Dog Grooming Training
If you are thinking about dog grooming as a career, you will need some training. Although certification is not a requirement most places to be a groomer, it will set you apart as someone who is serious about what you do. There is nothing at all wrong with learning by apprenticeship. Many established groomers take on assistants and teach them the basics. Be prepared to do a lot of bathing, vacuuming and sweeping first. Hey, It builds character. You have to start somewhere. You will be able to perfect your handling skills and it will allow you to see if this is really the career for you. Volunteering at a local animal shelter will afford the opportunity to try out grooming before you make the investment to attend a grooming school.
Once you know dog grooming training is what you want, there are many schools out there. Petsmart's grooming academy allows students to work while they learn from certified stylists and you can earn a certificate that way. There are online classes. These teach the basics via textbooks and videos, but often require that you get some hands on experience in order to complete the course with a certification. We've all seen the late night commercials advertising getting a degree online. It's a great option if you need to hold a job while you're learning. You can study at your own pace at night and on weekends. The cost for these is generally quite a bit less than attending a grooming school full time and the course work is similar. You will not only learn the basics of grooming, but the business end as well.
If you choose to go full time to a grooming school, there are many to choose from in most major cities and surrounding areas. You will get about one thousand hours of instruction. The first fifty hours are orientation. In these classes you will learn salon layout and management, safety, basic anatomy, and proper use of grooming tools. First aid for pets and people is included and pet CPR will be taught. Pet CPR? Well, you want to be prepared should one of your elderly clients get overheated or stressed and cease breathing. Not good for business, so learn to revive them. Handling techniques and the use of muzzles will be covered. Muzzles sometimes have a calming effect on the over excited dog as well as protect you from being bitten. Often, once the muzzle is on, the dog will give up and submit to what you need to do. You'll learn some doggie body language and how to tell if you're in danger of being bitten. This sounds like common sense, but it is very important.
The next hundred and fifty hours will teach beginning body clips, shave downs, lion cuts, and scissoring. now we're getting into what you came to school for. Also included are classes on clipper care, maintenence, and minor repairs. Preparation for bathing, ear cleaning and plucking, and anal gland expression are another part of grooming. For those who don't know anal glands are useless little glands on either side of the rectum. They were useful in ancient dogs, but have little use today except to aggravate the dog and stink like the devil when you express them. You NEED to express them. The fluid is very itchy to the dog and if you see them scooting along the carpet, more than likely the glands are full. You do not want them opened on your rugs. If they are not expressed regularly, they can abscess and require a visit to the vet. Not all dogs need this done. Small dogs seem to be more prone to it than larger breeds, and chubby dogs often have this problem.
Now we get to the good stuff. You get to learn advanced breed clipping and start your portfolio. A portfolio of your work will help you to get a job when you graduate and it's nice to see your progress in pictures. It will keep you inspired. There will also be techniques in hand scissoring and specialty grooming. You know, for those who want the dog dyed to match their outfit or made to look like another animal entirely. Oh the patience of those dogs who are groomed to look like a camel, lamb or dyed in multiple hues. They just know their doggy friends are making fun of them, but they put up with it. It is fun for the groomer and their creative side can run wild. So, what will all this knowledge cost you? Around seventy-five hundred dollars and another eight hundred or so for equipment is average. Just remember, it is an investment in your future and most schools offer financing options. A lot of school will help you find a job once you have completed the course.
Once you have worked in the field for a while, you may want to open your own business and at that point you will be well prepared to make it a reality.
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