If the prospect of cajoling your pooch into the tub again causes you pain just thinking about it, maybe it’s time to find a good dog groomer. This is as important as finding the right hairstylist. While we all want our canine companions to look and smell their best, what is most important is their safety and happiness.
While groomers do not require a license, groomers should attend a recognized grooming school and spend months training. Since there are no regulations, it is up to each groomer to determine how much time they invest to become a knowledgeable and skilled professional, before they start working with dogs at a grooming spa.
Completing an internship is not a prerequisite, however those who are serious about a grooming career usually take on a temporary internship to get valuable experience, hands-on training.
Most conscientious spa owners will initiate newbie groomers by having them bathe dogs for at least a year before they handle clippers. During this time, they will learn the fundamentals, including proper bathing techniques, ear cleaning, nail clipping and correct brushing specific to individual breeds.
Ask if your groomer a member of a recognized organization and ask for client references
You can ask your groomer if they are a member of the National Groomer Association of Canada, or the Canadian Professional Pet Stylists, the only Federally registered, not for profit certification association for dog groomers in Canada. Some groomers may be members of the Ontario Dog Groomers Association, which offers access to events and competitions, as well as newsletters that include information about current trends in styling, safety, health and other issues.
Membership in provincial or federal organizations is not mandatory for professional grooming practitioners. Groomer credentials are often issued by private schools and through courses. There are no professional or technical diplomas directly linked with the occupation. Anita Samadian, Dogtopia’s Regional Developer for Eastern Canada, said, “Most important, is the groomer’s experience, best practices and reputation. Make sure to ask for client references and, like your dog, follow your instincts when deciding who will bathe, brush, trim and coif the coat of your precious pup.”