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A Career in Grooming Might be Your Thing

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  • A Career in Grooming Might be Your Thing

    Many of my clients ask where I learned to groom dogs. I will say that I have the best education ever as I experienced both ways of learning: on the job and in professional grooming school. It occurs to me that there are a lot of young people who absolutely love dogs and are not aware that dog grooming is a respectful and viable trade.

    So, what is an interested person to do? My advice is to get an entry-level job at a grooming salon. Learn the proper and efficient way to bathe dogs along with many other important facts about the profession. For example, the physical hardships of lifting and handling dogs. All good groomers learn a lot of dog behavior and psychology by constantly handling all breeds and temperaments of dogs. If your health is poor, this might not be the right path for you. There is a lot of heavy lifting, pulling and quick reflexes innate to this job. I started at my aunt's shop in Auburndale where she taught me how to bathe an animal properly and, little by little, how to groom. By starting my career with on-the-job-training I saw the real-world situations groomers face: difficult dogs, difficult to please clients, hazards, and dangers. I also saw the positive: great clients and dogs, a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in helping all dogs look and feel their best. I learned that I truly wanted to choose dog grooming as my career.

    Professional education fined-tuned my skills and gave me the much-needed background information that allows me to decide which cuts can be done and look great and which ones look great in the owner's head but won't work on their pet's fur. It also taught me neat shortcuts and techniques that helped me finish the cut efficiently and above all, safely. Professional schools expose the students to the world of competitive grooming and the creativity that goes into that field. I found it interesting but a little restrictive to have such focus on the traditional show cuts. I learned what I liked and found my grooming style.

    The good news for prospective groomers is that there are good grooming schools in Central Florida such as Dog Groomer Academy in Orlando, The Florida Academy of Pet Grooming, Orlando, and the Academy of Animal Arts in Largo. Tuition will cost $3,000-$9,000, depending on basic or master groomer courses. It behooves you to find out if you truly love grooming before you take on the debt and sacrifice. I have been the head groomer at Orchid Springs Animal hospital for five years now and love coming to work every day, I can see myself in this field for many years to come and hope my story inspires others to seek their passion and turn it into their career.
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