Curriculum - Dog Grooming School

ABC’s Grooming Instruction Program is designed to offer each student the convenience and cost of a home-study program with the added benefit of working with a professional groomer in an actual grooming facility.

  • Written Curriculum

Our curriculum consists of 11 stages that are designed to provide you with the tools needed to pursue a career in the grooming industry. The written portion of the grooming school curriculum includes more than 900 pages of study guides containing highly relevant and detailed information designed to prepare you to become a professional pet groomer.

  • Grooming Tools

In addition to the written materials, you will receive a plethora of grooming tools including clippers and blades, brushes and combs, shears, nail clippers and so much more! These items enable you to learn and become familiar with the tools of the trade.  Moreover, the grooming tools will be useful during your hands-on training and well into your career as a professional pet groomer.

The first stages of the curriculum give you a strong foundation and understanding of dog and cat grooming along with the responsibilities you may encounter working in a grooming shop as a pet or dog groomer. Once your foundation has been established, you will be given the opportunity to work in an actual pet grooming setting. You will work closely with an ABC Mentor Groomer to gain real life experience as you move closer to launching your new animal career.

The first stages of the curriculum give you a strong foundation and understanding of dog grooming and cat grooming along with the responsibilities you will encounter working in a grooming shop as a pet or dog groomer. Once your foundation has been established, you will be given the opportunity to work in an actual pet grooming setting. You will work closely with an ABC Mentor Groomer to gain real life experience as you move closer to launching your new animal career.

Study from the Privacy of Your Own Home
When you choose to enroll in ABC's Grooming Program of study, you can keep your present job while completing your grooming training. The ABC home study portion of the Grooming Instruction Program brings the classroom to your living room and neighborhood, which means no added expenses will be incurred for housing at a distant grooming school and no time will be wasted with commuting back and forth to campus every day.

Flexible Hours
You can study around your current work or school schedule making this program a custom fit. With this flexibility, the normal completion time is 52 weeks.


Personal Program Manager
The first portion of the program is done in the privacy of your home; however, you will not be alone. An ABC Program Manager will be appointed to you upon enrollment. They will be there to guide you through the program, counsel you, answer all your questions, and grade all your exams. Your personal Program Manager will contact you shortly after enrollment to get acquainted and welcome you into the program. At that time, you will be given the Program Manager's toll free number and email address for future interactions and assistance as you journey through the program.

Curriculum Description by Stage
Here is a brief overview of the ABC Certified Groomer Training Curriculum.  The maximum time allotted for each student in the ABC program is 78 weeks but students are encouraged to progress more quickly based upon their own efficiency and desire to do so.

Stage 1 – INTRODUCTION TO GROOMING - 28 Days (2.00 Units)
This stage starts by giving students an overview of the grooming industry. Students will learn about the history of grooming and how it has developed over the years. You will also learn about canine and feline anatomy, including the proper movement of the joints, which may prove to be beneficial when grooming areas that require you to move an animal’s leg, tail, etc. Included in this stage, you will find information on dog breeds and the common temperaments for each. Additionally, this stage discusses ergonomics and ways in which to perform tasks that when possible, allow for less strain to your own joints and muscles.

Stage 2 – A GROOMER’S TOOLKIT - 21 Days (4.67 Units)
This stage is designed to introduce the student to the many types of grooming tools. These include: clippers and blades, brushes and combs, shedding aids and de-matting tools, shears, nail clippers, shampoos and conditioners, tables, dryers and much more.  Students will also learn about every tool they were sent in their ABC groomer tool kit, how to maintain their tools and what the benefits are for using each item. Whether or not every tool is used, it is critical for students to have a basic understanding of each tool and how to properly utilize it.

Stage 3 – HEALTH & SAFETY - 14 Days (4.67 Units)
In this stage, students are taught how to maintain a safe work environment for themselves and the pets in the grooming shop. You will learn the fundamentals of animal restraint and handling. Additionally, as groomers are sometimes the first to notice health problems with an animal, you will be educated on identifying common skin and medical disorders and how to report them to the pet’s owner.

Stage 4 – CAT GROOMING - 28 Days (6.67 Units)
In this stage, you will learn the fundamentals of cat grooming. A key factor that sets ABC’s Grooming Program apart from some of the other grooming schools is our educational materials contain valuable information on how to groom cats.

You will learn the pertinent skills needed to become a cat groomer, including how to properly handle and restrain felines, bathing, brushing, drying techniques, dental care and clipping excess fur. With your cat grooming education, you may be able to set yourself apart from other groomers by offering feline services that some of your competitors won’t.

Stage 5 – DOG GROOMING DETAILS - 14 Days (2.00 Units)
In this stage, students learn how to conduct the preliminary steps in the grooming process. Your studies will range from nail trimming, ear cleaning, eye care and how to remove eye stains to cleaning wrinkles and dental care. You will also learn about finishing touches, such as how to create and apply bows and bandanas.

Stage 6 – BATHING, BRUSHING AND DRYING - 28 Days (6.00 Units)
This stage contains valuable information on how to properly bathe, brush and dry dogs based upon their coat type. Not all dogs have the same type of coat, so it is important that you learn about the different techniques and procedures for grooming dogs depending on their coat.

Two of the most common tools you will use in your career as a grooming professional are clippers and shears. This stage was designed to provide you with the essential knowledge on how to utilize and master them both. Clipper instruction includes how to properly hold clippers, clipping patterns, how to remove a dog’s coat and ideas for desensitizing a puppy or dog new to grooming. Scissoring instruction consists of how to choose the right shear, how to hold your shears, basic scissoring skills and finishing techniques through the use of hand-scissoring.

This stage focuses on different body styles of dogs. Once you are knowledgeable with the different styles of cuts for a dog’s head, stomach, legs, tail, etc., you will learn how to incorporate them for specific breed cuts. You will be educated on how to complete grooming cuts for some of the most common breeds, including the Poodle, Shih-Tzu, Yorkshire Terrier and Schnauzer.

This stage explores the business side of the grooming industry. Learn the steps to starting your own grooming shop or mobile grooming business, including how to create a business plan, how to create a budget and how to market your business using a variety of techniques. Additionally, this stage will provide you with the skills and information needed to work as an employee in the pet industry, including resume writing, job search skills and interviewing techniques. Please note that no school can guarantee employment after graduation.

Stage 10 - EXTERNSHIP - Up to 21 Weeks (3.33 Units)
Upon reaching Stage 10, you will have the opportunity to reinforce your studies by practicing what you have learned in a grooming facility. We believe that a hands-on component will provide each student with a better understanding and working knowledge of what is expected of a groomer in the working world.  

As a student, you will be evaluated on your aptitude for performing the tasks expected of a professional groomer. This stage allows you the opportunity to put what you have learned into practice. The externship consists of a minimum of 100 hours of unpaid work experience which combines grooming basics with mastery skills while assisting a professional groomer with their four-legged clients. Students will observe the workings of an actual salon and assist the groomers as the groomers see fit. In order to successfully complete this stage, the Student must perform a full groom under their mentor’s instruction.

Pet CPR and First Aid Certification
Being a professional in any animal care profession is accompanied by the responsibility of being able to react calmly and safely in the event of an emergency. Animal Behavior Collegeís Pet First Aid and CPR Certification will give you the knowledge needed to respond safely and effectively to medical emergencies like choking, heat stroke, bleeding injuries and poisonous bites from insects and snakes. You will also learn how to artificially keep a petís heart and lungs working until you can seek veterinary help, along with many other vital lifesaving skills. By learning what can happen to your pet and how to respond appropriately, you may prevent many emergencies from ever happening and thereby help ensure the safety of not only your own pets, but any pets in your care.

Stage 11 – FINAL EXAM & GRADUATION - 14 Days (3.33 Units)
The Final Exam is given once your course work and externship have been successfully completed.  First you will be encouraged to review all of the material presented in the previous stages to prepare for the final. This review time is allotted for you to re-read and study the various concepts that have been taught. The Final Exam is designed to test your overall knowledge of skills required to become a professional groomer and will cover all areas of the curriculum.

Short Term Programs
Given the advanced level of education, you will be unable to start our Short Term Programs until you finish the first 9 stages of our Certified Groomer Program. If you opt to PRE-purchase our Short Term Programs when you enroll in the Certified Groomer Program you will be purchasing the Certified Groomer Package.

Pet Sitting and Dog Walking
This program provides detailed information on the proper care of and interaction with a variety of pets—dogs, cats, birds, small mammals, fish and reptiles.  Subjects include understanding animal communication, such as body language and vocalization, basic nutrition and hygiene, first aid and safety.  You will also learn how to: build relationships with clients and their pets, ensure personal and homeowner safety, create and maintain schedules, build clientele and much more—everything you need to know to start your own pet sitting and/or dog walking business.

Upon completion of this course, you will have a new and highly sought after service to provide to existing and future clients and their pets. Pet Sitting and Dog Walking has been approved by the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) for CEU credits.

Pet Nutrition and Diet
The Pet Nutrition and Diet Short Term Program discusses basic nutrition, the regulations governing commercial pet foods, and the nutritional needs for both cats and dogs.  In this course, you will learn how to read pet food labels including the importance of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and protective nutrients.  You will also learn about the different types of diets (i.e. dry food, canned food, raw food, supplements, etc.) and how food can play a huge role in a pet's behavior.  After the completion of this program, you will have the knowledge to educate your clients on how to provide their animals with proper nutrition based on their pet's individual age, weight, and health condition.

Pet Nutrition and Diet is approved by the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) for CEU credits.

Pet Massage
The Pet Massage Short Term Program gives veterinary staff the knowledge of how to calm each pet they interact with.  The ability to soothe and calm dogs and cats through touch improves the human-animal relationship and promotes trust and bonding.  This comprehensive course includes step-by-step instructions that guide you through the details of the choreography of a massage for different sizes and types of pets.  Topics include: general anatomy and physiology, principles and concepts for different types of massage, creating your workspace, preparing yourself, details for how to develop a pet massage business, and much more!*

In addition, Pet Massage is approved by the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) for CEU credits.

*State and federal laws regarding the practice of Pet Massage vary widely and are subject to change. Since ABC has no jurisdiction regarding state and federal laws revolving around the practice of Pet Massage, ABC highly recommends that potential students educate themselves on the state and federal laws and regulations and how they may affect their practice of Pet Massage before purchasing the ABC Pet Massage Short Term Program. It is the responsibility of potential students to determine what laws and regulations their state has adopted to govern the practice of Pet Massage. ABC does not assume any responsibility for state or federal regulations that prohibit or limit the practice of pet massage by the student.


If you have additional questions about our Certified Groomer Program, please feel free to contact us.

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