It’s become very common for dog grooming courses to move online. For busy aspiring groomers, this is great news! However, the convenience of earning your dog groomer certificate online will require you to do a bit of extra work. This means taking it upon yourself to find dogs to groom for your practical assignments.
But don’t fret! This process is easier than you think. Read on for our full guide on how to find furry friends for your online grooming assignments!
Keep your dog grooming course guidelines in mind
There are many benefits to enrolling in a dog grooming course. You’ll gain experience working with different dogs. The practical assignments in your course allow you to work hands-on with a variety of breeds, ages, and coat types. When starting your search for dogs, make a list of the requirements outlined in your assignment. Refer to your course text and videos to discover the exact breeds and coat types you need for your assignments.
For example, QC’s Dog Grooming Course asks you to groom specific dog breeds in order to complete the practicum units. You definitely don’t want to finally secure a pup to practice grooming, only to find out that she has the wrong type of fur!
Additionally, try to avoid working with dogs that are all black or all white. Keep in mind that online grooming courses will require clear photographs of your dog grooming jobs to help your tutors assess your skills. You’ll have a far easier time photographing or filming your work if your dog is not pure white or black!
Now that you have a few guidelines, it’s time to start looking for pups!
Spread the word
As an aspiring groomer, you love dogs and likely have friends and family who feel the same way. As you begin your dog grooming course, get in touch with dog owners in your inner circle. Let them know that your course assignments will require you to practice on real dogs, and that it would be helpful to use their pups for practice.
With social media at your disposal, you can reach out to an even broader network through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You never know which of your friends or family will come forward or who will share the post with their friends to increase your reach!
In return for spending some grooming time with their dog, you can offer a free nail clipping, brushing, or shampoo as a thank you. Get inspired with these add-on service ideas for your grooming business!
Another way to find dogs is to contact local animal shelters and rescues. While they will not be as easy to approach as your friends and family, they still are a great resource for aspiring groomers.
Be clear about your experience level as a dog groomer when speaking to a shelter or rescue. Let them know that you would like to gain experience with their dogs as part of your dog grooming course. While you’ll likely receive positive answers, be prepared for them to say no. Every animal shelter and rescue is different, and their rules and regulations will vary. Nevertheless, it is worth a try, and this experience will boost your people skills!
Approach local dog owners
While social media is an excellent way to find dogs through your network, don’t forget about good old fashioned advertising!
Dog owners spend a lot of time walking their pups and taking them to the park, so use this to your advantage. Asking random dog owners to groom their dogs isn’t easy. Pet owners are really protective of their dogs, so you need to be confident in your approach. If engaging in a face-to-face conversation right off the bat frightens you, you still have options!
Post flyers throughout your neighborhood and in dog parks that include what you’re looking for (refer to your assignment for specifics!) and your contact information.
Not only will you find canine friends this way, you’ll also get to know the dog owners in your community. This will prove valuable once you begin your dog grooming career and need to find clients!
Obtain a signed release form before the groom
Don’t overlook this detail! Your dog grooming course might require you to have a release form completed by the dog’s owner that provides their consent to place their pup in your care. Think of this as a necessary element of the process. Just having a form shows dog owners that you’re responsible and professional. Plus, if it’s a course requirement, it will help you ace your dog grooming course. It’s a win-win situation!
Where else can you look for pups to practice on? Let us know!