Thinking of becoming a dog groomer? You’ve chosen a dynamic, rewarding, and profitable career path – but that’s not all! Starting your dog grooming career can be relatively simple if you follow a list of steps. Getting trained through a dog grooming course, practicing as much as you can, obtaining your dog groomer certificate, and landing the job you want can all be accomplished with goals that you set in advance.

Keep reading for 6 simple steps to becoming a dog groomer, and watch your career take off!

1. Set goals

As with any new venture, setting goals is extremely important. Before moving onto any of the other steps in this list, take some time to reflect on the dog grooming career you really want – do you dream of one day being your own boss and running a business? Or do you think you’re better suited for retail grooming? These are things that should be considered carefully at this stage of the game, as they’ll influence what you’ll do next.

Maybe you’ll need to attend a school that teaches aspiring groomers how to eventually start their own business, or perhaps you want to focus more on skills and knowledge without business training.  You should also seriously consider the time you can allocate to a course, and read up on the benefits of online dog grooming courses versus in-class courses. In short, online courses will allow you a great deal of flexibility, and you can hang on to your full-time job while making your dog grooming dreams a reality!

Set some goals for yourself that take training, practice, and time management into account, and consider this an important stepping stone as you begin your career.

Speaking of training…

become a dog groomer

2. Find the right dog grooming course

This one is huge. Dog grooming is not a regulated industry, which means that you technically don’t need a certification to work in the field. However, we recommend not putting too much stock in the fact that the industry is unregulated. You cannot just wake up one day and be a professional groomer – and what dog owner would be comfortable leaving their beloved pets in the care of someone who has zero training? They wouldn’t have any confidence in your abilities, and this will not translate to a successful grooming career!

Long story short, being a certified groomer will make your life a lot easier when trying to secure clients and build your brand. Again, some dog grooming courses will provide you with business training!  Now for the tricky part – finding the right dog grooming course for your own career goals. Do your research and look for resources such as product discounts, as well as tuition costs and certifications, and then making a short-list of schools that match your criteria. Don’t rush through this process, as the course you choose will end up shaping who you are as a dog groomer.

dog grooming course

3. Make the most of your course

Choosing a dog grooming course is one thing, but carving out time to study, finding dogs for your assignments, and actually completing your assignments is an entirely different beast.  Creating a schedule ahead of time that allows you a few hours per week to closely read your course materials and complete your practical assignments is essential. It will keep you on track throughout the duration of your dog grooming course!

Regardless of whether you’re enrolled in an online course or at a brick-and-mortar school, you want to ensure that you’re on top of readings and assignments, and are taking the time to truly understand your tutor’s feedback. Making the most of your grooming course is in your best interest and a necessary step on the path to your career. Here, you’ll learn the knowledge and techniques needed for the highly rewarding and challenging role of a groomer.

4. Practice, practice, practice!

In some professions, the best training comes from textbooks and course guides. You can expect to spend a great deal of time with your nose in a book, and absorb the information you need to be successful.

However, dog grooming is not really one of these professions.

In order to really learn dog grooming, you need to practice and log hours of hands-on training. Only by actually working on dogs can you fully understand the ins-and-outs of grooming, how to work with different breeds, and master technical skills. You’ll be spending your days as a groomer facing different situations and dealing with new dogs, so this is the time to really develop your skills and gain confidence.

Use every free moment you can to work on different breeds, and don’t be afraid to offer your grooming services to friends and family with pets – you’d be surprised at how willing pet owners are to help you train and learn!

becoming a dog groomer

5. Get your certification

We mentioned earlier how important a dog groomer certification is, but we really can’t stress this enough! Getting certified as a professional dog groomer not only shows that you can capably and effectively groom dogs. It also demonstrates that you possess professional training, and that you were able to commit to (and succeed at) a grooming course. Never underestimate how a dog grooming certificate will look to potential clients and employers – it’s a huge deal, and will allow everyone you meet to be confident in your abilities, including yourself!

Completing a course is no easy feat, and we appreciate that. However, do everything you can to stay on track with your assignments and hands-on experience, and keep your goals in mind the entire time. This will all pay off when you have your grooming certification in hand and are ready to put your skills to use in the real world!

become a dog groomer

6. Start your dog grooming career

Once you’ve set out some realistic goals, enrolled in a dog grooming course, and have your certification, it’s time to get out there and start your dog grooming career! And we have some great news – there are several exciting career paths available to you as a certified dog groomer, including retail grooming, dog styling, and freelance dog grooming (to name a few!).

To really get the ball rolling, meet people, market your services through a professional website and social media, and take on volunteer grooming jobs. Keep in mind that word-of-mouth is huge in this industry, and news of a professional, trained, and experienced dog groomer will travel fast!

Be patient, compassionate and gentle with every dog and owner you meet, and you’ll find that your career will grow quickly.

Wondering what the differences are between in-class and online dog grooming courses? Find out here, and make the right choice!

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