Why Dog Grooming School is for YOU!

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How Do Dog Grooming Schools work? 

Have you ever wondered how to become a dog groomer? Dog grooming school is for anyone who loves spending time with animals. Still, it is also dedicated to learning a lot about behavior and safety and making a dog look ready for the red carpet. 

To become a pet groomer, you have to complete dog grooming school. Here you will learn about proper techniques when bathing, brushing, and cutting. There will also be many theories about animal behavior, customer relations, and various coat types. If you think that sounds great, dog grooming school, online or physical, might just be the perfect path for you! 

The Benefits of a Career as a Dog Groomer

Groomer combs a dog for grooming - I Love Veterinary

One of the most significant benefits of going into pet grooming is, of course, the animals. Spending time with them every day can brighten most jobs. But one thing is the animals being there; another is having the opportunity to help them when you are a pet groomer. 

Dog grooming isn’t just about dog haircuts and fluffy tails. Not all dog-owners can handle their furry friend’s coats and nails. Leaving a dog without a comb-through and some general coat-care can become a severe health hazard for the dog over time. That’s why being a pet groomer is also being an advocate for healthy dogs and a helping hand for owners worldwide. 

Lastly, going to dog grooming school also means that you can be your own boss! Of course, you can choose to work in an established dog salon. But, you can also choose to open your own pet grooming business. An exciting (and perhaps a little scary) step for anyone, but it can also bring you much more freedom in your day-to-day life! 

What are the Responsibilities of a Dog Groomer?

Being a dog groomer means you are entrusted with people’s most precious thing. That’s a responsibility any pet groomer needs to be aware of! Luckily dog grooming school will equip you to rise to the duties.

At dog grooming school, you will learn that there are just as many techniques as dog breeds. A poodle needs a very different cutting technique than a German Shephard, and a Bulldog might need a gentler shampoo than a Maltese. It all depends on the dog and the coat they carry. 

Female groomer baths Yorkie - I Love Veterinary

One thing a pet groomer also needs to learn is how to handle is the dog owners. These will often come with a variety of requests for their dog haircuts. Some doable, some impossible. It will be your job to work with the client to get the best result for them and their lifestyle – as well as for the dog.   

Lastly, it is also the pet groomer’s responsibility to handle the dog during the treatment. Some dogs love a bit of pampering, but it’s not all. Some will be nervous around the clippers, and some hate water. It’s essential to keep the dog as calm as possible throughout the process for a safer and friendlier dog grooming experience for all involved. 

PetCo Grooming’s Certification Process

At PetCo, you can become a certified dog groomer. It’s a process that will train you to the highest standard, with a 20-week course and more than 800 hours of training and theory. 

Weeks 1-2 

It will mainly consist of online dog grooming school. This online course will focus on safety and salon standards. There will also be some observational hours in a dog salon, but no hands-on experience with any pets just yet. 

Weeks 3-4 

In these weeks, you will start learning techniques, at the beginning focusing on proper bathing and drying techniques. There will also be classes on how to brush different furs, cut nails in the best way, and clean the ears for other breeds. In these weeks, you will again be in the dog salon bathing dogs (under supervision).  

Weeks 5-8

From week five on the dog grooming course will expand on your training. You will learn techniques for different coat types and lengths. Here you will still be bathing dogs, but you will also start building relationships with guests and clients in the dog salon. 

Female groomer with a dog - I Love Veterinary

Weeks 9-14

Now the course becomes more hands-on. You will be paired with a certified Petco mentor who will help you in this more practical part of dog grooming school. The focus will be on clipping now, with different breeds in mind and some scissoring.

Weeks 15-19 

These are some of the last weeks at dog grooming school! Here you will perfect the art that is dog haircuts and pet styling, and developing client relations. You need to complete at least 100 dog grooming services in these final weeks! Still under supervision, but you’re getting nearer to being a fully qualified dog groomer! 

Week 20 

The very last week. It’s getting close to the end – exciting! In this week, you must pass the haircutting services in categories: Sporting dog, terrier, and poodle. You will also be asked to evaluate different trims with varying coat types. But after that, you can call yourself a qualified PetCo dog groomer! 

Some of the Top Rated Dog Grooming Schools In the USA

Poodle at grooming salon - I Love Veterinary

Grooming Academy of Texas (G.A.T. Austin) 

At the Grooming Academy of Texas, there are certification programs for beginners and experienced pet groomers. Where you start in the dog grooming school, therefore, depends on your earlier experience. New groomers begin with the Professional Bather program and move up from there. 

Experienced pet groomers must take a theory class and a practical exam to go straight into the Professional Pet Groomer program. Both programs are mostly hands-on in a dog salon, combined with some theory. By the end, you receive official certification. 

North Shore Community College

Here you will receive an Animal Care specialist certificate. This not only just covers dog grooming school, but also includes another aspect of care, like dog walking, training, and retail. 

You will also learn theory on legal and ethical issues regarding companion animals and learn to observe and interpret body language, to ensure the best care for all! 

Merryfield School of Pet Grooming

This school is placed in South Florida and offers programs both in the day and evening! It follows the standards set by the National Dog Groomer’s Association of America and will teach graduates to handle various grooming tasks. 

The program includes over 100 hours in a dog salon outside the school so that every student will acquire extensive experience. 

Groomer and Shi Tzu - I Love Veterinary

Rio Gran Grooming School

This school teaches small classes and focuses primarily on how dog grooming and cleanness are essential for a healthy doggy life. The Rio Gran school also develops creative techniques to conduct quality dog grooming services. 

Paragon School of Pet Grooming

Here you will learn basic handling and pet grooming, focusing on cleaning ears, clipping nails, bathing, and drying—everything you need to have a successful dog grooming career. 

The grooming class consists of 240 hours over six weeks for full-time students and ten weeks for part-time students. 

ABCs Online Dog Grooming School

It is clear that dog grooming school involve a certain amount of hands-on training in a dog salon, but it also comes with a lot of theory! Luckily there’s an option for an online dog grooming school with ABC. Here you can do all the theoretical learning from the comfort of your own home! 

When enrolling, you will receive a dog grooming toolkit that includes clippers, blae, shears, combs, brushes, and much more. Then you can complete the flexible online theoretical lessons. 

Yorkie at groomer's salon - I Love Veterinary

Afterward, you will be paired with a professional dog groomer, allowing you to practice your newly acquired skills and learn to complete a full pet grooming on your own. 

The whole course, theory and hands-on, should take just a year to complete. In the end, you will become an Animal Behaviour College Certified Pet Groomer. Besides being ready for pet grooming, you will also be certified in pet CPR and First aid

Ready to roll with your own dog grooming business!  


Dog grooming school is an excellent option for anyone looking to pursue a creative career. Being a dog groomer is a rewarding job that allows you to work closely with animals, and their owners, to ensure they stay as healthy and happy as possible – without matted fur and dirty ears!

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With a veterinary master's degree from the University of Copenhagen in 2023, this accomplished writer's academic journey culminated in a thesis focused on the "Feasibility of using ultrasound of the abdomen for early diagnosis of necrotizing enterocolitis in neonatal pigs." Additionally, their dissertation delved into the intriguing topic of "Mercury accumulation in Greenlandic sleddogs." Beyond her academic achievements, her passion for animal health seamlessly merges with her love for writing. She excels in harmonizing clinical precision with literary expression, crafting articles that resonate with the heartbeat of her veterinary profession.