Learn Pet Grooming Online
So You Want to Become a Dog Groomer?
Enrolling in online dog grooming courses is the start of a great career helping animals because pet groomer training teaches you how to make pets both look good and stay healthier.
To ensure that our students leave the program ready to complete a full groom with confidence, the Animal Behavior College (ABC) dog grooming course combines an online curriculum with real world training. Our online pet grooming course 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 Grooming Curriculum 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 digital material, a 30+ piece professional grooming toolkit, 16 instructional videos and hands-on training.
Stage 1 – INTRODUCTION TO PET GROOMING – 28 Days
In order to become a certified pet groomer, you need to start with the basics. As such, this stage introduces you to world of pet grooming; its history, its current status and its future. In addition, before you actually begin working on dogs, you need to be knowledgeable about breed groups and specific breeds. You also need to know what breed standards are and how they can affect how a breed is typically groomed, such as when a dog competes in conformation events.
Stage 2 – CANINE HEALTH – 21 Days
As an aspiring groomer, you must think beyond the quality of the groom you give. Because from start to finish of every grooming session, you are also responsible for upholding other consequential standards that include consistently following practices that help keep every pet who visits the facility safe from disease. This stage details these practices, which include: making sure pets meet vaccination requirements; thorough check-in exams; parasite control; and dedicated and effective cleaning and disinfection at every stage of the grooming process. It develops your understanding of how vaccines work and educates you about the diseases, conditions and parasites that are most dangerous to dogs. And, it teaches you how to visually assess a dog from head to tail to identify the presence of potential health issues.
Stage 3 – SAFETY – 14 Days
This stage teaches you how to reduce your risk of getting hurt at work. It educates you about procedures for keeping pets safe in the grooming facility. It also tells you what to do if a person or a pet does get injured within the grooming space. This stage also teaches you how to read a dog’s body language so you can anticipate how different dogs might react to different parts of the grooming process. Detailed instructions on how to approach and work with dogs of varied temperaments will guide you in creating safe and effective interactions.
Stage 4 – PET GROOMER’S TOOLKIT – 28 Days
This stage introduces you to the tools, equipment and products of your new trade and their specific functions. These include brushes, combs and rakes; shampoos and conditioners; clippers, trimmers and shears; grooming tables, bathing tubs and dryers; and much more. As part of this program, ABC provides you with a Groomer’s Toolkit that includes an assortment of essential grooming tools and products.
Stage 5 – CAT GROOMING – 14 Days
Grooming cats has some similarities to grooming dogs, however, depending on the breed and individual feline, it can be more difficult and time-consuming. Because of this, many groomers do not add cats to their repertoire. In this stage, you will learn about the evolution of cats, feline communication and how to brush, bathe, dry and trim cats safely and effectively.
Stage 6 – BATHING, BRUSHING AND DRYING – 28 Days
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.
Stage 7 – CLIPPER USE & SCISSOR CONTROL TECHNIQUES – 14 Days 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.
Stage 8 – BREED PROFILES AND MIXED-BREED STYLING – 35 Days
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.
Stage 9 – BUILDING A PET GROOMING CAREER – 21 Days
This dog grooming stage explores the business side of the pet grooming industry. Many graduates opt to work for a pre-existing grooming facility; some, when ready, will start their own mobile or home-based business, or decide to open a brick-and-mortar salon. This stage provides you with the information to start you off in the right direction no matter which path you choose.
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.
As 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 Online Pet 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.
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.
Pet Sitting and Dog Walking has been approved by the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP) and the National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors (NADOI) for CEU credits.
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 International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP) and the National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors (NADOI) for CEU credits.
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 International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP) and the National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors (NADOI) 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 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.
Dog daycare service is rapidly expanding; it has grown by more than 12 percentage points over the past 10 years and will continue to do so. Done correctly, doggie daycare service can be incredibly lucrative. Learn how to do it right and reap the benefits of this growing market by enrolling in ABC’s Doggie Daycare Short Term Program.
In this course you will find everything you need to know to start and run a successful doggie daycare. This program contains over 400 pages of detailed digital material, covering facility considerations, insurance, licensing and permit requirements, equipment needs, marketing and promotional advice, daily care and activities for dogs, and working with owners. Doggie Daycare approved by the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP) and the National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors (NADOI) for CEU credits.
The Pet Fostering Short Term Program instructs you on how to work with an animal shelter or rescue to set up a pet fostering program. You will learn how to select and retain volunteers as well as match foster animals with volunteers, along with other skills essential to maintaining a pet fostering program. Pet Fostering is approved by the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP) for CEU credits.