The basic prerequisites for a career in grooming are a genuine interest in dogs and a bit of flair for style. But, as with any business, there are many more things that you’ll need to consider.  Joanne Angus, a director of Look North Grooming and Training Centre and a founder member of Groom Team England, explains…

Grooming has progressed in leaps and bounds over the last 20 years with the onset of recognised training schools, qualifications and new, more advanced time saving equipment. Training is a necessity if you are to achieve the correct styling outcome. Your choice of training school should be thought about and researched carefully to be sure that you choose the one that suits you and your requirements the best. Look at the tutors grooming experience and make sure that they have the appropriate teaching qualifications. A good groomer is not necessarily a good teacher and a good teacher is not necessarily a good groomer! Turn to page 16 for more on training. It takes years to master a practical skill so it is important to continue with your grooming as soon as the training has finished. A lot of your grooming skills will only come with time and experience such as knowing exactly how much hair to trim off, confident handling of the dogs and interpreting the owners instructions.

The right equipment for the job

Having the correct tools to suit both you and the job is also vital. Tables, driers and dematting tools are invaluable to make the work easier and more time effective. Redcape suppliers have a huge range of tools and equipment from baths and shampoos to brushes, combs, scissors and clippers. Spend your money wisely; buying quality equipment and having it serviced regularly is the best way to ensure that it will last for years.

Once you have the basic training you can continue to build your knowledge by attending seminars and demonstrations and getting a good insight into breeds by visiting championship shows. You will never stop learning throughout your career as a groomer due to continuously changing styles and techniques. Groom Team England organise at least two seminars per year where the audience can participate and pick the brains of the highest calibre of groomers. These events are publicised in the dog press and on their web site.



LCGI Awards

 Once you feel confident you can begin on your qualification route. City & Guilds have three grooming qualifications – Level 2 Certificate for dog groomers assistants, Level 3 Certificate in Introductory dog grooming and Level 3 Diploma for dog grooming professionals. There is also a higher qualification available through the Pet Care Trust which is the Higher Diplomas. On completion of this you may become a member of the Guild of Master Groomers. Details of all the qualifications can be found on the Pet Care Trust website.  After many years experience and attaining your qualifications you can apply for the Licentiateship of the City & Guilds of London Institute directly through City & Guilds and this allows you to use the letters LCGI after your name.


Showcasing talent

Competition work is the ultimate goal as achieving placings and awards are a real pat on the back for you, and your clients will love them too. Competing regularly in this country can now lead to a place on Groom Team England as the team members are selected from the most consistent winners over a two year period to compete and represent their country in the World Team Championships. The next event will take place in Barcelona in September 2013.

Premier Groom on August 12, 2012 at The Kennel Club Buildings, Stoneleigh Park is now well established on the grooming calendar and is co-organised by Groom Team England and Redcape. It’s a great opportunity to see the seminars and demonstrations of the highest level of grooming in the country.