The relationship that a dog owner has with their groomer is built on a huge amount of trust. It’s not always easy to allow a stranger to care for your pet, no matter how well trained or certified your dog groomer is! There are a few key traits that a dog owner will look for in a professional groomer, and they are all based around confidence in the groomer’s expertise.
Wondering how to attract more clients as a groomer? Read on for our list of what dog owners are looking for, and take notes!
Patience and compassion
It’s no accident that these traits are first on the list – Someone that pursues a career as a dog groomer is seriously passionate about the well-being of animals in general.
Starting with patience, this is a quality that dog groomers need to have in spades. Dog groomers need to be able to take their time with each pup, conducting a thorough inspection before even picking up any clippers or brushes, and allowing him time to adjust to their surroundings in the salon. A dog grooming course will prepare you to recognize a dog’s needs, and to handle any difficult situations.
Dog owners will also be watching you closely to ensure you are gentle and attentive to their pup’s needs, and it’s so important to take this opportunity to discuss the dog’s lifestyle with the owner. This shows that you’re interested in their pet and want to know any details that may affect how the grooming appointment goes. Taking the time to get to know the owner and their dog is incredibly important, and will be noticed by the owner.
A compassionate dog groomer is a successful one. Completing an appointment with the dog at ease and looking his best will make an impression on the owner. They will be much more inclined to trust your skills and expertise, and feel less anxious about leaving their dog in your care. Showing compassion for all the animals you meet as a groomer will go a long way in your career!
As a certified groomer, you take the safety of dogs into your hands on a daily basis. Techniques such as bathing, brushing, and clipping should always be taken seriously, since you never know how a pup may react. To ensure you keep both the pup and yourself safe at all times, it’s essential to complete a dog grooming course.
When researching dog grooming schools, we recommend taking a comprehensive course as well as a first aid training course. While dog grooming isn’t a regulated industry, getting certified as a dog groomer will make your life a lot easier when trying to secure clients and build your brand. Not to mention, dog owners will place more value on your services and you have a much better chance of being hired over a groomer with no certification. A good grooming course will provide you with business training, which is excellent news for certified dog groomers who want to run their own pet business one day!
Now, back to that first aid course. One of the reasons why dog owners get nervous leaving their dog in a groomer’s care is because emergencies can happen, and they don’t know how you’ll handle the situation. Some dog grooming courses actually include units on first aid, which is perfect, but if you choose a dog grooming school that doesn’t cover first aid, you’ll need to find a separate course (and this is necessary!). Accidents, such as a small nick from your trimmers, can happen to even the most trained and cautious groomer. Get yourself trained in first aid, and keep a manual on hand wherever you groom.
Pro Tip: It’s important to understand what is harmful and unsafe for dogs, and communicate this to your clients. Show owners that you care about their pup above and beyond your role as a groomer – advise them not to let their dogs near these 8 toxic plants, and make suggestions on how they can create a pet-friendly home.
Being safe is key, which leads us to our next point…
This may seem like a small thing, but it’s actually extremely important for dog owners! As mentioned above, animals can be unpredictable, and unlike humans, they cannot express how they feel. Their temperament can change on a dime – especially when they’re being handled by someone they don’t know in an unfamiliar environment. It’s up to you as the groomer to know when a dog has had enough, needs a break, or should not be groomed at all. This is not easy to understand unless you’re trained and have some experience under your belt. Knowing how to manage every situation come from years of experience – and it helps to have reference points to look back on!
Gaining an owner’s trust is essential for dog groomers, and going with your intuition in tricky situations is one effective way to develop that trust. It may take several appointments for a dog owner to understand your techniques and begin to depend on your expertise, but it’s worth it in the long run. Sometimes, you won’t be able to groom a dog at all based on their current mood or health conditions, and it won’t be easy to communicate this to the owner. However, if they have trust in you already, they’ll be happy to defer to your judgment.
Find out how to start a dog grooming career with our step-by-step guide!
You have options when starting your dog grooming business!
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!
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