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I just finished training at Golden Paws in Houston

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  • I just finished training at Golden Paws in Houston

    I just completed 6 weeks and 2 days (225 hours) of training at the Golden Paws School of Dog Styling in Houston, Texas. I want to do a review of the facility and the training program so others looking for a grooming school will know what to expect.

    The school is located inside the Golden Paws Dog Grooming Salon. The facility is drab, worn out and in need of a major overhaul. The a/c was not working properly for approximately 2 weeks and it was HOT and miserable. But, I made a complaint to the owner, Dirk Smith, on a Wednesday night (very late) and an a/c technician was there on Friday morning. The a/c is now working properly and everyone is much more comfortable. Every square foot of space in the building is utilized and the salon is extremely successful so it’s understandable that wear and tear is going to occur. It’s time to do a cosmetic remodel but I’m not sure how they can do that while the business is operating. Don’t expect a pristine learning environment and you’ll be much happier.

    The training program is not easy to complete. I was challenged on a daily basis; physically and mentally. The instructor is excellent as are the other paid groomers working at the salon. Everyone is in the same area upstairs and there is always someone around to help you with questions. The first day is anti-climactic. You start off reading the Golden Paws training manual and getting familiar with your new bag of grooming tools and the facility. Day two you will work with a large, stuffed, toy dog for half the day. You practice using your clippers and how to hold onto a dog. After lunch you get to work on a real dog doing basic prep. Every day after that is spent with your hands on a dog. All kinds of dogs! There were mandatory reading and homework assignments on multiple chapters in the GP training manual with take home tests that had to be completed. If you are interested and take a tour of the upstairs area, all you will see are dogs on tables with students and groomers hard at work. The instructor was always nearby and available for questions. He also has more patience than anyone I have ever met.

    Overall, I believe I have an excellent foundation for a career as a dog groomer. I can recommend the program, the materials and their instructor. I've added a few photos so you can get an idea of the upstairs area. You can find them online at http://houstongoldenpaws.com/

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  • #2
    Very nice review. I thought you addressed a number of items of concern to first time groomers and potential students. Well done
    It would be a terrific c idea to follow up on this post in one/3/6 month intervals to continue to report on how your training has benefitted or where they may but need to add more. It will continue to help those looking at the school and will help the school with constructive feedback.

    Best of luck in your new career. Hope that you find it as rewarding and enjoyable as the rest of us do

    Comment


    • #3
      Guess I'm "old school".........but........I don't see the "drab, worn out and in need of a major overhaul" in your pictures. I see a well lighted, space appropriate and well organized, school. Looks like the equipment (grooming tables, caddies, shelving) all look very appropriate, all looking fairly decent from the pictures. You talk about not expecting a pristine environment, just wait until you get out into the "real world of grooming". You groomed for 2 weeks before you complained about the A/C....why did you wait so long......was it not bothering anyone else?

      Their website was very informative, and well done. I'm not sure what most people think they are getting into when they enroll into grooming school, but it's all about studying, working hard and doing it all over again tomorrow. I think their fees are very reasonable and they sell a very good equipment package. I think you got a good start on your grooming career........at least 4 steps ahead of anyone who skips school.

      Happy making good choices in your career

      Dolly's Barking Bubbles, LLC

      www.dollysbarkingbubbles.com

      Comment


      • #4
        I have to agree with Dolly. That place looks sweet. Not drab and worn out. I think the real world is going to be a shock. Looks like you got a great education. Good luck.
        Stress is nothing more than a socially acceptable form of mental illness.- Richard Carlson

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Dolly View Post
          Guess I'm "old school".........but........I don't see the "drab, worn out and in need of a major overhaul" in your pictures. I see a well lighted, space appropriate and well organized, school. Looks like the equipment (grooming tables, caddies, shelving) all look very appropriate, all looking fairly decent from the pictures. You talk about not expecting a pristine environment, just wait until you get out into the "real world of grooming". You groomed for 2 weeks before you complained about the A/C....why did you wait so long......was it not bothering anyone else?

          Their website was very informative, and well done. I'm not sure what most people think they are getting into when they enroll into grooming school, but it's all about studying, working hard and doing it all over again tomorrow. I think their fees are very reasonable and they sell a very good equipment package. I think you got a good start on your grooming career........at least 4 steps ahead of anyone who skips school.

          Happy making good choices in your career

          Dolly's Barking Bubbles, LLC

          www.dollysbarkingbubbles.com
          Dolly, I didn't post pictures of the worn out areas of the building but instead chose to show the area where most of my time was spent. Why focus on the negative? And you are right, it was a very bright, happy place to be. I really enjoyed learning at Golden Paws. I did tour the building before enrolling so I knew exactly what to expect. Hopefully you will realize the comments were not derogatory but meant to be informative.

          As to why I didn't complain about the heat earlier.... I was told by two different employees that the owner knew about the problem and it was being taken care of. I was completely engrossed in learning about scissoring, bathing, teddy bear heads and schnauzer cuts so it wasn't my main priority. I am very patient and didn't complain until it was obvious nothing was going to be done about the heat. There were multiple box fans brought in to help but they were making a mess blowing dog hair onto sweaty groomers. Plus, I seriously don't like whiners. I was told the problem was being addressed and I took that at face value. Yes, everyone was miserable but they chose to complain to each other and that wasn't getting any results :-) The owner was very quick to respond and he did take care of the problem.

          So, thank ya'll for the comments and please take the review for what it is; information for prospective students.

          Brenda

          Comment


          • #6
            Congratulations! And good review. Did you actually bathe the pets you worked on? I had interviewed a girl a couple years ago that just did clips no bathing. Just curious

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Dolly View Post
              Guess I'm "old school".........but........I don't see the "drab, worn out and in need of a major overhaul" in your pictures. I see a well lighted, space appropriate and well organized, school. Looks like the equipment (grooming tables, caddies, shelving) all look very appropriate, all looking fairly decent from the pictures. You talk about not expecting a pristine environment, just wait until you get out into the "real world of grooming". You groomed for 2 weeks before you complained about the A/C....why did you wait so long......was it not bothering anyone else?

              Dolly's Barking Bubbles, LLC

              www.dollysbarkingbubbles.com
              Totally agree Dolly. Appearance wise this is way better than thousands of shops out there.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi Dusty! Yes, I bathed dogs every day. It is a busy, busy shop with a lot of dogs every day. Some days I would get lucky and the bather would have already gotten the dog assigned to me ready to go. It was great.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Awesome! Hope it all goes well for you.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I signed in to see the photos. If you think that's outdated you're in for a surprise. Interesting how they have a bather to wash and dry student dogs. I don't think I like that in a school. Maybe its just me. How many dogs a day does each student get? How many instructors per class of students and how big was your class. (Mine was 9-12 people at a time and one instructor and one instructor in training part time. ). Can we see the bathing room? Dog holding room? How are the dogs dried? I'm curious !! Our school had a dog with about 50 kennels to pull dogs from. Everyone would come in the A.M. Students would never meet clients.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Tif View Post
                      I signed in to see the photos. If you think that's outdated you're in for a surprise. Interesting how they have a bather to wash and dry student dogs. I don't think I like that in a school. Maybe its just me. How many dogs a day does each student get? How many instructors per class of students and how big was your class. (Mine was 9-12 people at a time and one instructor and one instructor in training part time. ). Can we see the bathing room? Dog holding room? How are the dogs dried? I'm curious !! Our school had a dog with about 50 kennels to pull dogs from. Everyone would come in the A.M. Students would never meet clients.
                      The photos are of the school area, not the drab areas downstairs. I apologize for not making that crystal clear in my original post. The school area is very nice with lots of natural light and plenty of room to move around the grooming table. Please don't focus on my objective opinion about the condition of the facility. I did not and will not post photos that are negative towards this school.

                      The bather works for the SALON but all the dogs are in one area and sometimes he would bathe a dog for a student if he had time. The student's day begins at 9:00 am; that is after the time owners should have dropped off their dog. If you can finish more than one dog a day you can ask for another dog to work on. The instructor is very critical about the quality of the finished groom. All the dogs left there looking professionally groomed. Since I was completely new to grooming I wasn't able to complete more than 2 dogs by our quitting time of 4:00 pm. The classes are small. There is one instructor for about 6 students. The number of students fluctuated between 5 and 6. The full time groomers working upstairs with the students are very helpful if a student has a question. I tried not to bother them since they are working but whenever I asked them a question they were willing to give me an answer and be as helpful as they could. No negative attitudes were ever displayed!

                      The dogs are dried with a K9II hand held dryer. I don't know if you can see the bathing room or not; are you close enough to take a tour? I'm finished with the school and don't have pictures of every area.

                      My goal with the review was to give objective information and not to criticize Golden Paws. The training is challenging and I loved every minute of it. The instructor is beyond patient and a fine groomer. While in school, a few of the students made comments about the condition of the facility so I thought I would add that to the review.

                      Bottom line......GOOD SCHOOL. I have no hesitation in recommending them to a student.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by HoneyandChewiespal View Post
                        Very nice review. I thought you addressed a number of items of concern to first time groomers and potential students. Well done
                        It would be a terrific c idea to follow up on this post in one/3/6 month intervals to continue to report on how your training has benefitted or where they may but need to add more. It will continue to help those looking at the school and will help the school with constructive feedback.

                        Best of luck in your new career. Hope that you find it as rewarding and enjoyable as the rest of us do
                        Thank you for the positive feedback :-) I think it's a great idea to post updates! I am scheduled to start volunteering with the Houston Humane Society at the end of this month and I'm sure I'll have lots to share.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I wanted to give an update to my original post about attending school at Golden Paws in Houston in 2015. It was worth every penny and I highly recommend the school to anyone looking for a basic education in grooming.

                          I was given an opportunity to work in a local salon fresh out of school and I jumped at the chance! I worked one-on-one with an experienced groomer and it was the best thing I could have done. I took everything I learned in school as a foundation and haven't looked back. I went mobile full time in 2016 and I'm still using my grooming trailer. I opened a tiny shop next to my home last year at the beginning of the pandemic and groom from there 3 days a week and I'm mobile roughly 2 days. You can find photos of my grooms and my shop "Smooches-4-Pooches" on FaceBook.

                          Golden Paws in Houston was just the beginning and it was a great way to get started!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Wonderful .... did I say WONDERFUL!!!!! So happy for you and Wowza I love your little shop!

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