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How do I train to be a dog groomer?

Did you know that around 34% of all households in New Zealand include at least one canine member – that’s a lot of pooches! And most pet parents are looking for ways to treat their animal companions to the best life possible, with 78% of owners considering them part of the family. That means wanting the best when it comes to healthcare, feeding and (you guessed it) grooming.

Most dogs need regular grooming to stay happy and healthy, especially in the warmer months. And not all owners have the time, energy, desire or skill to properly clip, wash and brush their pet’s coats themselves. 

So, if you’ve always dreamed of becoming a dog groomer, then you can be sure that it’s a wonderful career path to choose. Not only is it incredibly rewarding for an animal lover to spend all day with furry friends, but the demand for grooming services has risen rapidly. Some grooming salons have seen as much as a 33% increase! 

But what does being a groomer actually entail, and how do you train to become one? What grooming training is available online, and is there a dog grooming course you can pay off?

Let’s find out!

What does a groomer do?

A dog groomer helps pooches of all shapes and sizes feel comfortable, clean and happy in their skin. They attend to both common grooming needs and specialised treatments for different coat & hair types, as well as teaching young puppies how to enjoy their first bath. 

While groomers will often focus on physical appearance, they also can help to have an overview of the dog’s general health and wellbeing – and feedback any important information to owners.

A typical day as a groomer could include:

  • Organising diaries and schedules
  • Assisting with new bookings and welcoming clients
  • Washing, drying, clipping, cutting hair and trimming nails 
  • Cleaning and maintaining equipment
  • Ensuring puppies and dogs have a positive experience

What skills does a pet groomer need?

  • Physical fitness – grooming can be a pretty physically demanding job, so it’s important to be comfortable spending long periods standing, crouching or examining a dog’s coat in detail. 
  • A calm manner – being comfortable working with and handling all kinds of different breeds and temperaments. Any previous experience with dogs would be beneficial.  
  • Creativity – being able to shape and style a coat requires knowledge (which we’ll get into below) but it also requires a creative mind. 
  • Practicality – sometimes working with animals means you can’t be too squeamish. A normal part of the job includes dealing with poop, pee and lots of slobber!
  • Technical skills – without the proper skills, you won’t be able to help dogs feel better or feel confident in your own abilities; especially around some potentially dangerous equipment like clippers and scissors. 

What career prospects are there for groomers?

Dog groomers can work in a variety of settings and have a number of options available to them. Some choose to work in pet salons, veterinary practices or kennels. While others decide to start their own business, either by setting up a salon of their own, a mobile dog van, or working from their own home.

An average salary for a dog groomer in New Zealand is around $40,000. But this could rise higher and higher if you choose to set up your own business. You could also continue your studies to become a specialist breed groomer or master groomer, and even enter competitions! All of these could increase your hourly rate.

How do I train to become a dog groomer?

Currently, there are training requirements needed to become a dog groomer. So, if you were just to start, it would be perfectly legal to do so.

But you would probably struggle to find clients. After all, would you feel comfortable having your hair trimmed by a hairdresser with no training? Probably not! This means enrolling in a dog grooming course is a must. 

Starting with a beginners course is a great idea, especially if you have no previous dog handling experience. It will teach you the basics of dog anatomy, the different types of coats and the best ways to clean and care for each. You will also be instructed in the foundational knowledge of dog behaviour, handling dogs correctly and the administration skills to run a booking system with clients. 

From there, you could choose to build up your experience and continue your training, working towards advanced courses that boost your expertise. 

And the best part? ​​You can complete your dog grooming training online. 

That’s right. You can avoid expensive commuting, relocation and course fees, and instead enrol in our online dog grooming course – which you can also pay off weekly! From the comfort of your home, you’ll gain all the theoretical knowledge and practical skills required to bathe, trim, clip & style dogs to pro standards. 

We have both beginners and advanced dog grooming courses available, all led by experienced tutors who are on hand to be sure your studies are shaping up nicely. Plus with 24-hour access to this training, you can log in and continue learning at a time and pace that suits you. 

With payments starting from just $30 a week and a fully functional grooming kit included in the price, it’s an accessible option so you can get grooming right away!

Our online animal courses come with certificates that you can hang proudly in your salon, van or home business. Giving you confidence and credibility to have happy clients and wagging tails.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up today!


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