Dog Grooming Course Hands-On Practice included
practice while you learn!
"Can a person really learn professional grooming by
distance learning only?"
This is the question I am most often asked, and one which you are probably asking yourself. (If you aren't, you probably should be!)
There are several ways to attain the status of professional groomer:
One is to teach yourself...
with the assistance of breed grooming books. This method is usually of long duration and, often, very frustrating. The great majority of breed grooming books on the market often wrongly assume that you already understand grooming terminology, how to operate and care for the various grooming tools and accessories, and how to control and restrain any given dog or cat. These books can be somewhat helpful references for one who already professionally grooms, but of minimal assistance to the novice who wishes to make a successful living at professional dog grooming.
A second is on-the-job training
or apprenticeship. This is the way many of the veteran groomers have developed their skills. The drawbacks to this type of training can be lack of diploma or certification upon completion, lengthy apprenticeship time and the minimal wage connected with it, and the possibility of developing an undesirable style or habit passed on by your employer, who may or may not be qualified to teach.
A third is attending a grooming school
for a period of time, usually not less than eight to
twelve weeks. I was fortunate to have attended a highly
acclaimed institute of this type. There were twelve
other students in my class - and one teacher. We often
worked four students to a dog and had to compete for any
Many of our days were filled with demonstration, discussion, theoretical lecture and video viewing -- very little meaningful "hands on" practice was experienced.
I returned from the school with my diploma in hand, and on my own time had to develop "hands on" skill. It cost a great deal of money in all, what with tuition fees, food, lodging, traveling expenses, and having no income for the entire period of my education. I had to work very long and hard to recapture these expenses.
It was during this time that I came to realize a student could be provided:
I then set to developing the distance learning programs I now offer.
The biggest challenge for the distance learning student
has always been obtaining the practical "hands on" skills.
For the self motivated, enterprising individual this dilemma
is easily solved. All you need is the drive to meet your
career goals, and the independent creativity to accomplish
If you are setting up your own shop, you can obtain this experience through your first customers, while at the same time, developing a very loyal clientele. They will appreciate all your early efforts, your honesty with them, and your progression to a caring, humane professional. They will always remember they "knew you when"! To many consumers, being able to tell others they've been with you from the very beginning of your career is an important factor. They will often be the biggest promoters of your business!
If beginning your business is not a viable option at this time, work on your own pets, the pets of your friends or relatives, or if that is not possible, contact your local animal shelter or rescue group. Many unwanted or uncared for animals are in great need of grooming, and it has been my experience that the majority of shelter operators are happy to oblige in such a mutually beneficial situation.
If your community does not have an animal shelter, often a notice on the public bulletin boards in your community will bring you all the practice pets you will require to become proficient in professional grooming.
lf you plan on seeking salon employment, large corporate salons often hire JKL groomers in training, so you can actually train while on the job. Some smaller salons will do the same, depending on their current needs.
Our distance learning programs provide one-on-one
training between the student and myself, and allow the
student to progress at his or her own speed. There are ample
diagrams, illustrations and photographs to assist in your
learning, and educational video aids are also featured,
depending on program format. When you have completed a JKL
program, you will have:
fingertips for future referral, a feature not always
provided at practical training institutes.
On our JKL Grad Comments page some JKL graduates tell you what they think of our program. Their success speaks for itself!
So, when asked if JKL students can learn what they need to know to become successful professional groomers, I say a definite,
YOU BETCHA !