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Career Advice

How to Build Your First Dog Grooming Starter Kit!

Dog grooming starter kit article, July 23 2021, Feature Image

New to the industry and putting together your dog grooming starter kit for the first time? You’ve come to the right place! Join QC Pet Studies graduate and expert groomer, Casey Bechard, as she shares some tips and tricks to help you get started!

When you’re first starting out as a dog groomer, knowing which tools to use can be difficult. Personally, when I first began my career, I experimented with a lot of different tools. Over time, I found ones that I loved. On the other hand, I also found ones I didn’t love – and that wished I hadn’t spent money on.

So, if you’re brand-new to this industry and putting together your dog grooming starter kit for the first time, you’re in luck. This blog is all about just that! As we dive in, just keep in mind that all of what I’m about to say is based on personal preference, as well as my own subjective experience. Some of the tools that’ve worked for me at the start might not work for you. Think of the following tips as something I hope can help you out – but don’t think of them as gospel.

Ultimately, what works best and gets the job done will be up to you and you alone!

Building My Dog Grooming Starter Kit: Tools I Like and Dislike

QC Pet Studies’ Grooming Kit

When you sign up for QC Pet Studies’ Dog Grooming Course, they’ll actually send you a dog grooming starter kit to help you in your training. This kit (and its shipment) is included as part of your course tuition, which I found extremely helpful! Furthermore, this kit was very good for me because it gave me a good introduction to staple tools of the trade.

By practicing with QC’s tools, I could better decide whether or not they were the best fit for me – a.k.a. if I’d want to use them in my professional career or not. By extension, this kit also helped me decide what sorts of other tools I was interested in trying out.

There were definitely some tools provided in QC’s kit that I thoroughly enjoyed using. For example, I loved the thinners and the handheld clipper. In fact, to this day, I still use those thinners! However, I’ve had to invest in a new handheld clipper because I overused the other one.

QC Pet Studies dog grooming starter kit

Adding to My Dog Grooming Starter Kit

The rest of my most-used tools, I first ordered so I could give them a try. Hands-down, my most favorite comb in my kit is a Greyhound Comb. I’m completely OBSESSED with it and use it for every groom! (Speaking of which, I should probably get another one to add to my collection!)

Truth be told, I have so many combs in my grooming tool kit that I never use. Why? Because, in my opinion, none of them compare to this one. I also invested in 2 new pairs of curved scissors. They’re a bit bigger than the ones QC Pet Studies gave me, which I actually prefer. I’ve found that these larger ones do slicker work, and the length of the tool makes the scissoring go faster.

Other Personal Recommendations

If you only buy one tool for your dog grooming starter kit, though, then I recommend investing in a Chris Christensen Slicker Brush. You won’t regret it, I promise! These brushes are great for those curly-coated breeds. Moreover, they’re the absolute best at getting out knots.

I use mine every day and it’s worth the money! Now, I got the smaller size of the two (they come in either medium or large). But if you have the budget, I highly recommend buying the bigger one. I sure wish I did – and I definitely plan on purchasing it eventually! All of my other slicker brushes simply don’t compare to this one. Of course, I do use the other ones for certain looks I’m trying to achieve. But if I’m being totally honest, I mostly pick up my CC Slicker Brush 99% of the time!

Groomer brushing dog with Greyhound comb

A Tool You Can Skip in Your Dog Grooming Starter Kit

Ever heard of the Furminator brush? Chances are, anyone with a furry pet probably has. It’s quite a popular tool, particularly for pet owners to use at home. If you happen to be a fan of it, that’s awesome. I’m not here to knock it in any way. All I’m saying is that it’s not a tool I’d personally recommend for your dog grooming starter kit.

I’ve tried using it before and I’m just not a fan. Based on my experience, I found this brush to be way too sharp. As a result, it was all to easy to leave marks on the dogs and irritate their skin. A lot of times, if clients use that brush at home, they’ll come in complaining that their dogs have red marks and sores on their skin. I’ll ask what kind of brush they used at home. Almost always, it was the Furminator. So, I try to avoid this tool – and I tell my clients to do the same.

2 Tips to Keep in Mind

Firstly, if you have other groomers around you, try to see what tools they’re using on a regular basis. You can then go from there, try those tools for yourself, and see if you’d like to invest in them for your dog grooming starter kit. Importantly, I always recommend testing out a tool before putting too much money into it. So many times, I’ve seen groomers purchasing all these new, expensive tools without knowing if they like them or not. Lo and behold, they get them, try them out, and discover that they were nothing but a waste of money!

Secondly, if you’re ever unsure about a certain tool, read its online reviews before buying it. I’ve found this to be extremely helpful, and it’s prevented me from spending unnecessary cash a number of times. Furthermore, don’t hesitate to shop around! Look at a bunch of different websites in order to find better deals. Who knows, you might even find a better quality version of an item you’re interested in.

Having options is NEVER a bad thing!

Dog gets hair cut at Pet Spa Grooming Salon. Closeup of Dog. The dog is trimmed with scissors. Gray background. groomer concept

In Conclusion

As a professional groomer, having a mastery of the different tools you’re using on your clients’ pups is a MUST. Some brushes may be sharper and harsher than others. Certain scissors won’t do the same job as other scissors. If you’re grooming a dog that has lots of lumps and bumps, only the right tool will allow for a safe, careful result. My point is, it’s critical that you truly know what you’re doing and which tools to work with at all times.

I hope this blog will prove useful as you go forth and put together your dog grooming starter kit! If you use the tips I’ve provided above, I promise you won’t go wrong with the tools you’ve picked! I know it can be fun shopping for all the new and exciting gizmos and gadgets. Just remember that you won’t have everything you want (or need) overnight. That said, I promise you will get there. Have fun trying them out and I hope you can find some amazing tools!

Happy grooming!

Enroll in QC Pet Studies’ self-paced, online Dog Grooming Course and receive YOUR dog grooming starter kit in the mail in as little as 1-2 weeks!

How Do I Find the RIGHT Dog Grooming School Near Me?

Dog grooming school near me article, July 16 2021, Feature Image

If you’re reading this article, it’s probably because you’ve decided to finally turn your dream of becoming a professional dog groomer into a reality. First of all, congratulations! You’ve just taken the most important step, so you should definitely be proud of yourself. But now you might be wondering: “Where should I get my certification training? How do I find the right dog grooming school near me?”

Here’s the good news: you’ve come to the right place! Today, that’s exactly what we’re here to discuss. So, find a comfy place to put your feet up. In less time than it’d take to watch one episode of your favorite show on Netflix, I’m going to tell you EVERYTHING you need to know in order to get your dream career started in the right direction!

The Importance of Dog Grooming School

In the world of professional dog grooming, you absolutely need to be a subject-matter expert. The only way to truly become a subject-matter expert is to get the necessary experience and credentials under their belt. Not only will dog grooming school give you this necessary skill-set; it’ll dramatically increase your chances of booking clients, since they’ll be better able to trust their precious dogs being left in your care.

Think of it this way: would you go get an operation performed on you by a guy whose medical “training” consisted solely of watching YouTube videos? Probably not.

(And if so, I definitely have some questions I need answered…)

The reality is, clients expect the same standard from the dog groomers they choose to pay and work with. After all, their dogs are more than just dogs – they’re beloved and valued members of the family. Thus, expectations will be high – and rightfully so. If a client ever has the choice between hiring a groomer with a professional certification, versus hiring a groomer without one, they will ALWAYS choose the person with training.

Trust me, your best bet for long-term success is to get a reputable certification.

Dog grooming school near me article, July 16 2021, in-post image

“So, How Can I Find the Right Dog Grooming School Near Me?”

Now that you understand why dog grooming school is so important, the next step is to decide which school you should be training with. Luckily, there are countless options at your disposal, both in terms of online and brick-and-mortar programs. But with so many choices, it can be easily to feel a little overwhelmed. With so much information available, how can you truly know which dog grooming school near you is the right fit?

Ultimately, it all boils down to you! What’s your preferred learning style/preferences? What are the goals you have for your career as a groomer?

Here are a few questions I recommend answering, in order to help you narrow down your educational needs:

  • Do you prefer to learn in a physical classroom? Or would you rather learn from the comfort of home?
  • How flexible is your schedule? Can you commit to set classroom hours every week? Or do you need more flexibility and would prefer to set your own study schedule?
  • What’s your budget for dog grooming school? Can you afford to pay the full tuition upfront, or would you benefit from a monthly payment plan?
  • What type of dog groomer do you want to be? For instance, do you want to work within an existing salon? Start your own business? Provide mobile services?
  • Is there a certain amount of time by which you’d prefer to graduate from dog grooming school and have your certification in hand?
  • Consider your short AND long-term career goals as a groomer. What would the dog grooming school’s training need to look like in order to help you achieve these goals?

By going through each question and answering them honestly, you’ll be able to make the first important decision: whether you want to attend a physical or an online dog grooming school.

In-Person Dog Grooming School

For some, brick-and-mortar schools are the only way to go. If you’re considering this route, all the power to you! If you put “dog grooming school near me” into any search engine, such as Google, you’ll be able to see which institutions are in or around your local area.

However, it’s important that you consider every aspect of this decision. One perk is that you’ll be surrounded by your peers, in addition to your instructor. Working alongside others – especially after a year and a half of isolation – is undoubtedly tempting. Moreover, some people prefer to abide by a strict, set schedule. If you thrive on routine, it’s easy to understand why in-person training would be so appealing to you.

That being said, there are also some downsides to consider as well. For starters, tuition for a brick-and-mortar school is typically much pricier than that of an online dog grooming school. A fair chunk of your money won’t be going towards you or your actual training. Rather, it’ll go towards helping the institution with overhead costs (i.e. building maintenance and staff salaries).

Secondly, you’ll need to complete your training at the same pace as everyone else. So, if you’d prefer to graduate in less than one year, but the course is exactly one year long, you’re basically out of luck. You’ll need to wait it out and stick to the pace of your peers.

Moreover, in-person schools offer a LOT less flexibility. For example, if you have an emergency and can’t make class that day? That’s unfortunate – but also too bad. What if you have a practical test schedule on the same day that your boss is asking you to come into work? Well, it’ll be on you to figure things out, compromise, and shift your schedule around.

In a nutshell, it’ll be your responsibility (and yours alone) to adjust to the school’s schedule – not the other way around.

What About an Online Dog Grooming School?

Depending on where you live, it can be tricky to find a high-quality dog grooming school near you. This is one of the major benefits of online schooling – you have a lot more options available to you, and all of them can be done entirely from the comfort of home!

If the COVID pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we’re all capable of adapting our lives to the digital world. Distanced learning has been around – and a popular option – for years. But over the course of 2020 alone, it became the single most prominent form of education. We all quickly discovered that online learning offers the exact same high-quality education, but with a LOT more personalized, flexible, and comfortable experience.

No, you won’t be sitting in the same classroom as your peers or your instructor. This is a downside for some people. That being said, the right online dog grooming school will still provide many ways for you to connect and network with fellow students, graduates, tutors, etc. This way, the absence of physical interactions is barely noticed!

For example, QC Pet Studies is incredible active on social media, and many of our students and alumni have connected through there. Additionally, we also provide an Online Student Center that you have unlimited access to, even after you graduate. The latter has become especially popular, as the QC community is easily able to come together, ask questions, swap experiences, and give insightful industry advice.

Tuition, Pace, and Flexibility

Let’s revisit the 3 downsides we just looked at for brick-and-mortar dog grooming schools. The beauty of an online grooming school is that NONE of these apply!

Firstly, the cost of your training will be substantially cheaper with an online school. This is because there’s no physical campus to take care of or maintain. Furthermore, many online dog grooming schools – such as QC Pet Studies – will ensure to give you the most for your money. Practically everything you need will be included and provided to you within your course’s tuition fee. As a result, you won’t need to pay any additional costs for your course materials, a physical copy of your materials, your starter kit, shipping fees for those materials, etc.

Next, there’s the pace of online learning. With QC Pet Studies, for instance, our courses are 100% self-paced! From the day you enroll, you get 2 full years to completed your training. That said, you can use as little or as much of that time as you need. There are no deadlines for assignments, quizzes, or units. In fact, many of our graduates have found that by simply devoting 1-2 hours per week on their training, they were able to graduate and earn their internationally-recognized certification in less than 1 year.

I don’t know about you – but to me, this definitely sounds manageable for ANY schedule or lifestyle!

Lastly, online dog grooming school offers a level of flexibility you simply won’t be able to find anywhere else. Since there’s no pressure to travel to or attend in-person classes, you can complete all of your training from literally anywhere you want. Moreover, you can work on your studies at any time of the day.

Want to get some readings done in the middle of the night while in your jammies? You can do that! Feel like watching an instructional video while sitting in your car in-between errands? You can do that, too!

Hands-On Experience

And just because your training is online doesn’t mean you won’t still get all sorts of invaluable hands-on experience. QC’s Dog Grooming Course, for example, will have you performing real-life grooms on all sorts of dog breeds in every single unit!

Beautiful apricot pet labradoodle calmly going through hair cutting in grooming salon. Professional groomer carefully handle with dog.

So, What Are You Waiting For?

Now that you’re interested in exploring distance learning, it’s time to put on your detective hat and do some digging! My first recommendation would be to check out these 6 shady red flags to avoid when researching online dog grooming schools. Afterwards, feel free to check out this awesome review of QC Pet Studies by our very own graduate, April Costigan!

Got any questions or comments? Tell us in the comments below! And as always, thank you so much for reading. 🙂

Start your training with QC Pet Studies today and book your very first client in less than 1 year!

5 Reasons Why Professional Training Will Boost Your Dog Groomer Salary

Dog groomer salary article, July 2 2021, Feature Image

Looking for ways to boost your dog groomer salary? If you haven’t done so already, this is your sign to get professional certification training!

Why will a proper grooming education better your business and help you increase your income? QC Pet Studies graduate and industry expert, April Costigan, is here to tell you! Read on to discover 5 critical reasons why you absolutely MUST get professionally certified!

Dog groomer salary article, July 02 2021, April Costigan headshot

Why I Became a Professional Dog Groomer

When I first contemplated learning more about grooming dogs professionally, I was working in an animal shelter. Each week, we took in a large number of stray dogs. Additionally, we also took in transferred dogs from other shelters, as well as relinquished dogs from families that could no longer care for them.

Many of these dogs arrived in the worst possible conditions! They’d have matted coats, or were just plain filthy. I quickly learned how to clean them up and make them more comfortable. Eventually, I began to wonder if I could perform these services professionally. But before I made any concrete decisions, I first wanted to know what a dog groomer salary actually looks like…

Researching The Dog Groomer Salary

I did a little online research, specific to my area. During this research, I discovered that there was a wide range of hourly rates – from minimum wage for bathers, to $17/hour for dog groomers working for large pet supply outlets.

Finding a specific dollar amount for a dog groomer salary proved rather difficult, as many locations were vague in their job descriptions. I then discovered that – at least in my area – the salary offered at boutique shops was based on how many dogs a groomer could complete in a day. That’s when I decided that if I wanted to pursue this career path (and I really did), I’d have to come up with a plan that would offer a sustainable income for me.

I wanted to know how I could do quality work and get paid a quality dog groomer salary. The answer was to obtain a legitimate grooming certification!

Cocker Spaniel getting groomed on grooming table

5 Reasons a Professional Certification will Boost Your Dog Groomer Salary

You may be asking yourself, “Why do I need a certification?”

Well, I can give you FIVE excellent reasons why taking the time to learn how to properly groom a dog will allow you to be paid a much higher rate!

1. Trust

When you obtain a professional certification, you’ll be able to earn and retain new client business based on your advanced skill-set. For example, in QC Pet Studies’ Dog Grooming Course, you’ll discover SO much more about dog grooming that you already do. In less than a year, you’ll know everything you need in order to work at a professional standard… and have an internationally-recognized certification to add to your resume, too!

As a graduate of this course myself, I can tell you that it’s a truly outstanding training program. QC Pet Studies will prepare you to become a top-quality, reliable, and trustworthy groomer. After all, that’s the number one thing your clients will want from you: to know that you’re taking excellent care of their beloved dog.

Moreover, they’ll be able to trust that you’ll produce the look they actually want for their dog. Dog parents WILL pay a little higher rate for this level of confidence!

2. Dependability

With a certification under your belt, your clients will depend on you to groom their dog completely and efficiently. Furthermore, they’ll schedule their dog’s regular appointments in advance. As a result, happy clients will fill up your grooming calendar and make good use of your time. Satisfied repeat customers are key to increasing the dog groomer salary!

Dog groomer salary in-post image for article, groomer and owner tending to puppy getting groomed at salon

3. Referrals

When you have happy clients, they talk about you and your qualifications – including your reputable certification. In turn, when you produce awesome results and make their dog stand out at the dog park, that’s free advertising! Dog owners love to talk about their dogs.

By the same extension, when they have a groomer that they love, they’ll likely refer you to their friends and family. Speaking from experience, I get 40% of my new business from referrals alone. And of course, more bookings means a better dog groomer salary!

4. Certification Seal

When you graduate from QC Pet Studies, they’ll provide you with a physical copy of your internationally-recognized certification. But that’s not all! You’ll also get an electronic image of QC’s International Dog Grooming Professional seal, too. You can then showcase this certification seal on all your printed media, as well as your business website.

Nothing gives me more pride that to have this seal on my marketing materials!  It’s proof that I know what I’m doing, even if a person has never seen my work before. This little seal is a BIG deal and allows me to charge more for my work.  That equates to a larger dog groomer salary!

QC Pet Studies International Dog Grooming Professional IDGP certification seal

5. Advice and Recommendations

As a professional dog groomer, I am a resource for my clients. I’m regularly asked what can be done about itchy skin, dry coats, chapped noses or paws, and tear stains. These are just a few topics of information I like to be ready to answer questions about.

QC Pet Studies prepares you to become the “go-to” person when questions pop up about how to properly care for a dog’s coat. Your expertise will allow you to educate your clients the brushes they should be using at home, how often their dog should be brushed, how tear stains can be eliminated, etc.

Just keep in mind that I never give medical advice. As dog groomers, we’re qualified to do many things – but that’s not one of them. That being said, if I find that a dog has an ear infection, an injury to their paw, or a lump that wasn’t present the last time I groomed them, I immediately take a photo and send it to the owner. My clients appreciate that I’m always on the lookout for odd things they may not have noticed.

I adore these dogs, too. So, if I suggest that a visit to the vet may be in order, my clients know that it’s because I’m a caring and compassionate person. You see, it comes back to trust. My clients trust that I am working at the front-line of their dog’s health. People appreciate that and often give me tips for letting them know that something needs to be addressed.

While you can’t always rely on this as part of your dog groomer salary, it’s definitely a nice added perk to keep in mind!

Your Dog Groomer Salary: Conclusion

I could easily come up with five more reasons why professional training will boost your dog groomer salary, but I think I’ve made my point. If you want to be able to charge more for your work, then you must do really GREAT work.

The convenience of QC Pet Studies’ online training will catapult your dog grooming career! It’ll give you all the skills and information you need to get moving in the right direction. If you have a passion for dog grooming, then you can use that same drive to obtain professional training. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did it!

Volunteer getting kiss from dog at animal shelter

Bonus: Food for Thought

I still work part-time for the animal shelter, but its not because I have to. Rather, it’s because I want to. After all, even homeless dogs want to look and feel good. If you want to gain more experience and add to your portfolio, I highly suggest volunteering at a dog shelter. Offer your grooming services to the homeless dogs. No, there’s no money in it – but it’s very rewarding work!

The dogs you groom will be so grateful to you for spending quality time with them; doting on them, caring for them as individuals, and making them feel important. Many of them have not been loved for a long time, or have lost the ones that did love them. A lot of these dogs are heartbroken, scared, or just plain confused.

I know you are a compassionate person. You wouldn’t want to be a dog groomer if you weren’t! So, while you improve things for yourself, help a dog that needs you, too. You can make a world of difference for them!

Boost your dog groomer salary in as little as 9-12 months by getting trained and certified with QC Pet Studies!

Increasing Your Groomer Salary Post-COVID: Dog Training

Dog training article, June 25 2021, Feature Image

Earlier this month, we took a look at why NOW is the perfect time to become a professional dog groomer. But if you’re here, reading this article, it’s because you’re especially motivated to succeed. Yes, you want to offer top quality grooming services to your clients – but clearly, you’re looking for other ways you can be the best of the best, too! With that in mind, we have two very simple words for you: dog training.

What is Dog Training?

The definition is pretty much in the name. According to The Balance Careers, it’s a field that “combines knowledge of animal behavior with practical teaching skills”. As part of your regular responsibilities, you’ll often focus on the following:

  • Various voice commands
  • Clicker training
  • Using appropriate and effective hand signals
  • Developing and executing rewards systems
  • Implementing different dog learning theories
  • Educating your clients on these theories, as well as how to successfully enforce them themselves
  • Etc.
Dog trainer working with two dogs during session, working on lie down command

The beauty about professional dog training is that the sky is the limit! Once you become a trained subject-matter expert, you’ll be qualified not only to train dogs yourself – you’ll know how to instruct others on how to properly train their own dogs as well. Plus, you can offer one-on-one training sessions, group sessions, or both.

Moreover, the kind of dog training you provide can be entirely dependent on you! If you’d prefer to teach clients how to give basic commands (and see results), that’s totally fine. On the other hand, if you’d like to delve even deeper into the craft and be able to assist with more complicated dog training, that’s also an option, too.

For example, many of your clients will likely wish to learn how to teach their dogs the following basics commands:

  • Sit
  • Stay
  • Down
  • Come
  • Leave it

However, you can also learn how to teach clients a myriad of other commands for their dogs, such as:

  • Watch me
  • Wait
  • Off
  • Up
  • Drop it
  • No
  • Heel
  • Go pee/poo, handle your business, etc.
  • Take it
  • Bedtime
  • Speak
  • Play dead
  • Quiet, no barking, etc.
  • Shake
  • High five
  • Release
  • Etc.

5 Key Skills Needed to Be a Dog Trainer

1. Must Love Dogs

This one’s kind of explanatory… I mean, why pursue a career that revolves entirely around dogs if you’re not even a dog lover in the first place? Not only will your job bring you little joy; your clients and their pups will always be able to tell. It’s hard to imagine anyone capable of a long-term, thriving career if it’s in a field they aren’t passionate about.

So, this is probably the most important place to start. If you don’t love dogs, you probably shouldn’t become a dog trainer.

2. Patience

As the saying goes, “It’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks.” However, whether your client has a puppy or a senior pooch, new tricks often won’t be learned overnight. For this reason, dog training requires a lot of repetition – and even more patience.

If you’re prone to getting irritable when something doesn’t go your way quickly enough, this job won’t be a good fit for you. Dogs are experts at detecting people’s emotions, so if you’re feeling impatient, they’re going to pick up on it. The more frustrated you get, the less likely the training is to be successful. Thus, keeping a calm, cool head at all times is key!

Dog training outdoors

3. A Friendly Demeanor

Personally, we’re of the mindset that the best dog training comes from positive reinforcement. So long as it isn’t accidentally used to reinforce unwanted behavior, this method of training is extremely beneficial (not to mention, better for the dog’s overall welfare). Plus, studies have proven that it produces desirable results, especially when compared to negative reinforcement.

To be a truly successful dog trainer, the way you handle your clients’ dogs will make all the difference. So, maintain a friendly, welcoming demeanor at all times, and stray away from any kind of training method that encourages negative reinforcement. The more love, understanding, and comfortability you give a dog, the more eager it’ll be to master your commands and please you!

4. Clear Communication Skills

When you work as a dog groomer, most of your job will only involve you and your client’s pet. In the field of dog training, however, you’ll be working with both the dog and their owner. Since the entire basis of this profession is to teach your client how to train their dog, you’re going to need to know how to teach them. This means, knowing how to communicate things clearly, in a way they can grasp and understand.

If you’re unsure whether you’re capable of verbalizing what it is you’re trying to teach, start by practicing on a friend or family member. (Preferably, one who has a dog, but little to no formal dog training experience.) There will be less pressure than there’d be with a paying client. Plus, this way you can get honest feedback about where you’re clear vs. where you need to be clearer.

As a result, by the time you book paying clients, you’ll have the verbiage down pact and will be able to run your training sessions with ease!

5. An Understanding of Dog Behavior

As we discussed earlier, dog training is all about understanding canine behavior. Only then can you adapt to it as needed, so you can adjust your methods in a way that will best jive with what each individual dog requires. If you can’t read a dog based off its body language, you’re going to have a hard time teaching it anything.

Luckily, you’re a certified groomer! So long as you’ve gotten your education through a reputable certification course – such as the one offered by QC Pet Studies – then you’ve already been trained and are well-versed in dog behavior!

Multiple dogs outside for group training session

Why Dog Training Services Will Increase Your Income

Last year, Canada alone reported that the dog population across the country rose to a jaw-dropping 7.7 million. This same trend has been seen in the United States,. Here, the number of people adopting dogs has steadily rose over practically every single year since 2000. Between 2019 and 2020, the U.S. reported a dog population of 90 million!

Basically, this means that a lot of people have been adopting dogs – and this number will likely only appear to go up with each passing year.

What does this mean for YOU? Well, as a certified dog groomer, every single new dog owner in your area is a potential future client. But on top of this, these are also all people who may be looking for guidance on how to train their new pet! If your business were to offer both of these services, imagine the amount of bookings you could rake in!

Additional Reasons Why Dog Training Will Better Your Bottom Line

In addition to being able to cater your business to a wider range of clientele (hello, more bookings!), there are other reasons why offering dog training services can help you boost your income. Here are just a handful of them:

  • Because your business will now be a one-stop-shop for dog owners’ needs, your clients will be even more inclined to refer you to the people they know!
  • If you’re adding a new service to your business, it’s because you’ve gotten properly trained in that new area first. As such, you can now afford to increase ALL of your business rates – including those for your grooming services. After all, you’ve put time, effort, and money into your continued education. It’s added to your skill-set and refined your expertise as a whole. You deserve to get compensated for it accordingly!
  • Dog training and dog grooming can be extremely complementary services! Grooming your client’s dog and notice some unwanted behaviors? Casually mention to them that you offer training services, too. In a training session and see that your client’s dog could use a nail clipping, a trim, etc.? Why not mention at the end of the session that you could also book Fluffy in for a groom! You never know – what was initially one service sought from your business could easily become two!
  • Competition WHO? The more you can stand out from your local competitors, the easier it’ll be for you to curb the market. By providing clients with more high-quality services to choose from, you’ll quickly become a memorable name in their minds. As a result, they’ll be likelier to choose you over the other dog experts in your area.
Woman holding dog, dog licking her face

Getting Started

Now that you’ve decided to add dog training services to your grooming business, it’s time to get professionally trained! So, start looking around at the various options offered to you both online and in-person. Shadow an experienced trainer, start off by training your own dogs (or your family’s and friend’s), etc. Pair this with a legitimate education and you’ll be unstoppable!

Oh, and did a little birdy just casually mention that QC Pet Studies may or may not be launching a Dog Training Course in the future? 😉 Make sure to keep your eyes open and stay tuned for more information in late 2021/early 2022!

Before you begin your dog training journey, you first need to lay down the foundation of your craft. So, get educated and certified in professional dog grooming! Enroll with QC Pet Studies today and graduate in less than one year!

3 Tips for Becoming a Dog Groomer in 2021

Becoming a dog groomer article, June 18 2021, Feature Image

Dream of becoming a dog groomer? Make that dream a REALITY in 2021!

Today, QC Pet Studies student and owner of Mount Zion Kennels, Camille Torkornoo, breaks down 3 awesome tips to help you launch the career of your dreams!

Becoming a dog groomer article, June 18 2021, Camille Torkornoo headshot

Becoming a Dog Groomer in 2021

Here’s a fun fact you probably didn’t know: according to the Global Pet Market – Analysis By Type (Pet Food, Pet Care Products, Pet services), Pet Type, By Distribution Channel, By Region, (2021 Edition): Market Insights, Covid-19 Impact, Competition and Forecast (2021-2026), the global pet market was “valued at $223.54 billion” dollars USD in 2020! Moreover, of all the animals getting adopted last year, dogs were reported as being the most popular.

However, thanks to COVID, grooming services have faced a rather bumpy ride over the past year. With multiple waves and unexpected lockdowns, salons all over the globe went from open, to closed, to open again, etc. But here’s the good news: now that vaccines have been getting distributed, the chance of another lockdown is decreasing.

As a result, businesses everywhere have been able to re-open their doors. This time, hopefully for good!

What does this mean for YOU? Well, if you’ve been dreaming of becoming a dog groomer, now is the PERFECT time to turn that dream into a reality!

Why NOW Is the Perfect Time to Get Started

The adoption and sale of dogs saw a drastic increase over the course of 2020. But at the same time, many pet owners couldn’t always visit their local groomer. Now, however, we’re finally at a point where dog groomers likely won’t need to close their doors again. (Fingers crossed!) As more people continue to get fully vaccinated, and safety measures continue to be respected, this means that groomers will hopefully be able to run their businesses at full capacity soon.

And as for all those new dog owners who couldn’t get their pooches groomed during lockdown? They’re going to be racing to their local salons to book appointments ASAP!

Basically, this may very well be the best time to pursue your goals of becoming a dog groomer. Not only are grooming services in high demand – there are countless clients waiting to book with a groomer like you… and the industry is likely to remain this way for the foreseeable future!

Dog groomer brushing out small dog at salon

3 Tips for Becoming a Dog Groomer in 2021

So, now that you’ve decided to go for your dreams and make them happen, how should you get started? Where do you need to begin?

Luckily, I’ve got 3 awesome tips to help you take those important first steps!

Tip #1: Enroll in Online Grooming School!

The COVID-19 pandemic gave the majority of us a lot of extra time on our hands. You may very well still have that extra time. But eventually, that’ll be a thing of the past. So, why not take advantage of this by starting a new, exciting career before your schedule becomes hectic again? That way, once everything is officially back to normal, you can get paid to do what you’ve always wanted!

QC Pet Studies is an in-depth, online grooming school where you can get professionally trained and internationally-certified in less than one year. The beauty of this school is that you get the exact same hands-on training and textbook knowledge that you’d get in a physical classroom… Except you get to work from the comfort of home, and entirely at your preferred pace!

Moreover, as you progress through your training, you’ll get personalized feedback from their amazing tutors. These are people who are also real-working industry experts. When you graduate, you’ll become an official, designated dog groomer – with a proper certification to add to your resume!

Enrolling with QC and getting professionally trained is a great place to start your career. It’ll make your pathway to becoming a groomer much easier, as well as provide great opportunities along the way. Plus, having that certification will benefit your career in countless ways!

Keep in mind that I say all this from personal experience. After all, while I’m currently working as a professional dog groomer, I’m also a student of the craft. Right now, I’m working through two professional courses: Dog Grooming and First Aid for Groomers, both offered through QC Pet Studies.

Becoming a dog groomer article, June 18 2021, 2nd in-post image, groomer trimming Pomeranian's backside

Tip #2: Take Advantage of the Increased Number of Potential Clientele!

As we discussed earlier, many groomers had to close their doors in 2020. As a result, countless pets lost their groomers for long (and unexpected) periods of time. Plus, not all of the groomers who closed their doors last year have decided to re-open them. This means that there are more than a few dog owners who are on the hunt for a new groomer to tend to their furry family member!

Moreover, many people also got new puppies during the lockdowns. Those puppies only add to the large number of dogs who need a new groomer in 2021.

Since there’s now an overwhelmingly high volume of existing clients desperately trying to get back on their grooming schedule, a lot of shops are unable to take on new clients at this time. In fact, plenty of groomers are actually completely booked for the next 2+ years!

You can take advantage of this by becoming a dog groomer! Chances are good that you could easily take on a full clientele, consisting of several different breed types, to help you expand your skill-set as a groomer and gain experience in the field. One place where you can start is to find friends and family who can’t get their dogs to a groomer. If you do a great job, they’ll probably tell their friends and family about your services. Pretty soon, you can have all sorts of clients through word-of-mouth alone!

Tip #3: Find a Mentor and/or Do an Apprenticeship!

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: there are SO many pets that need groomers, and grooming shops are overwhelmed right now. So, another option at your disposal is to look into applying to be a groomer or an apprentice at a local shop in your area!

Many grooming shops are currently understaffed; facing difficulty in meeting the high demand of clients in need. As a result, they’re actively looking to bring on new groomers, trainees, and/or bathers. I would actually say that a bathing position would be the best place to start out in a grooming shop! After all, bathing and prep work is the foundation of every great groom.

If you learn to master that part, it makes the grooming part a lot easier – as well as faster to learn!

The hands of a young girl are carefully washed by a red dog in a white bath. The German Spitz owner thoroughly washes the wool

Do YOU have any other tips to add to this list? What advice would you give to someone who dreams of becoming a dog groomer in 2021?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Thanks so much for reading! 💕

Becoming a dog groomer has never been easier! Enroll with QC Pet Studies today and earn your professional certification in as little as 9-12 months!

How to Run a Thriving Dog Grooming Business After COVID!

It’s hard to think about “normal” after we’ve been in this abnormal COVID world for longer than anyone expected, isn’t it? We’ve all been playing lockdown-roulette, it seems, for the past year (and then some). While we’re all excited about a full reopening, business owners in particular are thinking about how they can make up for lost times during lockdown, and succeed in the post-COVID era. For dog grooming businesses in particular, this presents a particular challenge.

If YOU run a grooming business, you’re probably about to get flooded with bookings. So, how do you take full advantage of that short-term boost in business, and ensure it translates into long-term success?

Grooming business article, June 04 2021, in-post image, Corgi on grooming table at salon

Expect a Re-Opening Boom for Your Grooming Business

When your grooming business reopens, odds are that many clients will try to book appointments with you as quickly as possible. Between lockdown and fears of the virus (not to mention pandemic puppies), there are oodles of dogs out there that are way overdue for a groom. Make sure you get your fair share of that business!

How to Prepare:

  • Accept bookings ASAP. Advertise your re-opening date well in advance – a.k.a. as soon as you know it! Give your clients something to look forward to!
  • Be proactive. Contact your loyal customers yourself, either by phone or email. Moreover, offer to book their grooming appointments for them. Here are 5 additional ways to provide proactive customer services, courtesy of Forbes!
  • Book longer appointments than normal. Many dogs will be in need of more intense grooming services than usual. Don’t sacrifice the quality of your work in order to try and cram more dogs into your schedule!
  • Offer extended hours. If you can, try to be extra-flexible with your grooming schedule. Offer earlier/later hours, weekend appointments, etc. Clients will appreciate the flexibility!
  • Find Partnership Opportunities. If you’re just starting out and don’t yet have an established client base, or if you’re having trouble filling your calendar, consider partnering up with veterinarian offices, dog trainers, doggy daycares, and other likeminded businesses. They will also be inundated with pandemic puppies. Thus, they’ll likely be asked to recommend groomers.

Keep it Up After the Boom

So, you’re getting an influx of clients as restrictions ease and more people get vaccinated. That’s great! Now the question is: how can you make sure this increase in business lasts?

Dog groomers wearing masks and giving dogs haircuts in salon
  • Book future appointments NOW. When the client picks up their freshly-groomed pooch, offer to book their future appointment right there, on the spot. Most clients will do so without giving it a second thought. And with proper reminders from you, most will keep their appointments!
  • Ask for reviews. Your dog grooming business thrives when customers recommend your services to others. But most customers don’t bother leaving a review unless they’re specifically asked. So, ask! Positive reviews on Google or Facebook are worth their weight in gold!
  • Advertise. Take advantage of the boom in business by advertising your success. Talk about how busy you are and how long your wait times are. Furthermore, show ‘before’ and ‘after’ shots of pandemic dogs. Customers are attracted to businesses that are doing well. Why not use this to your advantage?

3 Tips for Running a Successful Grooming Business

There are additional steps you can take to ensure you stay ahead of the competition!

Tip #1: Keep Everyone Safe!

It’s important to remember that while COVID is winding down, it’s not over yet. Be sure to follow all local guidelines for mask requirements, social distancing, capacity limits, etc. If you live in an area that’s fully reopen, it’s still perfectly reasonable to require that all clients be fully vaccinated or masked in order to enter your salon.

Keep in mind that many customers (or staff) might still have residual anxiety from living in a pandemic for the past year. As such, enforcing social distancing measures, having hand sanitizer available, and continuing to offer curbside pickup/drop off upon request are great ways to show your clients that you continue to take their safety seriously.

Tip #2: You (and Your Grooming Business) Should Be Accommodating!

Everyone is in a weird transition phase right now. People are starting to go back to work, kids are going back to school, and our lives are getting busier. Most people won’t have “visit the dog groomer” at the top of their priority list. So, make it easy for them to book and follow through with their appointments!

Here are a few easy tricks to help you achieve this:

  • Offer easy, online booking.
  • Send reminders of upcoming appointments. Bonus points if you’re able to do this via text message!
  • Offer pickup/drop-off services as a premium service.
  • Have a clearly outlined cancellation policy.
  • Waive that cancellation policy in the event of illness, or other circumstances out of the client’s control.
Woman owner cutting Pomeranian dogs hair with scissors during coronavirus quarantine.

Tip #3: Watch Out for Those Pandemic Puppies!

The pandemic led to an unprecedented boom in the pet industry. People adopted more pets in the past year than ever before! But now that those puppies are growing up, they’re starting to show some behavioral issues that most owners weren’t prepared to deal with.

Frankly, many people adopted a pandemic puppy without really thinking about long-term socializing or training requirements. As a groomer, you need to be ready for these uneducated owners to seek out your services. When this happens, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • When onboarding new clients, ask when their dog was adopted. This will give you a clue as to whether or not you’re dealing with a pandemic puppy.
  • Similarly, ask if the dog has visited any groomer before. If they haven’t, be ready for a more challenging appointment.
  • Be gentle with these dogs. Book an extra-long appointment time – same as you would with anxious or otherwise difficult dogs. If needed, split the groom between several appointments.
  • Educate the owner on the dog’s ongoing grooming needs.

If you’re thinking of starting a dog grooming business, QC Pet Studies’ self-paced, online Dog Grooming Course is a great place to start! This certification program comes with full business training to get you up and running quickly.

The great news is, you’ve already jumped over the biggest hurdle you never thought you would encounter: your dog grooming business survived a global pandemic. Now it’s time to let your business shine. You’ve got this!

Start your dog grooming business in less than 1 year by enrolling with QC Pet Studies today!

5 Ways to Market Your Dog Grooming Portfolio

Dog grooming portfolio blog article, May 28 2021, Feature Image

Your dog grooming portfolio can be the best in the world… But if no one actually looks at it, how useful is it truly? A big part of running your own grooming business is to market yourself. This means, by extension, marketing your portfolio, too.

After all, don’t you want people to see the amazing work you’ve done? A stunning portfolio that demonstrates a wide variety of skills can often be the very thing that turns a prospective client into a paying one!

If you’re brand-new to the world of dog grooming and just starting to get your business off the ground, don’t worry. We got you! Join us as we discuss 5 solid ways to successfully market your portfolio and attract a ton of customers!

Dog grooming portfolio blog in-post image

Developing Your Dog Grooming Portfolio

First thing’s first: you can’t market your dog grooming portfolio until you actually have a portfolio. So, logically, make sure you start with this step first. Look back on any and all photos that have been taken of your past work. From there, you can select the best ones and get the foundation of your portfolio started.

Don’t have any photos of past work you’ve done? Or maybe the ones you do have aren’t exactly the best quality?

Then take the time to focus on this. Groom your own pooches, see if any of your friends and family would like their dogs pampered, or post around online to check if anyone in your area would be interested in a complimentary grooming service. After every dog you groom, take some flattering photos that best shot off your skills!

(Just remember to get written permission from friends, family, and/or the people you’ve connected with online to use photos of their dog(s) in your portfolio.)

Here are a couple handy resources we recommend checking out, to guide you in the right direction when first developing your dog grooming portfolio:

Shiba Inu at desk with laptop

5 Ways to Market Your Dog Grooming Portfolio

1. Add your dog grooming portfolio to your business website!

If you truly want your dog grooming business to succeed, you’ll need to create a professional website. There’s a lot of valuable info you should include on your site, such as your contact info, available services, information about who you are, service rates, reviews, etc. Moreover, your website is the PERFECT place to showcase and market your portfolio!

Most often, prospective clients will use online search engines to search for dog groomers, especially if they’ve never booked with one before. Once they find your website, they’re going to expect to see examples of past work you’ve done. How else will they get a feel for your skill-set and know if you’re the right groomer for them?

Dog grooming is one of those careers where showing is arguably more important than telling. People need peace of mind that their dog will be in the right hands – and they won’t get this peace of mind through your promises alone. They want – even need – to see it for themselves first.

2. SEO is your best friend!

Search engine optimization (a.k.a. SEO) is critical for marketing both your dog grooming business and portfolio! If you’re unfamiliar with SEO, Google Analytics offers comprehensive – and free – online courses that can teach you a lot on the subject. MOZ also has this incredible 7-part Guide to SEO for Beginners, too.

In terms of SEO, your goal is to make sure that your dog grooming portfolio is searchable. Furthermore, you want your portfolio to rank HIGH on search platforms. This way, when people type in a high-ranking keyword on, let’s say, Google, your portfolio images will be the first to pop up in the results!

So, always ensure to use the right meta descriptions for your photos. And if you’re incorporating a portfolio image onto one of your website’s pages, within a blog article, or even on social media, remember to target the right keyword(s)!

Person's hands typing on laptop

3. Start a dog grooming blog and incorporate your portfolio images within it!

Speaking of blogs, another excellent way to market your dog grooming portfolio is to showcase your work within blog articles. So, why not start your very own blog and include it as part of your business website?

Creating regular, unique content is always a solid way to boost SEO. Every time you publish a new article, you’ll basically be attracting Google and crawler bots back to your site. Moreover, when you add your portfolio images in the articles and give them proper meta descriptions, you’re only increasing your chances of your content being seen.

Another option available to you is to guest write for other people’s dog grooming blogs. As part of your guest posts, you can potentially use your own portfolio images as the photos included within the article. Becoming a guest writer means that your business will be promoted by other websites and companies other than your own. Remember all that talk about SEO? This is another thing that’ll help boost it!

4. Share your dog grooming portfolio on social media!

Unique content shouldn’t only be shared on your blog and website, though. Social media is also a key tool at your disposal! And what better unique content to share than photos of dog grooming work you’ve done?

Do some research and pinpoint which platforms you’d like to maximize. I actually recommend securing your social media handles as soon as you’ve registered your business name, so that no one else can take it. From there, build your pages in a way that aligns with your brand and vision.

When it comes to social media, posting regularly is key! Apps such as Later and Hootsuite can help you schedule your posts in advance. Plus, platforms like Instagram can show you metrics that’ll help you better determine the optimal days/times you should be posting.

Here are few other tips to keep in mind when marketing your dog grooming portfolio on social media:

  • Engage with everyone who takes the time to leave a comment on your posts and/or message you privately.
  • Give credit wherever credit is due. E.g. if someone else took the photo, give them credit in your post as the image’s photographer. They’ll appreciate that!
  • It’s better to be safe than sorry. Always get your client’s permission (preferably in writing) before share a photo of their pet on your social media account(s).
  • If you have the budget for it, invest in marketing ads for your website and/or blog articles.
  • Don’t over post. If you spam your followers’ feeds with too many posts in a given day, it could put them off and potentially make them unfollow you.
  • A harmonious balance between evergreen content and topical content is the key for success.
  • Furthermore, all posts should accurately reflect your business’s brand.
  • As much as possible, always post 100% original content.
Happy golden retriever portrait

5. Make your dog grooming work shareable.

Public relations is all about maintaining a strong, favorable reputation for your business. Most of your business’s PR will be done through your groomer-client experiences, social media presence, and professional business website. But there are plenty of ways you can use public relations to market your dog grooming portfolio, too!

For example, you can make your work easily shareable. This way, others can easily share and promote your business (with your permission, of course) after they’ve discovered you. Here are a couple ways you can do this on your website:

  • Write up an engaging bio for yourself on the ‘About’ section of your site. This will help others know who you are and what you do. Moreover, they’ll be able to pull the right info from your bio when promoting you on their own platform.
  • Make sure the portfolio images included on your website are large (but not too large) in size. This way, people can download and share your photos without sacrificing their high quality. If you’re worried about people taking your photos without your knowledge or consent, include a blurb on your portfolio webpage that clearly states that proper credit and a link back to your website are required for anyone who wishes to share your work.

Do YOU have any additional tips to add to this list? Drop them in the comments below and tell us how you’ve successfully marketed your professional dog grooming portfolio!

Start your dog grooming career in less than one year by enrolling in QC Pet Studies’ online certification training today!

10 Dog Grooming Interview Questions and How to Answer Them!

Dog grooming interview questions article Feature Image

What sort of dog grooming interview questions might you get asked when looking for employment? QC Pet Studies graduate, April Costigan, is here to reveal commonly asked questions… and how to answer them! To learn more about April, check out her Graduate Feature here.

From Graduate to Professional Groomer

Congratulations! You’ve completed the QC Pet Studies Dog Grooming Course and are now ready to begin your new, exciting career as a dog groomer. Your next challenge will be to look for employment. Thus, you’re likely preparing yourself for all the possible dog grooming questions you’ll be asked during your interview.

This article is intended to help you understand what to expect during the interview process. I’ll let you in on the common questions employers will ask – and what’s more, how you should answer them! After all, it’s important to make a good impression during your interview. So, allow me to help you!

Here are 10 dog grooming interview questions that you may encounter. Have a friend ask you the questions, and do your best to answer them thoughtfully and completely.

Dog grooming interview questions article in-post image 1, groomer clipping hair around dog's ear

10 Dog Grooming Interview Questions to Anticipate

Question 1: “What are your qualifications working with and/or grooming dogs?”

This interview question gives you the PERFECT opportunity to tell the interviewer that you’ve completed the comprehensive Dog Grooming Course offered by QC Pet Studies. Feel free to share your experiences with the dogs you worked on while completing your assignments!

Just remember to keep your answer brief but thorough. You may be inclined to answer this question with, “I’ve had dogs all my life and I just love them.” However, try to avoid saying this in your interview. There are millions of dog owners who have had dogs their whole life, but that doesn’t make them qualified to groom them.

Question 2: “Are you comfortable grooming cats?”

I’ll admit, this is a tricky question to be included in a set of dog grooming interview questions. As you know, QC Pet Studies’ curriculum does not include cat grooming lessons. However, many dog grooming establishments DO include grooming for cats. As such, it’s a viable business segment.

Personally, I do not groom cats. Don’t get me wrong – I like them and I have one. But for my own business, I do not offer grooming services for cats. So for an interview question like this, my answer would be “no”. This doesn’t mean this has to be the answer for you, though!

Ask yourself if you want to be able to say yes to this question. Just be careful committing to something you’ve never done before. Grooming cats is very different from grooming dogs, and you must know what you’re doing in order to do a good job.

Importantly, don’t make it seem like you have prior experience if you actually don’t. Because if you say yes to this question during an interview and then get the job, you could find yourself suddenly asked to groom a cat when you don’t know what you’re doing. Moreover, you could wind up solely grooming cats – and not dogs, like you were hoping.

So, think about this carefully and prepare your answer so it aligns with your career goals. If you do want to groom cats, ask the interviewer if there would be a training opportunity for you within the organization. Just because you don’t know how to do it now, doesn’t mean you can’t learn. Expressing your interest in learning will help you to make a good impression!

Cat getting groomed at salon

Question 3: “Have you taken a First Aid Course for dogs?”

Well, aren’t you in luck? This is a dog grooming interview question you can answer with a heartfelt, “YES!”

QC Pet Studies offers an excellent First Aid program that you get 100% FREE once you’ve enrolled in the Dog Grooming Course. Thanks to this training, you’ll be able to answer a wide variety of questions related to this topic with confidence! The interviewer might ask you to give specific examples of the kind of aid you can provide during an emergency. So, be sure to review your First Aid for Groomers lesson guide to refresh your skills prior to your interview!

Question 4: “Do you have a favorite type of dog you’d like to work with?”

In terms of dog grooming interview questions, this is one that may come up as part of the pre-interview chit chat. The employer could be asking this because they’re interested in learning more about you personally. Kind of like how they might ask what you like to do in your spare time, etc.

Personally, I love grooming small dogs (e.g. Poodles, Maltese, Yorkies, Terriers, etc.). The trimming and shaping details when working with smaller breeds are like an artform to me. I love it! However, there are some days when I also enjoy deshedding a really large, hairy dog. I find it peaceful and Zen-like.

When I see I have a big dog on my schedule, I am almost giddy at the thought of just being one with the dog. Large dogs tend to love being brushed. Furthermore, if they’re a natural breed that doesn’t require a lot of trimming, the groom will mostly consist of standard prep work, followed by brushing, bathing, and drying. This doesn’t require a lot of brain power, so I can just focus my attention on making the grooming session fun for the dog. It also helps that I get lots of sloppy dog kisses during these sessions!

So, how should YOU answer this dog grooming interview question? Just be honest! Tell them what you really enjoy. They might respond by telling you their own favorite breed. Before you know it, you’ll have established a rapport with your interviewer. Sharing a common interest is key to a good interview!

Groomer hugging dog

Question 5: “Can you read dog body language? Can you identify anxiety, agitation, or calming behaviors?”

Being able to read a dog’s body language is a significant skill that all groomers must develop. This is not something that you can learn in a day, but it is something that can be acquired over time. QC Pet Studies’ Dog Grooming Course offers two powerful lessons on this topic: Dog Temperaments and Dog Behavior.

These are two areas that should definitely be reviewed and practiced regularly. If you’re new to grooming and handling dogs, be sure to talk openly to your interviewer about your current skill-set. Mention that you’ve studied dog behavior and practice your ability to read body language. The employer will appreciate your candid response.

Question 6: “What would you do if you were grooming a dog that moves around a lot, doesn’t want their paws held, or hates being dried?”

This is one of those dog grooming interview questions that’s meant to test you. The employer wants to know if you are PATIENT. Thanks to your professional training, you’ve had a chance to work with a few dogs during your practicum exercises. As such, you know that not all dogs hold still while you groom them.

Some are very fidgety; moving the entire time you’re trimming them. This can complicate certain haircuts (such as the Teddy Bear Cut, for example) if the dog resists you trimming around their eyes or mouth. Similarly, some dogs hate the drying process. They bark, snap at the dryer, or try to get away from the noise that’s scaring them. Other dogs absolutely hate having their nails trimmed. They will not allow you to hold their paws. In some cases, they may even become mouthy in an attempt to get you to let them go.

Talk about your techniques to manage these types of dogs. All groomers develop their own way of managing these tricky canines. Just be sure to include patience in your response. Patience is essential when it comes to successful dog grooming.

Groomer drying big dog at salon after bath

Question 7: “How would you handle a demanding – or in some cases, lazy – pet parent?”

My friend (and fellow groomer) gave me this question – and it’s a perfect one to anticipate during any grooming interview process. Throughout your career, you’ll encounter a wide variety of dogs and dog temperaments. But this is also true for people, too.

There are just as many peculiar people out there as there are peculiar dogs. Some people have high expectations of the groom, but do not respect your time or effort in order to achieve their expectations. Others are lazy, won’t brush their dog at home, and will only bring them in once their fur has become a matted mess. Shockingly, they’ll expect you to brush out every single mat and magically save the desired, long coat – even though they do nothing at home to maintain it.

This can be a challenge when running a dog grooming business (or working for one). I recommend being very clear with the client on what you can accomplish during the allotted time. If needed, explain politely why something may not be possible. I find that if you handle the situation this way, the client will be more likely to accept a realistic result.

Moreover, you can educate clients on proper at-home care. Encourage them to work with you to care for their dog! This can help reduce the number of mats in the coat. If you do this consistently and kindly, your client just might start participating in maintaining the desired coat length/health.

Question 8: “What are your career goals as a dog groomer?”

Have you thought about this already? Do you have plans to open your own shop some day? Or do you want to groom in a large retail space where there are already lots of people and activity?

Have some fun with this dog grooming interview question! Let your imagination run free. This question is not meant to pin you down to one job forever. Rather, it’s meant to give the employer a feel for how dedicated you are to this field of work.

Up-close of dog grooming scissors

Question 9: “Do you own your own dog grooming equipment?”

It is my understanding that most shops will require you to own and maintain your own equipment. However, this might not be the case everywhere, as I imagine it can vary from place to place. Some salons may offer some temporary tools for you to use until you can obtain your own.

Luckily, the starter kit that you received with your QC Pet Studies course materials should be adequate to allow you to answer “yes” to this question.  Once you get hired, you can build on your tool kit as you discover additional equipment that you’d like to have.

Question 10: “Do you have a proper dog grooming license?”

The state of Colorado (where I live) requires that all groomers possess a PACFA License. This license allows a groomer to work at three separate grooming shops per license. For me, I need a PACFA License to own and operate my own business.

Keep in mind that the qualifications vary from city to city. Some places requires groomers to have a license, a license and a certification, or simply a reputable certification. Take the time to research the licensing requirements in your state, country, and municipality.

If you have one already, you are ready to be hired! If you need to obtain one, it could take a few weeks for the application to be processed – which may cause to miss out on a job opportunity.

Want to learn more about the differences between a dog grooming license vs. certification? Click here!

Pug getting shaved down by groomer at salon

I hope you’ve found this information helpful! Now you’ll be ready to rock any and all dog grooming interview questions that come your way!

Just remember to relax and believe in yourself. You have the proper training, you have the desire, and you have the will to be successful. I wish you good luck in your future interviews and hope that you find the perfect position for you!

Prepare for your dog grooming interview questions by first getting professionally trained and certified with QC Pet Studies! Click here to enroll today, and graduate in less than one year!

How to Start a Dog Grooming Blog

Dog grooming blog article, Apr 23 2021, Feature Image

Want to add even more depth to your business and find new, creative ways to share your dog grooming expertise with the public? Start your very own blog and add it to your professional website!

Not sure where to begin? No problem! We’re going to show you exactly how to get the ball rolling and start your very own grooming blog!

Dog grooming blog article, Apr 23 2021, in-post image, Golden Retriever lying on owner while owner is on laptop

5 Steps for Building Your Dog Grooming Blog

Step 1: What’s your brand?

Before you build your blog, you’ll need to have a clear idea of the kind of vibe you want it to give off. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you have any favorite colors that you’d like to be your business’s aesthetic going forward?
  • Are there any aspects of your personality that you want to be associated with your brand?
  • Do you want your brand to target specific dog grooming niches? Etc.

Basically, when people think of your blog, how do you want them to perceive YOU? If your future readers were asked to describe what you, your blog, and your business are all about, what would you want to say?

When you figure out all of these questions, you’ll be developing the essence of your brand. Moreover, you’ll have a clearer understanding of how to achieve this brand.

Now, if you can’t think of a unique angle for your blog, that’s totally fine! Maybe your writing itself is what you’ll become known for. The beauty about having a blog is that it can be appreciated for a multitude of reasons. The point is: don’t hesitate to think outside the box!

If you do it well (and do it constantly), ANY brand can have an audience.

Fun fact: Despite what you might think, you don’t actually need millions of subscribers in order to make money off of your dog grooming blog. You can achieve these goals by becoming a micro-influencer – someone with several hundred to several thousand fans.

Brand identity on laptop

Step 2: What’s in a name?

You probably already know that it’s important to pick the right name for your dog grooming business. What you might not know is that it’s just as critical to select the perfect name for your blog. So, don’t start writing until you know what you want to call it!

After all, your blog’s name will be the reader’s very first impression of you. This is why it’s crucial to make that first impression count! A bad name can turn a potential follower away in seconds.

(Whoa… No pressure, right?)

Don’t let this intimidate you, though. While an important step, it doesn’t need to be nearly as difficult as it may sound.

While you absolutely need to give this step the proper time and consideration, it also doesn’t have to be as difficult as you’ll make it out to be. Luckily, there are tons of resources out there to help you create your blog name. For example, you can look up popular dog grooming keywords. You might wish to incorporate one of those keywords directly within your blog’s name.

Another idea is to get help from third party generators, like the Business Name Generator. If you’d prefer to stay away from name generator, you could always draw inspiration from the different trends of today’s generation. For instance, a lot of people tend to go bananas over witty puns and/or catchy alliterations!

Pro Tip: If you’ve already got a website for your dog grooming business, host your blog on that same site. This will help you with SEO! If you don’t already have a business website and want to start your blog from scratch, just make sure that whatever name you pick is available. If it is, jump on it right away and purchase it as a website domain name! But if the name isn’t available, you’ll need to go back to the drawing board.

dog on bed, watching owner type on laptop

Step 3: Building your dog grooming blog

One of the most popular blog platforms in the world – and the one that we use here at QC Pet Studies – is WordPress. This is what we personally recommend. There are tons of reasons to choose WordPress to host your dog grooming blog. But in our humble opinion, its most attractive features are that:

  • It’s free;
  • WordPress has tons of templates to choose from;
  • And it’s simple to customize. Thus, even a beginner will have no trouble getting set up!

Ultimately, though, the choice is yours. There may be a different free platform you’d prefer instead. The only way to find out is to research your options and decide which one speaks most to you. From there, you can start building your blog!

Step 4: Post/share original, quality content

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need an expensive camera or the writing skills of an English major to create strong, engaging content for your readers. So long as your knowledge of the dog grooming industry always shines through, and your smart phone’s pictures aren’t the quality of a potato, you’ll be fine.

What’s really important are two factors:

Dog grooming article, Apr 23 2021, in-post image, dog doing a blep next to laptop on desk

1. You post blog articles frequently

No one likes being ghosted – and this applies even to your blog readers. A blogger isn’t all that useful if they only emerge once from their cave every other month, throw up an article, and then retreat back to the shadows. If you want to gain notoriety, you’ll have to stay relevant. This means posting regularly – even if you’re sleeping!

“Wait, what?”

That’s right; you heard me. First of all, many of your blog’s subscribers will be located in different time zones. If you only post content with your time zone in mind, you could be missing out on a lot of prime times for readers all around the world. Secondly, you also need to have your own life. You might want to take a vacation, or (understandably) not post outside of work hours.

But regular content is still a priority, whether you’re working or taking time off. So, sometimes this means you’ll need to strategize and plan ahead! This is a big reason why the best bloggers are masters of time-management. Whenever you have more time to spare, see if you can write multiple articles at once. Plenty of blogging platforms will then allow you to schedule your articles in advance.

“But what if the quality of my writing begins to suffer?” you may be wondering. “I don’t want to start prioritizing quantity over quality!”

Good point! Yes, posting blog content on a regular basis is part of any successful blogger’s job description. That being said, QUALITY is still more valuable. There might be times when your brain hits a creative wall and you can’t seem to write anything you’re happy with. We’ve all been there. In this case, the safest option is to not force it.

If you experience writer’s block, try going back through your blog archive. See if there are any articles you can edit, revamp, or repost. When you’re struggling to come up with a brand-new, organic idea, editing can sometimes feel like a far easier task. When it comes to running a blog, there is wiggle room. So long as you post as much evergreen material as you can (a.k.a. stuff that’ll stay relevant for a long time), you’ll be set up for success!

2. You share your blog content on social media

When it comes to marketing and distributing your blog content, social media will be your best friend! If you wanted to go one step further, you could even start a YouTube channel and vlog about your dog grooming knowledge, expertise, and industry experience.

The biggest bloggers tend to operate on different media platforms. This helps them promote their business to a much larger audience – and it can help YOU do the same! Social media (and the smart marketing decisions you make with it) will be your greatest tool for increasing your business’s exposure!

owner taking photo of Jack Russell Terrier on smart phone, to post on social media

Much like with your blog articles, there are apps you can use to schedule your social media content in bulk – and in advance. Moreover, these apps can also share everything for you. Here at QC Pet Studies, we use Later and Hootsuite. However, there are tons of options to choose from!

A strong social media presence shows your audience that you’re there and you care. Everyone loves an industry expert who’s passionate about what they do. Your successful journey can be what inspires other aspiring dog groomers to begin their own journeys!

That being said, there’s a fine line between staying relevant and shoving yourself too much into other people’s faces. Just remember to listen to that little voice inside of you. If it’s warning you that you might be posting too excessively or going over the top, heed its advice.

Step 5: Your dog grooming knowledge is power

Whether you’ve been dog grooming for years, or you’re just starting out, you’ll benefit from exploring different grooming schools and taking classes.

Now, you might be saying to yourself, “Why would I need training if I already know what I’m doing?”

Just because someone has a blog about dog grooming doesn’t mean they know everything about the craft. The people who think they know everything are usually the ones who don’t. You might as well call them Jon Snow and leave their page. But you? You’re a true professional, and true professionals understand that they’ll never know everything there is to know about their passion… But that will never stop them from trying to learn!

Online dog grooming schools like QC Pet Studies are the perfect solution! Let’s look at QC, as a quick example. On top of our comprehensive Dog Grooming Course, our programs also touch on other popular areas of grooming, such as First Aid for groomers and breed styling.

If you really want to be a successful groomer and stand out from the competition, you need to be humble enough to accept that there’ll always be things you can learn and ways you can improve. In fact, you might just discover that doing so will only continue to grow your blog!

Dog being groomed by owner at home

So, now that you’re basically an expert at getting a blog started, my question to you is: what are you waiting for? There’s a whole world of people waiting to hear your dog grooming expertise. Make today the day you start writing – and share your knowledge with the masses!

Complete your dog grooming certification training in less than one year by enrolling with QC Pet Studies!

The 3 Dog Haircut Styles My Clients Request Most

Dog haircut styles article, Apr 9 2021, Feature Image, Corgi getting haircut at groomers

What are some of the most common dog haircut styles you’ll be expected to know? QC Pet Studies graduate, Casey Bechard, reveals the Top 3 cuts her clients request the most! Casey works as a full-time dog groomer and shop manager at Off The Leash Pet Grooming in Regina, Canada. She is an alumnus of QC’s Dog Grooming and First Aid for Groomers courses.

Today, I’m going to share with you the 3 dog haircut styles that my clients here in Regina, Saskatchewan, request most from me. It’s important to keep in mind that popular dog haircuts can vary from location to location. However, what this article can do is show you a few of the styles your potential clients might request and how to give them what they want.

The following list is in no particular order. It’s also worth mentioning that while these 3 cuts are requested the most often, they do not make up the majority of my time while working in the salon.

With that in mind, let’s jump into it and take a look at puppy cuts, summer cuts, and breed-standard cuts!

Dog haircut styles article, first in-post image

The 3 Most Requested Dog Haircut Styles

1. The Puppy Cut

There’s no single industry standard that defines a “puppy cut“. In general grooming terms, this dog haircut style is basically when the hair is trimmed to the same, even length all over the body. What people consider to be a puppy cut can vary based on location, breed knowledge, and personal preference.

In my own experience, a “puppy cut” in my salon is literally when clients bring their puppies in for their first groom – and want them to look like a puppy for as long as possible.

Dog Haircut Styles: Puppy Cuts for Golden Doodles

Typically, when clients request this particular cut, I use an E guard comb all over the dog’s body. I tend to do this cut a lot on Golden Doodle pups. I have a lot of clients with that breed and they always love their dogs’ coats. For this reason, they want to keep them for as long as possible.

As groomers, we know how much maintenance it takes to keep a Golden Doodle’s coat mat-free. So, I start by walking the client through what I’m going to be doing during the appointment. Next, I explain the at-home maintenance that will be required on their part between grooms. After that, I advise them to come back in about 4-6 weeks, depending on how much they brush at home and take care of the fresh groom.

We’re the subject-matter experts, so it’s important to make sure ours clients are properly educated whenever possible. This is why I also show my clients the types of brushes they can use and how to use them correctly. I go into this level of depth because a lot of clients (especially ones with new puppies) don’t yet understand the amount of work needed to keep their dogs’ coats healthy and maintained.

Creating the Puppy Cut

To achieve this dog haircut style, you’ll first need to bathe and dry the pup. Depending on the dog, you might also need to use conditioner or detangling spray. The trick with a puppy cut is to get the dog super dry first. There should not be a wet spot anywhere on them!

Remember: a lot of dogs don’t like the high velocity dryer. So, you might need to bank a bit more time for this step. Once drying is complete, do a thorough job of brushing them. Next, begin shaving them with your e-comb. Regular brushing throughout the grooming process is key when it comes to achieving a puppy cut. Brushing helps make everything look neater and allows you to see if there are spots you’ve missed. This way, you can go over it again.

After you’ve finished shaving the dog, the next important step is to scissor the legs. I achieve this with curved scissors and a regular comb. First, comb out all the legs. Secondly, scissor off any excess hair. The head and face areas are where clients might ask you to get more specific. For example, they could want their pooch to have a beard, shorter-looking ears, etc.

This is just one reason why it’s important to have a consultation prior to the groom. Be specific with your questions so you can have a good understand of what your client wants. Ultimately, people mostly just want their dogs to look cute. But they also want it done in a certain way.

When it comes to the face and head, I tend to use thinners. I clean out the pup’s eye area and then make the head round, while keeping it proportionate to the body. Afterwards, I clean up the chin (if my client does not want a beard) and the top of the head.

2. The Summer Cut

When it comes to dog haircut styles, the “summer cut” is probably the most common one I do. Simply put, this kind of cut involves trimming the hair shorter to the body (about 1-2 inches long, on average). This way, the dog will be cooler during the hot summer months.

Sometimes, clients will come in and say, “I want my dog short everywhere!” In this case, the summer cut is my go-to!

Dog Haircut Styles: Creating the Summer Cut

Once the dog is dry, bring it to your table and brush them out really well. This is especially important if they have a curly coat on their body, legs, head, and neck. Once that’s done, you can achieve this cut using a 2 guard comb on your blade. This way, even though the hair will be short, it’ll still leave enough to protect the dog’s skin from the sun.

When the clipper work is done, you can begin shaving the armpits and sanitary areas. Don’t forget about the hair between their eyes. For this spot, you can use a hand-held clipper for safety and close precision. Once toy tend to the paw pads and nail areas, you can then start scissoring the legs and shaping them up a bit.

Once the legs are finished, you’ll finally move onto the dog’s head. Scissoring work there will mostly consist of cleaning up any unwanted hairs that are falling in their eyes and mouth. Personally, I use my thinners for this part of the job. Sometimes, I’ll switch to my scissors if I need to trim up the ears or tail.

And just like that, presto – you’re finished with your summer cut!

3. Standard Breed Cuts

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Sometimes, clients want a cut that best represents their dog’s breed. Of all the dog haircut styles listed in this article, I deal with this one the least.

But when a client does request it, I almost always refer back to what I learned through my QC Pet Studies training. In Unit G of QC’s Dog Grooming Course, there’s an entire booklet devoted to interpreting and working with breed standards. This is what I look back on, as well as the instructional videos of tutors demonstrating the different cuts.

Most of the time, I do breed standard haircut styles for Golden Retrievers and Schnauzers. When working with Golden Retrievers, you’ll mostly be brushing out their coats and doing a little bit of trimming on their furnishing parts. Basically, you just want everything to look like it’s flowing together nicely.

For me, it also helps that Golden Retrievers are one of my FAVORITE breeds to groom! They are such sweet dogs. It’s like they know how beautiful they look afterwards. Watching them happily prance around after the appointment is always a highlight of my day.

Dog Haircut Styles: Standard Breed Cut for Schnauzers

For a Schnauzer, the standard breed style is your typical skirt, beard, and eyebrow cut. Fun fact: I actually had to work with this breed for one of my hands-on assignments in school. I vividly remember the dog… and the mark I got doing on my assignment.

To this day, I still groom that dog. But my mark, on the other hand, I try to forget. I’m just kidding – while it wasn’t very good, it did push me to become better. I really had to practice that cut because, for me, figuring out where to place the skirt was difficult. So, I practiced every chance I could on Schnauzers. I want to say that I’ve now got it down to a T. But hey, if the owners like it, that’s all that matters! 😉

To achieve the skirt, start by shaving the back of the dog. A #4 blade should do the trick. To know where the skirt starts, look to where the ribs are on the dog. Start shaving just below that area. I find that this is a prime spot to start my skirt. Just make sure to shave around the bum area, as well as a little lower on the chest.

To maintain the skirt, comb through it thoroughly and then trim it up with scissors. The most important part of the skirt is making sure it’s not matted at ALL. Once that’s finished, move onto the head and the ears. They should be the same length as the body hair. The one exception is the eyebrows and beard, which should be left long for the time being.

Next, clean up between the eyes with your thinners. Once this is done, you’ll be ready to tackle the Schnauzer’s face. First, brush the eyebrows forward and then grab your scissors. Put them on an angle, with the tip of the scissor pointing away from the dog. From there, you’ll trim the brows.

Remember: they shouldn’t be falling in the dog’s eyes. But they should still be a good length, so it looks like there are eyebrows. When you move onto the beard, start by combing through it. Hold the muzzle and trim it up a bit with scissors. Bam, you have a Schnauzer cut that’s true to the breed standard style!

I know this blog was a little lengthy, so I thank you for sticking around ’till the end. I loved writing this one! My goal for you now is to keep on practicing. Master each and every dog haircut style to the best of your ability. If I can do it, so can you!

Happy grooming! 🙂

Learn more about dog haircut styles and how to master them by enrolling with QC Pet Studies today!