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  • Any Newbie Advice?

    Hello All!
    I was fortunate enough to come upon this message board in my own research into grooming instruction, and would very much appreciate any advise or imput into my best routes!
    I currently am a Kennel Tech for a large, very prestegious vet clinic in my area. I originally was hired to evenually train as a vet tech, but am afraid I am TOO good at my job & they have chosen to keep me in my present capacity & hired another tech instead! Although I love the clinic & staff, and they are VERY good to me, I've found that my greatest pleasure is in sending out a boarding 'client' looking & feeling better than when they arrived!! I really enjoy the creative aspect & have ALWAYS had many pets & been good with animals!
    I can find no credible grooming schools in my area, and want to know what everybody thinks about online certification, followed by perhaps an apprenticeship with a local groomer. This would also allow me to stay in my present job ( And insurance coverage!!), until I could actually begin my apprenticeship...I can't really afford to be unemployed that long!!
    Any schools recommended, or other advice??
    Thanks SO much!! Dana

  • #2
    Welcome Dana!

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    • #3
      I don't have any experience with online certification, but I believe that there are others on this board that do.
      Welcome to the board!
      Scratch a dog and you'll find a permanent job. ~Franklin P. Jones

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      • #4
        I think that Nash might be the best answer for you. The majority is done via the internet and then you go to their school for a couple of weeks.

        It also depends on where you live. Schooling is not a neccesity, you can also just learn as an apprentice from a great groomer.

        I think for on-line only school that Penn Foster is supposed to have one heck of a course.

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        • #5
          Thank-you, thank-you for the warm welcome!!

          I hope to read much more from all of you & gain from your sage experience & advice!!

          Dana

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          • #6
            I'm not too sure about online courses. Have you ever considered maybe working as an apprentice under a groomer on one of your days off. I know alot of people have learned by working side by side with an experience groomer in a shop enviroment. It may take you awhile though if you are only doing it one day a week. Financially this is the way to go if you can find someone to take you under their wing sort of speak. You'll love grooming, sounds like you'd be great at it by your post. Good luck and welcome to this wonderful board!

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            • #7
              Well, applied for more info on the Penn Foster program...they DO seem to have a great deal on animal anatomy, care, and breed origination & history, which I think would be VERY helpful! The tuition seems very reasonable ( Nash's was WAY out of my $$$ range!!), and I can do it while keeping my present job ( and practicing some of the skills on my boarders!!). I also might take some good advice I received ( "Private Messages"...how did I do THAT??) and apply to someplace like Petco or Petsmart for an apprenticeship. I will be moving soon anyway, and can hopefully have that set up when I get there!!
              Sound like a 'Plan', or any better suggestions??
              Thanks!! Dana

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              • #8
                Hi Dana,
                Looks like others have already given you some helpful advice so I just want to add a "Welcome to the Board" from me!
                Sheri

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                • #9
                  Wellll...just found out today that the tech they hired before me had been a Political Science & Spanish Teacher!!! She just wanted to learn more about her dogs!! I applied for that job 3 times & had more experience than SHE did, and here I sit STILL in kennel ( Which there is really the bottom of the Veterinary chain!)--I only found that out because she already put in in her 2 weeks to go back to teaching & rather than offer ME the opportunity, they're already interviewing for her replacement!! They keep telling me that they realized they really need someone trustworthy & reliable in the kennel, so, in other words, that's where I'll stay!! I wanted the position as a steppingstone, but as I'll have to go elsewhere for that anyway, guess I'm glad I realized I wanted to CHANGE my career focus a bit!!
                  I really am learning SO much from this site & these message boards...VERY excited about my future endeavors now!!!!!!
                  Thanks so much for the VENT folks!!! Dana

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                  • #10
                    Hi Dana and Welcome!! Just wanted to wish you the best of luck in your school search. You may also want to consider attending an Expo sometime, they offer training classes and the info is priceless! I attend as many as I can, and always come home with new and improved ideas. Plus it's a GREAT way to get to know other groomers....Just a thought. Keep us posted!

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                    • #11
                      Welcome

                      Hi Danadb59 -
                      You and I come from kind of the same place. I too was working as the boarding kennel person for a vet clinic. My intention was to work there and go to vet tech school. I volunteered many hours after I was finished in the kennel. That allowed me to realize I was not cut out to be a vet tech. My dream had always been to open my own kennel/grooming business, so I kept the kennel job for another year then had to quit, it was not enough money. Because I had a husband who was not supportive I ended up getting a "Real Job". I divorced and decided to work on becoming a groomer. I looked into many options that would either pay the bills while I learned or allowed me to keep the job I had and go to school.
                      If I didn't live so far out in the country, 45min drive to the nearest pet-anything, petsomething had the best option. They will hire you as a bather for a couple of months and then pay you to learn grooming. Sometimes that means going off to school for a few weeks or here in Nashville they are starting to teach on site. You should ask around at a couple of different petsomethings and do the math see if it would work for you. In my case the money wasn't going to pay the gas and bills as a single parent so I went the way of working my way thru Nash. Nash will work with you financially and so far I have paid for all my online courses with cash and am only thinking of borrowing the final 6 week practical cost. I have kept my current job, it has been tuff, I have no life except work and school and sleep, work and school and sleep
                      In the time it has taken me to decided to go to school and get this far, I have developed a plan for my bills to be paid and my son to be taken care of while I go to KY for practical. So far so good but - I am going to do this - is my attitude instead of I want to do this if I can. This mind set has made a world of difference in getting it done!!!!
                      GOOD LUCK TO YOU, you will find so much help on this board just reading other peoples journeys to this career.

                      Lindsey

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                      • #12
                        Thanks, Lindsey...

                        ...You're reply was very inspirational!! We are in a somewhat similar situation, my ex even sounds cut from the same cloth as yours!! BIG diff for me now is that my current Loving DH is VERY supportive.."Anything you put your mind to, you'll be GREAT!!" Such unconditionial support makes a WORLD of difference....I could've been on the right path YEARS ago!!
                        Yes, my intention was also to be a vet tech, but the medical knowledge BOGGLES me, and I have found that clinics are very hesitant about starting & training OLDER techs...they want to be able to invest in young techs they can train and will be around a long time!! Besides, I get such satisfaction from the limited grooming I do get to do ( Especially when your ONLY equiptment are an outdated cage dryer,1 handleless slicker and and 1 2-sided brush!!)! Another BIG plus seems to be the apparent lack of any age barrier here....VERY encouraging to see so many others in my own age group just getting started as well!! Was SO excited by the prospect, I couldn't even "sleep in" on my day off today!!!
                        We will be moving to the Austin, TX area in a few months, so my plan now is to enroll in online courses (They ARE very good about working with you financially!!), so as to keep my kennel job & insurance coverage ( Not to mention my vet service benefits!) while I learn, invest in my OWN tools which I can use to practice on my boarders AND the "County" animals we get in ( Most of which are never claimed, poor things!!), then apply for a position at a "Petsomething" ( That tickles me, Lindsey! {-D) when we move, to start my apprenticeship!! I do envision eventually having my own home-based salon & kennel in the town we plan to live in when we retire ( THAT place will be PAID OFF in 8 years--YAY!!!).
                        Feels like I'm FINALLY actually GETTING somewhere!!!!!!!
                        I Love this board!! Dana

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                        • #13
                          aadg

                          hi i,m doing a home study course at the mo its very good the dvds realy show u what to do & the book is exalent u should try this its called (all about dog grooming)it get the thums up from me

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                          • #14
                            Thanks Marty!

                            I've taken the plunge & enrolled with Penn Foster. They seem to have a good in-depth program that I'm looking VERY forward to ( ESPECIALLY after having to walk my boarders in a th. storm today {-( !!! )! Meanwhile, I'm hitting the websites & library to learn all I can, & as soon as I learn about & acquire the correct tools, I'm anxious to practice my new skills on all the 'County' dogs we've been getting in lately! I'll check out the program you've recommended as well!
                            Dana

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                            • #15
                              Hi

                              I just wanted to say I'm sorry to hear about the tech postion. As for learning how to groom...Do you have a Petco or Petsmart in your area? I am going to school to be a vet tech and last fall I started at Petco in the grooming salon so I could get the feel of handling clients animals. I am working as a grooming assistant and do majority of the bath and brush dogs. I fell in love with grooming and making the puppies all pretty. The nice thing is Petco will pay for my training through the school they offer. This is a class held with a local petco groomer. I do have to sign a year contract with petco, but that means I will have a least 1 year experience before I can work anywhere else (which unless something happens I do not plan on that since the benefits are great). As for becoming a Vet Tech have you looked into schooling for that direction?

                              Sabrina

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