To become a dog groomer, it is important to gain hands-on experience as well as become familiar with various dog breed standards. Dog grooming schools offer training to familiarize you with grooming equipment and develop your grooming skills. Many pet grooming shops also offer internships and training programs for people seeking to become a dog groomer.
Start by choosing a reputable dog grooming school to attend. Hands-on and online courses are training options to become a dog groomer. If you want to work for a particular grooming shop, it is best to ask what their hiring, training and experience requirements are so you don't waste time on the wrong path. Verify that your training program has reputable and qualified instructors, will teach you up-to-date techniques, and has a good record of placing graduates in quality grooming shops.
Another way to become a dog groomer is to complete an internship at a local grooming shop. This may require you to start out performing lower-level tasks, such as giving dogs flea baths, as you gain knowledge about the grooming process and perfect your skills. A productive internship will allow you to learn and practice grooming skills at a steady pace. To get the most out of an internship while learning to become a dog groomer, it is best to let the employer know exactly what skills you would like to acquire while working in their shop. For example, if you are hoping to open your own shop, it may be helpful to learn about the business side of grooming as well as learning the actual grooming process.
When studying, it is best to develop a basic knowledge of various dog breeds and their grooming standards. It would be difficult to groom a dog if you are not sure of how the dog should look when you are finished. Some dogs have the fur trimmed out of their eyes, others are "plush-cut" to create a smooth appearance and others are closely shaved. Expand you knowledge base by learning the dog show grooming standards adhered to by major dog organizations, such as the American Kennel Club in the United States or The Kennel Club in the United Kingdom.
Practice your skills on dogs belonging to your friends and family. As you study to become a dog groomer, it is crucial to become comfortable with your grooming equipment, various styling techniques and working with dogs with differing personalities. Take before and after photos of your canine grooming clients in order to develop a portfolio to show potential employers or customers.