A Passion for Animals = Groomer’s Success
As a young boy, Blake’s love of dogs began with his family’s Labradors, which they bred and sold. Later on, he came to the realization that pet grooming could be fun after an experimental haircut with his roommate’s cat. After doing some research, Blake decided to pursue a career as a certified pet groomer, which led to his enrollment with Animal Behavior College’s (ABC) Grooming Instruction Program. Following graduation as an ABCPG, he became head groomer at Mudpuppy’s Tub & Scrub in San Francisco.
Most recently, he was promoted to District Manager for grooming salon franchise; Blake now oversees three grooming facilities in the Bay Area. When he is not at a salon, he volunteers at the local animal shelter P.A.W.S. and enjoys city living with his 1-year-old Labrador, Fiona. Blake loves what he does, even though it is a lot of work.
“It’s not always easy, but it’s always rewarding,” he said.
What Blake finds really rewarding is helping the cats and dogs at the shelter who are in need of a proper grooming. At the salon, his favorite breeds to groom are West Highland white terriers because of their flowing hair and cute, round faces. Blake is constantly working on his “style” at Mudpuppys and aspires to open his own groom shop someday.
As an active animal grooming professional, Blake is dedicated to continuing his training as a pet groomer. He is currently working toward a Master Groomer’s certification with the National Dog Groomers Association of America. Blake attributes his success to how much effort he put into it his education and ABC’s comprehensive program.
‘It shows what passion and a love for one’s career coupled with a great education can manifest,” Blake said. “ABC will give you the tools to handle anything that comes across your grooming table.”!
Dog Grooming and Animal/Pet Grooming Training & Certification is offered by Animal Behavior College. To find out more about becoming a Dog Groomer please visit http://animalbehaviorcollege.com/doggroomingprogram/
Dog groomers are among the most sought-after professionals within our industry–and the demand for qualified personnel will continue to grow for years to come. Becoming a Dog Grooming professional might not sound like the most employable career in the pet care industry, but there is an overabundance of companies locally and nationally that are hiring experienced groomers and newcomers to the field.
Animal Behavior College offers a combined online and hands-on Dog Grooming certification program that teaches Pet Health and Safety, Dog Grooming basics, and How to Bathe, Brush, and Dry the animals, as well as the use of Clippers and proper Scissoring techniques. This course also covers Cat Grooming, Business Building, Hands-on Training, and the Professional Dog Groomers toolbox.
Just last month, there were a half-a-dozen graduate students discussing their choice of profession on Facebook. From the July 30th section of the Animal Behavior College Facebook Timeline:
Shelbi Richey wrote,
I can say that I am very happy with my ABC experience. I took the Dog/Cat grooming course. The people I had to speak with to get enrolled were very efficient with timing, and seemed to really care about my education. I never felt as if I was in the dark or had unanswered questions… I was very lucky to do my externship at such a great salon with a good teacher, that was KEY! I feel you need to be VERY dedicated to learning this business if you sign up for classes, due to the amount of reading you have to do, if it’s not something you’re very passionate about, it may become hard to follow or get boring for you. The book stages were easy to read though, and even had humor so it didn’t feel like you were reading a history book. I even convinced my sister to take the same course and she is on her way to graduating now. I give ABC an A!
Suzette Sabie said,
I have opened up my own Grooming Shop in less than 1 yr!!!!
Julia Creadore wrote,
I’m currently in my externship stage & absolutely loving it! I can’t wait to graduate & start working with dogs full time! You’ll love the experience! I’ll never be sorry for choosing ABC! If you’re a natural reader, you’ll be able to absorb the written material quite easily! I was excited to read & learn everything I could, and value the knowledge I’ve gained more than I can ever describe! During my externship, I’m seeing everything I learned from Stages 1-9, being put into action & it’s amazing just how much easier it is to understand what I learned once I see it with my own eyes! You’ll love ABC!!!! Good luck in whatever you choose to do!
This morning, I was reading through Groomer to Groomer magazine, on the first page was a full page PetSmart ad that boasted about offering Dog Grooming positions, as well as Salon Managers and Professional Bathers–and full-time work. And not only a full-time job with medical benefits, but PetSmart also offers dental, 401K, tuition reimbursement, paid holidays, vacation and sick pay.
It’s not only the major pet store chains looking for the Dog Grooming help either. Kimberly A. Bandusky of a local Mokena/Tinley, Ill., shelter is also in need of a Dog Groomer.
She said, “The shelter I teach classes at is in need of a groomer.”
The list goes on and on; a few months back we posted a Spotlight on the Student of the Month, Jeff Damon. Jeff, an ABC graduate who started his animal career as a volunteer at shelters, is expanding his knowledge by completing ABC’s grooming program http://goo.gl/VQFpfZ
Read more about things to know when considering a career as a Dog Groomer.
Is Dog Grooming a Career for You?
Besides the high demand for good Dog Groomers, the profession offers other benefits, including being able to a build strong, meaningful relationships with clients and their pets.
Dog Groomers’ relationships with their four-legged clientele and their owners can, in turn, lead to referrals, which is a great form of networking.
And professionals who do exceptional work can earn tips from their appreciative customers. Plus, there’s always an opportunity to show-off your creativity with specific breed cuts and client requests.
In addition, Dog Grooming is a very mobile profession. If you are someone who often moves from city to city, you can still groom pets no matter where you live. There are Pet Businesses across the U.S. and Canada.
Dog Groomers can work practically anywhere: from home, mobile shops, brick & mortar locations, veterinary offices, doggie day cares, kennels, shelters and rescues.
Some Things to Know Before becoming a Dog Groomer
- You should be someone who animals, specifically dogs, are attracted to
- You should be someone who is creative and artsy
- You should be a patient person who doesn’t mind getting wet
Dog Grooming is hard work but its rewards and flexibility can make it a very rewarding career.
Dog Walking Etiquette
By Stacy Mantle
Walk Your Dog Each Day
In a world where many different species enjoy walking each day, it’s important to understand the rules of the road for canines. The rules below are not hard and fast, they aren’t legally binding and they aren’t meant to be regulated. They are intended as good “common sense” rules for any pets who enjoy walks.
1. Respect personal space. Whether you’re on a trailhead or at the dog park, there are people who will not love your dog. Even fellow dog lovers are hesitant around other breeds. Some small-breed lovers will be in complete fear of your large-breed dog no matter how friendly, and vice versa. Never force your dog on another person or animal.
Teach your pet to keep his nose to himself. People don’t generally like to be sniffed—particularly if they are running or walking or just enjoying the day. Keep your pet under control and never allow her to pull at the leash in search of a quick sniff of another dog or person.
2. Leashes are required. Besides being good common sense, leashes are required by law in nearly every state and that includes state and national forests. It doesn’t matter if your dog is friendly, it doesn’t matter if your dog always listens. If any other person views your pet as a threat, they can legally defend themselves, which can lead to tragic results.
Keep your leash short. This can help eliminate problems with tangled leashes, territorial sidewalk users and other such problems. The only exception to using a leash is in a designated off-leash area.
3. Clean up after your pet. You should not allow your pet to urinate or defecate in a person’s yard, a golf course or in a public park. Urine can leave ugly brown spots and create problems for a property owner. Look for a public, remote area for your pet to do her business. If an accident does happen, be courteous and clean up after your pet. It’s the law in most municipalities and it makes for good neighbors.
4. Not all dogs are friendly. You should never assume that because your pets are friendly, other people’s pets are friendly, too. Don’t allow your pet to approach other animals without an invitation. You never know how controlled the other animal may be.
5. Be respectful of other species. Cats are going out on walks more frequently, as are birds, ferrets and even other lesser-known and more unusual species. This is why you should never allow or encourage your dog to chase any type of animal. Your dog may interpret a cat to be a squirrel, leading to disastrous consequences. Train your pets to recognize and be receptive to other species.
6. Announce your arrival. When running or walking with your dog, it’s always polite to inform those ahead of you that you’re coming up behind. This can be done with a simple “Behind you” or “To your left” announcement, letting them know you’re planning to pass. This is particularly important when using public walkways.
7. Teach children. Nearly 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs every year and more than 72 percent of those are children. We have to begin educating kids (even other people’s children) on the proper way to approach an animal. This begins with you and your dog. Let parents and children know they need to approach slowly, ask to pet your dog and always keep their faces away from the dog.
8. Elevators and enclosed areas. When in an elevator or other enclosed area of a public building, your dog should move to the back corner of the elevator and sit quietly near you as people get on and off. Keep your pet on a short leash, as some people have a real fear of being in an elevator with a dog.
9. Stop and sit at crosswalks. Your dog should always stop before a crosswalk and sit quietly beside you. While not all dogs can be trained to do this, it’s important to work up to it. Not only that, it could save their lives if they ever got loose.
10. The five training commands. Come, drop, leave it, heel and sit-stay are the five basic commands every pet should know before walking out the door. If your pets cannot do these things, you should focus your training until they can.
Owning a pet is about being a responsible pet owner. You are responsible for teaching your pets good etiquette as they will not learn from others. Together we can make the world a better place for our animals and other humans.
About the Author: Stacy Mantle is the founder of PetsWeekly.com and the bestselling author of “Shepherd’s Moon.” Learn more great tips for living with animals by visiting PetsWeekly.com or get to know a little more about the author at www.StacyMantle.com
The Humane Society of the United States (May 2013), estimates 6 to 8 million cats and dogs enter shelters each year and approximately 2.7 million of them are euthanized, even though they are considered healthy and adoptable.
It’s been said that one death is a tragedy, a million is a statistic. At Animal Behavior College (ABC), we do not agree with that and we are doing something to help prevent such wonderful animals from becoming death-row dogs and cats.
The “Students Saving Lives” program at Animal Behavior College is part of the school’s international campaign to improve shelter dog rehabilitation and adoption. All students in the ABC certified dog trainer instructor program are asked to volunteer at least 10 hours of training time to a local shelter, humane society or rescue organization. Since 2004, more than 7,800 ABC students have donated in excess of 92,000 hours to animal shelters and rescue facilities across North America helping pets find forever homes.
I’d be happy to connect you with actual students within specific geographic areas who are currently saving lives at shelters and rescues. In addition, ABC’s founder and CEO Steven Appelbaum is available to discuss how the “Student Saving Lives” program came together, why it was created, and how the program reduces the amount of animals who become death-row dogs and cats.
Steven, a trainer for 30+ years, is a lecturer, consultant and contributing podcast co-host for “Love that Dog Hollywood.” I will call to follow up in few days.
About ABC: Animal Behavior College was founded in 1998 and the school’s unique structure incorporates a distance-learning and hands-on externship-training model. ABC offers courses for certified dog training, pet grooming and veterinary assistants in all 50 states and every Canadian province, making it the largest vocational school of its kind in North America.
Attention All Dog Trainers,
Looking for a way to impress your clients? Animal Behavior College is preparing to launch a Level 2 Dog Training Certification. You do not need to be a graduate of Animal Behavior College to take this certification examination. We proudly offer this opportunity to all professional dog trainers.
Passing this examination will earn you the right to proudly display the ABCDT-L2 designation proving you have a solid foundation of dog training experience in teaching abilities, learning theory, canine behavior, and more.
Now you can add another notch of credibility on your belt and strut your stuff. The ABCDT-L2 title will showcase your knowledge and experience as a Dog Trainer, and set you apart from the competition.
So, what is required??
- You must have a High School Diploma or equivalent.
- At least 220 hours as a LEAD Dog Trainer, plus 55 hours of basic dog training experience within the last 5 years.
- At least 28 units of continuing education in the dog training field within the last five years (must be in the form of ABC-Approved Education Programs).
- A signed copy of the ABC Code of ethics.
- Four letters of reference from a:
- Dog Trainer Client
- Colleague in the Canine Behavior profession
- Representative from a Shelter or Rescue that you have volunteered
Each letter should reference your experience in training within the last two years. The Animal Behavior College Level 2 Certification application and exam has a filing fee of $300.
This Level 2 Certification will be coming in August.
Animal Behavior College Students lend a helping hand by donating their time and skills to help train the dogs at a local Los Angeles Animal Shelter. Best Friends Animal Society is located just north of Los Angeles in Mission Hills, CA.
The Best Friends Animal Society has over 250 dogs on site and enjoys having a close relationship with Dog Training facilities who can lend a helping hand. Best Friends Animal Society Manager, Mike Harmon said “Since we opened this facility last year, we’ve wanted to work with dog training schools as a way to have … a regular source of trainers.”
One benefit to the students helping to train dogs at the Best Friends Animal Society is having a well established, proper facility to complete the 10 hours of volunteer time, for the Dog Training Certification Program.
Our friends at Best Friends are fantastic and we would like to extend a special thanks for opening the doors to our Dog Trainer Classroom Program Students, for what seems to be a win-win, for our students and the Best Friends facility.
Great job students! Thanks for going that extra step to make the visits during the semester, a wonderful experience for the dogs, and for Best Friends Animal Society.
Best Friends Animal Shelter in Los Angeles, CA – Mission Hills CA
We hear the most amazing success stories every day from ABC students and grads. They never fail to inspire us. Because of that, we’ve got a proposition for you: enter ABC’s 2nd annual video contest, show us your BEST ABC-inspired animal story testimonial and you could win cool stuff! Continue reading
Christina O’Bryant has loved being around animals since she was a little girl, when she started volunteering at a local shelter at the age of 13. In 2009, just having graduated from high school, she learned about Animal Behavior College (ABC) and was happy to find out that Continue reading