How to Become a Dog Groomer

How to Become a Dog Groomer

It may sound impossible but you have to believe as there are people who feel like the happiest people in the world when you brush their dog’s hair.

They enjoy spending time with their dogs and love to give them a bath or clean their dog so as to make them happy.

If you are one of these people, you may start thinking about dog grooming as your future career, as you can combine your job with things that you like doing.

Now, you may wonder how you can become a dog groomer and we are here to help you gather all the necessary information.

Dog groomers are experiencing a boom thanks to Instagram, as each and every person will feel joy when they see cute dogs.

They post before and after pictures to see what the groomer has done to a pet to make it look perfect.

Katy Perry’s dog groomer, Jess Rona, became so famous that she now makes up to $6,000 a week.

Sounds attractive?

Well, here is what you need to know prior to getting started as a dog groomer.

Options for Dog Groomer Training

Being that these people are not cosmetologists or hairstylists, they do not need to possess a license for dog grooming.

However, you cannot perform this job unless you are well trained and there are various ways to get trained in the art of dog grooming.

Take an online course

QC Pet Studies has an online course that you can attend.

During the course, you will learn the basics, which include grooming career opportunities, dog anatomy, maintenance of hair and skin, dog behavior and temperament, and other practical advice.

It is similar to an online textbook for potential dog groomers.

However, our suggestion is to attend a course which will offer more practice so as to get a hands-on dog grooming experience.

Go to a dog grooming school.

The National Dog Groomers Association of America boasts in-person certificate training courses.

You can decide to attend their workshop and certification program that is available all around the country.

Workshops consist of four major sections: orientation, breed demonstrations, stripping, thinning, and carding (techniques for dealing with different dog hair), and patterns (line placements on specific breeds).

So as to get a certificate, you will need to attend a workshop and then do a test with a live animal.

Get on-the-job training.

Another option, which is probably the best of all is to get on the job training.

It is easy to read about grooming a dog, but it is not that easy to meet an excited dog that has to be groomed.

There are numerous schools to choose from, but you need to have in mind that some have hands-on training, while some do not offer it.

Our suggestion is to have hands-on training before entering the business.

A very important part of the training is to learn how to calm a nervous dog.

Also, you will learn how to bathe and dry dogs, as well as do light trims.

So as to improve your knowledge and skills, you can buy dog grooming books and practice on your own animals.

You need to learn to have patience with both the animals and the owners.

It is wrong to expect the wagging, fluffy tails waiting patiently for you to groom them.

What Groomers Need to Learn

Besides learning what to do with the dog’s hair, there are many other things a dog groomer has to be acquainted with.

Breed information

One major part is to learn about dogs’ anatomy and their breeding history.

Let’s take poodles as an example.

This breed is bred to be sporting and hunting dogs and it has pom-poms on its hips.

They are not accidentally there, and you have to know that their role is to keep the dog’s joints warm in cold water.

Your coat care cannot be the same for all breeds.

CPR and first aid

You can learn animal CPR via the American Red Cross’s 35-minute online course.

During this course, you will learn how to check for vital signs, do preventative care, and provide first aid to dogs and cats in the case of an emergency.

Now, you may wonder why you, as a dog groomer will need this knowledge.

Well, there were instances when some dogs were taken to the groomers in very poor health condition.

Stripping, thinning, and carding

What is carding?

This is a term that may not be familiar to many of you.

Carding is the removal of an undercoat from a dog’s coat, often used in pugs, Chihuahuas, Labs, cocker spaniels, and setters.

The reason for this kind of grooming is to get the top, flat coat lay down smoothly.

Dog groomer actually cut out the short hairs that tend to shed.

Stripping and thinning is also a very similar and frequently used technique by which a dog groomer removes excess hair from dogs that have two coats.


Last but not least, each dog groomer has to be acquainted with atters, being that officially recognized dog breeds have certain patterns considered proper for the breed.

The best example is the iconic cuts for poodles and schnauzers.

Dog groomer courses should cover these patterns, and one of the themes can be how to achieve the proper poodle topknot.

You should know that there are 31 different grooming styles and trims for breeds.

Dog Grooming Jobs

Dog groomers can be found working for someone or running their own business.

We need to mention that dog grooming is not a high-wage profession and you can expect an average salary of about $22,710 per year.

This is due to the increasing number of dog lovers who not only love them but also treat them even better.

Small business and boutique groomers

It is definitely considered the most cost-effective to open your own business and be your own boss.

You might have the necessary skills, but you need to buy that equipment that can run as much as $20K.

This includes the clippers, dryer, table, and tub and all of them are quite expensive.

Have in mind that dog grooming is not a business that can make you rich, so you need to do some maths propr to making this decision.

The majority of groomers do this job because they love animals and want them to look better.

In-home grooming

Another option for dog groomers is to perform mobile or in-home grooming.

This has become quite popular in recent years, as this is more pleasant to dogs that do not get stressed out by traveling to a salon.

As a mobile groomer, you will travel to a client’s home, meaning that you will have more independence and a higher income.

Pet store chains

Entry-level groomers are frequently found working for big box stores where they can get experience, especially with a trainee program for newbies.

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