Dog Grooming Course


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Dog Grooming Program


The Animal Behavior College (ABC) dog grooming course combines both an online dog grooming program with hands-on training. Enrolling in our dog groomer school provides you the flexibility and cost of an in-home study program with the added benefit of working with a professional dog groomer in your area.

The first stages of our dog grooming course provide you with a strong foundation and understanding of dog grooming and cat grooming. You’ll also learn about the responsibilities you’ll encounter working in a grooming shop as a pet or dog groomer. Once your foundation has been established, you’ll be given the opportunity to experience the daily life of a pet groomer by working in a pet grooming setting. Working closely with an ABC Mentor Groomer will move you closer to launching your new animal career.

Dog Groomer Program Curriculum Description by Stage

The completion of ABC’s Dog Grooming Instruction Program provides you with the knowledge and skills to become an ABC Certified Pet Groomer (ABCPG). The curriculum includes more than 900 pages of written material, a 40-piece professional grooming toolkit, over 100 instructional videos and hands-on training.


This stage starts by giving you an overview of the pet grooming industry. You’ll learn about the history of grooming and how it has developed over the years. You’ll 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.

Also included in this stage is 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 

ABC Dog Grooming ToolkitThis stage introduces you to many types of dog grooming supplies. 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. You’ll also learn about every tool included in your 40-piece ABC grooming toolkit as well as how to maintain them and what the benefits are for using each item. Whether or not every grooming tool is used, it’s important to have a basic understanding of each tool and how to properly utilize it.

Stage 3 – HEALTH & SAFETY - 14 Days 

In stage 3 of our dog grooming course, you’re taught how to maintain a safe work environment for yourself and the pets in the grooming shop. You’ll learn the fundamentals of animal restraint and handling. Additionally, as dog groomers are sometimes the first to notice health problems with an animal, you’ll learn how to identify common skin and medical disorders and how to report them to the pet’s owner.

Stage 4 – CAT GROOMING - 28 Days 

A key factor that sets our dog grooming course apart from some of the other dog grooming schools is our stage on cat grooming. This educational component of the curriculum provides you the fundamentals and pertinent skills needed to become a cat groomer. This informative stage includes how to properly handle and restrain cats, 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 professional pet groomers by offering cat grooming services that some of your competitors don’t offer.

Stage 5 – DOG GROOMING DETAILS - 14 Days 

In this stage, you learn how to conduct the preliminary steps in the dog grooming process. Your studies will include nail trimming, ear cleaning, eye care, wrinkle cleaning and dental care. You’ll also learn about finishing touches, such as how to create and apply bows and bandanas.


Stage 6 of our dog grooming course 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’s important you learn about the different techniques and procedures for grooming dogs, depending on their coat.


Two of the most common tools you’ll use in your career as a professional groomer are dog grooming clippers and shears—both of which you learn how to utilize and master in this stage. Clipper instruction includes how to properly hold dog clippers, how to complete a basic shave down as well as clipping patterns and ideas for desensitizing a puppy or dog new to grooming.

Scissoring instruction consists of how to choose the right shear and how to hold your shears as well as basic scissoring skills and finishing techniques through the use of hand-scissoring.


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


This dog grooming stage explores the business side of the pet grooming industry. You’ll learn the steps to starting your own dog 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 grooming industry, including resume writing, job searching skills and interviewing techniques. Please note that no school can guarantee employment after graduation.

Stage 10 - EXTERNSHIP - Up to 21 Weeks 

Upon reaching stage 10, you’ll be given the opportunity to reinforce your studies by practicing what you’ve learned in a pet grooming mentor facility. We believe that a hands-on component will provide you with a better understanding and working knowledge of what’s expected of a professional dog groomer in the working world.

Dog GroomingAs a student, you’ll be evaluated by your mentor facility on your aptitude for performing the tasks expected of a professional dog groomer. The externship consists of a minimum of 150 hours of unpaid work experience, which includes dog grooming basics while assisting a professional groomer with his or her four-legged clients.

You’ll observe the inner workings of a grooming salon and their day-to-day routines. You’ll also assist the groomers based on the mentor facility’s assessment of your grooming abilities. In order to successfully complete this hands-on training portion of the program, you must perform a full groom under your mentor’s instruction.

Pet CPR and First Aid Certification

Being a professional in any animal care career is accompanied by the responsibility of being able to react calmly and safely in the event of an emergency. Animal Behavior College’s 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’ll also learn how to artificially keep a pet’s heart and lungs working until you can seek veterinary help along with many other vital life-saving skills. By learning what can happen and how to respond appropriately, you may prevent many pet emergencies from ever happening and thereby help ensure the safety of not only your own pets, but also any pets in your care.

Stage 11 – GRADUATION - 14 Days 

Once you have completed stages 1-10 (course work and externship) you’ll be given the Final Exam. First, you’ll be encouraged to review all of the material from the previous stages to prepare for the final. This review time is allotted for you to re-read and study the various concepts that were taught. The Final Exam is designed to test your overall knowledge of skills required to become a dog groomer and will cover all areas of the curriculum.

Benefits of the ABC Dog Grooming Program

Study From the Privacy of Your Own Home

When you choose to enroll in ABC's Grooming Instruction Program, you can keep your present job while completing your grooming training. The online portion of our dog grooming course brings the classroom to your living room, which means no added expenses will be incurred for housing at a distant dog groomer school and no time will be wasted with commuting back and forth to campus every day.

Flexible Hours

Our program provides you the opportunity to learn while you maintain your current job or school schedule. With this flexibility, the normal completion time is 52 weeks.

Personal Program Manager

Although the first portion of the dog groomer program is done in the privacy of your own home, you won’t be alone. An ABC Program Manager will be appointed to you upon enrollment and they will give you their direct contact information for future interactions. Your Program Manager will be there to support, counsel, answer your questions and grade your exams as you journey through the program.

Enroll in our dog grooming course today by calling 800-795-3294.

Short Term Programs

ABC offers Short Term Programs to those individuals interested in continuing their education. Although you may sign up for any of the Short Term Programs upon enrollment, you’ll only be granted access once you have successfully completed stage 9. This is done to ensure you have the knowledge necessary to maximize your learning experience.

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, and first aid and safety. You’ll 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’ll 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. In addition, this Short Term Program is also approved for CEU credits toward the Animal Behavior College Dog Trainer Level 2 Certification (ABCDT-L2).

Pet Nutrition and Diet

The Pet Nutrition and Diet Short Term Program discusses basic pet nutrition, the regulations governing commercial pet foods and the nutritional needs for both cats and dogs. In this course, you’ll learn how to read pet food labels, including the importance of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals and protective nutrients. You’ll 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’ll 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. In addition, this Short Term Program is also approved for CEU credits toward the Animal Behavior College Dog Trainer Level 2 Certification (ABCDT-L2).

Pet Massage

The Pet Massage Short Term Program gives pet groomers, dog trainers, and veterinary staff the knowledge of how to calm each pet they interact with. The ability to soothe and calm dogs 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!*

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. In addition, this Short Term Program is also approved for CEU credits toward the Animal Behavior College Dog Trainer Level 2 Certification (ABCDT-L2).

*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 that may affect their practice of Pet Massage before purchasing the ABC Pet Massage Short Term Program. It’s the responsibility of potential students to determine what laws and regulations their state has adopted to govern the practice of Pet Massage. ABC doesn’t assume any responsibility for state or federal regulations that prohibit or limit the practice of pet massage by the student.
Ready to start your dog grooming career? Call us at 800-795-3294 today!
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