What Are the Different Types of Dog Grooming Certification?

Andrew Kirmayer

With most careers, jobs are often more lucrative personally and financially with a certification. Dog grooming certification is typically available from several different outlets, and can be attained through in-house as well as online classes. Both certifications and diploma programs are usually sufficient, but the more education one has, generally the more capable he or she is of running a business. Professional organizations at the regional or local level can offer certifications, which usually require the completion of coursework and passing of one or more exams. A series of workshops can also culminate in an exam to attain a dog grooming certification.

Electronic clippers may be used to trim a dog's fur.
Electronic clippers may be used to trim a dog's fur.

Online programs can offer certification courses that sometimes last for 12 weeks or more. This course of study is often enough to qualify someone to work at a grooming shop. While attending a school in person usually means access to equipment and dogs, most online programs require students to already have a dog and tools to groom with. Some of these do combine the online study portion with instruction by a professional groomer. One Internet-based program provides the necessary tools while a multi-stage curriculum covers the instruments used, such as clippers and combs, as well as safety, techniques, and how to handle different breeds.

A dog groomer may clip a dog's nails.
A dog groomer may clip a dog's nails.

Other types of dog grooming certification consist of continuing education courses. These are sometimes an extension to grooming study programs, while comprehensive exams are usually the path to certification once the coursework is completed. Some continuing education programs cover up-to-date information, and others can teach how to understand the behavior, nutrition, and hygiene of dogs for people who want to participate in dog walking, for example.

A dog being washed.
A dog being washed.

Apprenticeship programs are often helpful for finding immediate work at a grooming shop while learning the trade. Such programs can lead to permanent work and provide the experience necessary to acquire a dog grooming certification. Another option is to attend a conventional school, which often requires traveling some distance. The expense, which is often as high as $6,000 US Dollars (USD) as of 2011, can be worth the skills and knowledge learned.

A dog grooming certification can provide just enough skill to work at a shop. More extensive programs, however, can train someone how to own his or her own business. At this level, it is typically necessary to not only learn how to groom dogs, but to also handle bookkeeping, promote the business, and manage employees during day-to-day activities.

An apprenticeship might lead to a dog grooming certification.
An apprenticeship might lead to a dog grooming certification.

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