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Sarah-Lynn Seguin

How to Become a Dog Groomer When You’re Introverted

dog groomer cuddling with dog

Do you have a love of dogs, and dreams of revolving your professional career around them? Then you’re in luck! Dog grooming is not only an extremely rewarding career; it also happens to be a perfect path for those of us on the introverted side. Now, if you’re wondering how to become a dog groomer in the first place, never fear. We’ve got all the answers you’re looking for!

Let’s take a look at why dog grooming is such a great profession for introverts – and how you can earn your certification, plus start your own business, in a way that works best for YOU!

What’s an Introvert?

The biggest factor that sets introverts apart from extroverts is how they charge their internal battery. Extroverts thrive best in social settings. Their internal batteries tend to deplete when they go too long without human contact of some kind. Quite simply, introverts are the opposite. Their internal batteries charge from time spent alone, in their personal comfort zone.

Why is Dog Grooming Perfect for Introverts?

Of course, you’ll still be expected to interact with your (human) clients throughout the day. But these interactions will only make up a small percentage of your daily work! For the most part, your time will be spent with the pooches. This means minimal contact with people, and maximum contact with dogs!

dog groomer blow drying pug on grooming table

Could there be anything better?

Keep in mind that if you’re employed within a salon, you’ll also be surrounded by your fellow colleagues on a regular basis. However, for many introverts, this won’t be a problem. Friendships are often formed with ease in this kind of industry, so there will usually be at least one person around with whom you enjoy spending time.

Pro Tip: If you prefer to work on your own, or focus best on your job when it’s just you and your client’s dog, another option is to launch your very own grooming business! That way, you can be your own boss and create your optimal working environment.

How to Become a Dog Groomer in 4 Easy Steps

1 – Do Your Training Online!

These days, in-person schooling is still not entirely safe. Many aspiring students don’t want to risk their health for the sake of getting an education, and understandably so. Luckily, the same high-quality dog grooming education can be found online!

how to become a dog groomer - woman training from home on laptop

There are plenty of perks to online learning that particularly benefit the introverted. For example:

  • You don’t need to attend a physical classroom. You can work from the comfort of your own home!
  • You aren’t required to learn in the company of other students. Instead, it’ll just be you and your virtual tutor for the entire duration of the program!
  • You won’t be forced to adhere to set deadlines or schedules. Not everyone learns at the same pace, or has the free time needed to abide by strict due dates.
  • You’ll still get hands-on training. Just because the schooling is online, doesn’t mean you won’t still get plenty of practical experience. Gain real-life training by working on dogs you know and people you’re already comfortable with!

2 – Use the Internet to Network!

Once you’ve earned your certification, you’ll likely already have built the beginnings of your network; courtesy of the tutors, fellow students, and graduates in your school’s community. Going forward, the internet can also serve as a powerful tool to allow you to keep networking and expanding your connections!

two dogs cuddling on cushion

Establish a presence on social media. Follow and comment on the work of other groomers in your area, and even reach out via private messenger. Ask your friends and family to recommend your services online, and join all sorts of chat rooms, grooming groups, and forums.

3 – Start Your Own Dog Groomer Business!

We mentioned it before, but it’s worth mentioning again. If you happen to be an introverted dog groomer, why not be your own boss?

Set your own hours, choose which services you want to offer, and operate from wherever you choose! As a self-employed groomer with their own business, you’ll have tons of options as your disposal, such as:

  • Working out of your own home
  • Providing mobile grooming services and traveling to clients’ homes
  • Contracting your services to other businesses, salons, etc.

You’ll get to set all the boundaries and terms. This way, you can ensure that you’re always working under circumstances where you can best shine!

4 – Offer Virtual Services!

It goes without saying that if you want to be a successful dog groomer, you’re going to have to, you know, actually groom. This service can’t exactly be provided online. However, there are plenty of other related services that CAN.

From a business perspective, offering additional services is always going to be a plus (so long as the extra efforts don’t detract from the most important aspects of your business). Here are just a few ideas of virtual services you can offer, that are likely to increase your online presence and attract more clients:

  • Virtual consultations
  • Writing and/or vlogging for dog grooming companies, blogs, and publications
  • Start your OWN dog grooming blog and/or vlog
  • Become an authority on dog grooming on social media
  • Sell dog grooming products and/or tools online
  • Teach virtual dog grooming classes

For the common introvert, these are all awesome ways to continue growing your business, making a profit, and appealing to new clients – without ever depleting your internal battery!

close up of dog getting haircut from dog groomer

So, what are you waiting for? The world is your oyster, and it’s time for you to make the most of it by pursuing the career of your dreams!

Want to earn TWO professional certifications for the price of ONE? Learn how to be a dog groomer by enrolling in QC’s leading online Dog Grooming Course, and we’ll give you our First Aid for Groomers Course… absolutely FREE!

My Top Tips for Increasing Your Dog Groomer Salary

professional groomer increasing her dog groomer salary through excellent customer service

QC Pet Studies graduate, Casey Bechard, works as a full-time dog groomer and shop manager at Off The Leash Pet Grooming in Regina, Canada. Today, she shares her top 2 tips for boosting your dog groomer salary.

It’s no joke when I tell you that you can make quite the dog groomer salary in this line of business! Admittedly, though, there are factors that can affect your level of success. Depending on location, the demand, local competition, etc. some groomers might make more than others.

Where you provide your services can play a part, too. For instance, your dog groomer salary might be a bit different for brand new groomers freshly entering the industry, compared to a seasoned expert. Similarly, you might see a different income when you operate out of your own home vs. in a salon.

All that to be said, I have some tips and tricks that may help you increase your dog groomer salary! While the following may seem like little, easy things, you’ll find that they’ll actually go a LONG way for your business…

dog groomery cutting dog's hair

1 – Get Your Name Out There!

You might think this is pretty straightforward. The problem is that most people don’t understand the level of work that actually goes into this marketing strategy.

If you’re thinking, ‘I just have to talk to some people, hand out a few business cards, and I’ll start racking in the clients‘ – then you’re already on the wrong track. I wish that’s all you had to do! But in reality, the process requires a lot more effort than that.

Now personally, I didn’t start my own salon, and I didn’t provide grooming services out of my home. Rather, I work alongside other people at an established grooming business. When I first started, I was lucky enough to have a mentor to guide me and lift me up. It also helped that they could put in a good word about me to clients.

But although all that was nice, I still wanted to do my share. I wanted to play an active role in growing my career, and increase my dog groomer salary myself. So, I started taking action! Here are a few things I did that I found to be extremely effective:

Promoted Myself on Social Media

These days, everyone lives online. It’s basically an unwritten rule that if you want to succeed in the modern world, you NEED to have some sort of online presence. The greater that presence can be, the better.

With that in mind, I made an Instagram account and followed everyone in my area who had a dog. (Okay, maybe not everyone, but you get the idea.) From there, I began posting photos from my grooming portfolio. Making use of social media is a fun – and constructive – way to get your name out there and show people what you can do.

If potential clients can’t see your past grooms for themselves, or see what you have to offer them, then you’re just another groomer trying to make it. There won’t be anything unique setting you apart from the crowd. If you want to stand out from the competition, then it’s important not to fall into this trap. Showcase your best work for everyone to see!

Make your account your own. Once it’s ready, get your friends and family to follow and like your posts for a while, until your channel reaches more people. With my current Instagram account, I’ll have people follow me and then the next day, I’ll see that they booked their dog in with me. SO COOL!

Focusing some of your efforts on your social media strategies will be a great way to grow your clientele, get more bookings, and increase that dog groomer salary of yours.

Encouraged Word-of-Mouth

Word-of-mouth is something you can successfully establish through your level of high customer service. The longer your customers know you as a groomer, and trust your quality of work, the likelier they’ll be to recommend you to others.

Because let’s be real: your clients will often become like family after a while. Customers who are happy with your services will typically return back to you every 6-8 weeks. When you treat them (and their dogs) right, they’ll grow to trust you. Often, they’ll want to work with only you.

When you achieve such a fantastic reputation as a groomer, your clients will be guaranteed talk about you to their friends and family. That’s just the way she goes! As a result, you’ll hopefully get more bookings out of it, from people who can become long-term clients as well!

Another thing you can do is offer incentive and/or referral programs. For example, you can provide brand new customers the opportunity to get 10% off their first groom if they book with you. As another example, you can reward existing clients with discounted services, gifts, or a free groom whenever their personal recommendation results in you booking a new client.

I really, really appreciate the clients who continue to come and see me – and only me – to groom their dogs. It makes you feel good inside! Plus, long-term clients mean long-term bookings. These are people who can guarantee you that you’ll continue to make a dog groomer salary for the foreseeable future.

Talked to EVERY Client

This one is especially important!

Whether the owner is dropping off or picking up their pooch, you want to make sure that you talk to them each and every time. More importantly, establish that contact when they come to pick up their dog. Some things you can discuss with them include:

  • Telling them how their dog did during the appointment
  • If you have any concerns, based on what occurred during the appointment
  • Health issues that you wish to bring to their attention
  • If you have any recommendations (i.e. upkeep) for the owner once they’re back home, etc.

I feel that communicating with the client is a fundamental part of the grooming process as a whole. By chatting with you, the owner can better decide if they vibe well with you and like the work you did on their dog. Sometimes, they’ll want to book their NEXT appointment with you right then and there!

Of course, that’s always great because then you’re guaranteed another groom from them – which means money for you.

2 – Add Extra Services to Your Business!

In our shop, how we charge for things might be a little different than others. The initial price is determined by the breed of the client’s dog. Then we build off of this base rate with ‘add-ons’, as chosen by the customer.

So, if a client wanted their dog to get their teeth brushed, or have a blueberry facial, those would be extra charges (or add-ons). By adding extra services to the appointment, it all adds up pretty quickly. For every appointment, my co-workers and I then get a commission for the total amount rendered.

This is an example of a smart, effective way to set your rates, package your services, and add extra services to your business. That being said, your rates should always be set in a way that’s realistic, and won’t alienate all of your customers. While you should always charge for your worth, it’s important to remember not to get greedy either – otherwise it can have a negative impact.

It’s important to be transparent about your prices, too. Don’t try to hide your rates, or sneak them up on clients. When first making these changes in your business, don’t be surprised if some customers aren’t sure how to feel about them. They may be hesitant at first, and may have questions.

Honesty is always the best policy! Answer all of their inquiries to the best of your ability – but don’t hesitate to also tell them the awesome benefits of your extra services, too! There are plenty of clients who will be happy to pay a few extra dollars to spoil their pup. For others, even if they don’t plan to purchase those services, the fact that you offer them in the first place can still look great on your part!

dog groomer holding dog's paw while shaving its stomach

Earning a reliable dog groomer salary is understandably important. But it’s also important to remember that it’s not the main priority. Instead, your job is about interacting with the clients and their dogs in a way that leaves a positive impression. It’s about putting in the effort to assure them they’re in good hands. It’s about keeping an open line of honest communication at all times.

Above all else, the #1 priority of your career should always be the health, safety, and satisfaction of your client’s dog!

That being said, I hope that I’ve been able to show you that there are many ways to make money in this industry and boost your dog groomer salary. So, take care, and as always, happy grooming!

One major way to increase your dog groomer salary is by earning a reputable certification! Start your training with QC Pet Studies today!

4 Factors That Affect the Self-Employed Dog Groomer Salary

self-employed dog groomer holding boston terrier after bath

Becoming a self-employed dog groomer is a wonderful way for you to do what you love for a living, while also getting to be your own boss. As the owner of your very own business, you have the unique freedom to:

  • Set your own hours
  • Choose where you work
  • Offer the services you enjoy doing most
  • Tailor your services towards specific niches within the industry (i.e. competition grooming, large breed grooming, etc.)
  • Book your own clients
  • Determine your own rates
  • And so much more!

But what will your income actually look like? Well, there are many factors that can affect the self-employed dog groomer salary. On the one hand, this means that it can sometimes be difficult to anticipate a concrete annual income. But on the other hand, it also means that you have a lot of opportunities to increase your salary through the right strategies!

So, what are some of the biggest factors that can impact your self-employed dog groomer salary? Here are 4 of them!

1. Are you Certified?

This is a big one. Technically, little to no education is actually required in order to be a self-employed dog groomer or start up a business. In fact, many dog groomers don’t even have an actual certification on their resumes! But just because you don’t need to have this level of training, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get it anyways.

Think about it: would YOU get your hair cut by someone who had no professional training? Probably not.

In the world of self-employed groomers, there will be plenty of competition. But the fact is, many of them will be self-taught. You can give yourself a major edge by taking the time to learn the craft the right way, by a real industry professional. Clients will always choose the groomer who has a proper certification over one that doesn’t.

Your rates can reflect your level of training, too. If many of the other self-employed dog groomers in your area aren’t actually certified, you can afford to set your rates a little higher than what they’re charging.

Don’t worry about scaring off potential customers! You’ll quickly come to find that many pet owners are happy to pay a little bit extra, if it means their furry family member is in the hands of a true expert.

2. What Types of Services Do You Offer?

Are you a one-stop-shop for clients, or do you only offer particular grooming services? It goes without saying that the more services you provide, the wider your clientele will be – which means more profit for your business. While plenty of clients will want a la carte services, there will also be just as many who want to give Fluffy the full treatment.

If you limit the kinds of services your business offers by too much, you’ll also be limiting how financially successful your business can ultimately be.

All we’re saying is, don’t sell your career short. Research into the most popular grooming services needed in your area and make sure your business offers them. If you wish to only specialize in certain areas of the grooming industry, that’s totally your right. But unless there’s a strong demand for it where you live, just be warned that it can negatively impact your salary.

3. Where Do You Live?

Where you live often plays a big role in your self-employed dog groomer salary. For instance, if you’re in a small town, there may not be a very high demand for dog groomers. Of course, on the other hand, the demand could still be there – just with less local competition for you.

If this is the case, you’ll not only have primary access to the majority of local clients; you might also have grounds for charging a little bit more for your work compared to the going rate.

self-employed dog groomer shaving dog on grooming table

Depending on the demand for your services, living in a small area can either work for or against you. It’s all a matter of how YOU approach the situation, and how well you use your circumstances to your advantage.

The same can easily be said for large cities, too. While largely populated areas will often equal a higher demand for dog groomers, it typically also means a lot more competition in your area. However, if you play your cards right, this can wind up being a very good thing for your business.

Find ways to set yourself apart from the other groomers in your city. Continue to pursue further training and education, so you can always remain current and build upon your qualifications. The stronger you are as a groomer, the more clients you’ll attract – and the more you can justify raising your service rates.

4. What Sort of Equipment Do You Use?

The thing about being a self-employed dog groomer is that you’re the one responsible for financing the entire business. In addition to the day-to-day workings of running this business, another thing you’ll need to budget for is your actual grooming equipment.

This will obviously require some sort of investment on your part, but it’ll be worth it in the long run. Make sure you invest in high-quality, reliable tools. You can be the best groomer in the world, but if your tools are falling apart or not properly maintained, you won’t be able to do your job!

Not to mention, clients will rarely want to hand their dog over to someone with sub-part grooming equipment. In their eyes, the state of your tools reflects your skill level. Bad equipment will likely mean a bad groom.

It makes sense, then, that the more well-kept and up-to-date your equipment is, the more customers you’ll attract to your business. This means a higher income as a result of regular bookings!

Note: This isn’t to say that you always have to pay top dollar in order to have the best equipment, though. Here are 5 affordable ways to stock up your grooming kit with excellent equipment, without going broke in the process!

Are you ready to become a self-employed dog groomer and launch the career of your dreams? There’s no time like the present, so get started today!

3 Dog Owner Types You Should Blacklist from Your Dog Grooming Business

Let’s be real for a second: your dog groomer training taught you how to tend to a dog with the professionalism and finesse of a true pro! Chances are, your training also introduced you to some of the different kinds of clients you’ll encounter throughout your career. Unfortunately, there are some types of clients that you’ll only come face to face with once you’re in the real world, booking jobs.

Of course, we’re referring to nightmare clients. These are the people whose level of ignorance is so profound that you might find yourself questioning your skills, your worth, and even your sanity.

But you aren’t required to work with these people! After all, you went through all that dog groomer training and launched your own business so that you can be in charge of your career. You didn’t come all this way just to get abused by the wrong types of customers!

Here are 3 examples of clients you should think twice about working with…

1. The Anti-Masker

We’re in the middle of a pandemic, and yet for SOME bizarre reason, some people think they don’t need to wear a mask. Well, as a professional dog groomer, you know better. Your business needs to be run safely. Part of this means that you, fellow staff, and all clients NEED to wear face masks when in your work space.

If a potential client refuses to wear their mask? Easy peasy lemon squeezy: guess they’re not getting Fluffy groomed until they do!

They might throw a tantrum, and threaten to huff and puff until they blow the house down, but stick to your guns. No mask, no service. It’s better to lose this one stubborn customer than it would be to potentially contract something dangerous, and pass it along to other clients.

2. The Know-It-All

This is the kind of client who thinks they know everything there is to know about dog breeds and proper grooming, despite having never received any form of dog groomer training in their life. They may base their ‘facts’ off of what they read online, or simply off of their aesthetic preferences. If they want a certain kind of cut, but you know it wouldn’t be optimal, due to their dog’s breed?

Too bad! They’ll expect you to do it anyway!

The Know-It-All may also be prone to having unrealistic expectations. In their mind, they want it done a certain way, and it’s your job to make them happy. Even if it’s not in their pooch’s best interests, or it’s beyond your capabilities as a groomer.

The best part? If you try your best to give them what they demand and it doesn’t turn out the way they wanted (as you expected, and tried to warn them), it’ll still somehow be your fault. Fun times.

3. The Non-Payer

Ahh, the ‘Non-Payer’. We all know exactly the type of client this is, although the Non-Payer can come in many forms. They’ll believe they’re above you in every way, and that the world revolves around them. “The customer is always right” is their favorite expression. It’s probably the mantra they repeat to themselves during their morning yoga routine.

Non-Payers will have unrealistic expectations, and threaten to destroy your career if you ever have the audacity to not meet them. For example, this is the kind of client who would likely not understand that you’re a groomer and not a vet, but will expect the same types of services out of you. Then, when you can’t provide them, they’ll demand to speak to the manager, potentially start filming, and promise to leave you a scathing review online.

And, of course, they’ll refuse to pay for the services you’ve already provided them.

A Non-Payer will be your best friend until you do something they don’t like. Then the beast will be unleashed. Unfortunately, the politer and more professional you are in response to a Non-Payer, the more it will only feed their rage. It’s important not to get intimidated and switch tactics, though. Continue being respectful and polite, even if it’s to tell her to leave.

Non-Payers are drained of their power so long as you maintain the moral high ground.

Tips for Dealing with These Types of Clients

While it’s 100% your call whether you choose to blacklist a client from your business or not, the main point we’re trying to get across here is that you’re not obligated to service clients who treat you poorly.

Of course, there can be plenty of example of these 3 kinds of clients who may be frustrating, but may not cross the line into “I’ll never work for you again” territory. Ultimately, you need to use your best judgement, and decide based on your comfort level.

Should any of these kinds of clients really take it too far and cross a line, though, remember the following:

  1. Remember your dog groomer training. YOU’RE the expert in this situation. While a client’s input will always be valuable, there’s a reason why you’re the one with the professional certification.
  2. Provide them with one chance, and one chance only. If a client treats you in a way that you know is unacceptable, don’t book with them again. If you let them get away with it once, they’ll believe they can get away with it a second time.
  3. Trust your gut. If you get a bad vibe from a client, feel incredibly uncomfortable, or get any other sort of terrible gut feeling when interacting with a client, don’t ignore it. You want your workspace to be one you want to come back to every day. If you continue to service a client who makes you feel negatively, it can wind up sucking the joy out of your work.
  4. Don’t let their intimidation tactics scare you. There will ALWAYS be more customers out there for you. Stand your ground and don’t let a bad client bully you into submission. So what if you lose one lousy client? There will be plenty of awesome ones headed your way in the future, so focus on them instead!
  5. Always remain professional and polite, no matter how they treat you. Don’t get swept up in the moment and stoop to their level. Even if you need to tell them to leave, so long as you’re conducting yourself respectfully, you’ll always maintain the upper hand in this type of situation.

Can you think of any other kinds of nightmare clients you should blacklist from your grooming business? Let us know in the comments below!

Start your dog groomer training today by enrolling in QC’s internationally-leading online Dog Grooming Course.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Dog Groomer?

I remember the day I finished University… It was 2013, and I was 21-years-old. I’d been a student for basically 95% of my life, and let me tell you, the final year of my post-secondary degree was brutal. I couldn’t wait to be done! After staying away for over 48 hours to cram for my final exam, and feeling like I wrote it in a zombified state, I walked out and made a decision: I was NEVER going back to school ever again!

Of course, as the years went on, I quickly realized that part of the problem was that I hadn’t actually gone to school for the thing I was most passionate about. That is what really makes all the difference, isn’t it? By the time this dawned on me, however, I was faced with a whole new dilemma…

With my 30s just around the corner, would I even want to have to devote 2-4 MORE years of my life to education? For many mature students, this is one of the largest roadblocks. You want that dream career, but in order to get it, you have to postpone it even longer first.

Maybe this is you, and all of this sounds little too familiar. Or, perhaps you’re that younger version of me who’s fresh out of high school, looking towards the future, and trying to decide what it is you want to do with your life. Either way, I have the same piece of advice, and it can be summed up in to 3 little words:

FOLLOW YOUR DREAM!

If you’re reading this, I assume you have an innate love of animals. In particular, dogs. I don’t blame you. Dogs are pretty much better than people in every single way, and no one can change my mind about that. I’m willing to go one step further and assume that because you’re reading this, you’ve dabbled with the idea of becoming a professional groomer and devoting your life’s work to this industry.

Let me just say upfront: this is an AWESOME idea! Getting to work with all sorts of dogs on a daily basis? Sounds like heaven to me.

Obviously, you understand that a proper education is critical for this type of job. While plenty of places don’t necessarily require you to have formal training, you know full well that you won’t be able to have a successful career without it. But therein lies what I’m willing to bet is one of the things probably holding you back: actually committing to this necessary education.

So, I’m going to let you in on an amazing secret… Are you ready? Here it is…

You can become a certified, professional dog groomer AND start booking clients in as little as 9-12 months.

Yeah, you heard me.

Now, there are admittedly certain factors that play into this estimated time frame – and it really all boils down to the type of grooming school you choose to attend. Some academies will have longer programs, while others can potentially have you graduating in even less time than one year.

The choice, ultimately, is yours.

So, how long does it take to become a dog groomer, really? Let’s take a look at your options!

Apprenticeship Programs

As we mentioned above, most places don’t enforce strict formal education in order for one to become a dog groomer. At most, you usually just need to have a high school diploma (or its equivalent). The good news is, this means you have plenty of different choices you can choose from, in terms of how you want to get your training.

One popular option is an Apprenticeship Program. Here, you’ll shadow an experienced groomer, and learn the ropes from under their knowledgeable wing. Opportunities for an apprenticeship can either be found through established businesses (i.e. Petco, PetSmart, etc.), or by approaching freelance groomers who run their own ships. Apprenticeship Programs typically last anywhere from 6-10 weeks in length.

One obvious perk is that your exposed to hands-on training, pretty much from the get-go. One downside is that you’re not so much learning all the theory and foundational knowledge you’d be taught from an actual course. It’s important to remember that while shadowing a seasoned dog groomer is undoubtedly useful, they’re not a trained instructor.

In-Person Grooming Classes

This is another popular option, and one that provides you with an actual education. The average in-person grooming course takes approximately one year (2 semesters) to finish, followed by further hands-on training in the field.

You’ll get to be tutored by professional who not only knows proper grooming, but knows how to teach it to you in a way you’ll understand. The brick-and-mortar environment also allows you to meet others aspiring groomers and develop alongside them. These peers can easily form the beginnings of your professional network.

There are some downsides though, too. For starters, in-person courses can sometimes get pretty expensive. You’re also forced to adhere to the school’s strict schedule and deadlines. If you have a busy schedule as it is, a full-time job, or a family to care for, in-person classes might not be flexible enough for your availability.

Of course, there’s also the elephant in the room to address: the global pandemic we’re currently in the middle of. Most schools are still closed down, or only offering virtual classes. While social distancing is still a thing, in-person dog grooming courses may not be the best choice right now.

Online Grooming Classes

We live in the age of online living, so it’s only natural that online learning has become a prevalent method of education in recent years. Not only are you provided with the exact same, high-quality schooling you would be in a brick-and-mortar setting; your studies are catered to YOUR needs.

Most online schools will allow you to work at your own pace, on your own time. You won’t be pressured by external deadlines, or even need to put yourself at risk of being exposed to COVID-19. You can maximize the time you’re already spending at home by earning a reputable certification AND the business knowledge needed to launch your very own grooming business.

What could be better?

Since your online dog grooming course will likely be self-paced, it’s really up to YOU how quickly you want to finish it. The students and graduates of QC Pet Studies, for example, have stated that by simply putting a few hours per week to their schoolwork, they were able to finish their grooming course in as little as 9-12 months.

If you’re looking for a more concrete idea of how many hours QC’s Dog Grooming Course takes to complete, the answer is roughly 80-130 hours. Again, this depends on how you choose to approach your studies, and the time you’ll take to practice and develop your skills before you complete each assignment.

Keep in mind that you have 2 full years to complete your QC program, so you can create a schedule that works best for you! You can find a full course outline here, which should help give you a better idea of the depth of the course and assignments.

Learn more about making the most of your online grooming course here!

If you only take ONE thing away from this article, I want it to be this: don’t put off your dreams any longer! Yes, 2020 has been a stressful year for all of us, but there’s no reason you can’t finish it on a high note and make it your year, all the same. End 2020 off right by kick-starting your dream career, becoming a true grooming expert, and booking your very first client!

How to Fail Your Dog Grooming Class in 5 Easy Steps!

They say that if done through a reputable school, online education is just as informative and valuable as its brick-and-mortar alternative. It stands to reason, then, that your online dog grooming class should be just as challenging, insightful, and rewarding as an in-person dog grooming class. Right?

Yes! The right school will provide you with the same high-quality training, regardless of whether it’s online or in a physical classroom. The key factor is what YOU’RE willing to put into your education.

Now it’s time to paws (heh) and be frank. For or those of you who are here to work hard, study, and truly learn, this isn’t the article for you. Nah, today we’re here to give a big shout out to everyone out there who thinks that since their dog grooming class is online, they can breeze through it with little to no effort.

If that happens to be you, then welcome – you’re going to love the tips we’re about to reveal to you! Because although there are plenty of ways to completely bomb your online dog grooming class, these 5 are especially effective.

5 Steps to Flunking (Majorly Hard) in Your Online Dog Grooming Class

Step 1: Pick an online dog grooming school at random

Sure, doing thorough research into online academies can help you determine which school is the best fit for you… But come on, who actually has time for that?

Don’t worry, we’re sure every school out there is totally legit. Not ONE of them will be a scammer, and they surely won’t be after nothing but your money. In fact, why even get hands-on experience in the first place? Plenty of online dog grooming classes out there can tell you everything you need to know with nothing but multiple-choice quizzes!

Those who try to tell you the importance of hands-on training are just spouting fake news! Feel free to simply practice what you think are the proper techniques over and over in your mind. You’ll be totally fine once you actually try your skills on a living, breathing animal.

Step 2: Ignore your course materials

All those extremely helpful instructional videos are just too tedious to have to watch in their entirety. Go ahead and skip through them, or just not watch them at all! Oh sure, they contain critical information that will help you build your skills and become a better dog groomer. But there’s also that new series on Netflix that’s calling your name, too.

Priorities, am I right!?

On the other hand, maybe you’re not a very big reader. It’s cool; you can learn everything you need to know by watching a few YouTube videos. The people there may not be reputable industry experts, but really, how hard can it be to give a dog a haircut?

Also – and I cannot stress this enough – if you DO decide to try your hand at the practical assignments, do NOT take your time! Throw meticulousness and precision out the window, and race against the clock. The final results may be horrific and the dog’s owner may be furious, but they should’ve known the risks involved when they agreed to let you practice on their pooch. Honestly, you can’t be held responsible for that!

Point is: the sooner you can get the groom done, the sooner you can submit your assignment. The real end goal of your dog grooming class is to get that precious certification. It’s totally, 100%, in NO way about the valuable educational experience and industry skills you’ll equip yourself with along the way.

Step 3: Realize that all dog breeds are the SAME

What’s this nonsense I hear about different dog breeds having different coats, requiring different grooming techniques, etc.? So long as it barks, it’s a dog. Their breed has absolutely no impact on how you should approach the grooming process.

So, when your dog grooming class is trying to teach you about different breeds and why they matter, a really effective method I recommend is covering your eyes and shouting, “LA LA LA LA LA,” at the top of your lungs.

Step 4: Disregard your professional grooming tools entirely

If you happened to have lucked out, and the random online dog grooming class you enrolled in happens to come from a trustworthy school, then you’ve likely been provided with your very own set of high-quality grooming tools. Esteemed dog grooming schools will ensure to teach you all about these tools, and how to operate them properly, throughout your course curriculum.

Don’t be fooled, though – you don’t actually need ‘em. Even though it’s extremely important that you do, there are also craftier, more practical alternatives.

For example, you can find everything you need to groom a dog already within your own home. Those massive scissors you keep in the kitchen drawer? Yep, good enough to cut dog hair! Your personal nail clippers, shampoo, and toothpaste? Boom, you’re good to go!

Yeah, your instructor will probably give you a bad grade for doing this. But don’t worry, they’re just wrong.

Step 5: Leave everything to the last minute

Time management is for nerds. You already have a love for dogs, and you already know how to hold a pair of clippers without stabbing yourself in the eye, so what’s the point in devoting any more of your time to actually studying – let alone at a proper pace?

The best online dog grooming classes will be taught by schools who understand the need for flexibility and self-paced learning. QC Pet Studies, for example, gives you a full 2 YEARS to complete your program, starting on the date when you enroll. During that time, though, there are no deadlines for any of your assignments, quizzes, or units.

You know what this means, right? A FREE PASS to do literally nothing until those 2 years are nearly up! Seriously, how sweet of a gig is that? You’d never be able to get away with that in a physical classroom! Plus, since online tutors probably don’t take their job as seriously as brick-and-mortar instructors, they’ll never be able to tell you difference!

Trust me, it’s cool. For real. Just leave everything until about a week before the final deadline, and then just cram super hard for a few days. With luck on your side, you’ll still be able to get a (barely) passable grade and graduate anyways!

Even if you start your career with little to no useful skills, you’ll easily be able to hide it from your future clients. They totally won’t be able to tell the difference between a great groom and an atrocious one.

Okay, let’s drop the charade…

I’m sure you all caught on pretty quickly that the ‘tips’ recommended in this article should in NO way be followed. Dog grooming should be taken seriously. It requires commitment, passion, self-discipline, and a willingness to properly learn the craft. If you’re truly dedicated to making this your long-term career, you won’t just want to be ‘good’. You’ll push yourself to be EXCEPTIONAL!

Do the necessary research, take your time, and find a well-respected school that suits you best. The honest truth is, so long as these criteria are met, it won’t matter if that grooming school is online or in-person. You’ll receive the same life-changing education, and be truly prepared to take the industry by storm.

It all boils down to what YOU’RE willing to put into it. So always make sure you put in your very best!

Until August 14th, get a DOUBLE certification through QC Pet Studies! Enroll in our internationally-leading online Dog Grooming Course, and in addition to knocking $150 OFF your tuition, you’ll also get our First Aid for Groomers Course – absolutely free!

Dog Haircuts 101: Breaking Down the Basics

As a professional groomer, you’re going to be responsible for countless dog haircuts over the course of your career. With the proper training and education, you can make Fluffy look her very best! Without it, though, your client’s dog can walk out looking like a bit of a train-wreck (to put it nicely).

Don’t worry, though, we’ve got you covered! Let’s break down the basic elements you absolutely need to do about dog haircuts. As a bonus, we’ll even reveal to you the #1 secret to becoming a clipper-wielding wizard!

Knowing the Right Dog Haircuts for the Right Breeds

When you have your client consultation, you’ll be able to learn more about their dog and ask the right questions to best determine what haircut would be the best fit. Sometimes it has to do with the breed; other times, it’s the dog’s health, lifestyle, and/or coat condition you need to factor in. And of course, sometimes it just boils down to your client’s preferences!

With time and experience, you’ll be able to look at a dog, know exactly which questions to ask, and confidently know the types of haircut to recommend.

What’s in a Name?

Because there are tons of different dog haircuts, there are tons of different haircut names. While many of them are undeniably cute (such as the “teddy bear” haircut or the “bikini cut”), they’re admittedly a bit ambiguous.

Contrary to popular belief, there isn’t really a “one size fits all” way to do any single cut. A client can walk into a salon in one city and ask for a teddy bear cut, and get one thing. But another client on the other side of the world can ask for the same haircut and get different results. It really depends on region, the groomer’s expertise, and the individual’s preferences.

If your client requests a particular haircut, your best bet is to discuss it with them first and make sure they understand what you’d be doing, and how that haircut will look at the end. It’s a good idea to keep pictures of standard cuts on hand, to make sure the owner’s vision matches your own! This way, everyone’s on the same page. You can ensure that your client’s expectations are aligned with the realistic outcome.

Different Kinds of Dog Haircuts

Full-Body Cuts

Full-body dog haircuts define a dog’s overall look, since they alter the length of the coat on the face, body, legs, and tail. Some popular full-body cuts include:

  • The teddy bear cut
  • The shave
  • The kennel cut
  • The lamb cut
  • The poodle cut
  • The sporting cut
  • The bikini cut

Head Cuts

Clients may come in and in terms of a trim, request nothing but a head cut. Alternately, you may be pressed for time during the appointment. Either way, if a haircut is requested, tending to the dog’s face is always a priority. That is, after all, the part of the dog’s body where your client tends to focus on most in day-to-day life!

The goal with all head cuts is to choose a style that attractively enhances the dog’s natural expression and head shape. For dogs with long hair, it’s also a safety measure to clear out any unwanted fur that’s shielding their eyes and impeding their vision. Just make sure to take extra care and precaution when using any of your grooming tools near a dog’s face. It’s a very sensitive area, after all!

Common head cuts you’ll perform throughout your career will include:

  • The clean face
  • The topknot
  • Tipped ears

Foot Cuts

Too much hair on a dog’s feet and pads can lead to decreased traction, in addition to an increase of tangling. Foot cuts help to prevent this, as well as help keep the dog’s feet cleaner overall! Your dog grooming training will help you differentiate the different kinds of dog breeds, and how those breeds determine the ideal shape and appearance of the foot.

The clean foot and the round foot, for example, are both standard foot cuts you’ll come across.

Hygiene Cuts

These type of dog haircuts are usually needed when hair needs to be removed from a specific area on the body, in order to keep the dog healthy and clean. Here are a few examples of different hygiene cuts, and why they’re needed:

  • The maternity cut – performed on pregnant dogs, and done by shaving the dog’s belly from the armpits to the groin. This particular cut exposes her nipples to her pups, while also ensuring that the area remains clean while she is nursing.
  • The sanitary cut – involves trimming the hair around the dog’s genitalia, to prevent urine, feces, and other unwanted debris from getting tangled in the fur.
  • The T-cut – involves gently clipping the hair under the dog’s armpits, followed by a line straight down the stomach (forming the letter ‘T’). These areas are often forgotten by owners when brushing, and can be prone to matting. The T-cut prevents this, allowing the dog to be more comfortable.

The Secret to Becoming a Clipper-Wielding Wizard is…

Getting proper training, of course!

(Really, are you at all surprised by this answer?)

An education in dog grooming is an excellent way to stay ahead of the competition and impress your clients. Even more importantly, it strengthens YOUR skill-set and makes you the best dog groomer you can be!

After all, in this industry, it’s not enough to simply love dogs. You absolutely have to know what you’re doing, too! When you have both of these things, there’ll be nothing that can stop you!

From dog haircuts, to behavior and temperament, to proper grooming techniques – QC’s leading online Dog Grooming Course will turn you into a true expert! Enroll today and start your dream career!

How the Pandemic Has Affected My Dog Grooming Career

QC Pet Studies graduate, Casey Bechard, works as a full-time dog groomer and shop manager at Off The Leash Pet Grooming in Regina, Canada. Today, she discusses how COVID-19 has affected her dog grooming career.

What a time we are living in right now! I hope this blog posts finds everyone safe and healthy. I feel honored to be sharing my story of how the world today is affecting my dog grooming career.

I’ll start by sharing what it was like at the start of all this. Then I’ll touch on how I was feeling before going back to work, as well as how things are going now.

Closing the Shop

When COVID-19 really started making waves, my boss and I were hesitant about closing the shop. But it also unfortunately made sense. Once the world was declared to be in a pandemic and social distancing started happening, business really slowed down.

To put this into perspective, I was down to grooming maybe 3 dogs a day – and that was considered a good day!

Going through that was kind of scary. We were all thinking, “Is this it? What if we never get busy again? If we close, how many clients will I lose?

Things like that were constantly going through my head. But ultimately, I think people were just scared; scared to leave their house and scared of going to a public place. Getting their dogs groomed was probably the last thing on their minds, and I can totally get that.

So when we decided to close, we weren’t sure for how long or what that would look like. In total, we were closed for just over a month. When our city decided to reopen businesses, that’s when we decided it was time for us to resume our services as well.

At that point, I was getting messages from people asking if we were open, as well as clients requesting that I go to their place to groom their dogs. So, it felt like the right time to open our doors again. You would not believe the response we had when we decided to reopen again!

All of our clients are amazing; they wanted to book with us right away. We were booked for nearly 3 weeks in advance! To me, that’s mind-blowing. I think the pandemic caused many of our clients to really take notice of what we go through as groomers.

When they couldn’t turn to us, people were trying to groom their dogs themselves while at home. I think a lot of them didn’t actually know how hard it would be. In a way, it’s almost as if some people now have a greater appreciation for groomers.

It was also great that everyone was really understanding and cooperative when it came to the safety protocols we set in place for the shop. Things went very smoothly once we opened again.

My point is, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, folks!

Getting Back At It

It was so weird getting back to a working environment after being forced to take that time off. For starters, everything looked a little different than before. We now had less staff, everything was by appointment only, and our daycare services were remaining closed.

Don’t get me wrong – we were busy and work was good.

But one thing that bothered me (or rather, made me sad) was that some of our best clients wound up turning to other groomers while we’d been closed. While I absolutely get that their dogs needed the service, it was still a disappointing blow.

This was especially the case when I saw that a lot of them were going onto social media and raving about how great this other place was. Many claimed that they were set on a new groomer. That definitely hurt, and we were all pretty bummed about it. We care about our clients, after all, and grow bonds with them and their dogs!

But we just had to keep focused on the clients that were continuing to support us. Those are the ones that matter and need our focus. Plus, we got a lot of new clients as well, which is great!

Worried About the Dogs

This was another concern. Being closed for as long as we were, we were scared to see what shape some of the dogs coming to us would look like. Some of our worries were:

  • Would the dog be matted to the skin?
  • Would they have only a few mats, or would they be in surprisingly great condition?
  • Will it take me longer than an hour and 15 minutes to get the job done?
  • Will I be falling behind a lot?

I think not knowing what to except with every dog coming in was definitely the hardest part. Personally, I absolutely HATE falling behind in my working day. Achieving excellent results in a timely fashion is very important to most groomers.

That being said, that sort of thing was out of our control. We needed to be able to adapt – and together, as a team, we did! My fellow groomers and I were always helping each other out when we needed it. If we noticed someone falling behind on a groom, we’d ask if they needed a hand, or if they wanted their next dog bathed.

Little things like that go a long way! It’s so important to have good people to work with, especially during difficult times. You can’t always do everything yourself. Having an extra set of hands can really turn a bad situation around.

Did this whole pandemic bring its fair share of ups and its downs? Oh, for sure. It was scary not knowing what the future looked like, but getting back into the swing of things really helped with my confidence, too.

If nothing else, it served as a reminder of how the grooming community always steps up and supports one another. We all banded together to try and make things better. Because really, everyone was in the same boat. We were ALL along for the ride!

Client Love

Like I’ve said before, our clients are amazing! They never fail to make us feel appreciated. We were getting extra tips, donuts, coffees, and sorts all other treats. Why? Because we love what we do, and they see that in the quality of our work.

In reality, if you think you’re failing or not doing well enough as a groomer, your clients and co-workers all have your back. Throughout COVID-19, there’s been a lot of uncertainty and confusion. Many of us have wondered at least once, “What do I do now?”

But when people were messaging me when we weren’t even open, asking for advice? That really gave me hope. It made me realize that pandemic or no pandemic, people are still going to need to have their dogs groomed. It’s really as simple as that.

Since we’ve re-opened, we’ve been SO busy! It’s been over 2 months now, and we’re just starting to see it slow down, and turn back into what our normal summers have looked like in the past. It’s a welcoming reminder that as crazy as the world’s been this year, we will eventually go back to how things once were. This difficult time won’t last forever.

Above all else, my hope for you is that no matter how hard things get in your dog grooming career (or even just in the world itself), you”ll try to always look on the bright side of things. Believe me, holding onto hope is the very thing that will always get you through the dark days. ❤️

In Hindsight…

When I think back on these past several months, it was definitely the not knowing that scared me the most. But once we got back to work, and I saw just how awesome our clients were to us, all that worry was gone.

Yeah, there have been a few bumps in the road along the way. I’ve had a few tired days. Ultimately, though, when I see all those clients going home happy, their pup freshly groomed in their arms… That’s always enough to put a smile on my face!

Why not maximize your time at home right now by earning your certification and kick-starting your OWN dog grooming career? Enroll today in QC’s leading online Dog Grooming Course, and be ready to work in as little as 3-6 months!

Dog Grooming Training – Part Two: The Importance of Brushing Before Styling

In Part One of our two-part series, we introduced the concept of prep work prior to styling. Specifically, we broke down the typical types of prep work you’ll perform (and why), as well as how it benefits you, your client, and their dog.

Today, let’s focus on a specific example of common prep work involved during the grooming process: brushing a dog. While there are many kinds of prep work, this one if of particular importance! After all, as we discussed in Part One, a lot of the prep work you do will be required regardless of whether a dog is getting trimmed or styled.

The Benefits of Brushing

Brushing a dog’s hair is vital to its overall well-being. In addition to removing dead, excess fur, it also:

  • Stimulates blood flow
  • Removes dirt and debris
  • Promotes relaxation
  • Reduces shedding and the risk of mats
  • Allows for a shinier, healthy coat

How Often Should a Dog be Brushed?

That really depends on the breed. Most dog breeds should be brushed at least 2 times per week. More specifically:

  • Minimal to no hair should be brushed every other week
  • Hair that’s short and smooth should be brushed once a week
  • Hair that’s short and wiry, curly, or short and double should be brushed 2 times per week
  • Hair that’s long and silky, long and coarse, or long and double-coated should be brushed 3-4 times per week

Obviously, it’s not realistic to expect your client to bring their pooch to you on a weekly basis (although some are more than happy to). But by knowing this useful information, you can better advise your client so they can perform maintenance while at home.

When to Brush a Dog During a Grooming Appointment

If you intend to give your client’s dog a bath, make sure to brush him before and after he gets washed. Brushing him before a bath will remove a ton of excess hair and dirt, which can save you time. In the same breath, if the dog has mats and tangles when they come to you, you’ll want to deal with those before bath time. Otherwise, the tangles risk getting even worse!

Once you’ve finished bathing and drying him, perform the second brush. Because you already prepped the dog with an initial brushing, followed by a proper bath, this second brushing will be a much quicker process. The goal here is simply to remove any loosened hair, smooth out the fur and ensure there are no lingering knots.

If you intend to clip the dog’s hair and style it later on, brushing first is essential! Matted hair can clog your clippers, not to mention put the dog at risk!

Different Ways to Brush

The type of brush you use will be dependent on the dog’s coat and individual needs. Your professional training will get you well-versed in all the different types of brushes within your dog grooming kit, along with which are best suited for certain breeds.

Here are a few examples, though, of brushing methods you’ll regularly use:

1. Pat and Pull

This is optimal for detangling a dog’s coat without injuring the skin. For this method, you’ll rely on a slicker brush. If your client’s dog has a longer coat, your slicker brush may need to have extra-long bristles.

Using a good amount of pressure, pat the brush into the dog’s hair until it reaches his skin. This will allow the brush to access the dog’s undercoat. Then pull the brush out.

For optimal results, use the line method when brushing a dog. This is done by lifting pieces of the dog’s fur, so you can work through it in smaller, more precise sections.

Pro Tip: Make sure that you don’t use too much pressure when brushing a dog. You don’t want to aggravate the dog’s skin by giving him brush burn! The more hands-on experience you get, the better you’ll become at knowing the best pressure to use.

2. Combing

After you’ve finished brushing Fluffy, it’s time to grab a comb from your dog grooming kit. Go back in and pass it through the fur, to make sure you did a thorough job with the brushing.

Start with a wide-toothed comb, and if it easily passes through the hair without resistance, switch to a narrow comb with finer teeth. The goal is to be able to comb all of the fur, down to the skin, without hitting any tangles.

If you’re able to do that, you’ve done a mighty fine job!

3. Deshedding

Deshedding is an important step before you bust out your clippers, and especially before you attempt to style the fur. That being said, you’ll find that many clients will come to you solely for deshedding services. This is particularly common in the spring and fall, the two major shedding seasons.

There are a number of tools you can use in your dog grooming kit to help deshed your client’s pup. Most often, you’ll find that undercoat rakes and deshedding blades will best do the trick.

That being said, this is where it’s once again important to know your dog breeds! Certain deshedding tools shouldn’t be used on specific breeds. For example, you should NOT use a deshedding blade on breeds with long, curly coats, such as:

  • Pumis
  • Poodles
  • American or Irish Water Spaniels
  • Spanish or Portuguese Water Dogs
  • Curly-coated Retrievers
  • Etc.

Want to Learn More?

The single best way to learn all there is to know about grooming prep work and techniques is to enroll in dog grooming school and receive professional training from certified experts! After all, to be the best, you need to learn from the best!

So, what are you waiting for? Get started today in QC’s internationally-leading online Dog Grooming Course, and get certified in as little as 3-6 months!

Dog Grooming Training: The Importance of Prep Work Before Styling – Part 1

As part of your dog grooming training, you’ll quickly discover that the work you do before any styling is just as important as the styling itself! Most dogs that walk into your shop won’t automatically be ready for a trim. They’ll need you to do some essential prep work first.

For instance, if a pup comes to you with matted fur, you won’t be able to safely cut or style their hair until those mats are first addressed and properly dealt with!

In Part One of our two-part series, we’ll start by looking at the types of prep work you’ll most commonly perform before any styling takes place. We’ll also examine why this work is so important, and how it can increase your chances of creating a successful grooming experience for your client AND their canine companions!

What is Prep Work?

In the world of grooming, dogs will rarely come to you 100% ready to hop on the table and immediately get a fabulous haircut. In reality, you’ll often need to perform certain tasks before any clipping or styling gets done.

Some dogs may have mats in their fur. Others may have dirty paws, or extremely long nails. At the start of every groom, it’s important for you to first assess the dog and see what needs to be taken care of before you break out the clippers.

Prep work actually makes up a large part of the grooming process!

Examples of Prep Work

The prep work required will vary from job to job. It really depends on the dog and their needs. Some examples of prep work you’ll frequently need to do include:

Note: Keep in mind that many dogs won’t require a fancy trim or style. Some will only ever come to you for prep work and small touch-ups. Certain breeds, such as German Shepherds and Dalmatians, will usually only require prep work services, due to their types of fur.

How Prep Work Benefits You:

Simply put, prep work makes styling your client’s dog a LOT easier. Why make things harder for yourself when you don’t have to?

For instance, all groomers aspire to work in an efficient and timely manner. Now, I know what you’re already thinking: but isn’t prep work time-consuming?

Yes, sometimes it can be, because you’ll need to add some extra steps here and there. But putting time and effort into preparing a dog for styling will help you avoid setbacks later on.

For example, you’ll commonly need to take the time to carefully brush and bathe a dog before you can begin their haircut. That being said, brushing and bathing a dog is standard practice during many dog grooming appointments. So, you’d typically need to do these things anyway!

The thing is, it would actually prove a lot more time-consuming to struggle to clip a dog with matted, dirty fur. You’d very quickly need to do some hefty backtracking to get the job done properly.

So, approach every groom by thinking two steps ahead. Prep work allows you to preemptively handle all the parts of the styling process that could pose problems later on, if left unattended. This way, you won’t lose time later on during the groom.

How Prep Work Benefits Your Client:

Naturally, your clients’ main priorities will be the health and safety of their furry family members. They’re coming to YOU because they trust you to take good care of their dogs. This trust comes from a combination of your reputable dog grooming training and qualifications and your performance.

You’ll need to prove to clients that you’ll treat their dogs with consideration and high-quality expertise!

Any groomer who knows their stuff will understand the necessity of prep work. The more you prep a client’s dog for styling, the better the final results will be. Not to mention, you’ll be better able to guarantee the dog’s overall well-being. These are key elements to being a successful groomer and maintaining a positive reputation with your clientele!

How Prep Work Benefits the Dog:

Most importantly, prep work benefits the dog more than anyone else.

To start, prep work gives you an opportunity to examine them. Doing so may bring to light a medical condition or affliction that has previously gone unnoticed. For example, as you assess the dog, you may notice skin lesions, lumps, etc. Prep work is an excellent way to spot potentially dangerous maladies, so that you can bring them to your client’s attention.

Prep work helps you to put the dog’s safety first in many other, less extreme, ways as well. Here are some of the most common examples of why prep work is essential to the overall grooming process:

  • Brushing: Lowers the risk of hurting the dog, if their hair has mats or tangles. Trying to clip matted fur can result in cuts, nicks, or clipper burn.
  • Bathing: A dog’s fur should always be clean before clipping it. Dirty fur can lead to irritated skin, infections, etc. Not to mention, dirty hair can clog your clippers, thereby making your job more difficult!
  • Trimming the pads: This will lower the chances of the dog slipping and injuring themselves on your grooming table. Plus, it helps reduce the amount of dirt they’ll track into their owner’s home from outside. It’s a win-win!
  • Nail clipping, grinding, and filing: If a dog’s nails are too long, they can prevent him from standing properly. This can potentially cause the dog to fall on the grooming table or cause infection or breakage—both of which can be very painful. In time, extremely long nails can even cause the dog to develop bone deterioration in the feet.
  • Cleaning the ears: It’s very common for dogs to develop infections and other health concerns in their ears. All dogs must regularly get their ears cleaned. In terms of prep work, “non-shedding” dog breeds have ear hair that absolutely MUST be removed before they get bathed. Otherwise, they risk collecting dirty, tangling, and blocking the ear canal.

Want to learn more about the importance of prep work? Stay tuned for Part Two, where we’ll delve more deeply into specific steps and safety measures that are required when preparing your client’s dog for styling!

Start your dog grooming training today and get your professional career started in as little as 3-6 months! Enroll today in QC’s internationally-leading online Dog Grooming Course!