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  • Old timers, share

    Take no offense to be called old timer LOL. Not your body age. But seriously how did you learn? Today I have 3 or 4 years experience since first started. What did you do before the internet?

  • #2
    I AM an old timer in age (69) and body. I got my first clippers when I was 11. We had cockers, and I had a great mentor who used to raise them She had a boarding kennel and groomed. Got my first grooming lesson. Did showing and obedience. Went to some shows with a cocker breeder/handler. Learned more. Read everything I could get my hands on. The Summer after graduation, I went to work for her at her kennel. Her daughter groomed at a vet clinic and I got a job there as a vet assistant and helped with grooming. Loved it. Went to grooming school that Winter. More books and breed magazines. Groomed at a pet store for awhile, then a job for 3 years with a top all-breed handler. Learned a ton. Groomed at a few kennels and shops, handled some dogs on my own, and bought my first biz in 1977. No internet, no grooming shows , just reading and hands on, and keenly observing. Always folks along the way who knew more and were willing to share their knowledge. Still learning. There's so much on-line to learn from. You can never know it all, no matter how old you are.
    Old groomers never die, they just go at a slower clip.

    Groom on!!!


    • #3
      First of all..........I WISH I was as "young" as Karla........I'm 71 In 1987, I started grooming when a boyfriend bought me a mini wire-haired doxie....2 months later, I bolted up out of bed and said, how am I going to groom this dog ?? I immediately went downstairs and looked into the Yellow Pages for a finger landed on Grooming School.....since I had a job at the hospital, I attended grooming school on the weekends, completed 300 hours......then I started to groom my neighbors dogs to pay back the $3K tuition.......20 years ago, I moved out into the country and then started mobile grooming............

      Happy having a blessed life grooming

      Dolly's Barking Bubbles, LLC


      • #4
        Just gleaned tips from other amazing groomers basically. I can't say I ever learned anything out of a book. I didn't go to grooming school. I got shaving experience doing medical shavedowns as a vet tech, and had seven dogs of my own and not enough money to keep them all groomed, so learned to do it myself. Most of my learned skills, like how to demat without hurting a dog or losing coat came from my show mentors.


        • #5
          I've only been grooming 13 years, but I jumped into the deep end of the pool and bought a pet salon after deciding I wanted a new career. Watched the former owner groom. She taught me "how not to injure a dog". Other than that it was mostly from a book. Followed the instructions and that's basically it. I've travelled to other grooming salons of friends I've befriended and watched and learned lots from them too. I to this day can not stand watching videos. Sooooooooo booooring and slow. Nope. Give me a good grooming book and an experienced groomer to teach me.


          • #6
            Started officially grooming 10 Years ago after a lifetime of other career adventures. Always brushed my own dogs ( Newfoundland, American Eskimo, Bichon) hi.e Growing up and as a a much younger adult. It wasn’t until I adopted a Wheaton mix that I started learning about the need for grooming and learned about house all groomers.
            Had the good fortune to be able go to a great grooming school when life changes made this the option. Since then I’ve been able to go to competitions and seminars to add to my experience. Videos have helped. And currently I’m starting to work at a place with 2 other very experienced groomers and getting to further polish my skills.
            You never stop learning


            • #7
              very grateful you guys stuck it out and for all of those that come forward with education oriented help and the net.


              • #8
                That is me, an old timer. When I started grooming shops had only been around about 10 to 15 years. There were not many books but Sam Kohl and Dorothy Walin books were not quite yet. Madeline Ogle was not there with business. So I learned at first from another trained groomer, started as a bather. I would go to kennel club and breed shows or gatherings, sometimes out in park and if you were lucky you might meet some handlers at bench shows and ask a question. There were even back then top name groomers as good as those who are on GroomTeamUSA, and I had a chance to work for a year for one of them in his shop. Every day working side by side after working up from an apprenticeship an amazing experience.


                • #9
                  Proud to be an old timer.
                  I started showing dogs when I was about 10. Was in 4-H until I aged out. Started grooming as a bather, and learned from everyone at the shops I worked for. Did that for 5 years.
                  I also worked for veterinarians. This was before vet tech licensing was required. I learned on the job. Then licensing, with two years of school was required. When I did the math, I would make more as a groomer then a vet tech, so I decided to open a shop.

                  My first groomer employee talked me into going to Intergroom in New Jersey. Was it called Intergroom then? They, and Jerry Schinberg’s show in Chicago were the only grooming seminars at the time.

                  It just never crossed my mind that I was “allowed” to go to a grooming show so far from home.
                  So, I booked the time off, grabbed my employee, and off to the East Coast we flew. Even booked extra days to visit New York City! Oh what fun we had!!!

                  And I was hooked from then on. I’ve been to many grooming seminars, I’ve taken my groomers with me, we always learn something new. Learn the new styles, the new equipment, little techniques that make my grooming better, easier, and/or faster.

                  The people I have met and learned from at seminars is invaluable.
                  If there is one thing I’d tell a newbie it would be, “Go to the Grooming Shows. You will learn SO MUCH”
                  After 45 years of grooming professionally, I still learn new things at the shows.

                  Go! Have Fun! Learn!!!!


                  • #10
                    In person mentors, books, and trade shows.
                    Certified Master Pet Tech Pet CPR, First Aid and Care Instructor
                    "Compassion will cure more sins than condemnation." Henry Ward Beecher US Congregational Minister 1813-1887


                    • #11
                      I bought books at first, this was before internet. I did 2 years starting as a bather and watched groomers during lunch if I could and the owner too. I took a groomer position assisting for a year. That's basically all there was.


                      • #12
                        Newbie...I wanted to add...I have also learned, and continue to learn, from my employees. People with different experiences, and working with other groomers, bring new ideas into my shop. Some of those I keep and some I don’t.
                        And the young groomers, who do a lot of Facebook etc bring new ideas that I might not see. So I’m learning from them also.

                        One thing that I have noticed is that if groomers don’t have at least a slight background with dog showing it is hard for them to grasp the ‘why’ of a grooming style.

                        I see this most often in terrier skirts. I’ll tell them to bring the skirt down lower...lower...lower still.
                        Then I explain that the only reason long-legged terriers have skirting is to create ‘depth of chest’. At this point, the groomers eyes glaze over if they are not familiar with show dog standards.
                        They only know that “terriers have skirts”, but they don’t know why.
                        The standard calls for the chest to reach to the elbow. If the dog has a shallow chest—an inch above the elbow—then we camouflage that lack of chest by leaving hair to create ‘depth of chest’
                        If the dog has a great chest, chances are, I’ll leave little to no skirting. Dog doesn’t need it. His underline is already ‘just right’.

                        Same thing applies with feet. I’ve had groomers scissor feet too tight, making the foot look flat. The standard calls for a “well arched foot” or “cat foot”.

                        And with cocker heads, and bichon necks, there is a reason those styles exist. We just don’t make this stuff up. Styles have evolved to accent the good qualities and hide the bad qualities.

                        In the 1960’s, Poodles were shown in much longer coats, and in English Saddle trims. You just didn’t see poodles in Continental trims.
                        Then, one day, I was at a show, and there was a Standard Poodle being shown in a Continental. I asked the owner about that.
                        He said “He’s got a beautiful rear end. I’m going to show it off”
                        And a new trend in Poodle style took hold in my area. I haven’t seen an English Saddle trim in decades. The jackets have gotten shorter and tighter, and the hair spray! Oh My! There wasn’t hair spray in the dog show world in the 1960’s!

                        So, even though “we don’t groom show dogs”, we do get our pet styles from the dog show world. Do learn what is current, and why certain areas of the dog are groomed as they are.


                        • #13
                          Don't know that I am considered and old timer(12 years) but will tell you that being on this board was a true burst into knowledge and help!!! I started bathing for a groomer who then I apprenticed under for 4 years. I also went to school. After 4 years I bought her business and moved to my home. Read everything you can on this board and also listen to The GroomPod with Barbara Bird and Susy Scott. You will cut thru to the truth about Shampoos and Conditioners and find out how to use them and what really works along with a myriad of other topics we deal with in the groom shop.


                          • #14
                            Well my mother was a groomer and later I became a groomer after being a teacher. I got tired of living on the edge strikes just to keep a measly teacher income. I remember her talking with other groomers and she learned from another groomer and I think there were zero books in the 70s.


                            • #15
                              Catfancy...There was at least one dog grooming book in the 1960’s. I remember it well. Step by Step Clipping and Grooming Your Poodle by Pearl Stone.

                              I was in 6th grade and I got that book from the school library.
                              The teacher thought that the class might be interested in seeing the pictures and asked me if I wanted to share.
                              Now, as you know, 6th Grade is that awkward age when boys giggle at everything sexual.

                              When she said “Would you like to share your book with the class?” I said No!

                              (Because I knew there was a picture a male dog getting his belly shaved. Since I had been involve in dogs from an early age it was just all matter-of-fact to me...but you can just imagine the hoopla from the boys. A penis shaving picture!!!)