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Grooming

Get $200 OFF QC Pet Studies’ Dog Grooming Course + A FREE Eco-Friendly Planner!

Do you dream of working as a professional dog groomer? QC Pet Studies can help you turn this dream into a reality in as little as 9-12 months!

Look, I get it: going back to school always feels like a daunting decision for some of us. This is why we’re committed to making the decision to enroll with QC the easiest one you’ll ever have to make!

But before I get into all the reasons why QC Pet Studies is the dog grooming school to train with, let me first start by letting you in on some seriously exciting news…

Have You Heard About QC Pet Studies’ Brand-New Promo?

Okay, get ready for an awesome announcement… Are you ready?

Here it is:

Until September 17th, 2021, you can get TWO courses with QC Pet Studies for the price of ONE… AND get $200 off your course… AND get a free eco-friendly planner!

As a result, you’ll be able to launch your career as a professional dog groomer with a DOUBLE certification. What’s more: both of these qualifications/designations are internationally recognized! Thus, you’ll have the freedom to potentially service clients from all over the world, if you so choose!

Alright, so now that you’re as excited as I am, let’s take a closer look at this exclusive promotional offer.

Bonus Planner Promotion Graphic

What You Need to Know

Here’s the promotion in a nutshell: until September 17th, 2021, when you enroll in QC Pet Studies’ wildly popular Dog Grooming Course, we’ll knock a whopping $200 OFF your tuition AND provide you with a complimentary eco-friendly planner!

Crafted from recycled cardboard, these down-to-earth writing supplies embody the green spirit. Not to mention, the planner is absolutely beautiful!
But wait, that’s not all we want to give you!
As an added bonus, we’ll also gift you with our First Aid for Groomers Course at NO additional cost!

To put this into context, this First Aid for Groomers Course normally costs $348 USD… But you’ll be able to enroll in it absolutely FREE. Not only is this the perfect option for someone wanting to get their education on a budget; it’s quite literally a steal.

So, now you might be thinking, “Okay, but why these courses? Why will these certification programs help me become a professional dog groomer and have a successful career?”

Don’t worry, I’ve got you! Let’s take a look at this next…

QC Pet Studies’ Dog Grooming Course

The first thing you need to know is that this is, hands-down, our most popular program. Thousands upon thousands of aspiring and working groomers alike have graduated from this course and gone on to cultivate thriving, fruitful careers in the pet industry.

The wonderful thing about the Dog Grooming Course is that it’s craftily tailored towards ANY and ALL skill levels. Yes, this means that even if you’ve never groomed a dog before, this course will turn you into a subject-matter expert by the time you’re finished. On the other hand, if you already have some experience under your belt, this course will refine all of those core, fundamental grooming techniques you already know and bring them to the next level!

The Course Breakdown

QC Pet Studies’ Dog Grooming Course is broken up into 5 parts. In the first 3 units (A through C), you’ll learn all about:

  • The fundamental concept of dog grooming;
  • Health and safety;
  • Basic dog anatomy;
  • Skincare;
  • Canine behavior;
  • Tools of the trade;
  • And so much more!

Next, you’ll move onto Part 2 of the program. This is where you’ll get the most of your training by taking advantage of the First Aid for Groomers Course – which I’ll tell you more about shortly.

From there, you’ll progress to Part 3 of the Dog Grooming Course, which covers units D through G. These are the units where you’ll begin putting your grooming and First Aid knowledge to real-world use!

For example, you’ll get to:

  • Trim nails;
  • Clean ears;
  • Brush and de-mat coats;
  • Bathe and dry dogs;
  • Work with different coat types;
  • Execute various haircuts and styles;
  • Do cuts that meet breed standards;
  • And more!
QC Pet Studies Sept promo article in-post image 2

Now it’ll be time to move onto Part 4 of the program, which consists of your Practicum Units (1 through 5). During this portion of the course, you’ll be tested on your ability to safely and skillfully groom dogs.

These Practicum Units will have you completing intensive hands-on assignments that draw on the content you’ve mastered throughout the course. Furthermore, your personal tutor will review all of your work and provide extensive audio feedback, thereby helping you identify your current strengths and weaknesses.

Business Training

Finally, you’ll arrive at the last unit of the Dog Grooming Course, which is all about business training. Though this unit is optional, we STRONGLY recommend taking full advantage of it. In fact, the countless graduates who’ve come out of QC Pet Studies have attributed a large part of their career success to the business knowledge they obtained in this very unit.

After all, in order to have a successful business, you need to know how to actually run one. This final unit will ensure to teach you everything you need to know in order to do just that!

You’ll discover how to work for employers, or get your own business off the ground if that’s the career path you’d prefer to take. Moreover, you’ll learn how to market and promote yourself, find your target clientele, conduct competitor research, develop your brand, provide top-notch customer service, and so much more.

Essentially, the Dog Grooming Course – as a full, all-encompassing program – goes full circle. It not only teaches you how to groom like a true expert; it also teaches you how to conquer the business side of things, thus making you a total powerhouse!

QC Pet Studies’ Dog Grooming Certification

Once you graduate from this course, you’ll be mailed a physical copy of QC Pet Studies’ exclusive International Dog Grooming Professional (IDGP) certification. This certification, as I mentioned earlier, is internationally recognized and will be sure to impress all your future clients and/or employers!

And don’t forget: this title also serves as your official designation, too. Your resume will look mighty impressive with this reputable qualification added to it!

Want to hear what past QC Pet Studies graduates have had to say about the Dog Grooming Course? Check out their course reviews here!

QC Pet Studies’ First Aid for Groomers Course

As a professional groomer, First Aid training is JUST as important as grooming training. This is why QC Pet Studies’ First Aid for Groomers Course is the perfect complement to your Dog Grooming program!

Note: While you can enroll in this program without taking the other course, we highly recommend also enrolling in the Dog Grooming Course if you have no prior experience in the industry.

So, why exactly will taking QC’s First Aid for Groomers Course set your career up for even greater success?

Because this 2-unit course will diversify your industry knowledge and increase your booking potential tenfold! 

The Course Breakdown

If I tried to list all of the valuable lessons you’ll learn in this program, we’d be here all day. However, these are just some of the amazing skills you’ll gain from this training:

  • How to build your First Aid kit;
  • Setting up a safe workspace and operating within it;
  • Preventing injuries and accidents;
  • Assessing a dog’s health;
  • Preventing bites or scratches;
  • Treating minor injuries;
  • Determining the severity of a wound and checking a dog’s vitals;
  • Creating an emergency plan;
  • Rescue breathing techniques and performing CPR;
  • Helping a choking dog;
  • Responding to various emergencies – such as dehydration, heatstroke, heart attacks, seizures, cysts, parasites, burns, and bruises;
  • And more!

QC Pet Studies’ First Aid for Groomers Certificate

Upon graduation, QC Pet Studies will send you your internationally recognized First Aid for Groomers certificate of completion, which you can proudly add to your portfolio and resume. This certification shows top industry clientele that you’ve received professional First Aid training and know how to do your both job masterfully and safely.

Pro Tip: Setting yourself apart from the competition is HUGE in the grooming industry – especially if you run your own business. This level of safety training will be sure to make yours a memorable name!

What to Expect as a Student of QC Pet Studies

Okay, so now you have a better idea of these two courses and why our current promotional offer is so amazing. But what can you actually expect as a student, once you’ve enrolled with QC Pet Studies?

Self-Paced, Online Learning Environment

This is probably the best place to start since it’s easily the top reason why students and alumni completely love QC Pet Studies’ training.

All of our courses are done 100% online and at your preferred pace. We don’t impose any deadlines on you, nor do you need to follow any rigid, set schedules. Starting on the date you enroll, you get a full 2 years to complete your programs. That said, each course is less than 40 years long.

As such – and since you have full control over when and how much you focus on your studies – you can use as much or as little of that 2-year timeframe as you need. To put this into perspective: many of our grads found that by working on their course for a mere 1-2 hours per week, they were able to graduate in as little as 9-12 months (sometimes sooner)!

Tons of Hands-On Training

Yes, while our courses are done online (rather than a brick-and-mortar class), we still understand the need for real-world experience. This is why QC Pet Studies’ Dog Grooming Course provides an abundance of practical assignments that’ll give you all sorts of eye-opening, hands-on training.

Furthermore, these assignments will push you to find and work on dogs of different breeds and sizes, as well as those with different coat types. As a result, you’ll hone your skill-set and be completely prepared to book legit, paying clients as soon as you graduate!

Real Industry Expert Tutors

At QC Pet Studies, we firmly believe that you can only become the best by learning from the best! This is why all of our tutors are real-world dog groomers with years of experience under their belts.

Once you enroll in your courses, you’ll be assigned your personal tutor. Since our learning environment is one-on-one style, we guarantee that your training experience will be 100% tailored to you, your work, and your goals. Furthermore, after every unit, your tutor will go over your work with a fine-toothed comb and then provide thorough audio feedback to help you identify your current strengths and weaknesses.

Groomer makes shearing of Yorkshire Terrier by scissors. hairdresser pet and pet hair care specialist. extras at the pet store

Physical AND Digital Course Materials

Once enrolled, you’ll receive your login details for QC Pet Studies’ Online Student Center within 1-2 business days. As soon as you can log into the OSC, you’ll have access to the digital copy of all of your textbooks, instructional videos, quizzes, worksheets, and assignments. Thus, you’ll be able to begin your course as soon as you want!

However, we’ll also be mailing you a physical copy of your course materials as well – right to your front door, at no extra charge. Plus, since the Dog Grooming Course also comes with a complimentary starter grooming kit, you’ll also receive that from us, too!

Competitive Tuition Rates

In general, QC Pet Studies – like all other online schools – will offer cheaper tuition than what you’d find in an in-person grooming school. This is because we don’t have a physical campus to maintain or any of the additional overhead costs that would come with that.

But it’s not enough for us to simply be more affordable than brick-and-mortar schools… After all, we want to make your decision to pursue your dream career as easy as possible! And this is exactly why we pride ourselves on our low monthly payments plans.

Now, you absolutely can pay the full amount at the time of enrollment (which will get you a pretty nice Pay-in-Full discount). But you also have the option to pay a small deposit at the time of enrollment, followed by easily affordable payments for a set number of months afterward.

This way, ANY person with ANY budget can get QC’s top-quality education!

(Seriously, once you add this on top of the $200 OFF you’ll get from this promotional discount, it’s hard to think of a reason not to enroll with QC Pet Studies right away!)

Pro Tip: Did you know QC Pet Studies also offers a 21-Day Money-Back Guarantee? Learn more about it here!

Ready to become a professional dog groomer? Take advantage of QC Pet Studies’ exciting, limited-time promotional offer today and book your first client in as little as 9-12 months!

All About Groomers Lung

Groomers lung article, July 09 2021, Feature Image

If you’re reading this article, it’s because you either dream of becoming a dog groomer or you already are one. Either way, welcome! As a groomer, there’s a lot of valuable information you should acquire in order to do your job properly. One such thing you might have heard about (and want to better understand) is the dreaded “groomers lung”.

We won’t lie – this topic is a little dark. But it doesn’t need to be nearly as scary as the name sounds! Yes, groomers lung is a serious issue. If you want to work in this industry, it is something to be mindful of. However, so long as you know what it is and how to prevent it, you’re going to be fine, trust us!

What is Groomers Lung?

As a grooming professional, your job will often involve shaving, trimming, and cutting dogs’ hair. Moreover, you’ll be working with a lot of products, such as shampoos, conditioners, medicated treatments, etc. A lot of the time, debris winds up floating in the air around you. If you’re not careful, you can inhale it directly into your lungs… which is not good, especially over time.

In a nutshell, groomers lung is a chronic condition that can negatively impact the function of your lungs. It goes without saying that having any foreign object inside of your lungs is not exactly a good thing. Hair, dander, and chemical products are all things that definitely shouldn’t be ingested into our bodies. Not to mention that all of those sharp, tiny hairs can also cause inflammation and create scar tissue.

Groomers lung article, July 09 2021, in-post image

Can You Die from Groomers Lung?

Of course, having harmful debris in your lungs for a prolonged period of time can eventually become detrimental to your health. That being said, while groomers lung can be fatal in the most extreme cases, the chances of this happening to you are slim.

With that being said, symptoms can range from mild to severe and include:

  • Chronic coughing
  • Chest pain
  • Airway inflammation
  • Lung-related issues (i.e. pneumonia, bronchitis, etc.)
  • Difficulty breathing

While none of these symptoms sound pleasant, most are manageable and non-fatal. Of course, some of the others (such as lung-related issues and severe difficulty breathing) can admittedly spiral into grievous situations if left unmanaged.

Arguably the worst part of groomers lung is that once you get it, you’ll likely feel its affects for the rest of your life. Furthermore, there’s no known “cure”. This is why it’s important that you take preventative measures throughout your dog grooming career, in order to ensure it never comes to this!

How to Prevent It

Tip #1: Wear a face mask!

Thanks to the COVID pandemic, we’ve all gotten accustomed to wearing face masks as part of our day-to-day lives. Hopefully, in the near future, they won’t be necessary anymore… at least, in your regular life. When on the job, however, a face mask should be a staple part of your work attire!

No, you don’t need to wear it during the entire groom. But at the very least, make sure to wear one whenever you’re handling chemical products or tending to a dog’s hair. Having something to protect your mouth and nose will help reduce the amount of debris in the air from making its way into your lungs.

PRO TIP: Don’t use a face shield, as this will still leave enough space between your face and the shield for hair and debris to sneak its way in. Instead, wear a cloth mask that fits lightly and comfortably to the form of your face. This blog article by John Hopkins Medicine provides some excellent tips to help you buy the right face mask for your needs!

Female groomers with protective face masks brushing Pomeranian dog and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel at grooming salon.

Tip #2: Keep your work station sanitary!

Being clean and sanitary is already a must as a professional dog groomer. Of course, one reason is that it will help make a good impression with your clients. Another is that a clean station will make your job easier, since you’ll never have to scramble to find the tool you need. The most important reason, however, is that a clean space helps ensure the safety of both you and the dogs.

When it comes to preventing groomers lung, a tidy station will go a long way. After every groom, thoroughly and properly clean the area. This includes wiping down surfaces, as well as sweeping and vacuuming floors. Doing so will help reduce the amount of flyaway fur and dander lingering about. Oh, and don’t forget to wear that face mask we talked about while you do your cleaning!

Another smart idea is to invest in an air purifier for your grooming station. Last but not least, ensure that wherever you’re working is properly ventilated. The more you can get clean air circulating through the room, the better!

Tip #3: Be aware of what’s happening around you!

It can be all too easy to get lost in the grooming process and forget to pay attention to what’s happening all around you. But as you’re clipping little Fluffy’s coat, hair could be flying up around your face without you even noticing. This is why it’s important to properly see your surroundings while working on your client’s pooch.

Here are a few quick tips to help with this:

  • Wear darker clothing so you can more easily see flyaway hairs. White and/or brighter colors can mask dog hair, making it harder for you to gauge just how much shedding is actually going on.
  • Keep your work area bright. Never work in a dimly lit environment. Not only is this unsafe in general – you won’t be able to properly see all of the hair/dander/chemical debris in the air or on the surfaces around you.
  • If you run your own business, invest in cool colors for your countertops, grooming tables, etc. Just like with your clothing, cooler and/or darker tones throughout your grooming station will help you spot hair and debris with greater ease.

Tip #4: Educate your clients about at-home care!

If your client never bothers to brush their dog at home in-between appointments, that dog is going to shed a lot more fur whenever they’re in your care. As a result, there’ll be considerably more hair on your work surfaces, the floor, your clothes, and in the air.

As the subject-matter expert, you can help prevent this from happening! Take the time to chat with your client and learn more about the sort of at-home care they give their pup. If there’s room for improvement, gently and respectfully offer some suggestions to guide them in the right direction.

This will definitely help reduce the likelihood of groomers lung!

Dog groomer trimming dog's back paw

Tip #5: Get professional dog grooming training!

“Umm… How is professional training supposed to help prevent groomers lung?”

Just stick with me on this for a moment!

When you get trained in a professional certification course, one of the many things you’ll be taught is proper sanitization and safety measures. As a result, you’ll better understand how to clean your products, tools, and work station. This, in turn, will help prevent groomers lung by reducing the amount of fur and dander polluting your work environment (see Tip #2).

Of course, this is just one of many reasons why getting professional training is a smart career move! 😉 If you’d like to learn more about how proper training will make your career all the more successful, check out this blog article here.

What to Do if You Get Groomers Lung

By taking all of the preventative measures outlined in this article, your chances of getting groomers lung will be drastically reduced. However, in the event that you do still contract it, take assurance in knowing that you have options at your disposal.

A doctor will be able to formally diagnose you and offer possible treatments. Depending on the severity, you may be prescribed medications in order to combat the inflammation and reduce pain/discomfort. In more serious cases, immunotherapy may be recommended as well.

Note: If you’re a groomer and have been experiencing any of the symptoms discussed in this article, visit your doctor and have them take a look. It’s best to address this sort of issue sooner rather than later. 

Next up, learn about the safety hazards for dogs during a groom and how to prevent them! 

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 Master the Teddy Bear Cut

Teddy Bear Cut article, June 11 2021, Feature Image

If you want to be a successful dog groomer, you’re going to need to know the Teddy Bear Cut. But if you’re new to this haircut style, don’t worry! QC Pet Studies alumnus, April Costigan, is here to break down everything you need to know to get started!

Teddy Bear Cut article, June 11 2021, April Costigan headshot

Introduction to The Teddy Bear Cut

The Teddy Bear Cut is one of the cutest cuts – as well as one of the most requested. It features a rounded face, with a short clip to the body and legs, and rounded feet. Depending on the density of the coat, longer hair may be left on the legs if the coat is thin. This will help give the cut a more balanced look. Sometimes, especially on older dogs, the coat is thinner on the body and thicker on the legs. Thus, it may be necessary to compensate for these differences.

QC Pet Studies’ online Dog Grooming certification course features this cut in their “Pet Cuts” booklet. Here, you get very thorough instructions on how to achieve a pristine Teddy Bear Cut. I personally refer to this booklet from time to time – specifically, when I have questions while working on a dog that has coat challenges, such as the ones mentioned above.

Achieving The Teddy Bear Cut

Prep Work

To achieve the perfect Teddy Bear Cut, make sure you have completed all of the prep work first. This includes:

  • Trimming the dog’s nails;
  • Trimming the paw pads;
  • Performing a complete sanitary cut;
  • Cleaning the ears;
  • Bathing the dog
  • And drying them afterwards.

When drying, make sure to blow out as much curl as possible (if you ‘re working with a curly coat). This is an important step in order to attain the look you want, which is an even coat length on the dog. Then choose a comb that’ll give you the length of coat your client prefers.

Pomeranian on grooming table before hair cut

Clipping the Coat

Once the dog is completely dry, you can begin clipping the coat. Start at the base of the skull and run your clippers down the topline, to the tail. Next, clip the hips and beneath the tail. I like to clip both rear legs on the outside and the inside, before clipping the sides of the body. Personally, I feel this gives me a better opportunity to ensure an even length all over. It’s my personal preference.

Once the dog’s hips and legs are complete, I then move to the sides. Once that’s completed, I proceed to the neck, shoulders, front legs, and chest. Complete the body and legs by giving the dog nice, rounded feet. You can do this using your rounded shears.

Don’t forget to fluff the fur between the toes! This way, you can trim off any really long hairs and blend them into the tops of the rounded feet. After this, use your metal comb to fluff the fur all over the body and legs. During this part of the process, you can also trim off any stray or uneven areas using your blending shears. I like to use my rounded shears and my blending shears to blend the sides into the underside of the body. I’ve found that this gives the dog a nice, rounded shape.

Want to see a visual breakdown of each of the above steps? QC Pet Studies‘ self-paced training outlines and demonstrates the entire process in their instructional video, as well as in their reference booklet!

Teddy Bear Cut, pomeranian with rounded face haircut

Creating The Teddy Bear Face

Once you’ve blended and shaped the body, legs, and feet, it’s time to complete the Teddy Bear face! The face should be rounded and full when looking at it from the front. This includes the top of the head, sides of the cheeks, and the hair on the chin (a.k.a. the “beard”).  When combined together, all of these elements give the appearance of the soft, rounded Teddy Bear Cut.

To reveal expressive eyes, first comb the hair on the top of the head forward. Using your straight scissors, rest them on the bridge of the dog’s nose. Then, with your scissors angled straight up, make the cut level with the stop. Trim the hairs on the top of the nose, close to the eyes. This will remove any hairs that could obstruct the dog’s vision and detract from the desired expressive look.

Fun fact: trimming out tear-stained hairs will also brighten the eyes! So, trim back any long or scraggly hair that may appear on the outside of the eyes. If these are left, it gives the dog a sad, droopy expression… and that’s not what we’re looking for!

I like to use my rounded scissors to shape the cheeks and jaw. Next, I blend the jawline into the base of the ears. Using my blending shears, I make a smooth transition from the head into the neck. Fluff the hair periodically on the head and face to ensure you can trim off any scraggly hairs that disrupt the rounded look. Remember: you’re trying to achieve a rounded, symmetrical shape!

Trimming the top of the muzzle should be done with curved scissors and blended into the beard. Finally, blend the back of the neck by tilting the dog’s head forward and using your rounded scissors (or your blending shears) to create a slight arch that blends into the body.

Watch Me Create a Teddy Bear Cut!

I’ve filmed a video of me completing a Teddy Bear Cut on Riley, a dog of one of my regular clients. I do apologize for the quality – this was my first time at videoing an entire groom. However, I hope you find it helpful all the same!

Enroll with QC Pet Studies

QC Pet Studies’ Dog Grooming Course will prepare you to master the Teddy Bear Cut by introducing you to each element via written instruction. You’ll also have access to an excellent video tutorial by QC tutor, Lisa Day.

As a student, you’ll have this access to all video tutorials FOREVER! As a result, you can refer back to your training materials anytime you need them. Plus, when you first enroll, you receive a physical copy of your course materials, too. I found it awesome to have these at my fingertips for quick access!

Working with dogs and making them beautiful is a fun and exciting career. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Good luck to you!

Learn to master the Teddy Bear Cut (as well as a wide variety of other popular dog haircuts) by enrolling with QC Pet Studies today!

QC Pet Studies Students and Grads in Action!

QC Pet Studies article, Apr 16 2021, Feature Image

Dream of becoming a professional dog groomer? QC Pet Studies can get you fully trained and certified while you gain hands-on experience and knowledge from the comfort of your own home!

Want proof that our comprehensive, self-paced programs will set you up for success in the grooming industry?

Just check out some of our student and graduate success stories below!

QC Pet Studies Student & Alumni Spotlights

Casey Bechard

Casey graduated from QC Pet Studies back in 2018. Since then, she’s worked her way up in the professional world and is now the Salon Manager at Off The Leash Pet Grooming. While Casey’s knowledge allows her to work with a wide variety of pooches, her specialty lies with curly-coated breeds.

Fun fact: Casey is also a bi-monthly contributor to QC’s blog, Sniffin’ Around! We invite you to check out her articles here.

A Glimpse Into Casey’s Portfolio

Images courtesy of Casey’s Instagram.

Melanie Roias

Melanie joined QC Pet Studies as an already-certified dog groomer. However, she was looking to advance her education and learn more about health and safety on the job. As such, she enrolled in QC’s First Aid for Groomers Course at the beginning of 2021 – and graduated within a month of submitting her first Unit!

As part of her promise to clients, Melanie guarantees “dog grooming services offered in a private, calm, one-on-one setting”. Her business, Bark and Bow Grooming, services customers in the Toronto and GTA areas.

A Glimpse Into Melanie’s Portfolio

Images courtesy of Melanie’s Instagram.

Alesha Stanley

Alesha began working with dogs in the year 2017 and, as she says, has “loved every minute of it”. After working at a boarding kennel/doggy daycare, she soon discovered that her real career interest was dog grooming.

Thus, Alesha became a QC Pet Studies student back in 2019. She first graduated from her First Aid for Groomers Course in June of that year. After that, she successfully became an International Dog Grooming Professional (IDGP) in April of 2020.

Since then, Alesha has found employment and success as a dog groomer for established salons. For the past year, she’s been working at Fido’s Place in Weyburn, Saskatchewan.

A Glimpse Into Alesha’s Portfolio

Images courtesy of Alesha’s Instagram.

Camille Torkornoo

Camille is a Poodle expert, through and through. That being said, her grooming skills go far beyond just this one breed! She first enrolled with QC Pet Studies back in 2019 and has been working her way through her programs ever since.

When she’s not busy acing her assignments, Camille also frequently competes in dog shows with her talented Poodle, Moriah. She is also the owner of Mount Zion Kennels, offering her clients in Eugene, Oregon, both grooming and breeding services.

Like Casey, Camille is also a regular guest writer for QC Pet Studies’ blog. You can check out her past articles here!

A Glimpse Into Camille’s Portfolio

Images courtesy of Camille’s Instagram.

Why YOU Should Enroll with QC Pet Studies

If your dream is to work with dogs every day and become a legitimate dog groomer, there’s no better school to train with than QC Pet Studies!

Here are just some of the reasons why QC’s online learning environment will benefit you:

  • QC’s courses are 100% self-paced and done from the comfort of your own home.
  • Get direct online access to your course materials, as well as a physical copy mailed right to your front door!
  • Don’t have your own dog grooming tools? No problem! Once you’ve enrolled in our Dog Grooming Course, we’ll send you a fantastic starter kit.
  • Tuition at QC Pet Studies is extremely affordable. You can choose to pay upfront or take advantage of our low monthly payment plan. As such, our course prices are achievable for most budgets.
  • You’ll get TWO courses for the price of ONE! As our gift to you, you’ll receive our First Aid for Groomers Course at no extra cost when you enroll in the Dog Grooming Course.
  • All QC Pet Studies tutors are legit industry experts with years of experience. Moreover, your tutor will provide you with thorough audio feedback after every unit!
  • Practical assignments will ensure that you get extensive hands-on training with a wide variety of different dog breeds.
  • Upon graduation, you’ll have an internationally-recognized certification to add to your resume and impress clients!

Become a certified dog groomer in less than a year by enrolling with QC Pet Studies today!

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!

Working in a Dog Grooming Salon: 3 Critical Safety Tips

dog grooming article, Apr 1 2021, Feature Image

Dog grooming professional, April Costigan, is a graduate of QC Pet Studies. To learn more about April, check out her Graduate Feature here.

Safety in the Workplace

Safety in the workplace is always the highest priority for a successful operation. In the world of dog grooming, this is especially true. Working with a wide variety of dog breeds means working with a wide variety of personalities, temperaments, and behaviors.

QC Pet Studies’ Dog Grooming Course

As part of QC Pet Studies’ Dog Grooming Course, there is an excellent section called, Personal Health and Safety. This section thoroughly discusses how to keep yourself healthy and safe while working as a groomer. Although I’ve already graduated and am now working in the professional world, I still keep this particular booklet handy for easy reference.

The Personal Health and Safety booklet includes vital information regarding safety in a grooming environment. It talks about the significance of personal safety equipment – including those medical-grade masks that we’ve all become accustomed to wearing, thanks to COVID-19.  Not only do these masks provide protection from airborne pathogens, such as viruses and bacteria; they’re key to keeping hair, dander, and dust out of your lungs.

QC’s tutorial further discusses clean air, toxic cleaning products, and even shampoos that contain toxins. (You know, the ones intended to kill fleas and ticks.) The Lesson Guide is one of my favorite course materials to reference from time to time, as it also gives advice and suggestions on how to protect your hearing and keep your body physically fit for grooming.

My Top 3 Safety Tips When Working in a Dog Grooming Salon

The following are tips and tricks that I have established and utilize in my own shop…

1 – Technique

Most groomers develop their own style while working with dogs. They might adopt positive techniques that help benefit them, the dog, and their overall performance. For instance, I know one dog groomer who hums the entire time she grooms. She finds that it keeps her focused. Plus, she says it calms her dogs.

Personally, I cannot carry a tune to save my life. As such, I do not hum to my dogs. However, I do speak in a calm, low voice when the dog on my table seems anxious or nervous. This mostly happens when trimming nails or dealing with difficult mats. I am gentle but persistent when completing these tasks.

On the flip-side, there are also techniques that groomers can adopt that are not all that safe. At a large retail store, for example, I observed a groomer who would force an animal into submission in order to trim their nails. I found this alarming! In my opinion, that sort of technique isn’t necessary. In the dog grooming industry, there’s no room for a bully. Not to mention, this groomer will always run the risk of the dog reacting in self-defense and becoming aggressive.

Whenever I deal with a fussy dog who hates getting his nailed trimmed, I’ll employ patience. First, I’ll trim as many nails as the dog will allow before getting too upset. Then I’ll simply change to a different, more soothing task for the time being, such as brushing or ear cleaning. Once the dog has sufficiently settled down, I can trim a few more and return to the more soothing task whenever necessary.

Proper technique and etiquette may take longer, but it’ll always be worth it in the end. It’s also the path that will keep all parties involved the safest.

dog getting paws brushed by groomer in salon

2 – Preventing Bites

As a dog grooming expert, there will be times where your client’s dog will attempt to bite you. This just comes with the territory of working in this field. The risk is real, so you must be able to anticipate when a dog becomes so agitated that they may try to bite you.

In this kind of situation, muzzling the dog may be the only choice. The Groomer’s Toolkit lesson, taught by QC Pet Studies, does a great job in talking about a variety of tools you’ll be using in the workplace. Muzzles and E-collars are discussed on page 28. Keeping a First Aid kit on-hand is also a must! Personally, I’ve had to crack open the bandages on more than one occasion.

To drive this tip home, I’ll tell you a little story…

Story Time!

I once had a client named Spike. He was adopted from the shelter I work at, and he’s known for being a very nice dog. However, Spike had a traumatic history. As a result, he would turn into a biting dog whenever he became insecure.

He had bitten several people in his lifetime. In fact, I’ve seen this in action myself. He even gave me a very superficial bite when we first met. During his time at the shelter, we became good friends. Eventually, I was the only one who could successfully fit him for a muzzle when he needed medical care (which was often, as he had some medical issues).

When he finally left the shelter as a foster dog, he became a regular client of mine. Whenever he came to my home studio, I’d take some extra precautions to protect myself from what I fondly called, “Spike bites”.

April's homemade grooming glove for Spike
Spike wearing muzzle at dog groomer's
Spike after dog grooming appointment

Preventing “Spike Bites” in My Dog Grooming Salon

First, I purchased a muzzle that would fit him comfortably. I only used it when it was absolutely necessary, which was during nail trims. He actually loved to be groomed and was an easy dog to work with – once you got past the nail trim.

Secondly, I made myself my own bite-proof gloves. I bought a pair of scuba-diving gloves and cut the thumb and ring finger off. The fabric that wetsuits and scuba gloves are made of is very strong. So strong, in fact, that Spike could not penetrate it. And trust me, he tried more than once!

By cutting the thumb and ring finger off, I was able to easily use my scissors when trimming around Spike’s face. Sadly, sweet Spike has passed on, due to his medical issues. But I will always be grateful for the lessons he taught me about preventing bites. I still actually call my gloves, “Spike’s Gloves”, so I won’t ever forget him.

3 – Fire Safety

Every business, home, and maintained structure has fire prevention strategies.  It’s just part of our world. In a dog grooming salon, this is no different. Ensuring that you are prepared for a fire emergency is essential!

Of course, we all hope that we’ll never experience this sort of problem. But if you aren’t prepared for one and one actually occurs, it will have devastating results. There is a lot of electrical equipment in a dog grooming shop. Common examples are clippers, dryers, laundry equipment, vacuums, air purifiers, dehumidifiers, and maybe even radios.

I safeguard my workspace by regularly checking cords, electrical outlets, and the equipment for any wear and tear or fire-causing mediums. Furthermore, there are no flammable liquids kept in my studio. For that added bit of extra precaution, I also keep TWO fire extinguishers available in my work areas. If you plan to do the same, just make sure that they’re easy to reach in the event of an emergency.

PRO TIP: Have a Planned Escape Route in Your Dog Grooming Salon!

In my dog grooming salon, I also have more than one planned escape route, as well as a system for getting my dogs to safety. Please note that having a fire extinguisher and knowing how to use it are two completely different things. To ensure that you’re truly ready, I suggest having a mock-fire emergency.

When I did this, I used a dog named Barney as my test dog. I had him in the tub. We then ran through a couple different scenarios involving a fire emergency. This way, I could make sure I knew how to get him out of the tub and run him to safety before attempting to use the fire extinguisher.

Dog next to fire extinguisher
April's floorplan for grooming salon

A wet, shampoo-soaked dog is a lot better than a deceased dog. I even pretended that I didn’t know how to use the extinguisher! This way a very great training exercise. In particular, this taught me how to keep calm and use every precious second to read the directions and follow them through. In a real emergency, it’s important to keep a cool head. Being able to do things carefully and quickly could be the very thing that saves your life.

There is no harm in practicing your plan and refining it when you find better ways to respond in an emergency. It’s my opinion that if I expect the unexpected, I’ll be better prepared to handle any emergency.

Psst! Did you head? When you enroll in QC Pet Studies’ Dog Grooming Course, we’ll give you our First Aid for Groomers Course absolutely FREE!

5 Dog Grooming Must-Haves for ALL Beginners!

dog grooming must-haves blog article camille mar 12 2021 feature image

Want to start a career in dog grooming? QC Pet Studies student, Camille Torkornoo, is here to reveal 5 dog grooming must-haves to get you started! Camille’s business, Mount Zion Kennels, specializes in grooming and breeding standard Poodles. Learn more about Camille by reading her Student Feature!

dog grooming must-haves article camille mar 12 2021 headshot

In the world of dog grooming, there are A LOT of different tools used for different purposes. It can be challenging to know which tools you should invest in when starting out.

Maybe you’re interested in becoming a dog groomer, or maybe you just want to learn how to groom your own pet at home. Either way, here are my Top 5 dog grooming must-haves for ALL beginners!

5 Dog Grooming Must-Haves

1. Combs

The very first dog grooming must-have for ALL beginners are combs. Combs are one of the most essential tools for the job! They come in many different lengths and sizes. For this reason, it can feel a bit tricky deciding which one to get when starting your career.

If you’re new to dog grooming, I recommend a basic steel comb with fine-coarse teeth. This type of comb should do just fine when starting out. It can be used to find matted spots and comb them out. Plus, you can use it comb out the hair before cutting or scissoring it. I find this kind of comb give dogs a nice fluffy finish to their groom, when used correctly!

2. Slicker Brushes

Like with combs, there are many different kinds of brushes. When deciding which kind to get when starting out, a slicker brush is the way to go! Slicker brushes are definitely one of the top dog grooming must-haves! They can be used for fluffing and brushing out coats. Plus, they work like a charm for de-matting heavily tangled coats!

groomer brushing dog with slicker brush

3. Nail Care Tools

Dog grooming isn’t just limited to cutting and styling hair. Nail maintenance is also an essential part of it! You can’t trim a dog’s nails without the proper tools. So, you’ll need a good pair of basic nail clippers.

Medium-sized nail clippers work well for most dogs. But for really big breeds with thick nails, a large-sized pair would work better. You’ll also want to invest in a nail grinder. Nail grinders will smooth out the nails after they’ve been clipped. Not to mention, they’ll get you a bit closer to the quick without cutting it and making the dog bleed.

When it comes to nail maintenance, styptic powder is another essential dog grooming must-have. If you accidently clip a dog’s nail too far and expose the quick, you can put some styptic powder on it to make the bleeding stop.

4. Clippers

We can’t talk about dog grooming must-haves without mentioning a good pair of clippers! There are a few different kinds, but the best ones for a beginner would be a pair of 5-in-1 clippers.

These clippers have an adjustable blade. Another perk is that they don’t tend to get hot as quickly as detachable blade clippers do! Since they’re not very expensive, this staple tool is also affordable for any budget. They make the perfect addition to your dog grooming kit when just starting out!

5-in-1 clippers are perfect for trimming faces, feet, ears, and paw pads. You can even use them for light bodywork on pretty much any dog. They’re a lot quieter and don’t vibrate as much as detachable blade clippers do. I find this great, especially when working on sensitive dogs and puppies.

dog grooming shaving dog with clippers

5. Shears

The last dog grooming must-have for all beginners is a good set of shears! Shears are also known as grooming scissors. Scissor work will complete every groom you do – and you can’t accomplish that without a good set a grooming shears.

There are quite a few kinds of shears, coming in all different lengths and styles. It can prove to be a difficult choice when selecting a pair to start out with. But don’t worry, I’m here to help! Here are 3 types of shears I recommend for all brand-new dog groomers:

#1 – Straight Shears

You’ll want to start by investing in is a good pair straight shears. Straight shears are used for creating nice, straight lines on any breed of dog. They’re the standard pair of shears used for every groom!

#2 – Curved Shears

The second kind you’ll want to get is a good quality pair of curved shears. Curved shears are perfect for cutting rounded edges on topknots, legs, and tails. They are definitely a must-have, especially if you’re working with Poodles and/or Poodle mixes on a regular basis!

#3 – Thinning Shears

The last kind you’ll want to get are a pair of thinning shears. Thinning shears have toothed blades. As a result, they only take off a fraction of the hair when you cut it. Thinning shears create a smoother look and they’re great for blending hair.

If you mess up when using straight or curved shears, you can use you pair of thinning shears to blend and hide the faulty cut. Plus, they’re great for working on double coated breeds. These are truly are a dog grooming must-have!

dog grooming must-haves shears

Choosing Shears: Food for Thought

Here are some other things to take into consideration when getting your set of shears:

  • You don’t want them to be too short, but you don’t want them too long either.
  • A good length to start out with would be 6 or 7 inches.
  • You also don’t need the most expensive pair out there – but you do want to invest in some good quality ones.
  • Good quality shears should have a sharp edge that’ll stay sharp. This will allow you to provide nice, clean cuts to your grooms and create a great finished look.

Now That You Know The 5 Dog Grooming Must-Haves…

…go forth and take the industry by storm! You’ve got this! 🙂

Set your career up for success by getting professionally trained and certified in less than one year. Enroll 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!

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!