How to Get the Most from a Hands-On Grooming Clinic

February 11th, 2014 by ificore


Caption: Workshop participants learning how to clip the belly of a cat with celebrity pet stylist, Danelle German at The Paragon School of Pet Grooming.

One cruise through the TV channels and you’ll find all kinds of celebrity chefs sharing their skills. Pick your cuisine or cooking style and you can find someone to inspire you – whether it is via TV or by attending a class hosted by a local celebrity chef.

In the pet grooming industry, we have the same thing! There are many stylists that have proven their skill level on a national and on an international scale. This is the crazy part. Most celebrity pet stylists can still be found at their grooming tables every day, just like you, grooming regular clients. However, many enjoy teaching seminars, clinics and workshops around the world.

Have you ever had the opportunity to train with a celebrity pet stylist? It’s a great way to improve your skills and get super energized!

Many of the top professional pet stylists love to help up and coming pet groomers and stylist. Sometimes those teaching opportunities are just demonstrations or lectures. Other times, they are workshops –which are really fun! You supply the dog or cat plus the grooming tools. As you groom, you’ll have the opportunity to be personally coached by a celebrity pet stylist.

So how do you get the most out of one of these coaching sessions?

#1. Make sure your core skills are strong. Core skills are also known as foundation skills. The two terms are interchangeable.

 Core or foundation skills would include;

  • proper coat preparation
  1.  bathing
  2. drying
  3. nails trimmed
  4. ears cleaned
  5. 100% tangle free coat
  • knowledge of basic anatomy
  • basic (and correct) usage of tools; brushes, combs, clippers, scissors and carding tools and stripping knives

#2. Supply the best pet to learn with.  

If you do not come to the session with an adequate pet to work on, you only hurt yourself.

  • select a dog or cat with enough coat to demonstrate your skills
  • they have a temperament that is easy to work with
  • they are a good representative of the breed

Like celebrity cooking chefs, there are a wide variety of very accomplished pet stylists. Many specialize in a certain breed, grooming technique or topic.  The better prepared you are to participate in the hands-on workshop; the more you’re going to get out of it. Step into the session with a very open mind.

If you are young and fresh to the industry, sometimes these clinics can be almost overwhelming with the amount of information shared. Be the driest sponge that you can be — soak up every bit of knowledge that you can.

As your knowledge and skills advance, the clinics won’t be intimidating. They become a great tweaking session for your skills. They will keep you abreast of advance grooming skills and trends. Plus, these types of functions are a great way to invigorate your career.

These principles remain valid for many forms of advanced learning in the pet grooming industry. Maybe you don’t have the opportunity to do a hands-on training session. There is a wealth of information to learn from these all-star pet stylists. You might be in the audience at a trade show, pet grooming competition or watching a grooming video lesson featuring one of these top stylists. The better you can execute the core skills with your everyday grooming, the easier it will be to successfully transfer their lessons to your own grooming table.

If you are not as accomplished as these award-winning and highly successful pet groomers are — take note. You can learn a lot from their well-developed skills. Learning new skills, tips and tricks make grooming pets all that more fun!

Happy Trimming!

~ Melissa