Where Animal Lovers Pursue Animal Careers

Grooming Instruction Program

July Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student Of The Month – 2013

ABC Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student of the Month– July 2013

Jeff Damon

Jeff Damon - July Student of the Month

Jeff Damon, who started his animal career as a volunteer at shelters, is expanding his knowledge by completing ABC’s grooming program. Jeff lives and works in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. After completing the program’s written stages with honors, Jeff began his hands-on training with mentor Rita McTavish at The Beloved Dog Daycare and Grooming. Jeff is currently working on expanding his already-established dog training and grooming business. Continue reading

July – Grooming Instruction Program Student Of The Month – 2013

ABC Grooming Instruction Program Student of the Month– July 2013

Rebecca Koltz

Rebecca Koltz - July Student of the Month

After Rebecca Koltz completed her nine written stages and practice work, she hit the ground running and started her externship requirements immediately at Circle Kennel Club with owner Steve Schroeder. Rebecca has always had a love for animals and often pet sat for friends and family. She decided to pursue her passion and make an everyday job out of it. Continue reading

June Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student Of The Month – 2013

ABC Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student of the Month– June 2013

Luke Chang

Luke Chang - June Student of the Month

Luke Chang, a current ABC student, resides in North York, Ontario, Canada. He has two daughters, ages 20 and 23, who he raised on his own. For the past 11 years, Luke has worked at the Mathematical Research Institute at the University of Toronto and plans on retiring from the company in a few years thanks to its excellent retirement package. Upon retirement, Luke wants to move to a smaller city where he should have a better chance at success as an owner of a grooming business. Continue reading

June’s Grooming Instruction Program Student Of The Month – 2013

ABC Grooming Instruction Program Student of the Month– June 2013

Steven Dawdy Steven Dawdy - June 2013 Student of the Month

Steven resides in Kansas City, Mo.,, where he currently works as a groomer at the local Petco. Beginning with his initial contact with Animal Behavior College back in 2011 it was and is very apparent that Steven has the drive and sincere desire to work in the animal industry. He first thought becoming a dog trainer would be the best fit, toward the end Steven enrolled in and completed ABC’s Dog Obedience Instructor Program (DOP). After his DOP certification, Steven decided pet grooming was also something that interested him—and it would be an outlet for his passion and creativity. Steven is now in the finishing stages of the Grooming Instruction Program and he is thriving both in his externship as well as in his current position as a groomer. Continue reading

May Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student Of The Month – 2013

ABC Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student of the Month– May 2013

Laura Elizabeth Belford

Laura Elizabeth Belford - May 2013 Grooming Student of the Month - Canada

Laura Elizabeth Belford works full time, running her grooming business at Pet Valu in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. She works with each client one-on-one and offers basic pet grooming for all types of pets. Laura Elizabeth treats all her clients as if they were her own pets. Continue reading

May’s Grooming Instruction Program Student Of The Month – 2013

ABC Grooming Instruction Program Student of the Month– May 2013

Kristin Del Bosco

Kristin Del Bosco - May 2013 Student of the month.

Kristin Del Bosco completed her externship in Oak Ridge, N.J., with ABC Mentor Groomer Sandra Fitzgerald at Clip Shoppe Groom & Board. While working with her mentor, Kristin performed every grooming task, from bathing and drying to clipping and scissoring. She was hired shortly after completing her externship and continues to expand her learning with her externship mentor.

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

Every animal I came across inspired me to pursue a career in the pet world. Ever since I was a little girl, I knew my journey was meant to be with animals, no matter what it might be. If you feel so passionately about something for so long, why not make a career out of it, right?

Although the book knowledge did prepare me, I gained most of my knowledge during the externship. Some types of skills I acquired include how to talk to clients, how to work with difficult dogs and how to really dry a dog. Even though all these tasks sound so simple, they really are some of the hardest skills to gain. In order to be successful every task counts, no matter how small.

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

My biggest challenge was getting comfortable with cutting hair off and how much exactly to cut. Most pet owners do not know exactly what they want so sometimes you need to dig it out of them and ask a lot of questions. I am still working on my cutting lengths. However, it is getting easier due to practice and realizing that you can fix your mistakes. Having a supportive team around me always makes the shop run smoother and each client always leaves happy.

  • What grooming technique do you hope to master during the next 12 months?

I would really enjoy working on different types of faces. This is a very technical part of grooming and takes years to perfect. There are so many different types of breeds and they continue to come up with more. I hope to really understand and demonstrate professional scissoring on any type of pet.

  • What are your plans for the future?

I will continue to work with my ABC Mentor at Clip Shoppe Groom & Board until I really feel like a professional groomer and can handle all types of dogs on my own. Once I feel I am ready, I hope to open my own. I will take all the knowledge I gained through ABC and their mentors and make my career out of it. I love everything about grooming and ABC really did provide me with the stepping stones to get there.

April’s Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student Of The Month – 2013

ABC Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student of the Month– April 2013

Shawntel Heidebrecht

Shawntel Heidebrecht - April Grooming Canadian Student of the Month 2013

Shawntel Heidebrecht, of Kingston, Ontario, Canada, currently works along side her ABC Mentor at the Kingston Mills Veterinary Hospital, where she grooms all types of dogs and cats. Shawntel also hones her skills at home by offering grooming and bathing services to her friends, neighbors and family’s pets. After completing her ABC schooling, she plans to open an in-home grooming business.

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

My dogs, of course; one in particular is my rescue puppy, Angel. She is the true love of my life ever since I first set my eyes on hers— but don’t tell my husband. Angel came into our family a little more than four years ago and she was in the worst possible condition. Being a puppy mill dog, she was pretty on the outside but sick on the inside. My favorite days were when she came home from the groomers; she would act 10 years younger for the whole week. I wanted to make her feel that way forever and make others feel the same way.

  • How long have you been grooming?

I have been grooming my own dogs for a little more than two years. Animals have always been a passion in my life, even before I considered making it a career. I have been working with my ABC Mentor for two or three months. I love every minute of it and the hours just seem to be flying by.

  • When and how did you know that you’d be a success in the pet industry?

I will never truly know until I have learned everything there is to know and more—and since grooming never stops changing, neither will my learning. How does one define success? If I make a dog look great and the owners smile from ear to ear, then I know I’ve done an awesome job. To me that is success; beginner or experienced, we can all be successes.

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

Although I love working in an animal hospital because I am exposed to so much, it is sometimes hard to see dogs in horrible conditions. This is very tough for me. I do get to groom several pets, and I hope I make each one feel at least a tiny bit better.

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

Working alongside vet techs has given me a lot more knowledge than I would have received if I was working at one of the larger chains. Not only am I learning the skills of my trade, I am getting to see what really goes on behind closed doors.

April’s Grooming Instruction Program Student Of The Month – 2013

ABC Grooming Instruction Program Student of the Month– April 2013

Blake Hernandez

Blake Hernandez - April's grooming program student of the month

Blake Hernandez lives in San Francisco, where he works full time as head groomer at a local grooming shop. Blake has been grooming for about 2½ months since his externship. He offers many different services, including cat grooming. His future plans are to become a certified master groomer and open up his own shop, as well as become a breeder.

  • Was grooming your first choice for a career?

No, I originally wanted to be a gemologist and jeweler. However, every time the thought of working with animals came to mind, I always thought of grooming.

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

My dog Fiona; she is a fifth- generation AKC-registered lab. Her mama passed when she was only three weeks old, so I took her in and bottle and spoon fed her until she was old enough. Then that’s when the nail painting started, and I think it all snowballed from there.

  • When and how did you know that you’d be a success in the pet industry?

When people gush over how beautiful I make their dogs look.

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

His name was Cheetoh and he was a crazy 6-lb. mix breed that just needed a puppy cut, but was so squirmy and tiny I thought I was going to breakdown and cry. Thankfully, I was still in my externship and my mentor helped me through it.

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

President Obama, because he has a dog who gets national attention, and I want national attention as a groomer.

March Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student Of The Month – 2013

ABC Grooming Instruction Program Canadian Student of the Month– March 2013

Krystal Tyers

ABC Grooming Student of the Month - Canada - Krystal Tyers

Krystal Tyers lives in Cranbrook, British Columbia, Canada and is currently a part-time groomer for a small shop there. She has been working as a groomer for five months and plans on staying at her current shop to learn as much as she can from her boss. Continue reading

March Grooming Instruction Program Student Of The Month – 2013

ABC Grooming Instruction Program Student of the Month– March 2013

Karen Carr

ABC Grooming Student of the Month, March 2013 Karen Carr

Karen Carr lives in the Upper Marlboro area in Maryland. Aside from her full-time job as a police officer with the Metropolitan Police Department, she also works alongside her ABC Mentor, Nikki Lee, at Gentle Touch Groom & Go. With her mentor/co-worker’s assistance, Karen keeps expanding her knowledge in order to perfect her grooming skills.

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

My police dog Cody changed my life forever. We worked together on a regular basis and some of my responsibilities were brushing and washing him. Unlike most police dogs, Cody had an all white coat. His hair was thick and coarse, and he constantly needed to be groomed. I was doing such great work that the other officers started asking me to keep their police dogs clean as well.

  • When and how did you know that you’d be a success in the pet industry?

After I received Cody, I was grooming coworkers and friends dogs frequently and it became apparent that I had a natural gift not only for grooming but also working with dogs.  I started to hone my skills on the police dogs in my unit, and later went on to groom the personal dogs of the officers and their wives. The more I worked with pets, the more I realized I could not go on without working with animals in my daily schedule.

  • What services do you offer as a groomer?

I offer full-service grooming. I do not want to turn any dogs or cats away. ABC’s externship taught me that in order to become a successful groomer one must know everything about grooming: the good and the bad. My grooming and scissoring skills are combing, clipping, undercoat removal/care, trims and/or shaping. I also include anal glands, ear cleaning, nails, undercoat removal/care and teeth cleaning upon request.

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

The biggest challenge was working full time and attending classes each day. It was very difficult at first, but then I settled into a nice routine that worked for me. I paced myself and made sure that each day I learned something new. I loved every part of my externship and am so happy I made the time to work with the girls at Gentle Touch Groom & Go.

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

Patience. The most important thing when it comes to grooming and handling a pet is patience. When you and the environment remain calm, your dog will tend to follow. Grooming is difficult work and ABC prepared me for every wonderful part of the career I have in front of me. My experiences in the shop were all pleasant and I have grown as a groomer by watching and asking lots of questions.