Dog grooming is a cut above

PHOTO. KEVIN McGUINNESS'Dog Groomer Nikki Eade tends to Vespa at Auntie's Doggie Day Care, Lostock Hall
PHOTO. KEVIN McGUINNESS'Dog Groomer Nikki Eade tends to Vespa at Auntie's Doggie Day Care, Lostock Hall

As a dog groomer, you would keep dogs’ coats in good condition and advise owners on their animal’s coat care, grooming and diet.

Before starting grooming, you would check for any sore areas or lumps on the dog’s skin and for fleas or parasites. You would then:

l Shape the dog’s coat with electric clippers or a stripping knife

l Shampoo and dry the dog’s coat

l Give a final trim with scissors.

lYou would sometimes clip the dog’s claws and clean its teeth and ears.

You would follow standards for how different breeds should look – for example, poodles are usually clipped to a particular shape. This is important when dogs are being prepared for showing.

In a grooming salon, you would usually work around 35 hours a week, Monday to Saturday (with one day off during the week). If you are self-employed, you would arrange your own working hours.

Dog groomers can earn between £12,000 and £18,000 a year.

Self-employed dog groomers can charge between £25 and £70, depending on the breed of dog.

You have a choice of three ways to train as a dog groomer:

l Finding work with a qualified, experienced groomer and training on the job

l Doing an apprenticeship

l Attending a course at a private training centre or college.

You would not usually need any particular qualifications to begin training, but would normally need experience with dogs. You could begin with a basic course in animal care, such as BTEC National Certificate/Diploma and gain some voluntary experience, for example in kennels. You can find out about voluntary opportunities in your area from do-it.org.uk.

On a dog grooming course, you would usually start with three months in the training centre, followed by work experience. You would then go back to the training centre to prepare for exams. See the Pet Care Trust website for details of accredited training centres.

When you are employed by a salon, you will learn practical skills on the job from a qualified and experienced groomer. You may be able to work towards an award, certificate or diploma in Work-based Animal Care (Dog Grooming) at levels 2 and 3.

You may also be able to complete qualifications such as:

NPTC Level 2 Certificate for Dog Grooming Assistants

NPTC Level Certificate in Introductory Dog Grooming

NPTC Level 3 Diploma in Professional Dog Grooming.

Visit the Pet Care Trust website for details of the qualifications, assessment centres and examination dates, and the British Dog Groomers’ Association.

As far as opportunities are concerned, you could find work in grooming salons or in grooming facilities attached to some pet shops, garden centres and kennels.

With experience and qualifications, you could open your own salon or become a mobile groomer, visiting owners’ homes. You could also move into training.

For more information contact:

Pet Care Trust, Bedford Business Centre, 170 Mile Road, Bedford, MK42 9TW

Tel: 01234 273933

www.petcare.org.uk.