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Thread: Mentor

  1. #1

    Oops Mentor


    I have been grooming for a year now. I am an ABC certified groomer. The shop I was trained in was very busy and therefore I did most of my 100 hours (required to graduate) bathing, clipping nails and cleaning ears. I was very lucky that the shop hired me on weekends to groom at one of their 3 facility but I must say I feel that I just threw myself out there and learned on the spot. I have started my home base business while still working full time in my regular job. I need to build a clientele before I move on to this new adventure.

    I watch videos and went to Groom Expo last September. It was an amazing experience and I learned a lot. However I would like to be able to groom with someone who has been in the business for a long time. I am quite a perfectionist and would like to improve my skills. Since I already did the school part I am more in need of a skill course. Schools are very rare here in New Jersey and Manhattan. I would like to start training for breed certification but it is difficult when I have no one to judge my work.

    Any advise.

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Minneapolis, MN

    Default I am also an ABC graduate!

    It's always nice to encounter a fellow graduate, I'm glad the coursework worked well for you. I was fortunate enough to do my externship in a shop that was one woman and her daughter who was also in training. She was able to mentor me hands-on with specific breed cuts and I found that watching it in person gave me the best teaching. I would begin reaching out to other local groom shops and salons, see if you can connect with a groomer that will allow you to observe their technique. Keep an eye out at local shelters or rescue organizations for any Eskimos that may be surrendered and offer the shelters a free groom, they almost always say yes!

    Local dog parks are also great, as long as you have a dog with you otherwise it's kind of weird to be just hanging out at a dog park. If you notice someone with an Eskimo approach them and introduce yourself! It's great to have a business card for this and explain who you are and that you're a groomer wanting to perfect grooming on that specific breed. Offer your services for cheap or better yet, free. In my opinion, if you have the want to learn that bad with limited resources then a free groom should be fine! I would just make it clear it's only free because you a new groomer and this is practice, you don't want to make habits out of free grooms.

    Hope this helps~

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007


    This worries me that your 100 hours was bathing, clipping nails and cleaning ears. To be a groomer/stylist I would have expected the 100 hours would be mostly styling under supervision, and maybe 10% bathing.

    Now I am a little confused. When you say you are working your "regular job" while doing your home-based, is that regular job one of the 3 grooming facilities, or is it a non-grooming job? I can see why you want to work in a grooming shop, you have tons more to learn in that environment. I did that at least 3 years before I went self-employed. You should have a job in local grooming business, and perhaps keep your home based shop going less days a week for at least several months.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007


    I forgot to mention this is why I am very apprehensive about someone coming in with training by ABC if they say they want a groomer stylist position. I would consider them at best a bather with perhaps some ability to do apprentice work. It seems every student's 100 hours is so different, and that 100 at minimum should be styling. Very troublesome, as an employer I never know. But you are on the right track and getting more training with videos, shows etc, keep that up and you will be fine, and get more experience under a skilled groomer.

  5. #5

    Tech Mentor

    I think I posted in the wrong thread. I do love eskimos!!! and I have one as a client (sweetest dog ever)

    Brit please give ABC students some credit. I unfortunately found out once in the business that ABC students get a bad rep and are judged not by their skills but by the school they came from. which I find it not fare.

    Groomers are going to be required at some point to be certified in order to practice. Everyone is different and has different experiences. First generation groomers learned on the spot there were no schools and had to learn the trade in their own ways. Now there are all these schools out there and it is not easy to know which one is the best.

    Finding a school that is affordable, and that has online classes is not easy. Especially when one is new to the business. One looks at time, money and how soon one can start to work.

    To answer your question I work full time in a corporation, I am an Executive Assistant. Not much to do with grooming. I groom from my home after work if my clients want their dogs groomed as soon as possible or on Sundays. On Saturdays I groom in the shop that took me in as an intern. I also have a family and 3 kids. Therefore going to a school out of state full time for 10 months was not an option. I am also not in my 20's and therefore making a career change late in life. For this reason I have to be in business and professional in a faster time period than a younger groomer. considering that this trade requires much hands on experience to be good at it.

    I agree with you 100% that 100 hours apprenticeship is not enough. consider that the first step in this business is bathing. Shops who take on interns mostly take them because it is cost effective to them. In the shop in interned the groomer bathes and grooms and makes 50% of that full groom. When an intern is taken in it is a free bather for the groomer, which allows the shop to take in more grooms and the groomer to make more money. When I finished my 100 hours I was tought how to clip a body, but that as basic body clipping. The groomer who trained me did not teach me how to trim a head and I learned that on my own. Put yourself in that student's position, after 100 hours that student is required to be paid by the shop it is no longer free labor for that reason the student is just thrown in the street to go and practice their trade. I was lucky because my shop kept me and allows me to work in one of their shop's that is slow pace. I get my practice there every Saturday and I get paid as a groomer because I am the only groomer there. I am good considering the experience I have had but I am not so good that I am aware that I need practice. Hence this post.

    I started my home base business a year ago. I have 20 repeat clients. I want to be good at what I do and I started looking for more training because I am aware that I need more training.

    I want to get certified with the NDGAA but there are no training practice workshops before certification (there are workshops the day of certification) . I looked for a school that offers practice classes only, nowhere to find or I have to go to LA or Florida for night classes. I live in New Jersey near Manhattan. I am willing to take private classes with an experience groomer. I emailed Jodi Murphy on her website (she is in NJ). Never heard back from her. This is why I am posting this thread to see if there is someone out there who would be willing to spend time with me to help me get better at what I do before I get into the craziness of certification.

    I can groom thousands and thousands of dogs with the wrong technique. I want to do it right. Sorry I am a perfectionist. I know my flaws, I need someone to show me how to scissor better, someone to tell me why this and that is wrong.

    That' it. I need a fellow groomer to take me under their wing because I am very passionate at what I do.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010


    Lol, I kept reading this thread and wondered where the Eskimo came I see it was where you posted.
    Yep, for those of us that have been grooming 30 or 40 (or more) years,.we didn't have schools to attend had to wing it or find a mentor. But it was also easier to get your NDGAA Certificate. I was certified by my mentor with a written test from NDGAA and pics sent to them of my work.
    As for Jody Murphy, I see she is having a 3 day seminar in May in Orlando, FL. There is a thread Admin just posted today. Maybe you could go for 3 days?
    Ain't always easy to stand up for what is right.

  7. #7


    Hello Cyn,

    Yes I just saw the seminar and added to my calendar. Seminars are great!!! a lot to take in. However I learned so much at the Groom Expo in PA. Yes 40 years ago your circle was smaller. The code of Ethics was respected. Especially the dogs. Now there is more and more grooming factories where the only interest is money.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Alberta, Canada


    I also suggest Jody Murphy DVDs. You get great video and visual and explanation and it will not break your wallet! Even after 10 years of grooming I picked up tips and tricks from her DVDs. I suggest bath dry one scissor and thinning shear one and one breed at time

    Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2011


    Cangroom- You are in a prime spot for show kennels! You can volunteer your free time to a reputable breeder that shows their dogs in conformation in a breed that you are trying to perfect. They usually have retired dogs for you to groom at first (this is where the name "kennel clip" came from for an all over clip down). When you show proficiency, then maybe they will let you help with coat prep on a dog they are currently campaigning. All of the big names in grooming have mentored with breeders...why not you? Good luck! Dawn


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