Here is How You Can Become a Dog Groomer

Here is How You Can Become a Dog Groomer

Author WDF Staff


If you are interested in getting a job where you will be surrounded by dogs the whole day, you might want to think about becoming a dog groomer. If you love doing your dog’s hairdo, and you want to take that to the next level, being a dog groomer can be a legitimate and very profitable occupation.

Many dog owners and lovers have no idea where to even start looking into this option. Many wonder, “How to become a dog groomer?” and that’s why we decided to make this guide that can help you start the next chapter of your life. Here is what you should know about becoming a dog groomer.

Is dog grooming profitable?

There are several options if you are looking into a grooming career. In this modern time of social media, you can combine your social media and dog grooming skills. It is a free and very effective marketing channel that can bring in tons of work. You can open your own salon, become a mobile groomer, work from home for dogs in your neighborhood, or get a job in a pet grooming chain.

The more you develop your grooming skill, the more you can charge your customers.

dog drying

Where to start?

Unfortunately, loving dogs is not enough to become a dog groomer. You will have to learn the trade first. Before you start grooming, you should know which skills will be required from you on your new dog grooming job;

Breed information

There are more than 400 internationally recognized dog breeds and a couple of hundred unrecognized but very popular designer dog breeds. You will have to learn about breeds, crossbreeds, and their functionality and use. You should know which breeds have double coats and whether you can remove them. Poodles might look weird with their pom-poms, but those pom-poms are meant to keep them warm in cold water.

Dog first aid

Dogs can feel scared and stressed at the groomers, so you will have to know dog CPR. You can never know what might happen, and you will have to be able to help a dog in need. Luckily, learning dog CPR is not challenging. There are short online courses that will teach you what you need to know in 35 minutes.

Coat patterns

All dog breeds that need groomers have different coat patterns. You will have to learn what a particular breed should look like and what is considered the correct cut. Think about Poodles and Schnauzers and their recognizable hairstyles.

Grooming techniques

Grooming techniques are the basis of a dog groomer’s job. You will have to learn how to proper cutting, thinning, and carding techniques. Here is a short intro to all these techniques;


Thinning is a technique that groomers use to thin out the dog’s coat. This is mainly used on dogs with double coats that have an abundance of hair.

dog grooming


Cutting the dog’s hair is another basic technique all dog groomers have to know. You can safely remove the excess dog hair with proper cutting techniques and make a cute doggy hairdo.


Carding is a technique groomers use to remove the dog’s undercoat. It is often used in breeds like Cocker Spaniels, Labradors, Huskies, and Golden Retrievers.

Where to learn grooming tips and tricks?

It goes without saying that you will have to learn a lot about dog grooming before you start working. If you want to open a private business, you will need to learn about this craft. You can’t just begin grooming other people’s dogs however you like. Luckily, there are several ways you can get started.

National Dog Groomers Association of America

One of the best ways to get your dog grooming career started is to apply to the course the National Dog Groomers Association of America offers. Their course is held across the US and provides training in stripping, thinning, carding, breed information, and patterns. After you finish the course, you will have an “exam” with a live dog, and if you succeed, you will get certified.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Dog grooming doesn’t require official certification, but certified dog groomers often have more work since dog owners trust them more.

Online courses

Many online courses can teach you all you need to know before getting into the dog grooming business. You can try any of these;

A quick online search will reveal there are many options you can take. Some are more expensive, and some are more affordable. Read as much as you can about them before you decide. Make sure you get the best possible value for money.

Learning on the job

Learning on the job can be completely different than only reading about dog grooming theory. It can be nerve-wracking to face a giant Newfoundland that really needs a bath and a new hairdo, but learning on the job is another possible option. This might be the longest way to learn, but nothing comes close to learning on your “own skin.” You will have to face nervous dogs, dogs in poor health, and dogs that simply won’t come down. That is all a part of the job, and no amount of theory can prepare you for the real thing.

In conclusion

Dog grooming can be a rewarding job. Many dog owners and dog lovers went into this line of profession because they love being around dogs. Modern media allows you to promote yourself and your work fairly easily, and you should take advantage of that. Be prepared to learn and take your time.

World Dog Finder team

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