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Learning by the books...

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  • Learning by the books...

    ...and videos.

    Is it possible to learn to groom on your own? I am not getting by right now, and I need to be able to pay rent. My hour are also going to be cut back. Any suggestions?

  • #2
    What's your background? Are you used to doing any type of grooming or bathing? I personally can't imagine learning to groom by myself! I need someone to show me things so I understand correctly. Many groomers are self taught and do very well. You really need to have a mentor to help you if at all possible.


    • #3
      I have been grooming for about 11 years. I started grooming my own dog as a youngster, and i learned through books. I made many mistakes, but I learned.

      I do plan on having a mentor, but I can't do training full or part time as I can't afford it. Im sad that I can't continue, and I feel like Im leaving my employer on bad terms. Which I dont mean to, but I cant stand confrontation.


      • #4
        Whipple, I am self taught. I did have a bathing job for a while though. You know, bathing, drying, nails, ears, brushing, that sort of stuff The only hair cutting I ever did as a bather was poodle feet and only a few times. I was around groomers long enough to absorb bits of information. I was given books by a groomer and studied them. As info became available online, I'd get knowledge that way too.

        I used family and friend's dogs as guinea pigs.

        With the wealth of info out there, I don't see why you can't learn on your own. A pet care background is helpful though.

        Good Luck.

        Edit: I'm sorry, I don't think I completely understood your situation.
        Last edited by Canopener Sally; 01-05-10, 11:05 AM. Reason: addition
        That Tenacious Terrier!


        • #5
          Ill explain. I am working as a bather/groomer in training at a shop. I enjoy my job immensly, and I am learning. The issue is my hours are going to be cut back as there are two of us in training. I can barely afford rent right now as is, and so I need to find a more full time job. I do have alot of knowledge gained as is, since I have been grooming for many years on my own.

          So how would I go about this? I know I will need to put in some money for my own supplies, but as someone still learning what would I need? How would I find people who will let me preactice on their dogs? (I know only 1 person who would allow this).


          • #6

            How would I find people who will let me preactice on their dogs? (I know only 1 person who would allow this).[/QUOTE]

            Your local shelters would probably be more than happy to have you practice on their dogs! I did many, many shelter dogs in my first year or two just to familiarize myself with breeds, techniques, situations. I was even able to use my "in-kind" donation as a tax write off! Clean, neatly trimmed dogs with BIG bows on their collars were flying out the door, each with my card in their adoption packet, many became regular customers for many years.


            • #7
              I worked for a groomer when I first started out. I was a kennel tech and moved into bathing. I picked up some knowledge that way, but she was not into breed trims, styles, and what not, just mostly shave downs (didn't even own a blade longer than a 7).

              Being the "student" I am, I came here, bought books, and scoured the net to learn more. While working for her, it did provide me with dogs to gain experience on, she really didn't teach me much and I do consider myself mostly self-taught. There's also the various DVD's that will show you how certain things should be done and you can follow them as you groom at your own pace.

              I believe it's all dependent on the person and the passion! As for finding dogs to work on, set yourself up a lil grooming corner in your home and tell ALL your neighbors, friends, and family that you are looking for dogs to groom. I'm sure you could even put an ad in the classifieds or similar papers offering discount grooms. Hey, if nothing else, go to a corp store. You have 11 years of basic experience, that has to count for something


              • #8
                Thanks everyone for the help!

                My only issue atm, would be, if I set up at home. Where do I bath the dogs, and what would be the best dryer to get if Im only getting 1?


                • #9
                  My assistant:

                  I hired my assistant to bath and dry... she caught on quickly, and has a thing for big dogs, so I trained her to do the bath/brush dogs first. She learned how to correctly remove matts, and undercoat, and shedding hair, and trim feet, feathers, etc... She also dried my single coated dogs, so she learned how to fluff dry proberly, and de-matt. Before long I was booking half her day with double coated dogs, and she also learned how to clip them at the owner's request. Once she could shave/scissor/brush/trim etc.. the double coats, moving to single coats was much simpler... then it was just a matter of learning how to do the styles, but she already had the skill. I started her with the matted shave offs, cause they were short and easier to do, and once she could do the faces nicely and give them a clean appearance, we started giving her more intricate clips..

                  Maybe you could start with double coated dogs... and do a few freebie, shelter or friend's single coated dogs, until you get more comfortable. Or look for another job... many groomers would love a great bather and brusher, and you could train at the place you are at, and bath and brush at the new place...

                  If you are buying a dryer. I couldn't imagine having only one. I would highly recomend a stand dryer and force dryer. They don't have to be the most expensive ones on the market. but they compliment each other very well. You can't fluff dry a curly coat very well with a force dryer, and you can't get double coats dry fast enough with a stand dryer... I do believe there are dryers that do both, but I haven't tried them.