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  • Hi Everyone!

    My name is Michelle and I'm from Indiana. I have two 4 legged babies, one is a Lab/Great Dane mix and the other is a Pom. I also have two great 2 legged kids also, ages 16 and 18. It's been so encouraging to read about all of the people who have changed careers later in life (I'm 39). I taught preschool for 10 years and one day decided it was time for a change. I ended up working as a bather in a great shop for a year and a half, then realized I really wanted to become a groomer. I just graduated from grooming school in Dec. of 2006, so I'm still very new at this and still learning. The owner of the shop where I started out as a bather called and wanted me to come there and groom, so I went back to where I started. It has been a bit discouraging, because this shop is a really busy shop, and I'm still trying to gain some speed, I feel so slow at times. The good thing though is my husband is my biggest cheerleader. He's been so encouraging since I started this new career, and he has great plans for building me a shop of my own when I feel I'm ready. I'm so glad my friend told me about this site and I'm looking forward to learning a lot from it.

  • #2
    Welcome Michelle!
    I started grooming in my late 30's also, it's been 22 years now, and I still love it. Don't be discouraged about your speed, that will get better as you go along. I found that if I just developed a routine, and stuck with it, it improved steadily. I do all the #10 work first, then the body, then finish off starting with the right rear leg,working around to the right front, then finish the head last. It's pretty much the order I use with all my dogs, and it works for me.
    Best of luck.

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    • #3
      Thanks!

      Thanks for the encouragement and the tip on the order you do things. I'll have to try that. I think part of what has slowed me down is I learned to groom one way in school, but now that I'm at the shop I'm at now they are teaching me to groom the way they do it. Both ways are good, just different and I feel like I'm starting all over again. The people there are great though, they each give me some of their dogs to groom since I don't have my own built up yet. They are kind enough to help me out, so I'll just groom how they tell me to, but in the order you recommended. Thanks again.

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      • #4
        Welcome Michelle
        I have learned a lot of cool tips here so far. One tip I can give you to help increase your speed is to time your self how long it takes you to finish a dog, after it's bath, when I first started it was an hour then I just began trying to beat my time every few days. I eventually got down to 30 minutes for most breeds and 20 minutes for schnauzers. I still take an hour to scissor a poodle or bichon though. I also recommend not roughing in your dog first, just bathe it and get it all brushed and dried first. I only rough in very matted dogs, or dogs I am taking a ton of hair off on. Some people here never rough in. But either way I think it helps quicken your time, and makes for a nicer finished cut.

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        • #5
          Thanks for the tip on timing myself. I actually kind of did that Tues. Well actually I started from when I first put the dog (a Shih Tzu) in the tub until I had her done. It took me about 2 hours for the whole thing, but she was in a cool air dryer for a few mins after I hand dried her so that took up a little time to. She hated having her head dried so I got as much as I could without stressing both of us out then put her in the dryer for a few mins. I hardly ever do anything to the dogs before I bathe them. When I was in grooming school we had to brush them, do all the prep work, and do a first clip before we even got them in the tub. Wow talk about taking a long time to do a dog! It would take us 3-4 hours sometimes to do one dog. Glad those days are over...lol.

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          • #6
            Once you get a routine down,keep it!......time management is very important and will help you succeed. Welcome!

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            • #7
              welcome

              welcome michelle! I am from indiana too, where are you located, I am about 15-20 min. north of fort wayne. I also just started grooming at age 37 I have been in a apprenticeship for 3 months and the owner wants me to work with her too, so thats what I am doing, we are working together to get our business built up. good luck I am really slow too it takes me about 2 hours to do a dog!

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              • #8
                Welcome Michelle. You have entered into a great career! I love it have been doing it for almost 15 yrs I guess. Have never regretted it. I have always wanted to be a groomer but it took me a long time to get here. I must have started in my late 30's also. My first job when I was a kid (16) was working with a dog handler as kennel person and B&B but then moved and really never got back into it until late in life.
                Your speed will pick up once you get your routine down and with lots of practice and the coming of years.
                "There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face."
                Diane

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                • #9
                  Thanks for the encouragement! I really needed it today. It was just one of those hard days, I had some big dogs that really wore me out and a Scotty that wanted to eat me. He was so nice until I got him on the table and then he turned into a little demon..lol. I'm happy to say the owner was very pleased and I still had all 10 fingers when I was done.

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                  • #10
                    I live in Anderson, it's about an hour and a half south of Ft. Wayne. That's really neat that you and your friend are starting a business. It's nice to work with people you get along with. My friend I work with and I are going to start a shop at my house in the next year or two. The lady that owns the shop I'm at now already knows I want to start my own shop and she's excited for me. She doesn't mind if I build up my client base there and then take them with me when I leave. The place where I work is so unusual, we have seven women that work there and believe it or not we all get along great! Haha.

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