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What are the Benefits of Certification Testing?

booksProfessional certification can be found in almost every industry in the United States. Professions such as auto repair, nursing, and technology – to name a few – all have voluntary or mandatory certification organizations.

The pet grooming certification testing is the process of publicly proving you know what you’re doing.

Period.

The certification process includes education and experience as well as written and practical testing. Successful completion of each phase demonstrates a level of mastery in the grooming profession.

Is the process of passing the certification testing easy? No. It’s challenging and time-consuming. It can be stressful and frustrating.

But why shouldn’t this be the case? If you want to demonstrate mastery of your craft, shouldn’t the process be rigorous? Shouldn’t it mean something? Shouldn’t it be a true reflection of the skill and artistry of your craft? Read the rest of this entry »


Are You a Dog Grooming Success?

rrimageDog groomers love to do a good job. We like the way it feels to excel and to please other people. For some, this is how they measure success.  For others, this is a starting point.  Do you want to know the steps and work it takes to go from good to great?

What are your goals? Do you admire today’s top competitive pet stylists? Maybe you have your sights on certification. Do you have a dream of someday becoming a certified master groomer or pet stylist? Maybe you hope to become a member of GroomTeam USA or represent your country in world team competition?

Maybe your dog grooming aspirations have nothing to do with competitive styling. Maybe your goal is winning the trust and respect of pet owners, turning them into regular clients.

They’re all worthy goals – and guess what? It’s not as hard as you think. There is no complicated recipe. But there is a secret.

Focus on the fundamentals.

Success is all about the fundamentals. The fundamentals are the little things. The ordinary things. And often, they are the tedious things. But to be the best you must master them. You must become a master of those ordinary, everyday tasks. With every act of greatness, whether in sports, business, the arts, or in pet grooming, the best of the best achieve extraordinary feats by doing ordinary things with amazing consistency, commitment, and focus.

c00aa89c0f35c77225dcdc099b7a0f84What are the fundamentals in dog grooming?

It means perfecting the core skills: bathing, drying, brushing, fluffing, and dematting. It’s also clipping, scissoring, as well as understanding basic structure and anatomy. It means having solid and safe handling skills.

As a professional dog groomer and stylist, we get to practice these skills all the time. In fact, many of us practice them every single day. World-class pet stylists don’t master their craft by working every day on perfect dogs with fabulous coats in perfect condition. For many of them, the only time they work on a “perfect dog” is in the ring – and under the pressure of competition. Even then, there is no such thing as a perfect dog. Every dog has its flaws – even the perfect ones.

Top stylists know it takes years of practice with everyday pets to master the fundamentals. Winning doesn’t just happen on the day of the competition. Winning is a result of dedication and hard work. The trophy is a product of training, study, and sacrifice. You cannot earn a high grade in certification testing on testing day, alone. Winning or earning high grades on your practical skills tests starts in every bathtub and on every grooming table, every day. There is no such thing as an overnight success. Typically, it takes years of uncountable numbers of hours of dedication to the craft.

Practice, in itself, is not enough. In order to truly succeed you need to follow this rule: Perfect Practice Makes Perfect. If you are not practicing dog grooming fundamentals correctly, you’re wasting your time. Clients will not return if your work is sub-par. Awards will not be given. High test scores will be out of reach.

514_400x400_NoPeelWith so many variables with dog grooming, where do you start? What coaching or training technique should you trust? How do you learn the RIGHT skills?

Start at the ground floor and learn from the masters. The information is out there. You will find it in:

  • magazines
  • books
  • clinics
  • workshops
  • seminars
  • schools
  • trade shows
  • conformation dog shows
  • obedience classes
  • grooming competitions
  • videos
  • blogs

Research online. Talk to vendors and manufacturers. Work with a mentor, a coach, a consultant. Look. Listen. Learn.  But don’t blindly trust everything you find – check references whenever possible. Today, there is a lot of information out there – unfortunately not all of it is good information! Talk to the experts to make sure the material you are learning is correct and safe.

As you learn, take it one small step at a time. Dissect every step. Break it down. For every technique there are micro steps to learn to perfect any skill. Study those micro steps.

stairsStart at the very beginning just like with a long flight of stairs. You start at the bottom, taking one step at a time. Mastering dog grooming fundamentals is a lot like a staircase. Jumping ahead or skipping steps will not get you ahead any faster. In fact, missing steps is way more detrimental to a career than staying on course dealing with each step moving up the flight of stairs.

With every step along the way, you are creating a knowledge base. It will continue to grow with your career. It is paramount for any pet professional to have fabulous pet handling skills to build trust with our furry clients while keeping them safe. Another area that is critical to any successful pet groomer or stylist is learning the finer details of structure and anatomy.

The key is to focus on improving each day, taking the necessary steps. If you incrementally improve each day, each week, each month, each quarter – by the end of the year you will see remarkable results and growth. Over time, by committing to this process, the best develop their skills and enhance their performance as they strive for excellence and achieving perfect execution.

If you want to be at the very top of your game, to become one of the best professional pet groomers/stylists in your town, in your state, in your country, you need to practice perfect fundamentals. Every. Single. Day. You don’t need to have perfect pets to make this happen. Grooming everyday pets offers an abundant opportunity to practice the fundamentals.

Your success doesn’t necessarily mean winning the award or scoring a high grade. Sometimes success means having a full appointment book with happy customers. That’s what truly makes a successful grooming business.

What steps do YOU take? Jump over to the Learn2GroomDogs Facebook page and tell us about it!

Happy trimming!

~ Melissa


8 Ways to Beat Anxiety

Whether you are looking to certify, enter a grooming competition, or other highly visible display, the seasoned pros seem to have total control over their situation: calm, cool, and collected in their thoughts.

Anxiety-Disorder-SymptomsLooks, however, can be deceiving. Beneath the surface of total control, even the most seasoned, show-savvy competitors get butterflies in their stomachs. They experience the same sort of show jitters and performance anxiety that plagues those who compete at lower levels. But seasoned stylists eventually learn to use those gut-churning sensations to their advantage. They productively channel their nervous energy rather that allow negative thoughts and feelings to overwhelm them and interfere with their performance.

Everyone gets nervous – it’s normal. Even the elite in the pet styling world become nervous but they learn to work with it. You have to train yourself to like the feeling and see it as an asset.

Performance anxiety reveals itself in many forms:

  • stomach misery
  • sweating
  • shortness of breath
  • fidgeting
  • tension throughout the body
  • chattiness
  • uncharacteristic silence

Some stylists are wracked with anxiety from the moment they wake up the day of the competition or certification, others get a burst of butterflies just before entering the stage.

Fear-of-FailureNo matter how or when performance anxiety occurs, it usually is fueled by the fear of failure. Many stylists place great pressure on themselves to do well. Others feel compelled to do everything in their power not to disappoint their employers, fellow staff members, or family members. Those who enter the contest arena or testing site with a client dog have the added responsibility to do a good job to please the owner. Some groomers are deathly afraid of embarrassing themselves in front of an audience.

To a certain degree, many people are predisposed to being overly anxious. It’s a part of their persona and temperament, just as some folks are normally laid-back or unflappable.

Actually there’s little difference physiologically between excitement and fear. While one person says, “Oh boy, here I go!” the next person is saying “Oh no, here it comes again.” The feelings are much the same. The difference is that one is positive while the other is negative.

Those who work through anxiety may be nervous prior to performing, but they are able to set aside the negative feelings and focus on the skills they need when it’s time to compete or start testing. In contrast, stylists who can’t get past their nervousness extract less and less pleasure from competing or testing. Worse still, performance anxiety can crush confidence and divert attention for completing the familiar steps of an established trim, which reinforces the feeling of being unprepared.

positive-words1Because dogs are highly attuned to our feelings, they can sense when something is amiss with a groomer’s emotions. Although some dogs are not rattled by what they sense from their handlers, others become increasingly anxious, especially when they are already distracted by the sights and sounds of unfamiliar surroundings.

  1. Set Yourself Up to Succeed
    Select a good dog you feel comfortable working with, choose a trim you are familiar with, and study high quality reference material.
  2. Know More Than Enough
    You’ll be more likely to succeed when you start at lower level that’s less challenging than what you are accustomed to at home, whether that means choosing a simple trim to execute, a smaller dog to work on, or a better coat to scissor. Everything you do should be easier, not more difficult, when you’re in a show or testing atmosphere: that’s what builds confidence.
  3. Have a Dress Rehearsal
    Attend small clinics or go to a trade show or conformation dog show and hire a seasoned competitor to be your coach. Videotaping yourself adhering to the time restraints of typical grooming class is highly beneficial as well.
  4. Get Focused
    To heighten awareness of the specific challenges that lie ahead, plan your trimming process on the dog. Dissect the time you have allotted for each area of the dog, visualize the finished profile you want to create – see the velvet scissor finish. Think through the entire haircut, don’t just start whacking off hair and hope for a positive outcome.
  5. Be Positive
    Negative thoughts take a toll on your mood as well as your confidence, and they can inadvertently slip you up at an inopportune moment. Concentrate on modifying your thoughts in a positive tone. Remind yourself to keep your shoulders relaxed, your hand smooth and steady, and move with your hips and knees when you are scissoring.
  6. Visualize Success
    Imagery is more powerful than internal dialog or self-statements when it comes to helping a person access his or her internal resources. For that perfectly scissored coat, think of crushed velvet.  Or visualize a photo or a drawing of the perfect dog you want to create. Close your eyes and take deep breaths envisioning the image perfectly in your mind. Focus on a positive image rather than thinking about failure or a disaster.
  7. Take a Break
    When all your preparations are accomplished – your dog is bathed and fluffed, you’re dressed to step into the ring, your tools are in order – give yourself a break from the hustle and bustle of the competitive environment and take a few moments to gather your thoughts.
  8. Be Kind to Yourself
    Everyone wants to win but facts are facts and the placements only go so high. When I would head to the ring, I always wanted to give my best performance, but I’d play a mind-game with myself too; I would say to myself “Melissa, what’s the worst thing that could happen?” The answer was always, “I could be out of the placements with my dog. I’ve dealt with a lot worse…” One of the best learning tools you’ll ever get is personal critiques from seasoned pros. The grooming tips you can pick up at a show are invaluable to your career as you gain grooming knowledge.

Feeling you can compete with confidence allows you to enjoy the experience. You may always have to work at managing your nerves, but as your self-assurance grows and you learn to channel your thoughts productively into your performance, your anxiety will dissipate. And when you’re done competing, you may even think, “That really wasn’t so bad after all.”

Get used to your anxiety. Don’t be rattled by the way it makes you feel. Embrace it and eventually you’ll discover how to use it to put your best foot forward in every competition.

How do YOU beat the butterflies? Jump over to the Learn2GroomDogs Facebook page and tell us about it!

Happy Trimming!

~ Melissa


3 Books to Help Build an Amazing Grooming Career

The choice to groom my first dog wasn’t mine. I had been working as kennel help and would occasionally help the groomer when my tasks were done. Nothing major, just bathing a few dogs, trimming some toenails, maybe brushing out some mats. I might even dry a few dogs by hand.

One day all that changed.

I still remember that call from my boss. She phoned me at home one night to tell me the full-time groomer we’d had was no longer with the salon. In an instant, my job changed from kennel help to groomer.

My first day on the job, I had six dogs on my roster – and no clue how to groom them. At the time there was nothing like Notes From the Grooming Table or even The Theory of 5 to guide me down this new path. Being young and fearless has its advantages – and yes, I got through my first day at my new job.

I won’t say that during those first few months I did beautiful work. Far from it. But there was something about it I liked. I was working with animals. Being creative. Having a skill that needed to be mastered. I found it all rewarding and challenging at the same time. The more I learned about dogs – and grooming them – the more I wanted to understand how to do it well.

Wanting to learn more brought me to voluntary certification testing. I studied breed standards and terminology. I learned about structure and movement. I worked hard to achieve competition level pet styling. As I became more knowledgeable, my skill level at the grooming table improved immensely.

In some ways, educating myself was like learning a foreign language. I bought my first AKC Complete Dog Book in 1979. It was the yellow one. Since then I have owned every version put out by the AKC including their latest edition (which is amazing by the way!).

I still remember that first yellow book. I soaked up the words but was clueless as to how to apply what I was reading. The terms and concepts were abstract in so many ways. I kept my trusty highlighter in my hand – but I really didn’t even know what I was highlighting. I tried to imagine what the words meant, but I couldn’t form a picture in my mind. I just didn’t know.

To complicate things even further, I started attending clinics. Advanced clinics. The demonstrators were talking about structure…movement… angles. I was totally lost. All this information was over my head. But I never gave up. As baffled as I was, I was still fascinated. I wanted to figure it out.

Every time I ran across a mysterious word in the AKC Complete Dog Book, I looked it up in the glossary. (Keep in mind this is long before the age of the internet and Google searches!) The more I learned – the more I wanted to learn. I started hunting for books that would help me understand how a dog was put together and why.

The next book I discovered was Canine Terminology, by Harold R. Spira. It was a gold mine! It was a visual dictionary of terms. All those things I struggled to imagine on my own, I could now see. How did those terms play out? What was a deep set eye? What was considered high ears? What were parallel planes? What was the difference between a cat foot and a hare foot? Any term that I found in the breed standards, I could almost always find a thorough explanation for in Canine Terminology.

I was feeling pretty confident as my knowledge grew. I could now envision what a dog that was standing still should look like based on the written standard. Yet, I still didn’t understand the “whys” of what I was doing. And I was certainly still clueless when it came to movement. All that talk about angles in the front and rear assemblies – what? How does that work? But more importantly why does it work – and when a dog is not built correctly, how does it affect the dog?

That’s when I discovered K9 Structure & Terminology, by Edward M. Gilbert, Jr. and Thelma R. Brown. It was like a light bulb going off in my head. I still didn’t totally understand the angles but I could visually see how the angles would work together when it came to effective movement. What I really loved about this book was the authors’ use of wild animals as examples. They talked about how the animals were structurally designed to survive – and thrive – in their environments.

The domesticated dog is a man-made creature. Breeds were originally bred and developed to assist man to do thousands of jobs. Almost all purebred dogs have some working trait in their backgrounds. How they are structurally put together allowed them to work efficiently – or not – for the job they were designed to do. Man stole those ideas by studying wild animals. With controlled breeding, man was able to create dogs designed to excel in areas wherever they needed help. The domesticated dog was there, working right beside man, to survive and thrive.

Today, many of those working roles are no longer required due to advancement in the industrial age and technology. Many breeds have been lost – while other ancient breeds still exist in small pockets around the globe. By the same token, new breeds are being developed in the domestic dog to meet the changing needs of mankind.

In the 12 years since I wrote Notes From the Grooming Table, there have been over 50 new breeds introduced to the American Kennel Club (that’s why I wrote the new Second Edition). When we travel outside the US, there are many breeds that we have never heard of – or seen – yet they are ancient breeds to their countries. Most of these breeds have specific roles and duties. The structure of the dog determines whether they are efficient in their roles – or not.

As professional all-breed pet groomers and stylists, it is critical that we understand the finer attributes of what makes up a purebred dog. The better we understand what the breed was developed for, how it was used, and what the ideal specimen should look like, the better we become with our craft. Plus, this knowledge allows us to interact and better understand our pet clients every day.

Regardless of how you get your training – through a formal training program, an apprenticeship program, or even if you are self-taught – never stop learning.

Knowledge builds confidence. The more confident you have, the more proficient you will be with every dog that crosses your table. Understanding allows you to take advantage of opportunities when they land at your feet. Education, knowledge, and the desire to grow are the tools you need to reach your maximum potential.

What books or learning tools have helped you succeed? Jump over to the Learn2GroomDogs Facebook page and tell us what works best for you!

Happy Trimming!

~ Melissa


Is it Time for Licensing in the Pet Grooming Industry? – The Time Has Come to Consider Professional Regulation for Pet Grooming in the United States.

When I first opened The Paragon School of Pet Grooming in 1991, I had to be licensed by the Michigan Board of Education. Granted, it was not licensing for pet grooming – it was for ensuring students received consistent training in a safe facility. The licensing was primarily for their protection – not ours.

Was the set-up process challenging? Absolutely! We had to prepare, complete, and comply with all required:

  • forms
  • regulations
  • rules
  • fees
  • documentation
  • inspections

It was daunting, to say the least. To make it even more challenging, we have to renew our license annually. Each year we have to jump through all the hoops again.

I found the entire licensing process tedious. Frustrating. Annoying. Intimidating.

But you know what? In the long run it made us a much stronger business and a better school. It forced us to pay attention to details I might have missed. Those details could have put our pets, students, employees, and clients at risk.

Today, more than ever, I feel licensing is necessary. Regulations and licensing are put in place to protect the health, safety, and well-being of the consumer. They also set acceptable standards in each field.

Today, there are hundreds of occupations and businesses that are either licensed or regulated.

  • accountants and CPAs
  • real estate agents
  • appraisers
  • architects
  • builders
  • carnivals
  • childcare
  • collection agencies
  • cosmologists and barbers
  • engineers
  • funeral directors
  • landscape architects
  • medical doctors
  • chiropractors
  • post-secondary schools
  • ski areas

…and the list goes on and on…

So why should professional pet groomers be any different?

Professional pet grooming is similar to two other industries: cosmetology and childcare. Both are heavily licensed and regulated.

...And for good reason.

Licensing and regulation isn’t needed because things are going well. They happen because problems exist that need to be corrected.

The idea of licensing within the pet grooming industry is not a new one. I still remember the efforts of Gregory Krisp and Kathy Rose 20 years ago. They were backed by the late Sally Liddick and Barkleigh Productions. They formed the Groomer Licensing Founders Committee in 1996. They were on the forefront of the licensing issue in our industry. Unfortunately, they were way ahead of their time. Their efforts fell upon deaf ears.

But some people were listening. Voluntary certification organizations were stepping up to the plate. They created comprehensive education and testing programs for groomers and stylists. Many states had strong professional groups that were hosting educational workshops. Ways to strengthen our profession were being developed from within. Voluntary licensing, testing, and continuing education were building in intensity.

I fully endorse setting mandatory regulations, standards – and ultimately licensing – for the pet grooming industry. But it needs to be on OUR terms, not by well-meaning individuals with no knowledge or understanding of what they are attempting to regulate.

Ideally, pet industry leaders and professionals would work closely with individual states. As they work together, they would create regulation guidelines for professional grooming establishments that are realistic and attainable for any competent professional.

Carelessness has created situations in which dogs have been injured – or worse – in grooming salons around the country. Owners are up in arms… and they should be. If it was my pet – I would. If it was your pet – my guess is you would be, too. Wouldn’t you want to do something about the safety and well-being of pets left in a pet professionals’ care?

The State of California tried to pass licensing for professional groomers. That bill was not written by industry leaders. It would have been devastating if it had passed because it was drafted by people who did not understand our industry. Teri DiMarino and Judy Breton, acting with the newly formed California Professional Pet Groomers Association, Inc., won a Barkleigh Honors Award for their extraordinary work in getting that bill defeated. Texas, New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts currently have bills in the works. Licensing for professional pet groomers is just around the corner for many states.

Luckily, we have a group on our side. Recently, the Professional Pet Groomers & Stylists Alliance was formed. According to a July 21, 2015 press release, “The PPGSA was created to harness the experience and expertise of the three major national pet styling associations, IPG, ISCC, and NDGAA to develop industry wide best practices.” They are working together with other industry leaders, associations, and major retailers to develop a set of suggested Basic Industry Standards. These standards could be presented to each state as licensing moves forward.

The primary focus of the PPGSA is on pet safety. Subject areas include:

  • animal housing
  • handling
  • equipment
  • products
  • facilities and safe operations
  • attentive animal care

The PPGSA will not offer any form of certification, testing, licensing, or regulations for our industry, but they are our voice. In other words, they have our backs when a bill hits YOUR state. They will be there to guide industry leaders – in each state – as bills are introduced. The Basic Standards will guide future legislation. It has been created to be used by any school, organization, or certification program. It can be enhanced to fit their unique needs and goals.

Regulations and licensing is definitely a challenge for any business. However, the time has come to seriously consider professional regulations for the pet grooming business in the United States.

If a bill is introduced to the State of Michigan to regulate professional pet grooming, I’ll be one of the first people to jump and help craft a workable bill. I hope you have the same attitude when the situation presents itself in your state.

What do you think? Are you prepared, worried? What do you think should be considered?  Jump over to the Learn2GroomDogs Facebook page and tell us how you feel.

Happy trimming,

~Melissa

Why Get Certified?

Purchased PhotosrrAnybody that knows me knows that I’m a huge advocate of continuing education for professional pet groomers and stylists. I firmly believe there are no limitations on how far advanced training can take your career.

Just like anything else, if you want to excel at it, you need to work at it. Remain focused. Have a goal. Have a plan mapped out to reach the target. Get that plan on paper. Then, just do it.

In our profession there is very little regulation or mandatory testing. I wish it wasn’t true, but it is. Anybody can pick up a pair of clippers or scissors and start whacking hair off of a dog and call themselves a professional pet groomer the second they take money for it. They don’t even need to have any type of formal training. Heck, they don’t even have to like dogs that much!

And we wonder why this profession is not taken seriously?

8296567-standardrrWhen I first started working with pets, I’m sure my parents thought it would just be “a phase.” They were positive I would go on to college and get a “real job” once I graduated. Ha! Little did they know I had my sights totally focused on a pet-centered career.

My career started just about the same time one of the first voluntary certification organizations was launched in the late 70’s or early 80’s. I had no formal training. The groomer at the kennel that I was working at in my late teens was fired. The next day I became the groomer – with six dogs on my roster – and no clue how to groom them. It was truly on-the-job training!

Well, I got through that first day. I got through the next weeks and months. I actually enjoyed it.

Did my early attempts at grooming look good? Not a chance. I had a few photos of my early work. You don’t take pictures of dogs that you are not proud of. As I look at those photos today I’m horrified!! High water Poodle feet. #15 blades on the backs of English Cockers. Schnauzers with hourglass head styles. Razor sharp lines on Sporting breeds and Terriers. Hula skirts. Oh my…

I was fortunate. The woman that owned the kennel was pretty progressive for the time period. She got the trade magazines of the era and never threw them out. They were neatly organized on the shelves in the storage room. Whenever had an opportunity, I would sneak off and thumb through those magazines behind closed doors. I felt like I was thumbing through Playgirl! What an education.

UntitledIt did not take me long to realize that there were tradeshows with grooming competitions that I could attend. The closest one was in Chicago – right in my backyard!

I also learned that there was a new organization being formed – one of the first certification testing programs. I had no idea what it entailed but I knew I wanted to do it. After all, I was doing a fabulous job on all the dogs that were coming in! My customers kept coming back. Clients loved my work. I was fabulous. I knew passing a grooming test was going to be a breeze.

NDGAA

National Dog Groomers Association of America, Inc. (NDGAA)

Then reality set in. I got all the information available about voluntary certification testing. This was not a single test. Oh no. This involved multiple tests that were both written and practical – on multiple types of dogs – using many different techniques. The study material? It wasn’t even a grooming guide…

It was the daunting (and huge) AKC Complete Dog Book!

This was going to be a challenge. Luckily, I like challenges. I dug in and set to work studying. I also realized I was going to need some hands-on help. I signed up for a hands-on certification testing workshop.

The first workshop was an eye-opener. I wasn’t going to be able to just waltz in, do the testing, and succeed. Far from it.

 

IPG_Logo_Correct

International Professional Groomers, Inc. (IPG)

At that workshop, I had my grooming skills critiqued for the first time. I was able to compare my work, up close, to other professional groomers. I had to swallow my pride. I was way off base. My work was horrible and I knew it. But instead of getting angry or frustrated or tucking tail and running the other way, I was inspired. I wanted to become a Certified Master Groomer more than ever. But to earn it, I was going to have to work hard for it – very, very hard.

300rrIf I remember correctly, it took me two to three years before I earned my Certified Master Groomer status. By that time I had started my own company, Four Paws Mobile Grooming. I was in my early 20’s and hiring my first employees. My reasons for certification testing changed. As an employer, I needed to have industry knowledge and respect of my staff. Certification testing was one way to do it.

iscc

International Society of Canine Cosmetologists (ISCC)

At the time, I was clueless at how much certification testing would help me. In my gut, I just knew it would be beneficial. Today, I realize certification testing was the launching pad of my career. It opened up countless doors of opportunity. It gave me the confidence to take charge of my own destiny. It allowed me to travel the globe both as a competitor and an educator. I’ve had the chance to work with amazingly talented people. I have never felt like I was stuck in a rut with my career choice.

It also taught me that I will never totally master my trade. There will always be new things to learn – new challenges to conquer. The doors of opportunity will continue to open as I learn new skills. The saying, “The more you learn the more you earn,” is so true.

logo_PetTech400

PetTech (CPR and First Aid for Pets)

Today there are many voluntary certification organizations that put your skills to the test. I would encourage anyone to seek them out and go through the training.

There are many more voluntary testing organizations available. Whether you are seeking to learn more about pet handling, first aid, obedience – and so much more – there is something out there for everyone.  Be sure to check with trusted sources to be sure that the organization you’ve found is reputable and qualified.

Why would you want to do this? The reasons are almost countless but there is not a single reason not to go through the educational and testing process!

Here is a short list of the benefits:

  • Become more knowledgeable
  • Improve your skills
  • Advance your career
  • Increase confidence and self esteem
  • Verification of your skills
  • Increase your earning potential
  • Gain respect from your peers
  • Increase your professional credibility

Even if you are in a small town and deal primarily with shave-downs, seeking out certification testing will only enhance your career. Who knows, if you get a little advanced training, the next shave-down could turn into a stylized haircut!

Remember, there are no limitations on how far you can advance your career by continuing your training. You just have to put your mind to it and do it!

We’d love to hear why YOU got certified. Please jump on the Learn2GroomDogs.com Facebook page and tell us why you feel certification testing is important. Don’t forget to tell everyone which organization(s) you are certified with!

Happy trimming!

~Melissa

P.S.

1696Did you know that Learn2GroomDogs.com Training Partner, Michell Evans is one of the very few stylists to be certified with all three voluntary certification organizations?

Click here to find out why she thinks certification is so important.


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