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How to Become a Dog Groomer in 2024

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If you think maintaining fur, nails, and canine skin might be a job for you, then you’re at the right address.

Maybe you’re just wondering how the hell your local dog groomer manages to bathe all the dogs that don’t want to be bathed, trims the nails of dogs that don’t want them trimmed, and cares for the overall skin of our furry friends.

And maybe, just maybe, you want to become a dog groomer too.

Essential Skills

Your picture of a dog groomer might be entirely different than that of a dog trainer or behaviorist, although their skill set isn’t that different from each other.

As a dog groomer, you need to pack a lot of patience and that doesn’t just apply to dogs but also to their owners who can become quite antsy when it’s about their beloved pooch.

They care for their dog and it’s your task to put them at ease and let them know that their dog is in good hands with you.

You also need to be somewhat schooled in canine behavior because grooming isn’t always a piece of cake.

Quite the contrary, some dogs hate to be touched and were never really desensitized, so bathing them and trimming their nails might not be without any risks.

Learn how to read a dog’s body language and make sure to look out for warning signs like growling, hissing, or a stiff body.

You’re the person that has to decide if a dog might display aggression and should thus not be handled by a groomer before he’s properly desensitized.

Understanding the communication of your customer’s dog doesn’t only benefit you and your safety but it also prevents any unnecessary snaps or bites from happening.

Even if the dog is at no risk to bite, he may be extremely uncomfortable and if force is applied, he might connect grooming with a very negative experience.

You should also know about all the different breeds and their history and hairstyles.

Of course, your knowledge of the current styles should be up to date and you should be able to provide a variety of haircuts for different dogs.

In short, you need to be skilled at:

  • Patience (dog + customer)
  • Understand canine body language & warning signals
  • Adjust treatment to fearful/anxious dogs
  • Know the different breeds + history
  • Recognize all the current hairstyle trends
  • Attention to detail (to not hurt the dog)
  • Advanced knowledge about skincare products

Check this video to see how a grooming session can possibly go:


To become a dog groomer, no formal education is needed although having a high school diploma at the very least can definitely help.

If you like, you can attend grooming schools or take online courses to learn a few technical skills and techniques.

A certificate like the one issued by the National Dog Groomers Association of America might help you.

If you don’t want to do a dog grooming apprenticeship program, you can just learn on the job. However, you’re advised to learn some skills before diving right in.

You might want to consider the credibility of some programs. A 2-month theory-only program might not be the best choice if you want to become a dog groomer.

Learn Haircut Styles

You can look up the standards of each dog breed on sites like the American Kennel Club.

For each dog, it is necessary to have the right set of grooming skills and especially the breeds that have emerged recently have certain requirements that need to be met (also consider stylistic choices by the owners).

You can easily get a dog groomer starter kit and try out different styles on your own dog or on the dogs of friends and family if they are so inclined.

Make sure to check out my article on dog toenails as a lot of dogs have issues with trimming their nails and you might need some fresh nail trimming tools too.

As a dog groomer, you might think about other problems a dog can have. You could spot issues in the coat or a split nail, anything that’s visible from the outside.

Be careful while grooming a dog, so you don’t cut him or use products that cause skin irritations like swelling and itching.

For some breeds, there are various types of haircuts for each season.

A very short trim will keep a Poodle cool during summer while longer hair on the legs will help keep him warm in the winter.

Remember why you wanted to Become a Dog Groomer

You probably wanted to work as a dog groomer to help the animals and work closely with them. This is perfectly possible and can fulfill you. Always keep that in mind.

According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected job growth (2014-2024) will be 11% for animal care.

More and more people get dogs, so your chances of becoming a dog groomer are great!

It’s also important to note that nowadays there are many more possibilities like starting your own trendy grooming shop where you can target specific dog breeds, customers, and so on while specialising on certain haircuts.

Start your own Dog Grooming Business

If you seem to be unable to find any work despite the job growth, you might want to think about starting your own business.

Or maybe you have a job but would still like to work for yourself.

It’s easier than you might think. As soon as you established yourself as the go-to person, you can advertise and spread the word of mouth.

People love knowing that their pooch is in good hands with you and if you can ensure that a dog comes back with a stylish haircut, healthy skin and trimmed nails, who wouldn’t want to visit your shop?

If you’re already into the planning stage, evaluate whether you’d want to offer services like visits for your clients and also take into consideration the cost of equipment which isn’t cheap at all, depending on what services you want to offer.

No matter which road you’ll take, becoming a dog groomer can be really rewarding. Let me know in the comments why you chose this field!

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Disclaimer: This blog post does not substitute veterinary attention and does not intend to do so. I am not a veterinarian or pet nutritionist. If your dog shows any sign of illness, call your vet.

About Danielle

Equipped with 5+ years of expertise as a Rottweiler owner, I partner with licensed veterinarians and trainers to share research-backed and actionable advice for you and your furry friend.


Friday 18th of March 2022

Great information! I've been thinking about taking on my dog's, Henry's grooming chores. Simply because it would be easier to groom him when he needs it rather than do it at the groomer's schedule. I'm definitely looking into the dog grooming kit. Thanks for this research. You saved me a bit of time. I really appreciate it!

I'm also sharing this with my dog friends! 😊💖🐶