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Thinking of being a groomer: talk me out of it

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  • Thinking of being a groomer: talk me out of it

    I am looking into dog grooming schools, already know how I could pay for it, and have read descriptions of the job etc etc, but no description really goes into the worst parts of the job. What I would like to hear from you is why the job is not for everyone, what you annoys you the most, basically, try to talk me out of it!

    Also, does anyone have experience with the Academy of Dog Grooming Arts in Arlington Heights IL or one of its graduates? I would love to hear some insight on their program.

  • #2
    If you love pets more than people, can schooze people into leaving the pet with you and then be happy as a lark ..... You are doomed! If you have the financing and school picked you are well on the road to become... gasp... alowly pet groomer. O.k. all kidding aside I love what I do, love 90% of my clients. What we all hate is neglect ,on the owners part or ours, maggots in hair and skin, toe nails growing into the flesh, fleas and ticks as far as the eye can see, tapes falling every where the dog goes. But I can not see myself doing anything else. Guys chime in.
    ~~Everyone is entitled to my opinion!~~


    • #3
      What annoys me the most?

      Inconsiderate pet owners. The ones that seem to think you are lower than them because you are "just a groomer". I do snicker though when I charge them a higher price than my normal charges and laugh all the way to the bank with "their money". Seriously if the pets could bring themselves in, the job would be perfect. They (the pets) wouldn't wait 10 months before coming back in.
      Lisa VanVleet, RVT


      • #4
        Hard to do

        I love grooming. I love almost all my customers. I love almost all of my dogs. There are a handful of dogs that are just plain hard to groom and I am not pleased on their days. I don't groom biters but still a very few have wheedled their way into my client list, usually living with another dog I love to groom. Some dogs just won't hold still no matter what. Those legs/feet just move. It's scary because they are wiggling and I'm using sharp utensils.

        Still it's rare and I so enjoy making the cuties look good.
        Money will buy you a pretty good dog but it won't buy the wag of it's tail.


        • #5
          Originally posted by odette View Post
          The only thing that can still make me do the heebie-jeebie dance.


          • #6
            The ONLY really bad thing are the incondsiderate clients and those who take advantage of you.
            Even the dogs who bite, pee, poop, anything they can to keep you from doing your job forgive you when you're done.
            I wouldn't trade this job for anything.
            ~*~*~Shawn, C.M.G.~*~*~
            Apparently common sense isn't all that common
            *~*~emipoo on egroomer*~*~*


            • #7
              A bnad would be like this:

              First dog arrives and poops all over, you clean it up then get him going. Begin to dry him and he pees on the table and the front feet that were clean and dry are now wet with urine...back to the tub...

              Next dog, "just a light trim on Fluffy today" turns into a dematting session.

              Dog three, got him in the tub, rinsed him off, place him on the table to dry and "POP" goes the breaker..."what the heck?" Spend time fixing the breakers

              Get the can only predict "so much" the rest will just happen!

              If this is all OK with you, WELCOME to the club!



              • #8
                OK, the downsides to grooming
                It's physically very hard on our bodies. Many groomers deal with back problems, wrist problems, etc.
                It can be an exhausting job as well.
                You get wet, sweaty, dirty and covered in hair that is not your own.
                You will probably get peed on or poop on a few times and have to clean that up many times over during the course of a career
                Anal glands, if you do them, are not a fun thing to do or smell. And if you are looking at what you are trying to do, you could very well get a face full. Seen it happen, laughed my butt off, but I'm sure the person experiencing it wasn't too thrilled.
                Dogs don't bring their own wallets and sometimes the people who carry the money are not pleasant to deal with.
                I've found with new groomers, before they build their confidence, the dogs sense their newness and take advantage. It may seem like all you get at first is "bad dogs" or hard to groom dogs, but I think most of the time it's just dogs thinking they can get one over on the new groomer.
                You may get bitten
                Many small grooming salons do not offer medical insurance or other benes. You don't work you don't get paid at many places. No paid sick time etc.
                If working in a multi groomer salon, most groomers tend to be women and that can be difficult. Don't know why, but we women don't always get along well (JMO)
                Seeing neglected pets and feeling powerless to do much for them
                Getting attached to the many pets we groom and then the pain when they pass away. That has to be the hardest for me.

                All in all, even with the cons to this job, I couldn't imagine doing anything else that I could love as much as this. Well, being a mom is my favorite job, but this is a close second.
                What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.


                • #9
                  Run! Run NOW! Run for your LIFE! Run for your MONEY! Run for your FREEDOM!!!

                  Did it work? No? OK, Welcome to the group. Have a great life.
                  "We are all ignorant--we merely have different areas of specialization."~Anonymous
                  People, PLEASE..It's ONLY a website!~Me


                  • #10
                    It's dirty work. One of the things that erk is table poopers and owners that don't take them out before appointment. Habitual poopers are aching to be cut loose from my services. I'm not big on firing clients but I would over this, in a heartbeat. Dispute the job being dirty, I like to look nice. I wear nice, non-grooming clothes to my appointments, make up and jewelry. That's how I deal with the dirty aspect. If I get messed on by a dog, I really hate my job.

                    Hair splinters. Hate them.
                    That Tenacious Terrier!


                    • #11
                      Uggh! Hair splinters! It took a year for all mine to 'grow out' when I took a break. Now I have a whole new crop, including the insides of my elbows. OW!

                      But yeah, the snooty customers (the more horrible the rescuee story or rare the breed is a direct correlation to how picky they will be) and the poopers. poop in the lobby, poop, in the tub, poop at the end of drying, poop after you finish them... I have a 3 poop rule, 3 strikes you're out. "Sorry Fluffy is just too stressed to be groomed today. Come get him."

                      And a group of 8 semi crazy women can be tough to get along with (esp if you're a man.) Lots of backstabbing, lying, and fakeness. Unless you get lucky, friend of mine ended up in a shop in san diego that's all army wives and everyone gets along great.

                      You have to be patient, the biters, spinners, dancers, vibrators, lickers, puppies, and ancient dogs that you hope just live through the groom. The old dogs stress me the most w/o question. And sometimes you do have to talk to the people, I can't tell ya how many times I've stood in the lobby crying with a customer that's just lost her baby. Or dogs that come in to be groomed and you notice something wrong and they take the dog to the vet and it needs to be put down.


                      • #12
                        For me it has to be the heavy double coated dogs for a bath and blow out. The whole shop looks like a hair tornado. Theres hair in your eyes and you can't see. Hair in your hair that is not your own. When you get up the next morning your eyes have all kinds of gunk in them you know it's left over hair from the big hairy the day before. The obese dogs that you have to lift in the tub and on the table that probably weigh more than you do. They can't stand on their own & you have to hold their hind end up while you trim. But I do love my job. It is alot less stress than the job I had before.


                        • #13
                          you need patience through the roof for this job. Dogs wiggle, bite, try to lick you, poop, pee, and you are supposed to groom them, calmly. It can be very high stress. Everyone drops off their dog at once, and all wants them back ASAP, and well, that isn't always psysically possible. The ones who go home later call and call to see if their dog is done, making the process take even longer.
                          It is dirty. Hair gets embeded into every inch of your clothing. You take showers and hair goes down the drain that is not the same color as yours. It gets stuck to your eyelashes and in your eyes. It is hard on your body, standing for several hours a day. You get wet when bathing, my skin is constantly dry and cracking from being in shampoo all day. The dryers are very loud, in every shop I've worked at, there is at least one person hard of hearing.... there is a reason why.


                          • #14
                            oh yeah, and don't forget after a day off you blow your nose and STILL have little black hairs coming out of it! I can't imagine how much cocker shrapnel I have in my lungs.


                            • #15
                              Well you heard of the fleas, poop, pee, maggots, glands, neglect, bitters, matts, lack of bennies and when you finally pull that strand of golden hair out of your eye two days later (btw, isn't that the best feeling in the world haha). Lets me mention work weeks. Kiss your Friday and Saturday nights bubuy. Oh and all our busy times are the big holidays and summers. My employees are told upon hire not to even think of time off between Nov. 1st to Chistmas.