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Dog Grooming Schools and Courses

Learn about dog grooming schools and courses, including how to choose the best program for you. Find information about curricula and course topics here.

What You Need to Know

Start your career as a professional dog groomer through traditional classroom study or online training programs. As a dog grooming student, you'll learn brush-out techniques, cutting skills, bathing, ear cleaning and nail trimming.

Programs Diploma from state-licensed schools or private businesses. Online study may be available.
Courses Basic combing, brushing, cutting and grooming; sanitation and sterilization; shop and business operations
Schools Some schools are official testing centers for the National Dog Groomers Association of America

What Types of Dog Grooming Programs Are Available to Me?

Dog grooming training is available from private grooming businesses, professional organizations, community colleges or state-licensed schools. Training typically takes the form of a diploma program, which may take 2-18 weeks to complete, though some might be a single course that takes 24 hours to complete. Grooming programs consist of academic instruction and hands-on opportunities that simulate working conditions.

Some schools and organizations offering dog grooming courses or programs include:

  • American Academy of Pet Grooming
  • Nash Academy of Animal Arts
  • Central College of Animal Studies
  • Cape Fear Community College
  • Surry Community College
  • The College of Davidson and Davie Counties
  • Kirkwood Community College

What Are Dog Grooming Programs Like?

Dog grooming studies typically combine classroom studies with hands-on experiences at on-site grooming salons. Some programs offer different levels of training for you to choose from, including grooming assistant, groomer or professional groomer. Professional groomer training may offer you an expanded curriculum if you want to own your own business; this includes emergency care for ill or injured pets and basic business classes.

Dog grooming training is also available in distance learning format. Coursework and tests are all completed via the Internet. A distance learning program may help you set up a work experience.

What Will I Learn?

Your curriculum will prepare you for all phases of grooming dogs (some programs may offer cat grooming training as well). Training may include courses in breed profiles, shop operations and client relations. Some common courses in a dog grooming program include:

  • Combing and brushing techniques
  • Cuts and grooming
  • Animal anatomy
  • Sanitation and sterilization
  • Pet first aid
  • Caring for equipment

How Do I Choose a School?

When selecting a school, you may want to consider the cost of equipment. Some schools supply you with the necessary equipment to learn dog grooming, such as scissors, clippers, dryers and brushes. Other schools may require you to purchase all of your own equipment. You may have the option to purchase your tools of the trade from your school either way.

You may want to find out whether your prospective school is an official testing center for the National Dog Groomers Association of America (NDGAA). You could earn NDGAA national certification by demonstrating your practical skills and earning passing scores on two exams: a written test and practical skills test. Test-takers need to show knowledge of individual dog breed groups.