Continuing education is a must for the successful pet groomer/stylist. Some continuing education opportunities are almost effortless. Other opportunities will take a vested interests in, time, money AND effort.
Trade journals abound. Many are available in the print version. Currently, many are offered in digital versions too.
With the onset of the internet – there are plenty of ways to research breeds and grooming techniques. Google, Facebook, grooming forums, YouTube and websites will lead you down an endless quest of knowledge. www.Learn2GroomDogs is a great example of very talented stylists sharing their knowledge. Word of Warning: The internet is a fabulous research tool but use good judgment. Be aware of the caliber of the information you are receiving. Anyone can post on the internet – regardless of their true qualifications.
Trade shows are held across the country. As professionals, you can step through the doors and be immersed in all the latest products, tools, educational classes. Plus, many have grooming competitions. This is where you can get up-close to watch top stylist groom their way to wins and placements. If you have access to high-speed Internet, many of these shows now stream live as the event takes place. Even if you can’t attend the show you can still see the grooming competitions!
Many award-winning pet stylists host small private clinics, offer personal coaching, and/or have educational DVDs. This form of training will show you the finer points of grooming. You also have easy access to webinars and streaming dog grooming videos taught by award-winning stylists with a few simple clicks of a mouse.
Voluntary certification testing puts your grooming to the test. Currently, there are three organizations in the United States. All of them have educational programs. Each organization offers written examinations combined with rigorous practical skills testing. The common goal of each certification programs is to assess your grooming skills plus your overall knowledge of the pet grooming profession. The three organizations are;
- National Dog Groomers Association of America
- International Professional Pet Groomers Association
- International Society of Canine Cosmetologists
Attending dog shows is another fabulous way to gather great information. Watching dog shows allows you to firmly etched in your mind of what a good specimen of any breed should be. The better you understand what a good specimen looks like, the better you’re going to be able to work on your pet clients.