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Considering grooming school/and grooming from home.....advice?

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  • Considering grooming school/and grooming from home.....advice?

    Hello everyone! My name is Jennifer, and I am a SAHM to 3 beautiful children and 2 standard poodles. I have been interested for a while in learning how to groom my poodles myself, and now I am seriously considering grooming school, with a long term goal of owning my own home-based grooming salon. I love dogs, and I'd really love to have a job/career that is flexible and allows me to make my own hours and still be available to my children. I have been researching grooming schools, and the closest one to me is about 1.5 hours away, probably longer with traffic. I can't realistically commute that far every day. I have been doing some reading on this site, and I am quite intrigued with some of the distance learning grooming programs that I have been hearing about. How exactly do these work? What are the requirements? Are they quality programs? Which ones would you recommend? I already plan to get lots of grooming books and DVD's, and any recommendations would be wonderful! I have my 2 sweet poodles to practice on, as well as lots of family members that would be willing to let me practice on their dogs as well! Any advice as to how I should proceed would be greatly appreciated! There is so much information out there, that I am getting a bit overwhelmed! Thank you!

  • #2
    I'm considering learning through DVDs as well since I can't afford grooming school right now. Good Luck to you! and this site helps out a lot!

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    • #3
      I wish I could help you with the distance learning recommendations, but I am not familliar with them. I just wanted to say welcome to the board! I am also, well I consider myself a SAHM by day and groomer by night. I'm the clipped crusader! OK, bad humor. But what I love about my job is that I can work when I have the time, which is when hubby is home to be with the kids. They are 99.99999% of the time with a parent and when they aren't, well, that's the rare occasion mom and dad get to go out without them! I am mobile which was the most flexible for me and work it part time. I now have an employee that works during the days and I work nights and Sundays. It's not always ideal as hubby and I see very little of each other, but it works for the kids. Saturdays are family days.
      I would suggest whatever course you get that you look for a local groomer to at least shadow and perhaps get some hands on experience with another professional there. I didn't look to see where you are located, but I'm mobile and in upstate NY. If you're close and want to ride along I'd be more than happy to do that.
      What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.

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      • #4
        Who will critique your dogs after you have groomed them?

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        • #5
          What part of PA do you live in?

          are you far from the north NJ area?
          Originally posted by redcricket View Post
          Hello everyone! My name is Jennifer, and I am a SAHM to 3 beautiful children and 2 standard poodles. I have been interested for a while in learning how to groom my poodles myself, and now I am seriously considering grooming school, with a long term goal of owning my own home-based grooming salon. I love dogs, and I'd really love to have a job/career that is flexible and allows me to make my own hours and still be available to my children. I have been researching grooming schools, and the closest one to me is about 1.5 hours away, probably longer with traffic. I can't realistically commute that far every day. I have been doing some reading on this site, and I am quite intrigued with some of the distance learning grooming programs that I have been hearing about. How exactly do these work? What are the requirements? Are they quality programs? Which ones would you recommend? I already plan to get lots of grooming books and DVD's, and any recommendations would be wonderful! I have my 2 sweet poodles to practice on, as well as lots of family members that would be willing to let me practice on their dogs as well! Any advice as to how I should proceed would be greatly appreciated! There is so much information out there, that I am getting a bit overwhelmed! Thank you!

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          • #6
            I am a graduate of JKL. It had all the book knowledge you need to know, and you are tested over it. I believe now they have Jodi Murphy DVDs as part of the curriculum. You have to do a practicuum where you groom assorted breeds. You would take pictures before and after, and submitted them to be graded.

            I am a mother of 3 and at the time I did JKL I was working full time as a teacher. This was the best way for me. I am now working part time from home.

            Hope this helps!!!

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            • #7
              The books/dvds that always pop up as suggestions (and I plan on getting myself when I start grooming school) are Jodi Murphy's DVDs and Melissa Verplank's "notes from the grooming table" and "theory of five." Just google those two names and they will pop right up. I wouldn't order them till you pick a program though, as the may be part of that.

              I will be going through a petsomething, but during my research phases I played with the idea of distance learning and liked the look of the Paragon and Nash programs.

              I really wish there was a program that offered the online/book type program with a 1-2 week in depth sink-or-swim on site part at the end. I think there would be a lot of people who would be willing to do that and see the value in 80 hours of someone watching and critiquing their grooms. Though a relocation may not be an option, a week or two would be feasible for many and offer a happy medium between a distance course and an on site course.

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              • #8
                Thanks so much everyone for your replies of encouragement! sarahliz--I am looking into Paragon, Nash Academy and JKL--they all look like really good programs. I think I am leaning towards Paragon, but I still have some research to do. I know Paragon is based on Melissa Verplank's methods, so I would have to get those DVD's and books, but I still plan to get Jodi's as well, since they are so highly recommended. thedoggiedayspa--thank you for your reply! It's encouraging to know that this learning method worked for you! desertdogs64--I am about 2.5 hours away from north Jersey. Doubledogdare---From what I have read, most of the distance learning schools have you send in a Photo Journal Critique at the end of each learning module. You must submit various photos from different angles of the dog you have groomed, along with written details of the groom. The photos are then critiqued and evaluated by the instructors. Each assignment entails grooming certain breeds with certain coat types, with specific instructions as to what type of groom. That is what I have gathered so far. mylady--thank you for your reply! It's encouraging to know that working from home is working out for you, especially with a busy family life! SBozan7--Good luck to you as well! Let me know how the process is working out for you!

                It seems that with the distance learning comes alot of flexibility, but you are very much on your own. You have to find the dogs to groom for your assignments and get it done in a certain time frame. That seems like it could be difficult to do, but I also think it's a good way to get out there--it's pretty much sink or swim. I hope to find a groomer that I can learn from as well, and I also hope to volunteer at the local shelter a few hours per week to get some practice grooming as well. I have quite a few family members with dogs I can practice on, as well as my own 2 standard poodles. It all seems a bit daunting, but I am trying to remain positive. Does anyone else have any suggestions about where to go to find dogs to groom?

                Thanks again for all of your replies, and I look forward to learning from all of you in the future!

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                • #9
                  Some things I have learned as a beginner

                  Hi Jennifer,
                  I am just getting started as well. I attended Innergroom trade show in NJ and met many wonderful people. I took a couple of Jodi Murphy's classes and like her style of teaching. I also met Melissa Verplank and her husband Marc Lefluer owners of Paragon School of Dog Grooming. After purchasing the books Notes from the Grooming Table I chose to attend Paragon. I start in about 2 weeks. I have the luxury of dropping everything for 6 weeks and attending.

                  My suggestion:
                  Don't wait to purchase the book "The Theory of Five". It is inexpensive and it gives you a real look at the Paragon approach and it is a great place to start. It is easy to read and is not overwhelming because it narrows down the basics. I love it! Teaching style is something you should consider. There is a school here in PA that is only 20 minutes from my house and I chose to go all the way to Michigan because I like their style of teaching. I am a school teacher and administrator and I chose Paragon for their delivery, curriculum and their dedication to the industry. You will see what I mean when you buy the book.

                  If you think you like the Jodi Murphy DVD's buy one just to be sure. The whole set is over $800 and you should be able to find one for around $30-$40. Perhaps you could buy the one on Poodles. That way you will be able to use it on your dogs. I bought one on de-shedding and it is great. Prior to that I spent $180 on the Muddy Creek Grooming DVD set of 5 and was quite satisfied with the ideas.

                  Tools??? If you are not sure what tools you should get go to the Paragon School website. They have list of tools needed for their courses and you might be able to find some of the items used on craigslist or ebay.

                  Good Luck! and I highly recommend the tradeshow in Hershey PA it is a great place to explore your ideas and meet everyone. It is in September.

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                  • #10
                    Jodi Murphy has a couple of freebie dvd's that are great! I was surprised by all the info on them. Can't go wrong with her stuff!
                    Debi
                    http://www.uppypuppydogsalon.com
                    My life is lived in the company of dogs

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                    • #11
                      It helps me.. I am brand new... and am looking at JKL. So you liked them, then? Did you get certified or diplamed?

                      Deb
                      Debbie
                      There's always room for another rose in the garden.

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                      • #12
                        Heyy I wrote here like a year ago and just wanted to give an update. I actually ended up going thru training with petsomething and am always continuing my learning and improving on my grooming thru dvds, reading on here, and I plan on going to seminars later on. I'm also expecting a baby boy soon too.:-) excited. Hope things worked out with you!

                        I <3 Shih tzus!

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                        • #13
                          I guess I will do some sort of distance learning program, also. My own groomer wouldn't apprentice me (don't blame her - she's very busy), and I really don't know any others....I'm not going to go to a "petsomething" because they are too far away. It all seems so complicated to me right now - all the different TOOLS and implements.....I can't imagine being able to groom Westies - I would be in heaven 'cause I love them so much, LOL.

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                          • #14
                            You'll get a list of supplies from whatever brick-and-mortar school or distance school that you pick. Some of them want you to buy a certain kit from them and nothing else and some of them give you the option to put your own kit together. For example they might list an Andis clipper, but you can get a Laube clipper instead.

                            I was told by a lot of people on here to get quality beginner shears because I would likely drop them and be very angry if I bent $250 shears. Everything else I tried to get as high end as I could such as Les Pooch brushes, Chris Christensen brushes, and a Clipper Vac.

                            A friend of mine went to a local grooming school and after graduation she couldn't get hired as a bather, an apprentice or as a groomer. Her grooms were good or at least good enough to be hired as a bather, but our area is very tough. Groomers sometimes can't or won't teach others for a variety of reasons. I tried to volunteer at my local shelter, and they said I could if the volunteer groomer would let me. The shelter didn't want me bathing dogs without supervision. I was just asking to come in to bathe dogs (even dogs she wouldn't be grooming), but she ignored me when I called and sent her emails. I would have appreciated a response declining my offer, but I got nothing despite me mentioning that I knew a friend of her's from grooming school. I even told her that I wouldn't necessarily need to bathe dogs that she would be working on. I just wanted practice handling a lot of different types of dogs.

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