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New in School and not comfortable

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  • New in School and not comfortable

    I've had 4 days of dog grooming school. Can't do scissoring to save my life and I feel totally uncomfortable with it. The other students said it took them some time to be able to do it properly.

    This is my first non-office environment work and have moments that I have made a mistake in leaving what I know! I am 50, lost my decent-paying job with medical benefits, and have been considering dog grooming for the past year as a career change, and now I am finally in class. I could be more anxious as I am a single mother and need the money coming in.

    Has anyone else ever felt this way?

  • #2
    Sorry if this posts twice.

    I was talking to the hubby and typing and don't know if I hit the submit button but when I looked back my typing was gone.

    I definitley felt the way you did at almost 40 and hating office work and thinking what do I love, I decided to quit my high paying office job and go to grooming school.

    Unlike you I wasn't a single mom with kids to support so that would certainly add to your anxiety.

    You definitely cannot learn to scissor that great in 4 days and I am still struggling with scissoring half decent after 3 years.

    We don't do a lot of hand scissoring cuts on the pets in our area and as such it is just a lot of neating. It seems the most scissoring we do is topknots.

    Don't get discouraged though - Even after school ended, I didn't have a job yet so I stayed and extra few weeks to keep practicing and still said "I don't have a clue what I'm doing." as much as the instructors kept saying you'll be fine.

    Half of the people in my class were so discouraged that they decided to not even try it when they got out and they don't know what they are missing.

    I on the other hand had to give it a go, this is what I gave it all up for.

    While my last position didn't work out so well, I love working with the animals, but not so great with people. I don't play well with others, and tended to forget the human factor., which is why I'm looking to open my own place.

    It is really hard work especially when were not as young as we used to be and at least for me, things don't sink in as fast as they used to, but eventually with a LOT of patience get there.

    Keep your chin up and just ask you instructors for extra help an answers you need, that's what your paying for.

    Lori in CT


    • #3
      new in school

      Don't worry yet. I used to work at a grooming school and students spent the first 80 hours doing nothing but bath and brush, then nothing but shaves. Scissoring is a long way off yet. The most difficult thing to learn is handling. Also, you must have a good understanding of anatomy in order to have any idea of what you are doing with handling or scissoring. Just take it slow.

      LuckyDog Pet Salon


      • #4
        Hey~! Ya give ME hope....I'm 47 myself & deciding I prefer grooming to kenneling--not to mention the future benefits of an income being able to work for MYSELF rather than someone else ( And at OUR age, FUTURE benefits become rather PARAMOUNT, don't they!!! )!
        Hang in there & "You GO Girl!!"


        • #5
          Hang in there it will come. It dose take time so don't give up on your self.


          • #6
            Hey, don't feel too discouraged, a few days won't touch what you'll learn about scissoring, you have to practice, practice and more practice. I don't even think it's something that can be learned, eventually you'll get a 'feel' for it. Maker sure you're using the best shears you can afford, it makes all the difference in balance and smoothness. I've been 'learning' for over a year and feel some days I'll never get everything right. Hang in there and good luck!


            • #7
              Hang in there! You'll make it! I felt the exact same way I almost said forget this! My instructer was like an army sargent and made me cry at times I'd feel so stupid. I'd never even really clipped dogs nails before or anything and I had a hard time learning to handle the clippers. I just kept telling myself everyday I went in there that I would show her I could do this and I was very determined to not give up and atleast give it three months 40 hrs. a week and then decide if it was for me or not. I'm going on about 3 1/2 yrs. now is all of grooming on my own and still learning new stuff everyday. It takes years and years to get really good at hand scissoring. You can't expect to be good after only four days! You can do it, just hang in there it really does get easier everyday. One day it will just click and you'll wonder what was so difficult and you'll be wipping out the grooms.


              • #8
                You CAN do it!!!

                My goodness, so students are lucky if they know how to trim nails properly after only 4 days.

                DON'T GIVE UP!!!! If you read back to other threads you will see that this is a common subject/dilemma for grooming students and newbie groomers. There is always that frustration and fear that you will never "get it". I can only imagine how much that fear/frustration is amplified, being a single Mom.

                I remember like it was yesterday, slamming my scissors down, yelling "I can't do it!" and running into the school bathroom to cry my eyes out. When I came skulking back my instructor was calmly scissoring my dog and asked me if I was ready to get back to work. I was. It seemed like that was my "turning point" and I actually started to be a groomer after that.

                So don't give up. Practice when you can, use friends dogs, shelter dogs, any dogs that you can hone your skills on. And, remember to visit this board often. I have learned sooooo much here. I have groomed for 22 yrs (2 as a bather), thought I knew everything, until I found this board. Everyone here is very willing ( to help. Take picts of your before and after grooms so we can critique and also so you can look back to see that you HAVE made incredible improvements!
                SheilaB from SC


                • #9
                  Hang on!!

                  I actually never picked up scissor in school for well over a month!
                  The handling is the hardest part!
                  I was so worried because she never showed me faces till the last week! But By then I had scissor control and I could make the scissors do what I wanted.

                  It takes so long, and it is frustrating. I get frustrated cause my phone is quiet (new shop) and I am so SLOW!!!! But I got a phone call and they said they loved the groom I did, I had a lady come in my shop on Fri and she heard I was "real good..." I wanted to cry and laugh and tell her no I am not!! But I smiled and told her I strived to get better every day, becuase I do.

                  You will get there! Have faith!


                  • #10
                    Dont worry!

                    Don't worry! I was the same way too!! Scissoring is a detailed art that takes a while to learn, how to hold the scissors properly, at what angle you cut, etc. its not something you learn in a couple weeks. i would come home crying because I was not catching on like I thought I should. I was in a situation like yours, 49, downsized from a corporate desk job of 25 years. so going from that to this, a very big change. But you have to remember that it will get better, and if theres something that you arent catching on to, have your instructor keep showing you until you get it right. Where I went to school, alot of people that were just graduating when I got there said that the instructor never got to even letting them do faces before they left.! I said thats not happening here, and I told the instructor that as soon as she felt comfortable with it, I wanted to start doing heads, and she taught me,
                    before I graduated I was able to do all the heads. I found a job right before I graduated and started working a couple days a week and then I graduated and went full time. Ive been there 7 months now and people are beginning to request me to do their dogs. Everybody in my class graduated and found placement. You have alot to look forward to. and as we get quicker, we will make more money. Take care and think positive. Good things will come to you. Ruthie


                    • #11
                      What school are you going to in Connecticut? I am from Rocky Hill and went to school in Newington.


                      • #12

                        Just like everyone else says, scissoring takes years to learn. I would suggest finding a job with a seasoned groomer who is willing to continue your education and give you opportunities to practice.

                        I personally learned a lot about scissoring by going to dog shows and grooming competitions and watching all the groomer. Professional handlers are especially good to watch, especially the Poodle and Bichon handlers. I also apprenticed for one for a year or so. I did all this BEFORE I went to grooming school, so consider that some of the students may have had previous experience. Don't let it intimidate you.


                        • #13
                          Be patient and hang in there

                          I agree with what everyone else has stated. I left a great paying job to start grooming school in my 50's. It takes time, and practice to get good and even after 4 years I've so much to learn. I'm a housecall groomer and all of my clients have come by referrals. I never thought I'd be where I am today. You'll get there.
                          BTW, I've been on this board for 4 years and MOST of what I know I've learned from this board.


                          • #14

                            I can't believe how many of us are 40+ on this board. I think it's really great that after years of just working for the sake of working were all doing something we love.


                            • #15
                              4 days in is a little early to dump you into scissoring. Most people are just learning how to bath and do nails/ ears etc at that point.Scissoring is an art that takes years to perfect. And then sometimes you have someone come along that gives you a whole new perspective!

                              Had a Bedlington in the shop and the origianl groomer who shows Bedlingtons volunteered to come show me exactly how to do one.Well I was caught with my mouth open! She did things I would never have dared try and she did them fast and furious! I sure learned a few things and after 22 years it was funny to be in that position except my assistant was going "Now you know how I feel!" LOL