How to get a job as a dog groomer

How to get a job as a dog groomer

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Did you know you can do an online dog grooming course?  You might think it is one of those experiences that you need to do in person.  However, it is possible to learn the theory of becoming a dog groomer over the internet; you just need to provide your own pooches to practice on.  Once you are qualified, you can go on your journey to get a job or setting up your own business.

In this guide, we will take you through the steps of getting your dream doggy job.  We start with the basic things you need to know and advance you towards your new career.

What does a dog groomer do?

You may only have a vague idea about what it takes to be a dog groomer.  You have selected your career because you want to cuddle lots of cute animals.  But, is it everything that you hope?

A dog groomer keeps the fur of the animals in good condition using shampooing, brushing, trimming and grooming.  You will also have to deal with dog owners.  This means you will advise the human too, explaining how they can maintain the coat of their pooch.  You may work in a dog grooming salon, or you could travel to people’s homes.

Ultimately, the only criteria for being a dog groomer is to be good with animals.  However, if you are going to run your own business, you will need administrative and numeracy skills too.

What is the route to becoming a dog groomer?

You don’t need any specific qualifications to be a dog groomer; though learning how to groom a dog correctly will make you much more successful! You could start by getting a job with an experienced and qualified dog groomer.  You will then learn on the job.  Alternatively, you can do a course at college or online before looking for work.  Either route to becoming a dog groomer will allow you to gain practical experience under the supervision of someone with the necessary skills and qualifications.

If you want to broaden your chances of getting a job, you may wish to complete an animal care course.  This course gives you a much broader education on how to work with dogs.  You may also find it useful to volunteer at a local dog shelter.  As some dogs find the process of grooming stressful, you will need experience in reducing the anxiety of the animals you are working with.

Alternatively, you can apply for a dog grooming traineeship or an apprenticeship.  Such courses will allow you to sell yourself as a qualified dog groomer, which will add to your credibility with animal owners.

What are the necessary qualities of a dog groomer?

Not everything is about the certificate.  Qualifications are excellent, but you also need the softer skills to become successful in your role.  Of primary importance is patience.  Your dogs will not always play ball, and you may need to try and try again to complete the grooming.  It may also require you to show some creativity and problem-solving to get the job done.  It may be, to be unique and distinctive, that you also need to use creativity to find ways to groom dogs that will delight the owners.

You will also need the interpersonal skills to deal with humans in the dog’s life.  They may be a little precious and over-protective, and you will need to work hard to gain their trust.  You are about to take your scissors to a cherished family member.

The other qualities you require are related to running a business.  You are likely to work in a shop or to travel in your van to people’s houses.  Therefore, you need excellent communication and business management skills.  Learning what it means to offer outstanding customer service will get you far, as will attention to detail and administration skills.  As well as taking a dog grooming course, you may also benefit from taking lessons on how to start and build a new business.  There are choices you want to make from the start that will allow your dog grooming business to flourish.

The steps to becoming a dog groomer

In summary, you can become a dog groomer if you seek experience with dogs, either in a dog grooming salon or in an animal shelter.  You should consider taking qualifications that will allow you to promote yourself as being a trained professional.  Finally, consider taking a business course to help you grow your dog grooming service.

Nick Cooper
Nick is NCC's resident blog author and covers a range of subjects, including teaching and health & social care. NCC is an international learning provider with over 20 years’ experience offering learning solutions. To date, NCC has engaged with over 20,000 employers, and delivered quality training to over half a million learners.
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