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How Long Will It Take To Become a Dog Groomer? What You Need to Know!

yorkshire dog being groomed

If you are a dog lover that wants an exciting and profitable career in working for dogs, then a dog groomer might be on your career path. This is a rewarding job that allows you to enhance a dog’s physical appearance.

If you want to become a professional and certified dog groomer, then it usually takes between 12 to 24 months before you can be a professional dog groomer and start your own dog grooming business.

The duration of your training will depend on the type of training course you take, with some being only a few weeks for you to learn the basics, and others up to 2 years before you are fully qualified for the job. There are a few things to consider before starting a dog grooming training program.

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What Is a Dog Groomer and What Should You Expect?

A dog groomer is someone who takes care of a dog’s physical appearance and skin and coat hygiene. They either help enhance a dog’s appearance for shows or take care of a dog’s grooming requirements in a professional manner.

Dog groomers are taught how to groom a variety of different dog breeds and their work duties and responsibility include:

  • Bathing dogs according to the dog’s fur condition, allergies, and skin and fur condition.
  • Checking for skin issues and parasites on a dog’s skin.
  • Cleaning the ears.
  • Dental hygiene (such as brushing a dog’s teeth).
  • Drying the coat.
  • Detangling knots from dog fur.
  • Nail trimming.
  • Styling the fur.
  • Scheduling appointments.
  • Sanitizing equipment, grooming tools, and work environment before using it on a new dog.
  • Communicating with the dog’s owner as the whether there were any issues during the grooming process.
  • Understanding the different grooming requirements each dog breed needs depending on their coat type.
  • Handling various sized dogs with different personalities in a professional manner.

Most dog owners cannot properly care for their dog’s appearance at home, which is why the dog grooming industry is a booming business. By becoming a dog groomer, you are taking the responsibility of caring for someone’s dog and taking care of their physical coat and skin health while improving the dog’s appearance.

Dog groomers can work in a variety of places, such as at veterinary clinics, pet shops that usually offer their grooming service, mobile units, and dog kennels.

How Long Does It Take To Learn Dog Grooming?

dog grooming
Image Credit: ESB Professional, Shutterstock

On average, it can take between 12 to 24 months before you can be a qualified dog groomer with a certificate. Dog groomer training programs are offered both online and in the pet retail industry. The amount of time it takes to become a dog groomer will depend on what study courses you take and your flexibility to study.

Completing an Apprenticeship

If you want to complete a dog grooming apprenticeship, then you should expect it to take around 12 to 18 months. This route offers practical learning to complete your dog grooming certification and as an apprenticeship, you will work alongside qualified dog groomers who will show you what it takes to become a dog groomer. During this time, you may also be asked to help the main dog groomer complete some of the grooming tasks.

Targeted Study Courses

If you plan to take a targeted study course online to gain further education into dog grooming, then these programs can take between 6 to 12 weeks to complete before you can study further into dog grooming. Some online courses will offer only dog grooming programs or incorporate other styling and salon management into the modules.

Most dog grooming programs will incorporate practical training into the work; however, you will need to job-shadow certified dog groomers to gain first-hand experience in the industry.

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What Should You Expect From Studying Dog Grooming?

dog grooming
Image Credit: Dmytro Zinkevych, Shutterstock

During the first year of studying, you can expect to learn the basics of dog grooming while understanding the skills necessary for different dog breeds according to their health, age, temperament, and breed type. After you have completed the basics, you will then get to get real experience in dog grooming with practical training.

You will need experience working with a variety of different dog breeds and become familiar with the different cuts and styles set by the American Kennel Club which should be followed. Most dog groomers will start as an assistant or apprentice for the first few years before gaining certification. However, a license or dog grooming certificate is not needed if you want to become a professional groomer.

When it comes to studying dog grooming, you will learn the basics of handling dogs and understanding their behavior, along with professional bathing and drying techniques, how to cut and trim different dog breeds according to their coat type, and how to manage customers and communication within the industry. You will also be taught the different practices to use in the working environment to keep you and the dogs you work with safe.

How Much Does a Dog Groomer Make?

Dog groomers earn a salary based on their total working hours and commission, which is typically 50% of the total price and tips. A dog groomer’s salary will depend on how many dogs a groomer can finish in a day within their working hours.

The average dog groomer can make an annual salary between $31,000 to $40,000 per year depending on the state you work in and the percentile. The more advanced your dog grooming skills are, the higher your earning percentile. If you work within a higher percentile (from 50% to 90%) then you can earn a salary of around $35,000 to $52,000.

What Skills Do You Need To Become a Dog Groomer?

dog grooming
Image Credit: Olena Yakobchuk, Shutterstock
If you want to become a dog groomer, you will need the following skills:
  • Grooming skills: Understanding how to groom dogs according to their breed and coat type.
  • Health knowledge: Being able to identify health issues, allergies, and illnesses in dogs.
  • Knowledge of animal behavior: Having the ability to understand a dog’s behavior and ensure they are kept calm and safe while they are being groomed.
  • Analytical skills: Assess the condition and behavior of different dogs.
  • Interpersonal skills: Work well with customers, co-workers, and grooming assistants.

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Conclusion

Dog grooming can be an excellent job for anyone looking to get into the pet industry. If you have the right skills and the willingness to learn what is required as a dog groomer, then it should take more than a year or two to become qualified to work in the dog grooming industry. In comparison to other careers that involve animals, dog grooming has a short study period.


Featured Image Credit: karelnoppe, Shutterstock

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