming forever who were self taught. They generally are not up to date on most widely accepted grooming practices, such as wet and reverse shaving, clipper vacs and bathing systems. Grooming has become a much higher esteemed profession, there is even serious talk about licensing and certification that will inevitably happen. Most saavy customers will ask about a groomers training.

Another item, as a beginning groomer, you must be prepared to assume financial responsibility for any injury that occurs because of the grooming process. The seven blade in particular is a dangerous tool in the hands of a begnner. A slight movement can result in a nasty cut that requires stitches along with a costly vet visit that is your responsibility as a groomer. Also, ear infections due to water in the ear, eye problems resulting from shampoo on the eye or hair in the eye, limping due to who knows what....all perils. Yo may get a call days after a groom that you thought went well about something that has happened to the dog that the vet has declared your fault. A good insurance plan is the best way to protect yourself.
 

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Around here I highly doubt many people go to school seeing as how the closest ones are in Houston (at least 4 hours) and I think I saw one in San Antonio (which is 2 hours away). When there are no options available, you do what you've gotta do in order to proceed into something you like. If the only options available to you are correspondance that's the route you go. I wouldn't knock it until I actually tried it. I think to give yourself a good well rounded foundation it would be good to apprentice under someone that's experienced and definitely shop around to find the right person. Not everyone wants to even bother with training their competition.

Unfortunately even someone that goes to school for something doesn't make them good at it. I've taken Harry to quite a few different groomers and none have done a better job at grooming him than I have and I barely know what the heck I'm doing. I took him to very reputable places and a major chain store too and the chain ruined his ears because they were asked to trim them. I think that with something like grooming, some natural talent comes into play as well.

I highly agree that things about running a business need to be taught in order to know what the appropriate thing to do is but the correspondance school I looked at had plenty of attention devoted to that. It's all about where you live, the options available, and what you can afford to do.
 

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KPoos - I agree. Just cause you went to school does not make you good. But it certainly should some perseverance.

My point was that to give yourself the BEST opportunity I would go the school route. I had many friends in grooming school that came from far away places to go there. If that is not your reality, then I would dig around till you could find someone that would let you help them out. The problem is that there are many "old school" groomers that are very protective of what they know for whatever reason and also very set in their ways. Sometimes you have to stretch a little further to get the return if it is something you really want to do in life. :)
 

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Kpoos. ....I am really trying to help you save yourself from wasting $1800. I know you don't have the money to waste, no one does. This advice is based on my experience, which is notably greater than yours especially in regard to grooming. Internet research can not substitute for real , practical experience in a variety of matters, including grooming.

If you don't want to believe me, why don't you log onto one of the pet grooming forums that you have been directed to and post your question about correspondence school there. Perhaps you will listen to all of the people on those sites who felt they wasted money on a program that offers no practical training. You would be better off finding someone to train under or going to petsmart and enslaving yourself to their training program. Cheers!
 

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KPoos - I agree. Just cause you went to school does not make you good. But it certainly should some perseverance.

My point was that to give yourself the BEST opportunity I would go the school route. I had many friends in grooming school that came from far away places to go there. If that is not your reality, then I would dig around till you could find someone that would let you help them out. The problem is that there are many "old school" groomers that are very protective of what they know for whatever reason and also very set in their ways. Sometimes you have to stretch a little further to get the return if it is something you really want to do in life. :)
Thanks, I really WANT to go to school but unfortunately there's just not an opportunity to do so. What I really want to do is find a nice person to mentor me in show grooming. For me pet grooming isn't going to be that hard and I can't (not with the kids at home and me homeschooling) start a business or work for someone. I was really more interested in perfecting the continental and the puppy pattern for showing.

While I was waiting for my show puppy I contacted some long time breeders to get some help and advice and offered myself to them for any mentoring that they could offer. One wasn't very interested and the other didn't groom her own dogs. So if it takes me years to learn and perfect it, I'd love to be able to be a person that can help someone else in the future with grooming. The task of grooming a show poodle seems so incredible but desireable for some odd reason. With a dog that's just my pet, I don't have to worry about hair breaking and I can master my own dog without worrying about showing. It's just finding that person that won't mind helping me if there even IS someone like that around my area.
 

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Kpoos. ....I am really trying to help you save yourself from wasting $1800. I know you don't have the money to waste, no one does. This advice is based on my experience, which is notably greater than yours especially in regard to grooming. Internet research can not substitute for real , practical experience in a variety of matters, including grooming.

If you don't want to believe me, why don't you log onto one of the pet grooming forums that you have been directed to and post your question about correspondence school there. Perhaps you will listen to all of the people on those sites who felt they wasted money on a program that offers no practical training. You would be better off finding someone to train under or going to petsmart and enslaving yourself to their training program. Cheers!
Thanks for the advice but I don't enslave myself to anyone. I'll figure it out.
 

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Kpoos - Oh, I got the impression you wanted to be a full on groomer for pets in a business. If learning those few things then I would not bother with paying for anything really. I would take Fur's advice and log onto the groomer forums. You may be able to locate a groomer (that knows how to do show dogs) that would be willing for you to spend some time with him/her (but they may also put you to work for their time) or even someone who knows someone. I would venture to say that would be a greater possibility than a breeder, cause what do they have to gain from it (other than good karma). Like I said keep digging. There has to be someone out there. Just my opinion. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
"Wishpoo - Where in CA are you? I went to grooming school out there."

Canine : ) _ I live in Bay Area (SJ/SF).

If I would go into grooming , I definitely would like to know how to do it the best possible way and how to make dog extraordinary pretty ! I think that part is what would be a fun part of grooming : )))!

I am a perfectionist, and just plain "shaving down" would drive me nuts LOL

I give haircuts to my whole family LOL, just because they come back home with uneven cuts and "wrong" angles even after cashing out 100 $ for styling :scared: !!! I never had any training in doing human hair but still do a better job somehow LOL even though I use only ONE pair of scissors and Bick lady-shaver LMAO !!!! If my daughters and my Sis and my hubby would not protest - I would post them here as a proof :pound:

So, yes , if anybody knows where I can get a decent training in the Bay Area that would be just fantastic : )))

BTW: How are services payed - per hour, per client, per dog breed and if it is not secret - how much :) ???
 
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