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#1 abruner

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 03:35 PM

Have any of you taken online or correspondance courses for your training? I am wanting to make a career change and am looking into grooming. There are no schools close to me and found several ads for online courses. I was just wondering if anyone has tried these and how their experience was...

Thanks in advance
Alyssa

#2 suzzz123

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 10:04 PM

I was an apprentice at a shop and also learned the books and all that stuff through the shop. If at all possible I would suggest going to a local shop checking it out and see if you can hang out with the groomers and see what it is all about. I was also looking for a career change and I always loved dogs so I became interested in grooming after working for many years in an office it was a great change, but it is the hardest job I have ever done it can be very physically and mentaly draining but also hugely rewarding. I have been grooming for 7 yrs now. I think the 1st year is the hardest I had never been so sore or tired, it's very dirty and hairy of course hair is in everything you own you need 2 sets of clothes for sure the equipment was about $500 to start. You probably can learn to do all the breed standard grooming in an online course but handling the animals is 80% of the job how to work with puppies, old senile dogs, dogs that bite they will pee throw up and poop on your table at somepoint so I hope you are not squeaminsh. Are you planning on working by yourself or in a moble grooming van ? Or did you want to go into a shop ? Check out this website groomers BBS Grooming will never make you rich so you need to be sure its a passion. I dont know anyone who did an online course maybe you can do the course and work partime in a shop to learn dog handling Good luck let me know if you need any help

#3 abruner

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 05:32 AM

Thank u so much for the reply. :blush-anim-cl: I have been in healthcare for 10 years now, am currently working nights in a hospital as a phlebotomist, and have also been a scrub tech so I have seen lots of gross stuff (pee,poo,vomit nasty sores, insides :) you name it) so that is no problem at all. Am also very used to being on my feet for 10 hours a night. My mom told me years ago I should have gone into something with pets I have always had a great love for them. I just didn't listen (mama does know best!!!)

I am going to go talk to some groomers today and see if they will let me observe while they work and see everything that goes on in a days time. This would be tough to do working nights but I am willing to lose some sleep to make sure this is what I want to do. I am not in it to make a fortune but for my own happiness. Been working for money for years now and still lacking the happiness factor.

So did you go to school for grooming or did you learn everything while helping at the shop? I wish there was a school close to me but the closest one is 2 1/2 hours away and I will have to continue working until I can get some experience, I think I would like to own a shop eventually, but mobile sounds pretty cool too.

Thanks again for your reply
Alyssa

ps I did apply at petco which is an hour from me for a groomer position I know they will send to school also so will see if I hear anything from them.

#4 Luna

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 08:11 AM

PLEASE don't even consider a correspondence course in grooming. I've been a professional groomer for 26 years (NDGAA Certified) and was absolutely horrified to hear there even WAS such a thing! There is simply no way you can learn to groom dogs via a correspondence course.

I definitely agree you should spend some time at a grooming shop to see if this is something you would really like to do. It is very demanding both physically and emotionally and you have to have a certain temperament to really enjoy the work.

#5 suzzz123

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 01:28 PM

IGNORE PREVIOUS POST !!! Sorry I posted my info 2 times I thought the 1st post didn't take, I would say you have the perfect makings for a groomer above all thing you need extreme patience this is not a buisness for hotheads, and there is no point in getting angry at a dog unless its trying to rip your face off. hahaha I almost went to nursing school but my love for helping animals prevailed. You can probably learn the breed standard clips what the patterns are what blades are commonly used from a grooming book there is couple out there that I use all the time. The other day I had a man come in with an Irish Water Spaniel a rare breed for my area we are mostly about the Wheaton Terriers here, not something I have ever groomed before so I used my Notes from the Grooming table book Every dog breed has a diffrent pattern, at my shop we try to do everything to the breed standard. At the shop I learned at she used to run a school so it was sort of like going to school at a shop it was just me and my friend I paid her in the begining and when she thought I was ready she made me an apprentice. She had us learn all the breeds I learned how to wash dogs about skin disorders fleas ticks diffrent shampoos etc everything I would of learned in a real school. I really liked learning in a shop I felt it gave me an edge when I went for my first job. The most difficult thing was starting out because I was so slow and the shop I was at didn't have a bather so when you are washing and drying your own dog you can only get done so many. I could only do about 3 or 4 small dog haircuts or strips, which made for very thin paychecks now I am faster and work at a shop with a bather I can do more like 10 dogs a day 6 or 7 dogs small dog haircuts and bath dogs.

#6 abruner

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 03:08 PM

Thank you for your reply again ladies!! This board is so amazing.

I have been calling groomers in my area to just set up a time to go in and talk with them about the business, schooling they did, apprentianceships ect, so far only one has allowed me to come in and talk to her, she was very nice went to a school 3 hours from here on saturday's only. Took her 6 months and she bascially only knew how to do shaves, not specific breeds.
She said she gets really nervous when someone watches her so she would not be able to let someone learn in her shop. Before she went to school she talk to all the groomers in the area and no-one would allow her to learn with them either, they all said they would not teach some one and then let they steal their business. I understand that, so I am heading to the next closest state to try there.

I know I can find a way to do this, just keep lookin.

When you all got out of school did you have an idea about breed specific cuts, or did u learn this through pics and trial and error? I am curious if that would be a good school if she didn't know any of them.

Thanks,
Alyssa

#7 Luna

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Posted 20 April 2009 - 03:45 PM

Yes, we learned the specific breed trims and - once we had proved we weren't complete idiots - began grooming dogs brought in by the public...like when you go to the Pivot Point academy (or whatever) and the senior students do your hair. For 31 of us, there were 3 instructors...all long-time pros and grooming competition winners. One was a very successful professional handler.

They watched us like hawks and were right there when we had a question or a dog was being particularly difficult. When I graduated, I was prepared to work in a grooming shop but elected to intern with two professional handlers for a year before I started my career. Smartest thing I ever did. School taught me the basics, but my mentors taught me everything else!

I may be out of the loop on this, but I think that a school that only teaches someone to strip a dog isn't much of a school. There's no art to stripping a dog. Grooming is an art as well as a profession, and the best groomers are artists who can make a dog look it's best no matter what the trim.

There are also levels to grooming, though it's always a commission gig. You can work for PetCo or PetSmart or what I call a "strip shop", and the more dogs you do the better your paycheck...but it will still be pretty measly if you figure it on an hourly-wage basis. If you really stick to your guns and concentrate on doing flawless trims, you can eventually work up to boutique level where you make serious money even doing only 4 or 5 small dogs a day.




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