What is a Dog Groomer?

A dog groomer earns a living by cleaning and taking care of a dog hygienically. Regular grooming plays an important part in ensuring that a dog's health is maintained, and is an important part of dog care.

Dog groomers help in decreasing the chances of dogs having health problems by checking for swelling, cuts, heat, changes in temperament, parasites on the skin, and thrush. They provide services such as nail clipping, bathing, fur trimming, fur coloring, and nail painting.

What does a Dog Groomer do?

A dog groomer will work on getting a dog as clean and neat looking as possible, mainly concentrating on the dog’s ears, fur, and nails.

A dog groomer clipping a dog's fur.

Dog groomers usually begin by asking the client how they would like their dog groomed. Once they have an idea of what the owner is looking for, the groomer gets the dog up on a table so they can inspect them more closely, and then decide what tools and techniques they will use.

At this point, they begin by brushing the fur, cleaning the ears, and clipping or using a dremel to trim the nails. The dog is then ushered into a bath where they can be washed. Some dogs can get nervous or skittish working with the groomer, while others remain calm and relaxed. Every dog is unique, so the groomer needs to be prepared and have the skills to work with many types of temperaments.

Once the dog is bathed and thoroughly rinsed, the groomer blow dries and brushes the hair so that it is ready for a cut. This requires precision and patience to make sure that the cut comes out even and doesn’t hurt the dog, especially around sensitive areas like the paws and ears. All groomers want each dog to associate a positive experience with coming to see them. 

Grooming dogs can be messy, so professional groomers maintain a clean work area after they are done, to ensure that the space is clean and ready for their next client.

Are you suited to be a dog groomer?

Dog groomers have distinct personalities. They tend to be investigative individuals, which means they’re intellectual, introspective, and inquisitive. They are curious, methodical, rational, analytical, and logical. Some of them are also artistic, meaning they’re creative, intuitive, sensitive, articulate, and expressive.

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What is the workplace of a Dog Groomer like?

Professional groomers usually work with a large organization like a chain pet store, or with a smaller pet grooming business. They need to be able to have the communication skills in order to work with the dogs, as well as the dog owners, to make sure everyone's needs are met. 

Word of mouth is how this type of business grows, so in order have repeat business and referrals, both the dog and the owner need to have had a pleasant experience.

Physical stamina is something that all dog groomers need to have, as they constantly have to make sure the dogs are holding still in order for them to get the proper washing and grooming. It is essential that groomers are patient and calm, as it is important for the dog to feel as comfortable as possible during the grooming process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I become a Dog Groomer?

‘I really love animals. I want to work with dogs.’ While comments like these have certainly been uttered by the vast majority of dog groomers, they do not qualify you for the job. Before training for the role, ask yourself these questions:

Am I essentially a calm person?
Dogs sense human energy. When you feel calm, they feel calm. Likewise, when you are stressed or nervous, they will reflect your agitation and working with them will prove to be difficult. As well, there will be times when a dog gets feisty despite your own composure, and you will need to be able to calm it down. If you are able to strike a balance between firmness and gentleness, you will likely succeed.

Am I patient?
There are always going to be dogs that are uncooperative, badly behaved, or poorly trained. These clients will demand patience.

Am I in reasonable physical condition?
Dog grooming is a very physical endeavor. It requires that you lift heavy dogs and engage in other tasks that demand strength and stamina.

Do I possess customer service and social skills?
For dog owners, their dogs are family members. When they entrust you with the care of their canine companions, they expect that you will treat them well. As a dog groomer, you will have to manage a variety of situations and may have to respond to unreasonable or even ridiculous customer inquiries. You may have to be strong enough to tell people that their dog’s coat is too matted to save and must be shaved down; or that they need to take the dog to a veterinarian to be sedated before it can be groomed.

Am I prepared to be courageous?
Put your compassion for the dog first. Have the courage to report suspected animal abuse.

Do I have any allergies?
Of course, if you have pet allergies, dog grooming is probably not the right occupation for you. Furthermore, if you struggle with asthma, remember that this hands-on work will expose you to lots of dirt and loose hair floating in the air.

If you plan on operating your own dog grooming business, you need to answer a couple more questions:

What is the market demand in my area?
It is vital that you find out whether there is a market for a dog grooming service in your geographical area. Conduct research to ensure that there will be enough customers to sustain your business and to determine the right location for it.

Do I have the finances to buy the necessary grooming equipment and supplies?
You will need more than shampoo and a tub with a shower attachment! You will have to immediately purchase a grooming table, shears and scissors, electric hair clippers, nail clippers, a dryer, combs and brushes, de-matting tools, a muzzle and harness, a cage, a ramp or pet step, a grooming station for tools, and a vacuum cleaner.

How long does it take to become a Dog Groomer?

There is no standard length of time required to become a dog groomer. Many prospective groomers learn via on-the-job training. These apprenticeships typically last between six and ten weeks. The duration of training programs offered by grooming schools varies from two to eighteen weeks.

Steps to becoming a Dog Groomer

Dog grooming can be a fun and emotionally rewarding career. But, just like any other job, there is real work involved, work that begins with a commitment to learning.

Dog Groomers are also known as:
Canine Groomer Dog Grooming Expert