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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!

The 2 Hardest Dog Haircuts (and How to Master Them)

Want to become a master groomer? Then you’ll need to know how to do these two challenging dog haircuts! Luckily, April Costigan is here to help. April is a graduate of QC Pet Studies, having completed both the Dog Grooming and First Aid for Groomers courses. To learn more about April, check out her Graduate Feature here.

dog haircuts article april costigan mar 05 2021 in-post image april headshot

Now that I’ve started my own dog grooming business, I meet new people every day. Sometimes, I’m asked for my opinion on which kinds of dog haircuts are available. Clients will ask me, “What do YOU think would look good on a specific dog?”

Often, customers are coming to me with this inquiry because they themselves aren’t sure. For example, new dog owners might not know that their Cavapoo puppy – with their cute, fluffy coat – will grow out and become long, scraggly, and… well, not so cute.

As the professional, they’re relying on me tell them which dog haircuts are recommended. Moreover, it’s my responsibility to inform them how a good dog haircut needs to be maintained. This way, the pooch can retain that cuteness their owners fell in love with.

The 2 Hardest Dog Haircuts (In My Opinion)

There are a couple of dog haircuts that I’ve had to master because they’re requested often. In the beginning, I did find them to be tricky. But with practice, I have mastered them… and you can, too!

So, which two dog haircuts am I referring to?

The Teddy Bear Cut and the Shave, of course!

dog groomer cutting white dog's hair

1. The Teddy Bear Cut

Let’s talk about the Teddy Bear Cut first. In the “Pet Cuts” textbook found in Unit E, QC Pet Studies’ Dog Grooming Course does an excellent job of describing and breaking down this popular haircut.

In the ‘Full-Body Cuts’ section, the Teddy Bear Cut is discussed in detail. Here, you’ll learn what the standard is for this type of dog haircut, which is all illustrated through some really terrific photographs.

However, what the course doesn’t touch on is that a Teddy Bear Cut does not look the same on every dog. I had to learn that on my own, through real-world experience. The booklet also didn’t mention ear type and shape, or what to do with different kinds of ears in order to enhance this look.

That being said, the idea is the same for all Teddy Bear dog haircuts. This cut involves a full, round face, column-like legs, rounded feet, even coat length on the body, and a cleanly-scissored tail.

Keep in Mind…

coat type plays a huge role in how great the cut is going to look once you’re all done. Fluffy, wavy, or slightly curly coats look really cute. However, you must alter your expectations if you’re working with a dog that has a flat, silky coat.

They are still cute, yes. But with a flat, silky coat, I’ve experienced difficulty with this haircut. Particularly, in getting the dog’s head to look sweet and round. This is not necessarily because I cut the hair incorrectly. Rather, it’s because the dog held his ears funny. Thus, the top of the head looked like it had square angles. Alternately, it’s sometimes because the fine, flat hair just wants to lay flat. It’s stubborn and doesn’t want to hold the rounded look I’m trying to achieve.

Examples of Teddy Bear Dog Haircuts

Here are some examples of different ear types on three small dogs. When the hair is long, it can hold the ears down. You can see this in Kiwi’s Before Photo. It almost looks like she has very long ear leather. But once the hair is cut short, the ears bounce up. I think this looks very cute! My friend calls these bouncy ears “puppy ears”. This look gives Kiwi a more perky and inquisitive expression.

Kiwi before haircut
Kiwi after haircut

Let’s look at the next example. Here, both Reilly’s ear leather and ear hair is long. In this case, you can trim it to jaw length. This will give the dog’s face a more rounded, exaggerated look. In general it’s also a very cute look – although it is different.

Reilly before haircut
Reilly after haircut

In the last example, notice how Cheerio’s drop ears are lower on her head. They do not pop up like Kiwi’s did, even though the hair is cut short like Kiwi’s. Instead, Cheerio’s ears look more like sweet little ponytails. I could’ve placed bows on top of both ears to give her a little girl look. However, her owner likes a center bow.

Like the other Teddy Bear dog haircuts above, this look is very cute. Importantly, though, it’s unique to Cheerio.

Cheerio before haircut
Cheerio after haircut

Teddy Bear Dog Haircuts: Final Thoughts

It’s important that when choosing dog haircuts for clients, you take into consideration what their dog’s coat type is. You also need to factor in what kind of ears that dog has. Once you’ve identified both, you can master the Teddy Bear Cut and create a very cute look!

2. The Shave

The second dog haircut that I found difficult – but was able to master with time, patience, and experience – was the “Shave”. To be honest, I don’t really like this term. Here’s why: some of my clients have requested a shave, when what they really want is a short haircut that’s easy to maintain and lasts longer between grooming appointments.

For the purpose of this article, I’m talking about shaving a dog all the way down. I have a lot of experience with this particular dog haircut because I work in an animal shelter. We get lots of stray dogs in that are in terrible condition and the humane thing to do is to cut all of the matted, stinky, horrible hair off their bodies. This way, they can feel clean and comfortable again.

Keep in Mind…

While I love QC Pet Studies and all the wonderful lessons I’ve learned through their training, there’s more they could teach when it comes to the Shave. For instance, there are no instructional videos to illustrate this dog haircut, which would have been helpful. Moreover, the description offered in the booklets doesn’t really discuss the mechanics of completing a shave.

Page 18 of the “Pet Cuts” booklet is entitled, The Shave. But this section only discusses the misconceptions. It does not give actual instruction on how to shave a healthy dog. The course also doesn’t discuss how to complete a shave that would be necessary for a severely matted dog. Like me, you’ll likely need to learn these lessons on your own.

dog haircuts, the shave

Shaving a Matted Dog

It’s important to know that when dealing with a matted dog, you absolutely CANNOT complete the grooming prep requirements outlined in QC Pet Studies’ curriculum. Yes, you may be able to clean the dog’s ears, trim their toenails (if not hidden in mats), and complete a sanitary cut. But you will not be able to brush out a severely matted dog.

It would be cruel to even try, as doing so can potentially cause them a lot of pain. You also cannot bathe a severely matted dog before you shave it. It would be an exercise in futility. When it comes to a severely matted dog, you’ll need to shave them first.

I’m aware that this goes against the primary teachings of QC Pet Studies when it comes to completing all of your prep work first. But keep in mind that this recommendation works best under regular circumstances. Grooming a severely matted dog is an entirely different sort of process.

Executing “Shave” Dog Haircuts

Now that you know where you have to start, it’s time to know this: no matter how new and sharp your clipper blades are, they will NOT glide through a matted coat like butter. That’s just not going to happen. This will probably be one of the reasons why this particular dog haircut is going to challenge you.

If you’re dealing with a matted dog, their fur is going to be filthy. Parts of it will be closely matted to the skin. Because of this, the danger of injuring the dog is real. You won’t be able to quickly shave a dog with long, even strokes from the base of the skull to the base of the tail. Instead, it’s likely going to be a slow process.

Your strokes are going to be short. Your blades are going to get gummed up with hair and debris. You’ll have to clean and oil your blades frequently. Also, you’ll need to stop periodically so you can change blades. This will help prevent the dog from overheating or suffering a potential burn. You’ll also need to go over an area more than once in order to clip through big mats.

The Honest Truth

I won’t lie: shaving a dog all the way down – especially when they have matted fur – an exhausting process. This is especially true if you’re working on a large dog.

It’ll take time and patience. Your dog will get tired, and you’ll be challenged by their constant movement. After all, the dog won’t understand that their severe mats require time and patience. They won’t comprehend what you’re trying to accomplish. All they’ll know is that they’re extremely uncomfortable – especially as time passes on.

So, remember to give the dog frequent breaks and offer them water. This is a stressful event for a severely matted dog. It’s critical that you keep that in mind and approach the groom with kindness, patience, and understanding.

closeup of severely matted dog fur

After The Shave is Complete

Once you’ve gotten all of the ugly stuff off, you can complete the other prep items (if you weren’t able to complete them beforehand). Bathe and dry your client’s dog, and then take another look at the coat. Now will be the time to even out any spots that stick up or stand out.

Use your steel comb to fluff areas that need to be trimmed. Be sure to look at the dog from ALL angles! That way, you can trim off any long hairs that popped out during the bathing and drying process. Tricky areas to pay close attention to are the feet, armpits, groin area, and face. Take your time in these areas to ensure you obtain a nice, symmetrical look.

An Example of The Shave

Below is an example of a severely matted dog that came to me recently. Due to COVID-19, Dexter’s owner was unable to get him groomed. He also went 7 months without a bath. His owner eventually attempted to cut some of the mats off Dexter’s body. But they were unable to manage the legs, face, ears, and stomach.

Dexter weighs approximately 70 lbs. It took 4 hours to completely shave, bathe, and properly groom him. Dexter was tired and so was I. But in the end, our work together was worth it. Now he’s MUCH more comfortable now, thanks to me shaving him down to his “birthday suit”.

Dexter before haircut
Dexter after haircut

Food for Thought

In conclusion, QC Pet Studies‘ online schooling offers a lot of really terrific training and instruction. Through their guidance, you’ll learn all about a wide variety of different dog haircuts (among many other things). However, experience and exposure to different kinds of dogs – in different kinds of conditions – is how you will truly learn and perfect your skills.

Remember to always take your time, work carefully, and have some sort of grooming plan in mind. Your dogs and your clients will appreciate the attention to detail you give every pooch that comes to you for grooming!

Become a master of dog haircuts by enrolling in QC’s Dog Grooming Course today!

QC’s Dog Grooming Course: What I Learned in Unit A

Thinking of enrolling in QC Pet Studies’ online Dog Grooming Course? Camille Torkornoo, a current student, is here to break down what’s taught in Unit A! Camille’s business, Mount Zion Kennels, specializes in grooming and breeding standard Poodles. Learn more about Camille by reading her Student Feature!

Dog grooming course student, Camille Torkornoo

QC’s Dog Grooming Course: Unit A in a Nutshell

I learned a lot of important information from Unit A of my Dog Grooming Course. One of my favorite features included in this program is the feedback I get from my tutor, Lisa Day. I find it very helpful in my learning because a real industry expert is helping me see what I’ve done well, as well as what I can improve upon.

Unit A thoroughly covers what it means to be a dog groomer. You learn about canine anatomy and terminology, along with canine skincare and esthetics. QC also makes sure to teach you the risks that come with the profession and which precautions can be taken to prevent injuries. All of this information is essential!

The Most Important Lesson I Learned in Unit A Was…

…the Personal Health and Safety section! Dog grooming is a physically demanding job. As such, it has the potential to be dangerous as well. By taking the advised precautions outlined in Unit A, dog groomers can create a safer working environment. In turn, this will help reduce the risk of serious injuries.

Common Dog Grooming Risks

Naturally, some of the risks involved with grooming include bites and scratches. This is to be expected with any job involving animals. But dog groomers also risk developing long-term health issues, too.

For instance, groomers must constantly lift dogs and use loud equipment. These things, when combined with the constant repetitive motions involved when grooming dogs, can lead to physical bodily damage.

Groomers also need to watch out for carpal tunnel syndrome, back injuries, joint damage, and even hearing loss. The constant inhalation of dander, hair, chemicals, and bacteria can lead to respiratory damage. The consequences of this can range from a chronic cough, to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In the world of dog grooming, general respiratory damage developed on the job is known as “Groomer’s Lung.”

This is why it’s extremely important to take a proper dog grooming course. Professional training will make you aware of these potential risks and teach you how to avoid them (to the best of your ability).

Preventative Measures Taught in Unit A of QC’s Dog Grooming Course

Unit A provides the following tips to help prevent and/or lower the risk of contracting the above issues…

Preventing Hearing Loss / Damage

Groomers can wear earplugs or noise cancelling/reducing headphones. These will help prevent hearing loss or damage caused by the constant use of loud dryers.

Preventing Harmful Inhalation

Wearing a mask can help protect against the inhalation of dog hair, dander, ground nails, etc. As a result, masks can help lower the risk of contracting could “Groomer’s Lung.”

Preventing Eye Injuries

Using a form of eye protection can also be a wise precaution. It will help prevent debris from flying up into your eyes when clipping a dog, drying them, or grinding their nails.

Preventing Muscle / Joint Damage

Braces can be a smart investment for a dog groomer. For example, wrist braces and exercises can help reduce the risk of excess wrist strain caused by constant, repetitive clipping, brushing, de-matting, and scissoring on dogs. Back braces and exercises are also useful, too. As groomers, we constantly need to lift and bend while working with dogs. The last thing you want to do is blow out your back!

Other Health and Safety Tips

Unit A of QC’s Dog Grooming Course also covers specific exercises for groomers to do. When done correctly and regularly, these exercises can aid in avoiding or decreasing muscle strain, pain, and injury.

The assignments in Unit A of my dog grooming course also added to my training. Specifically, they helped me gain a better understanding of ways to create a safe environment in different circumstances. The assignments gave hypothetical situations for me to navigate. I needed to provide a way to prevent injury and maintain safety in the proposed situations. It was a great learning experience!

Canine Anatomy

Canine anatomy is another critical topic your dog grooming course absolutely needs to teach you. In QC’s program, this is covered in Unit A. I found this particular lesson to be very important. The assignments helped me to become more familiar with the different parts of a dog. I also learned all about various types of conformation and physical attributes, coat types, coat features, and more!

Knowing canine anatomy and breed variations will take a groomer’s skill-set from good to great. This is because you’ll then understand how to properly create a look that highlights a dog’s breed-specific features. As a result, you’ll be capable of creating the breed’s profile look.

QC’s Dog Grooming Course will teach you how to create a balanced look on different types of dogs, as well as properly work on dogs with structural faults and/or physical restrictions.

side profile of German Shepherd dog

Skincare and Esthetics

In the Skincare and Esthetics portion of Unit A, I was taught about the anatomy of a dog’s hair and skin. I also learned about the different layers and cells, and their purposes. Proper skincare is important! As a groomer, you need to know how to maintain a healthy coat and the dog’s skin in general.

By taking a dog grooming course, you’ll discover the most common skin issues and conditions in dogs – from fleas to mange. I was grateful to learn about this in Unit A of QC’s program. As a groomer, the dog’s wellbeing always has to be your very first priority.

You must understand how a dog’s skin and coat work, as well as how to maintain it. That way, your clients’ dogs will leave in top condition and look great!

Dog Groomer vs. Veterinarian

All that being said, it’s crucial to remember that you’re a groomer. You’re not a veterinarian. As such, it’s important to stay in your lane. Never try to provide owners with a diagnosis, even if you think you know what the problem is.

Yes, as a groomer, you’ll deal with a dog’s coat and skin more than their vet will. But vets have extensive medical training – the kind of training you won’t find in any dog grooming course. If you do suspect that your client’s dog has some sort of medical issue, raise your concerns with the owner and recommend that they seek out their veterinarian’s professional opinion.

Sometimes, it’ll be the client who unknowingly blurs the line between your job description and a vet’s. They might ask you to do or recommend something that falls outside of your qualifications. This is why it’s important to always be clear that you are not a vet and can’t provide a diagnosis. All you can do is raise your concerns with them. After that, it’s the client’s responsibility to seek further medical advice from a trained expert.

If a dog comes into your shop with a suspected condition that could be potentially contagious, Unit A will provide you the knowledge to deal with it safely and accordingly.

Want to learn more about distinguishing your role as a groomer from that of a vet? Keep reading here!

dog grooming course unit a article camille torkornoo last in-post image

Overall, I learned a LOT of invaluable information from Unit A of QC’s Dog Grooming Course. If your dream job is to work with dogs every day, perhaps grooming is the perfect career path for you. And if it is, there’s no grooming school I recommend more than QC Pet Studies.

Earn your professional certification in less than one year by enrolling in QC’s Dog Grooming Course today!

How to Groom a Poodle: A Crash Course

groom a poodle feature image

Want to learn how to groom a poodle? QC Pet Studies and poodle expert, Camille Torkornoo, is here to help! As an aspiring groomer, Camille’s business, Mount Zion Kennels, specializes in grooming and breeding standard Poodles. Learn more about Camille by reading her Student Feature!

Grooming a Poodle: Breeding Standards

A Poodle is one breed of dog that comes in three recognized sizes:

  1. Standard (16″ and over)
  2. Miniature (10″ to 15″)
  3. Toy (under 10″)
standard white poodle full body

Poodles are very active and intelligent dogs. When grooming a poodle, the way you make them look should reflect these incredible qualities!

To start, poodles should be squarely built and well-proportioned. Their eyes should be dark and oval shaped; set far enough apart and positioned to create an alert and intelligent expression. The ears are long and wide, and should be thickly feathered, hang close to the head, and set at (or slightly below) eye level.

A poodle’s skull should be moderately rounded, with a slight but deviate stop. Length from the occiput to the stop should be about the same as the length of the muzzle. The muzzle should be long, straight, and fine. It should also have a slight chiseling under the eyes.

Remember: it should be strong without lippiness, and complemented by the chin, which should be defined, without snippiness.

A poodle should have small, oval-shaped feet with well-arched toes that are cushioned on thick, firm pads. The angulation of the hindquarters should balance that of the forequarters. The hock should be short to the heel, and perpendicular to the ground. The neck should be well-proportioned, strong, and long enough to permit the head to be carried high with dignity.

Finally, the topline of a poodle should be level from the withers to the base of the tail. Never sloping or roached! Their chest should be deep and moderately wide, with well-sprung ribs. Last but not least, the forelegs should be straight and parallel.

The Challenges of Grooming a Poodle

Poodles are known to be one of the most challenging breeds to groom. This is to their high-maintenance, curly coats. In order to maintain a poodle’s coat properly, they must be bathed, brushed, and trimmed constantly. There are many different ways to style a poodle. A few of the most common pet trims are the:

  • Kennel Clip
  • Bikini Clip
  • Modern Clip

The Tools You’ll Need

Grooming a poodle requires a lot of tools! Some of the tools you’ll need include:

  • Combs of different lengths;
  • A slicker brush;
  • Clippers and comb attachments;
  • Straight and curved shears;
  • And more!

How to Groom a Poodle: A Walkthrough

Before you groom a poodle, they must be clean and fluff-dried. This will help make sure that the hair is completely straight, allowing you to cut it evenly throughout the whole body.

The Face

When the poodle is ready to be groomed, start with the face. Take a #15 or #30 blade and begin by flipping the ear up. Start clipping against the grain at the base of the ear, all the way to the corner of the eye. Remember to keep a straight line! This will set the line between the topknot and the face.

Next, clip the rest of the cheek and to the throat. Begin shaving down the neck, from below the ear to the throat. Do this on both sides in order to create either a V or a U shape (depending on your client’s preference) in the middle of the throat.

Finish cleaning up the face by shaving from the corner of the eye and the stop down to the nose. Then you’ll go around the eyes (but NOT above), from the corner of the mouth to the nose, and then the chin. A longer blade may be used on the chin to give the illusion of having more underjaw.

groom a poodle female groomer trimming black poodle's coat

The Feet

After the face is done, I move onto the poodle’s feet. Use the clippers to clean the paw pads, as well as between the toes. After that, you’ll want to clean up the front of the foot. Set the line at the wrist and make sure it goes evenly around the entire foot. Carefully shave between the toes and webbing. Don’t forget to go over the hair around the base of the nails, too!

The Tail

When grooming a poodle’s tail, how you’ll approach the process will depend on the tail set and the length of the tail. Generally, though, I measure approx. 3 fingers up from the base in order to set the line.

Take your clippers and clip from where you want the line set, down to the base of the tail. Do this all the way around. After that, you’ll want to make a V shape at the base. I draw a diagonal line from the hip to the pin bone on both sides. Where those lines intersect is where I put the tip of the V. Cut out the outline of the V with the corners of your clippers. From there, you’ll finish up by cleaning what’s in-between!

The Top Knot

Once it’s time to shape the top knot, start by combing out the poodle’s hair to one side. Next, use straight shears to cut a straight line from the corner of the eye to the center of the top of the ear. You’ll then comb the hair out to the other side and do the same thing.

After that, comb the hair forward and use curved shears to trim it. Don’t trim beyond the tops of the eyes, but make sure you do trim enough so that they are visible. Once you’re done trimming both sides, as well the front, use curved shears to trump the edges. This will create a balanced and rounded topknot.

Now your poodle is ready to style in whatever trim you want!

white poodle with top knot

Want to learn more about grooming poodles? QC Pet Studies’ online Dog Grooming Course will teach you everything you need to know to become a true expert! Learn more here!

All About Double Coats

dogs with double coats feature image

If you’re lucky, your grooming career will allow you to interact with all types of dogs. From big and small, to prized show dogs to beloved family pets, and everything in-between – you’ll be getting up close and personal with more dog breeds than you can name.

While you likely know already that not all dog coats are the same, you might not fully understand the intricacies of dog coats. Perhaps you aren’t sure what the difference is between a single coat and a double coat. Maybe you aren’t sure which coats you’ll typically be working with throughout your career.

Luckily, we’re here to help!

Today, we’re going to be looking at the double coat. If you aren’t sure what a double coat is, how to groom it, or how to tell if the dog you’re working on has a double coat in the first place, read on to learn everything you need to know!

What is a Double Coat?

Broadly speaking, dogs’ coats can be divided into two categories: single and double coats. A single coat is pretty self-explanatory; it’s when a dog has just one layer of fur. You’ll find single coats on many breeds, such as:

  • Chihuahuas
  • Maltese
  • Poodles
  • Soft-coated wheaten terriers

A double coat, as you may have guessed, describes a dog with two layers of fur on their bodies. It’s important to know that there isn’t one particular type of fur that automatically indicates the presence of a double coat. Dogs can have curly, smooth, or wiry hair and still have either a single or double coat.

However, there are still clear ways to tell if a dog has a double coat. Double coats consist of a dense, short undercoat located beneath a top coat of longer fur (known as “guard hairs”).

Dogs with double coats may look very fluffy, like a Chow Chow, or wiry, like a Shiba Inu.

The Purpose of Double Coats

Double coats protect dogs from external elements. A double coat will provide a dog with better protection during particularly hot or cold weather, since the undercoat helps to regulate their temperatures.

As such, it’s typically a safe bet that a dog might have a double coat if their breed comes from a particularly hot or cold climate. For example, an Alaskan Husky would need to be protected from extreme cold.

So, if your dog grooming client were to bring a husky in for their appointment, you could guess – based on the breed alone – that you’ll be dealing with a double coat. (And you’d be correct!)

What Breeds Have Double Coats?

Many different breeds, both common and less-common, have double coats. In general, a dog will appear fluffier the thicker their base coat is. You’ll find this in:

  • Bernese Mountain Dogs
  • Chow Chows
  • Newfoundland dogs
  • Pomeranians
  • Great Pyrenees

Many terriers also have double coats. Keep in mind that these dogs’ top coats are usually wiry instead of fluffy. So, they’ll have a totally different look and feel than the dog breeds listed above. You’ll find wiry double coats in:

  • Cairn Terriers
  • Scottish Terriers
  • Yorkshire Terriers
  • Parson Russel Terriers
  • Schnauzers

Dogs who were bred to work outdoors in the elements also regularly have double coats. This is because historically, their breeds have needed extra protection for long days at work. Some working dogs with double coats include:

  • Golden Retrievers
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Border Collies
  • German Shepherds
  • All breeds of Sheepdog

Grooming Considerations for Double Coats

Now that you understand how to identify a dog with a double coat, you’ll need to know how to groom one! The grooming process for a dog with a double coat often looks very different to that of a single-coated dog. While some double-coated dogs require extra grooming time and attention, others are much more low-maintenance.

The main difference between a single and double-coated dog is that the latter goes through what’s known as “coat blow.” This is the process of a double-coated dog transitioning between seasonal coats (e.g. preparing to cool down in the summer). The process of a dog blowing their coat involves large clumps of their undercoat shedding all at once. This will allow the dog to be more comfortable once the weather heats up – but it can be a pain for their owners!

The process of coat blow will need to be helped along by regular brushing. You can use a standard brush, or even specialized tools, such as an undercoat rake. The idea is to help remove all of the dog’s undercoat that’s become loose (but may be stuck in the overcoat).

Dogs can also benefit from more regular bathing while they’re blowing their coats. A lot of owners won’t know this, so as the trained expert, it’ll be your job to keep your clients informed. With your guidance, they’ll have a much clearer understanding of what they can do at home to help their dog.

Every day as a dog groomer, you’ll have the chance to get to know different kinds of dogs. Just like a job that introduces you to lots of different types of people, you’ll soon realize that all of them have individual personalities, opinions, and needs! Being able to identify a dog’s coat type is the first step towards ensuring that every dog – and every human – leaves the appointment feeling their best!

Learn even more about dog breeds, coats, and grooming techniques by enrolling in QC Pet Studies’ online Dog Grooming Course today!

How to Deal with Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety

dog torn apart couch due to separation anxiety

It’s always a great feeling to come home at the end of the day and have your dog rush up to you. Sometimes, it seems like no matter how long you’re away from home – be it five minutes or five hours – your dog is just as thrilled to see you and always ready to hang out!

If you’ve been working from home lately, a major perk you may have found is that you get to spend all day, every day with your furry best friend. What could possibly be better than taking breaks from your job to spend time with your pup? Plus, you get those sweet dog cuddles on demand!

But with more people working from home this year, some owners have noticed a change in their dogs’ behavior. A dog that used to barely look up from his spot on the couch when you leave is now whining, crying, and making a scene when you so much as glance at your front door.

So, what gives?

If this sounds familiar to you, your dog may be suffering from what’s known as “separation anxiety”. Thankfully, not all hope is lost! You can easily help her gain confidence and overcome separation anxiety with a bit of extra training – for the both of you!

dog staring out the window

What is Separation Anxiety?

Separation anxiety is the result of a panic response in your dog when you leave them for a period of time. Some dogs experience this mildly. For example, think about that time you went out for the whole day and came back to discover your dog had destroyed a pillow.

Other dogs, however, experience it in a much more extreme capacity. Dogs with severe separation anxiety will see you leaving the room and react as if you’ve just left the country.

To put it simply: they aren’t happy when you aren’t around.

While it’s great that your dog loves spending time with you so much, it’s easy to see how separation anxiety can quickly become a problem. At some point, you do have to leave the house (even in 2020!). Helping your dog become more comfortable with that is important.

If you aren’t sure whether your dog may be suffering from separation anxiety, think about their behavior. Here’s a good question to ask yourself… When you’re away from them, does your pooch do any of the following:

  • Have accidents in the house?
  • Pace back and forth endlessly?
  • Behave destructively (i.e. chewing furniture or clothing)?
  • Bark, whine, or howl excessively?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then this is likely how your dog’s separation anxiety is manifesting itself.

dog staring out window

What Causes Separation Anxiety in Dogs?

Any dog can experience separation anxiety, but some breeds do seem to be more predisposed to the condition. For example, labs, shepherds, collies, spaniels, and pointers are working breeds. They’re “people-oriented” by nature, due to how they’ve been bred.

Historically, these dogs are used to always having someone around to tell them what to do. In that same breath, they’re also used to someone always being around to provide love and attention. This can make them especially prone to separation anxiety.

Dogs can be more delicate than we think! Many people believe that rescue dogs, or dogs with a history of abandonment and neglect, can suffer more strongly from separation anxiety. Your dog’s daily routine plays a role in it, too. If your dog is used to you being constantly around, he’ll be more anxious when you aren’t. Routines are important for dogs, so any big changes risk increasing separation anxiety.

You’ve probably been nervous when you go somewhere new and you don’t know what to expect. Well, dogs experience this too! Whether you’re taking them to the vet, doggy daycare, or to the groomer, your dog will almost definitely react to new situations. It’s not uncommon for dog owners to discover that their usually well-behaved dog starts to bark or act defensively at the grooming salon, for example.

Strategies for Separation Anxiety

Your dog will feel calmer if they have a safe space to hang out while you’re gone. If you’ve noticed that your dog’s separation anxiety spikes when you leave the house (and not, for example, when you leave them at the groomer’s or daycare), you can specifically try to make spaces in your house where they feel more comfortable.

The Humane Society of the United States recommends creating a special phrase or action that tells your dog that you’ll be back. Once your dog is used to hearing that phrase, they’ll better understand that you will return soon. This will hopefully help them to feel less anxious.

Some things, as you’ll quickly discover, won’t always work. For instance, crating a dog who isn’t used to being crated is a bad strategy for dealing with separation anxiety. That would just be another big routine change that’ll stress them out more!

Note: That being said, if you’re worried that your dog will wreak havoc upon your home in your absence, consider leaving them in a secure room. If possible, this room should have a window in it. Giving them safe toys and an item of clothing that smells like you can also provide comfort.

Training Yourself to Train Your Dog

Dogs love to follow the leader. So, you should always try to be the best leader you can be for your dog! An unexpected way to help a dog with separation anxiety is to enroll in a dog grooming course. When you practice your new skills on your dog, they’ll become used to the sensations they would experience while visiting the groomer. The sounds and experiences won’t be so different and scary. It can wind up making the appointment much easier!

Training as a dog groomer will also allow you to connect with your dog and be able to identify when they’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed. Once you understand how your dog is feeling, you’ll be able to more quickly and easily help them deal with that feeling in a positive way!

While separation anxiety can be stressful for everyone involved, it’s important to remember that your dog will follow your lead. Staying calm, cool, and collected while helping her learn the ins and outs of being by herself will go a long way toward lessening separation anxiety. Whether you’re heading out to run errands, or your dog has a date with the groomer – working on separation anxiety will mean that your dog will spend more time happy, confident, and content.

Enroll in QC Pet Studies’ Dog Grooming Course and get our First Aid for Groomers Course absolutely free! 

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!

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!