Where Animal Lovers Pursue Animal Careers

Grooming Instruction Program

June – Grooming Instruction Program Student Of The Month – 2014

ABC Grooming Instruction Program Student of the Month
June 2014

Rina Causey

Grooming Student Of The Month Rina Causey

Born in Okinawa, Japan, Rina Causey moved to Yakima, Wash., a little more than a year ago when her husband, who is serving in the military, was transferred back to the U.S. She is completing her externship at Debbie’s Pet Grooming in Zillah, Wash. The salon’s owner, Debbie, frequently sends ABC praise and pictures of Rina’s latest groom success. She is very impressed with Rina’s progress and potential as a professional pet groomer.

Was pet grooming your first career choice? If not, what was it?

In Japan, I worked as a hair removal technician and I am also a certified massage therapist.

What animal or person most inspired you to pursue a career in the animal industry?

My husband and my miniature poodle, Marty, inspired me to pursue a career in the pet grooming industry. After I moved to Yakima, I couldn’t decide which grooming salon to take Marty to—and he needed to be trimmed badly. I researched online how to trim a dog’s hair and I decided to give it a try myself. The end result was not pretty and not what I wanted my dog to look like. I wanted to improve my skills. Around that time, my husband told me about Animal Behavior College’s grooming school commercial he saw on TV. So I went to its website and received information about the program. I really liked the hands-on training portion of the program and the ability to have online study, since I had just had a baby.

What knowledge and experiences have you gained from becoming an ABC certified pet groomer?

I have learned a lot of things through both my written stages and externship. I learned about dog’s and cat’s anatomy. I liked this part because you learn how the body moves and functions, so when you move the dogs or cats during grooming, it doesn’t hurt them and is more comfortable. I enjoyed the stage about getting familiar with your grooming tools and how to maintain them. It helped me feel more prepared for my externship. I also enjoyed Stage 9 about Business Building. There was a lot of helpful and applicable information in that section.

What was the biggest challenge you have faced during externship and how did you overcome?

I am really enjoying my externship and learning from my mentor Debbie. I am only about halfway through my hours so far. I am working very hard to learn to groom smoothly and efficiently. As a groomer, you want to make sure you can do a certain number of dogs in a certain time, otherwise you will not make a good living. I am working on picking up my speed without compromising the quality of my work. I pay close attention to my mentor and how she moves around the dogs when grooming and how long she takes at each task. I’ve been paying close attention to the clock, as well, so I know how long I should take for each task.

What are your plans for the future?

I want to gain more experience at Debbie’s Pet Grooming. I hope to master scissoring techniques in the next 12 months. I think mastering your scissoring techniques is critical for producing breed standard trims. I hope to open my own grooming salon in the next 10 years. I can really see myself in the future being happy with my career choices and enjoying owning my own shop.

June Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student Of The Month – 2014

ABC Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student of the Month– June 2014

Jade Gibbons

Student Jade Gibbons and her puppy KaliJade Gibbons is one of Animal Behavior College’s star students. She lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and is employed and completing her externship at A Dirty Dog Spa, which is also in Edmonton. Before enrolling with Animal Behavior College, Jade was already involved in the pet grooming industry. She has worked at four different shops and shadowed various groomers as a bather and grooming assistant. Jade took ABC’s pet grooming program in order to strengthen her background and skills, as well as boost her knowledge, ability and creativity as a groomer.

What prompted you to become a pet groomer? Was there a specific event, circumstance or person who inspired you to pursue this career?

I have always loved animals and knew I wanted to pursue something in that field. My very first job when I was 14 years old was at a boarding kennel with a groom shop; I worked as a bather. It was challenging work, but I loved it. From that point on, I knew I wanted to work with animals. At first I wanted to become a veterinary technician, but then found out that groomers make a better living. It sounded like more fun, too, since sometimes you can be creative with your grooms.

What has been your most rewarding moment during your externship?

My most rewarding moments are the client’s reactions to how wonderful their babies look when they come to pick them up from a day at the spa. The dogs’ tails are wagging and they are yipping and jumping and everyone is smiling. It feels really good to see how happy pet owners are with how their dog looks. It feels awesome to see how much they like the style and appreciate my hard work.

Have you started working professionally as a groomer yet?

Jades dogs Kali and ThorYes, I am working professionally in a grooming salon. I work full-time at A Dirty Dog Spa, the same place where I did my externship. I work as a bather two days a week and the other three days I get to work as a groomer, which is my favorite. My mentor, Margaret, is a national certifier for Edmonton, so we get to do a lot of fun show cuts and, of course, pet cuts as well. I even had the opportunity to help my mentor get her dogs ready for show. I am having a lot of fun.

What are your future career plans?

My plan is to work at a groom shop for at least 3 years straight to gain more experience. I eventually would like build my clientele and experience, and then open my own shop out of my house. Before doing any of that though, I need to get more comfortable with handling my scissors and mastering how to complete faces and double-coated short bath and tidies.

If you could work style a dog or cat after any celebrity, who would it be and why?

I think it would be really fun to style a Standard Poodle after Elvis Presley. He is a legend and had such classic, yet dramatic style. I have seen it done before and it looks so creative and fun. It would be fun to try to create the personality and style in a dog.

April Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student Of The Month – 2014

ABC Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student of the Month– April 2014

Yalitza Torres

Yalitza Torres currently lives in St-Lazare, Quebec, Canada. She works full time as an export agent at a logistics company. Although she has a full-time job, Yalitza knew she always wanted to work with animals. Her love and dedication to helping animals is what helped her decide to join the Animal Behavior College grooming program. Yalitza started out with little experience, but with hard work and dedication she is now working part time with her mentor. Continue reading

April – Grooming Instruction Program Student Of The Month – 2014

ABC Grooming Instruction Program Student of the Month
April 2014

William Finan

William Finan lives in Jersey City, N.J. He already has a degree in the A/V field but decided to add to his carrier options and complete the grooming program. William is now able to work in two fields and love them both. He is still working on his grooming skills and getting in as much practice as he can. Continue reading

March Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student Of The Month – 2014

ABC Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student of the Month– March 2014

Sharon Joanisse

Grooming School Student of the Month - Canada - March 2014Sharon Joanisse lives in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada, where she works as a registered massage therapist, school bus driver, pet/house sitter, dog trainer and also does some grooming part time. She found Animal Behavior College while searching for an Obedience Training program. She completed ABC’s Certified Dog Training program before enrolling in its Grooming Instruction Program. One of Sharon’s favorite parts of the program is that the first portion is distance learning. She loves being able to work at her own pace.

What prompted you to become a pet groomer? Was there a specific event, circumstance or person who inspired you to pursue this career?

Falling into grooming was much the same as falling into training. I have three dogs at the moment and around the time I got my second Aussie, I realized there was a lot I did not know. I set off to learn as much as I could about training specifics that related to us, and also about grooming. Two years ago, I got my third Aussie and once again found out just how much I didn’t know. With him came my introduction to the conformation ring, and a whole new world of grooming and care. At my first show, I looked around and saw that most of the people around me were groomers and they were my inspiration.

Describe a humorous moment you witnessed or took part in while working at your externship location.

Dogs are always surprising us, whether it’s their silly behavior on the table or their happy howling when they see their family and get excited. A few weeks ago, we took in our Aussie to be groomed. He wiggled and yodeled and was just an adorable “goofball.”

What one thing stands out for you in terms of knowledge and/or skills acquired from the program?

Working within a dog’s limits, and working with my client’s desires is something that stands out for me in terms of knowledge and/or skills acquired from the program. Often, clients come in and have an idea of what they want but that idea is not always workable. I have found that this program has taught me how to [have a]dialogue with these clients and find a happy medium for them.

Have you started working professionally as a groomer yet? If yes, where? And are you working full- or part-time?

A year ago, I opened a second business, Heeling NRG (Sanctuary Massage Therapy) and made allowances for grooming to be a part of it. In January of this year, I began offering grooming to my clients, and am now seeing two to four clients per week.

What grooming skill(s) or technique(s) do you want to master during the next 12 months?

I hope to master scissor cuts, and breed-specific grooming for the show ring. My mentor trainer at my externship was a poodle breeder for more than 40 years and she has had me grooming her poodles and grills me hard on them. I love it!

March – Grooming Instruction Program Student Of The Month – 2014

ABC Grooming Instruction Program Student of the Month
March 2014

Brian Beechum

Brian Beechum resides in Bowling Green, Ky., and is currently working as a part-time Groomer for a local grooming shop called Dogs’ Day Out. He was hired by his mentor Yvonne immediately after completing his externship. Prior to beginning his grooming career, Brian attended Western Kentucky University, where he majored in Computer Science. While in college, he landed a part-time job at a local factory that made components for Toyota. He enjoyed this position so much that he decided to leave school in order to work fulltime. He worked his way up and eventually become a Safety and Ergonomics Specialist in the Human Resources department. When the economy was hit a few years ago, he decided to find a new field to work in: the pet industry.

What prompted you to become a pet groomer? Was there a specific event, circumstance or person who inspired you to pursue this career?

Carrie Gump is a local dog trainer I had been taking my new puppy to and struck up a conversation about becoming a trainer myself. She asked if I had ever considered grooming since I had been grooming my own dogs for some time. She then recommended that I call Animal Behavior College and speak to an Admissions Counselor about my options.

What has been your most rewarding moment during your externship?

The most rewarding moment during my externship, occurred a couple of weeks into working with my mentor, Yvonne Gray. She told me I had a love and drive she had not seen in other students she had trained in the past. She did make a point to inform me that she was not referring to any ABC students.

What has your experience been like in the ABC Grooming Instruction Program?

I have gained an incredible amount of knowledge and had so many great experiences that it is difficult to answer this question. Animal Behavior College’s curriculum gave me an excellent foundation to build on and my mentor was simply the best in teaching me. I could not ask for this experience to have gone better.

What was/is the biggest challenge you faced during your externship and how did you overcome it?

The biggest challenge I faced during my externship was clipping dark-colored nails. My mentor was always kind and understanding, showing me different approaches until I was able to master this task.

What grooming skill(s) or technique(s) do you want to master during the next 12 months?

Over the next 12 months, I hope to master several breed-specific cuts. I specifically want to master the Poodle and Schnauzer cuts.

February – Grooming Instruction Program Student Of The Month – 2014

ABC Grooming Instruction Program Student of the Month
February 2014

Jennifer Hawkins

Grooming School Student of the Month February 2014 - Jennifer Hawkins

Jennifer Hawkins began grooming in October 2013 after making a career-changing decision to enroll in Animal Behavior College’s Grooming Instruction Program. She was inspired by her desire to find a career path she really loved. Jennifer is currently working on perfecting her grooming skills at her Externship location, Trulie Dogs Boutique in Wilmington, N.C. She impressed her mentor, Judianne, from the very beginning.

“Jennifer has a natural talent for working with animals and is on her way to becoming a very talented groomer,” Judianne said.

Was pet grooming your first career choice? If not, what was it?

My first career choice was actually to work with kids. I got my Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. I am currently working at Brigade Boys and Girls Club while I finish up my Externship and earn my Grooming Certification. After getting into the elementary education field, I decided it was just not for me. I always loved animals, so I started searching online for veterinary technician and groomer schools and came upon ABC’s website. After thinking on it for a bit, I decided to give it a try. I have never looked back. I am so happy I made the decision to pursue becoming a certified Groomer. I love it. No kids talking back either.

What has been your most rewarding moment during your externship?

My most rewarding moment is when I first scissored. It was fun, even if it was maybe a little intimidating. When I realized that I did it and did it well, it felt so good. My mentor was so excited for me because I did a great job and she was really surprised and impressed with my work. That first scissoring experience really helped boost my confidence and made me really feel like I had made the right decision.

Describe a humorous moment you witnessed or took part in while working at your externship location.

The most humorous moment was when the hose started spraying everywhere. I had been giving a bath and I had set the hose down in the tub for a second. The hose came alive like a snake and started spraying everyone, everywhere. Not only did I give the dog a bath, but I gave myself one as well.

What has your experience been like in the ABC Grooming Instruction Program?

My experience with the ABC Grooming program has been wonderful. All of the people from ABC who I have dealt with—from my program managers to my coordinator—have been so helpful and supportive. I was nervous about the course being online, but I made it through all my stages. If ever had a problem they were more than helpful and accommodating.

What are your future career plans?

I am still in my Externship, however, I have already been asked to stay by Trulie Dogs as a full-time professional groomer. I am thrilled to say I plan on accepting that offer after I complete my course. Some time in the future, I would like to open my own business. I am currently enrolled in different Continuing Education Programs, so I would like to include, dog walking, pet massage and pet nutrition expertise at my business.

February Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student Of The Month – 2014

ABC Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student of the Month– February 2014

Lindsay Horobin

Canada Vet Assistant Student of the Month February 2014

Lindsay Horobin lives and works in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She is a graduate of Animal Behavior College’s Dog Obedience Program and a soon-to-be graduate of it’s Grooming Instruction Program. Lindsay is currently working on her externship at Devine Doggies in Calgary. She loves grooming because it allows her to be creative and still help animals look and feel well and find homes.

What prompted you to become a pet groomer? Was there a specific event, circumstance or person who inspired you to pursue this career?

I have a degree in Ecotourism and Outdoor Leadership, but have never been entirely sure how to incorporate my love of animals into my career. I really wanted to pursue something I would love for my entire life. I decided that I wanted to concentrate on animal rescue. The best help I can give to needy animals is to get as educated as possible about their care, which is why I have studied both dog training and grooming through ABC.

What has been your most rewarding moment during your externship?

My most rewarding moment was when the owner of an elderly Bichon Frise came to pick up her dog after his grooming. This dog had arrived at the shop in desperate need of a good bath and haircut. Also, as an older dog, he had several growths over his body and head, making the body clipping more challenging than usual. I helped the other groomers with the bathing and clipping—we did the best we could. When the owner arrived I quite honestly was expecting a complaint. When the dog was brought out, his owner was crying. Apparently, she had been having some problems finding anyone to groom her dog and was beginning to feel somewhat helpless. Just to see her beloved pet cleaned, brushed, and fussed over was really all that the owner had wanted, and she was overcome with emotion.

Describe a humorous moment you witnessed or took part in while working at your externship location.

On one of my first days at the externship location we were preparing a large dog to bathe. Because he was so big, and because I was so new, I needed the help of both the shop owner and an employee to get him into the tub. I was trying to help push the dog up by his side, while the other two were pushing at his rear end. Quite suddenly, the dog leapt forward and into the tub, simultaneously, the shop owner yelped and ran into the other room. After the dog was secured in the tub, I poked my head into the other room to find out what happened. The two ladies were laughing hysterically. Apparently, while trying to coax the dog up the ramp and into the tub from the back, the shop owner’s finger accidentally slipped into the dog’s :rear portal,” which was most likely what spurred the dog to finally jump into the tub, and sent the shop owner to race to the nearest sink for a good washing.

What has your experience been like in the ABC Grooming Instruction Program?

Both of my experiences with ABC, in the Dog Obedience and Grooming Programs, have been excellent. Studying online has its limitations, and ABC understands and manages all of these limitations very effectively. There is always instructor support, either online or over the phone, and the college’s staff will happily go out of their way to ensure the success of the students.

What are your future career plans?

I would like to work in a grooming shop for a few years to build my confidence and skill. During that time, I would really like get more comfortable with trimming nails and master breed specifics as well. I think learning about and working with the different breeds and learning the cuts will be really fun. After working in a salon for a few years, I would like to work for myself. I really want to focus my knowledge and skill to help groom and train homeless animals to help them find lifetime homes.

January Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student Of The Month – 2014

ABC Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student of the Month– January 2014

Tania Langrehr

Tania Langrehr Canada Grooming Instruction Program Student Of The Month

Tania Langrehr, who lives in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, was hired by her mentor at Animazing Pet Spa and is now working full time as a dog groomer. Although grooming was not her first choice for a career, she always new she wanted to work with animals.  Tania is perfecting her skills and hopes to one day own her own grooming shop. Continue reading

January – Grooming Instruction Program Student Of The Month – 2014

ABC Grooming Instruction Program Student of the Month
January 2014

Jennifer Antonacci

Jennifer Antonacci - Grooming Instruction Program student of the month

Jennifer Antonacci lives in Hoboken, N.J., and came to ABC by way of the financial sector. After working as a vice president recruiter on Wall Street for several years, she decided to change her career path and become a certified dog groomer. Jennifer’s dogs—Charlie, a chocolate lab mix, and Sweet Pea, a Chihuahua mix—are both rescues. They inspired her to become a groomer and help other shelter dogs. Jennifer continues to work at her mentor’s shop and perfects her skills every day. Continue reading