You may have mastered the technical art of animal grooming from taking a dog grooming course. But did you know that you’re not just strapped down to this one occupation? Yes, the course does have a tremendously specific name. But you need to know more than just how to choose the right clippers if you want to transform a hobby into a career.
Learning a variety of soft skills is not only important for a career in grooming, but it’s also important for a variety of other jobs. Here are six transferable skills you’ll learn from your dog grooming course!
When you’re training in your grooming course, you’ll learn how to communicate with the dog’s human owners. After all, they’re the paying clients! Even if you wouldn’t normally call yourself a people person, if you have communication down pat, you’ll ace your client-services!
It takes a great deal of trust for a dog owner to leave you with their beloved pet. As such, you should always be as transparent as possible with them. Any issues that arise, the owners should be contacted immediately. If you notice fleas, allergic reactions, or other skin conditions and symptoms, alert the owners!
By establishing a good rapport with them, you’ll automatically have a friendly relationship. Whether you’re a great conversationalist or not, if you show owners (and their pups!) respect, they’ll be referring their fellow pet owners and friends to you in no time!
Did you know that you could learn discipline? Some of us are born with it while others have to learn it. If you’re taking an online dog grooming course, it’s likely self-paced. This means that there are no deadlines or due dates you have to follow. Because there’s nobody breathing down your neck, you’ll need to self-motivate and actively set aside time to do your course.
Imagine that your schedule becomes packed. Or, there is an issue that prevents you from continuing your course at the pace you were going. That’s fine! The beauty of online learning in a self-paced course is that you can slide it temporarily to the backburner without penalty. You have the option of picking it back up whenever it suits you. But the tricky part is actually getting back on the saddle.
The truth is, nobody can help you move forward if you yourself don’t want to. Remind yourself why you started. Have your goals in mind, start constructing a timeline, and weave it into your schedule. As you complete your course, you’ll find that keeping yourself disciplined gets easier. Keep your momentum going!
We’re talking about two types of patience here. The first: your patience in your demeanor.
Your demeanor should be patient and compassionate at all times, too. Being composed during the grooming appointment is essential. Especially with anxious dogs or those that require special care – such as puppies or senior dogs. Be calm and exert a sense of gentle control around the dog. Dogs are super intuitive. If you’re not projecting confidence, patience, and warmth, they’ll be able to sense it.
The second way you should be patient is with the actual grooming process. One of the easiest examples to consider is removing mats. Mats are painful enough for the dog. If you tug on them repeatedly with force just to get it done faster, you’ll end up doing more harm than good. Be patient when working. Even if you’re late for your next appointment, this isn’t something you can rush. Have patience with your pooches!
4. Attention to Detail
An untrained dog groomer probably wouldn’t know about other grooming services that aren’t as obvious as combing a dog’s coat and giving them a bath when they’re dirty. In your dog grooming course, you’ll learn exactly how to groom a dog for hygiene. For example, ear cleaning is a three-part process. The ears are an area prone to infection. You’ll learn how to remove hairs from in and around the ear canal, remove dirt and debris, and then flush out excess wax.
You’ll also learn about clipping their nails safely, deshedding thick coats, expressing anal glands, and more. They might not have the biggest visual effect even after spending a good amount of time on them. But these services require your utmost attention when performing them. Be as thorough as possible! Overlooking these finer details can result in health problems such as infections!
For a visual example of attention to detail, check out this course sample on grooming a poodle! Watch how QC Pet Studies Instructor Paddy Gaffney navigates shaving the face when it comes to the flew!
5. Business Skills
This entry is one of the defining elements that set professional groomers from the hobbyists. If you haven’t been bit by the business bug, you might not know where to start when it comes to starting your own business.
It’s a lot of hard work, but it’s extremely rewarding. Yes, some parts of it aren’t fun. Even talking about scheduling, purchasing supplies, and balancing the books has us dozing off. But if your dream is to become a grooming salon owner, or even expand to a team of groomers, basic business skills are a must. Luckily, a good dog grooming course will include business units and career resources to set you down the right path!
6. Time Management
Once you’ve established your business, you’ll start seeing your time book up quicker and with more clients. Sometimes you might see as many as six dogs walking through your salon each day! Of course, you won’t always be tapped to provide a full-service groom. You’ll need to know how to estimate your working pace as it progresses throughout the day, and schedule the appropriate amount of time for each appointment.
Another factor you should consider is your energy levels throughout a typical work day. You’ll probably have lots of energy at the beginning of the day. But by 5pm, you might be physically exhausted from lifting and grooming dogs for 8 hours. Knowing your stamina will allow you to better arrange your schedule so you provide the best possible service to your clients.
Did we miss any other skills? Let us know!
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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!