By: Sue Zecco
Dog grooming can be one of the most exciting and rewarding jobs in the world, but it comes with some difficulties. The days you dream of in the salon with animals you adore may come with stressful schedules, challenging appointments, and lots of fur! Wahl Animal ELITE Educator Sue Zecco offers five pieces of advice to beginner and current groomers.
The first thing is to AWAYS continue education but be careful!
You shouldn’t just go to YouTube for your education. Although you will find some very good and informative videos on there, you will also find some unreliable grooming/advice, so be careful. If you’re just starting, enrolling in a grooming school or subscribing Super Styling Sessions will give you credible education to help you develop.
Tools and equipment are very important
There are various tools and equipment from tables, crates, clippers, shears, shampoos, etc. that you will need when grooming. Exploring your options may help you decide, but I always try to work with companies that have good customer service, such as Wahl. I have tried clippers from most companies out there and have made Wahl my clipper of choice for over 25 years now.
Start with the necessities
When you are choosing equipment, remember that grooming is tough on our bodies. High quality products should be in your toolbox, like good clippers and trimmers. Additionally, a table and tub that are easier on your body. Invest in tools that will help preserve your health as much as possible. Electric tables save our backs, clippers like Wahl are made to be balanced and fit your hand more comfortably. When purchasing a clipper, try to imagine clipping all day, 5 days a week – will the clipper fatigue your hand? Anti-fatigue mats, such as PawMat, for you and the dogs will help make grooming more comfortable.
Don’t sell yourself short
Charge what you are worth. Don’t make up prices, see what the going rate is in your area and charge accordingly. We do quality work here and are worth every penny we charge. Never put down other salons or groomers, even if they are charging less than you. Pay attention to your own salon, including those within and the clients. They are who matter most.
There is a book by Khris Berry called “Rosetta Bone, the Language of Dogs”, which I would highly recommend to new groomers.
Sometimes being able to properly read the dogs the second they walk through your door is so important for a pleasant grooming experience for you and the dogs. I really think it takes lots of experience to do this, but this book will definitely open a lot of eyes and possibly keep you a bit safer.
We hope that these tips are encouraging and fill you with excitement when it comes to your future as a groomer. We wish you the best of luck in the future, and thank you for helping keep all animals healthy, happy, and beautiful!