Becoming a dog groomer is a process – it can be done quickly, but you need to study and practice as much as possible to keep your furry friends safe and healthy. Taking a dog grooming course online is a new fad (the whole online learning thing is booming nowadays), and those who jump on board immediately understand why!
Learning grooming skills online is quite simple, actually. You’re studying theory from course texts and have a few hands-on practicum units to learn the techniques. But there are a few skills everyone needs to succeed in an online course – and ultimately, as a dog groomer!
The biggest component of enrolling in courses online is having the motivation to keep going. Getting started isn’t as hard as most people think. Since this is all so new, and you just received your course materials and grooming kit, you’re excited to begin studying! However, the story can change as you hit more challenging materials in your grooming course, and your schedule becomes busier.
Yes, you can put your learning on hold – that’s one of the best things about learning online. IF anything happens, like a pipe bursts in your kitchen or you need to work some extra hours this month, you can focus on that and put your course on pause for a couple of weeks. But you need to have the motivation to get back into the game!
The best advice we can give is to keep a written reminder of why you want to become a groomer. This will push you to get your training done and enjoy a new career path! Plus, you can add a few hours of studying each week to your personal calendar. It’s an easy way to set realistic targets!
2. People Skills
As a dog groomer, you’ll be working with mostly animals. However, those pets will always be accompanied by people! And having good relationships with your human customers is good for your grooming business. Now, you don’t need to be the biggest social butterfly out there – but the ability to communicate clearly and politely to your clients is a huge part of becoming a pet groomer.
Sometimes, you’ll have to explain that a dog needs to visit the vet, which can be a scary thing for owners to hear. Your job is to keep them calm and do the right thing for their pal, and being able to speak calmly and gently is a huge advantage for your business!
Plus, you’ll come into your dog grooming course needing a few furry friends to practice with. What better way to gain experience than to offer pro-bono grooming to people in your community? And no one wants to deal with a grouch…
It’s safe to say that every dog groomer will deal with a stressful situation or two throughout their career, and it’s how you handle it that speaks to your character. Animals can be silly, and sometimes they don’t know what’s right and what’s wrong. This means that unexpected things can happen in your salon, so you’ll need to be able to adapt and shake it off!
Keeping your cool when a dog tries to jump out of the tub is super important – both for safety and for your sanity! Having a good sense of humour as well as a behavior policy will keep your salon running safely in good spirits.
4. Professional Drive
The drive to be better is beneficial to everyone – no matter the profession! As a certified groomer, you’ll need to be a self-starter to build your skills and become the best. When you’re taking courses, this means you’ll need to invest a lot of focus into your theory work and studies.
Without the drive to improve, you won’t gain credibility as a student or a professional groomer. Getting mediocre grades on your grooming assignments isn’t a good sign – it takes a motivated individual to take that mark and put extra care into the next unit. And no, a B- isn’t the end of the world. However, when working with pups, you need to be one of the best. Owners don’t settle when it comes to canine care.
Working with animals is different than working with humans. Dogs won’t be able to tell you when they are uncomfortable or what they need, whether it’s water or a moment to calm down. It’s your job as the professional groomer to spot the signs and behavior patterns when they appear. Which means…
5. An Eye for Detail
…you need an incredible eye for detail! Working with dogs is a big responsibility, and although most of the time it will be fun and games, there are moments when you need to be extremely attentive.
Whether you’re trimming your fluffy client’s fur or watching for signs of a stressed out or reactive pooch, your eyes need to catch on to everything. Keeping yourself and pets safe in your salon is the most important detail about running a dog grooming business. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled!
Plus, it’s difficult to groom dogs with layers of fur. Your eyes need to catch every stray hair to give each dog a perfect groom. And don’t forget, grooming is also one of the best ways to keep pets healthy. You’ll likely be the first to catch on to an allergy or skin condition!
Being a certified pet groomer means you are innately intuitive – you listen to your gut and can assess situations easily. This will serve you well when you’re working with shy or scared dogs! You need to know how to feel out a situation, whether to approach a dog or let her come to you. Most of the time, a dog’s behavior fits into the general breed personality (you can expect most labs to love the water) – but there are moments when you need to expect the unexpected.
Your dog grooming course will train you to know the signs of potentially problematic do behavior, and when to decide against a groom. Again, keeping yourself and other pet groomers safe is top priority. If you meet a pup that has a temper that makes you uncomfortable, don’t risk trying to groom him! Trust your knowledge and intuition, and you’ll have a safe and successful career.
Put yourself on the path to success – start a rewarding career now by taking pet grooming courses online!
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Casey Bechard of Off The Leash Pet Grooming is a QC Pet Studies graduate. Read all about her favorite breeds and pet haircuts as a certified groomer!