To become a successful dog groomer you’ll need to be organised, have strong communication skills, a talent for customer service, and most importantly of course…have an in-depth understanding and a sincere love of dogs.
What does a dog groomer do?
According to UCAS, dog groomers keep dogs’ fur coats in good condition by shampooing, brushing, trimming and grooming them. As a dog groomer, you’ll also give coat maintenance advice to dog owners.
What skills does a dog groomer need?
Dog Groomers work with all kinds of dogs, carrying out a range of hands-on grooming services to improve their hygiene and overall appearance.
In other words, whether they’re shampooing their fur and cleaning their ears, or clipping their nails and trimming their coat – a dog groomer’s job is to make dogs look (and smell) clean and presentable, says Reed.co.uk
Typical tasks and duties for dog groomer could include:
- Greeting owners and discussing preferred grooming
- Understanding and adhering to the grooming standards for each breed
- Advising on at-home grooming techniques
- Shampooing, drying, and trimming fur
- Using stripping knives and electric clippers to shape dogs’ coats
- Checking for any abnormalities in the dogs’ coat (e.g. fleas, sores)
- Sanitising equipment and tidying work areas
- You’ll need to be good with animals
- Good administrative skills
- Good numeracy skills
- Strong communications skills
- Up to date on the latest doggy products
- Possess good knowledge of all dog breeds
How to become a dog groomer in the UK
The Diploma for Professional Dog Stylists could help you get a job as a senior doggroomer or as a manager in a dog grooming salon. Once you have completed these qualifications, you could also go on to do a Level 3 work-based Diploma in Animal Care or a Level 4 NVQ in Animal Management.
According to Pay Scale, the average hourly pay for a UK dog groomer is £8.16 or £18,118 per year.
Is being a dog groomer profitable?
The more clients you get the more profitable your business will be so your reputation is everything. Depending on how many dogs you groom in a day, will also determine how much money you make. Some groomers, capable of grooming nine dogs a day can make up to £40,000 a year.
Dog groomer insurance and pet shop insurance
Do you go to your customer’s homes? Or is your dream to open your own shop? Either way, one of the smartest moves you can make is to make sure you’re fully insured. Most people think of dog groomer insurance or pet shop insurance as simply building and contents protection but in fact as the owner of the shop you might be held liable and ordered to pay hefty compensation to a customer – or passing member of the public – who is injured or has their property damaged in some way connected with your actions, or failure to take action, in the course of your business.
Public liability insurance is designed to provide you with protection against just such claims. Were you also aware that if you employ anyone – paid or not – to help run your shop, that employers’ liability insurance is also imperative?
Even for a modest shop, the risks of physical loss or damage and the possibility of claims alleging your liability may pose a serious financial burden – you might want to make sure, therefore, that you seek suitable shop insurance quotes.
How to become a certified dog groomer
According to the National Careers Service, you’ll need two or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D) for a level 2 dog grooming course and 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a level 3 course.
You could start as a dog groomer by finding work with a qualified, experienced groomer and receive training on the job. Another option is to do a course at a private training centre or college before you look for work. Both options involve gaining practical experience under supervision.
5 dog grooming courses
City & Guilds – these dog grooming courses can help you become a dog groomer or to build an existing career in the industry. The dog grooming training focuses on the principles and practices of modern dog grooming techniques.
The Level 2 Certificate for Dog Grooming Assistants is for anyone wanting to start work in the industry.
The Level 3 Certificate in Introductory Dog Grooming or the Level 3 Diploma for Professional Dog Stylists is suitable for those with experience of working in the industry, or who have completed a related qualification.
Pet Industry Federation – The Pet Industry Federation and the British Dog Groomers’ Association have developed a variety of dog grooming courses, for groomers at every level.
Some of these are nationally accredited courses run in conjunction with City & Guilds. Important changes came into effect in November 2009, when the qualifications were moved over to the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) – the new framework for creating and accrediting qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Dog grooming is a rewarding career and a growing industry with more and more dog owners taking advantage of the services offered by grooming salons. If you are new to the industry and are looking to gain a qualification, there are three main routes to becoming a dog groomer:
- Through a fee-paying course at a private Accredited Grooming Training Centre
- Through a Further Education College
- Learning the skills on-the-job working with an experienced qualified groomer.
The College of Animal Welfare – There is a significant emphasis on developing your practical skills throughout your dog grooming training; giving you the skills and necessary experience to use professional dog grooming equipment to groom a variety of different dog breeds to breed standard or owner requirements.
Classic Canine Cuts Dog Grooming School – Based in Blackwood in South Wales, this School offers the very best environment for students to learn the art of Dog Grooming. Classic Canine Cuts is a Commercial Dog Groomers as well as a training school and offers students the best insight into the world of dog grooming. Students are able to see how staff interact with not only the dogs but their owners too.
Bridgwater & Taunton College – This practical course is suitable for students with little or no experience in dog grooming. Students learn how to bathe, groom, and nail trim dogs as well as gaining an understanding of health and safety and customer care. Basic clipping and trimming will also be introduced. The course includes:
- How to handle dogs safely and the health and safety aspects of grooming
- Hygiene aspects of grooming
- Theory and practice of basic grooming including techniques, styles, bathing, nail trimming and an introduction to clipping
Pets at home offer apprenticeships in almost every area of their business. Over a 13-month period, you’ll receive full training that is a great foundation for a career in the grooming industry.
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