3 Must-Have Dog Groomer Skills

See also: Choosing and Changing Jobs

It’s no secret that more people are adding dogs as members of their families. In fact, dog owners have become even more invested in giving their pets an overall happier and healthier life.

Research by Fortune Business Insights, for instance, valued the global pet grooming and accessories market at $68.31 billion in 2022. It also projects a growth to $72.50 billion in 2023.

While some contribute to this growth through regular pet grooming at home, a majority choose to save time and energy by seeking professional dog grooming services. Consequently, dog grooming has evolved from being a domestic chore to a rewarding career.

Provided you have a passion for animals, a career in dog grooming can be fulfilling and heartwarming. The best part is you don’t require any formal education, and can easily learn through apprenticeship.

Interested in a career in dog grooming? Great! Here are three dog groomer skills you must have to succeed in the field.

1. Attention to Detail

As a dog groomer, you must ensure clients’ dogs are carefully well groomed from head to toe. You will work with a variety of breeds. Plus, every dog has a unique coat type, texture, and specific needs.

A skilled groomer must pay close attention to all these individual characteristics and ensure that each grooming session is tailored to a dog’s (and pet owner’s) specific requirements.

Whether it's selecting the right tools for the dog coat type or giving special attention to sensitive areas like ears and paws, an eye for detail is what sets professional groomers apart. This skill not only ensures the dog's aesthetic appearance but also secures its well-being throughout and following the grooming procedure, emphasizing the importance of using an appropriate grooming kit.

Not all dogs enjoy being groomed, and an attentive dog groomer will easily see this. You will be able to take notice of the dog’s body language and adjust your approach accordingly. For instance, say you notice a dog is anxious you would need to gently and calmly handle the dog using positive reinforcement. Additionally, if you’re an attentive dog groomer, you can easily identify critical symptoms of infections, skin conditions, or injury. This will enable you to provide the required special animal care and products while grooming. You can even go beyond your call of duty and provide the perfect suggestions to the pet owner, helping manage the dog’s condition before it worsens.

Though this only affects your role as a dog groomer indirectly, to succeed in this role, you will need to pay attention to dog grooming trends and styles. This way, you can always fulfil your client’s grooming needs, which will result in a successful grooming business.

2. Ability to Work in Stressful Situations

As a pet groomer, you will be dealing with nervous, stressed, excited, and angry dogs, and this may create a stressful working environment. A good pet groomer can remain calm in these conditions. Getting impatient with agitated dogs will only exacerbate the situation. If you can’t work in a stressful situation, you won’t be able to think on your feet when your client’s dog suddenly takes a swipe at you.

In other words, the inability to work in stressful situations won’t only lead to poor grooming it may even lead to someone getting hurt.

Though these reactions from dogs may seem random, you can anticipate them by understanding dogs' behavioral patterns, such as their reaction to a specific grooming procedure. Your attention to detail comes in handy here. Use it to your advantage so you’ll know when to pause or modify the grooming process to ensure safety and well-being.

It’s not always the dog that creates the stress in the environment. It can be its pet owner, too. Clients may have unreasonable demands and, as a pet groomer, you are required to deal with them without showing frustration or lashing out. After all, that’s the only way you can ensure client satisfaction. Client satisfaction will help you build and retain customers.

Finally, you may need to work long hours at the grooming salon to accommodate dog owners' schedules. Think of this as a must if you want to retain your clients. Of course, if the schedule doesn’t really work for you, you can always say no. Just make sure you don’t say no too often.

3. Physical Stamina

Pet groomers spend hours on their feet bending, lifting, and maneuvering dogs. These repetitive movements can easily take a toll on your body if you don’t have the right physical stamina. Stamina is essentially your staying power or enduring strength.

Some of the dogs will also be big and uncooperative and will require more effort to deal with. For instance, you’ll need to be strong enough to lift the dogs onto or off the grooming table, or into a tub to give them a bath.

A professional dog groomer’s physical stamina should be complemented with a smooth coordination of body movements. Remember, dogs rarely stay still for long. So, to offer quality grooming services, you need a perfect blend of finesse and physical strength that enables you to easily handle the dogs and use the grooming tools quickly.

To gain or retain your stamina, perform regular physical and self-care exercises.

In closing

If you’re an animal lover, then becoming a dog groomer can be a self-fulfilling career path. After all, you get to spend your day with different sizes and breeds of furry friends.

However, to be an experienced dog groomer there are three special skills you must have. You have to be detail-oriented, be able to handle and work in stressful situations, be calm and soothing and finally have the physical stamina required to give your four-legged clients “p”awesome customer service.

Once you master these dog grooming skills, your potential in the industry is endless. You can even venture into other animal-related careers like pet sitting, dog training, and even veterinary science. Unleash and harness your dog groomer skills now!

About the Author

Adrienne Schafner

Hello Fellow Animal Lovers! I'm Adrienne Schafner, the proud pack leader of Pet Control HQ and Pet & Livestock HQ. Growing up as a vet's daughter, my lifelong passion for animals was nurtured at a very young age. Assisting in my father's pet shop, I combined knowledge and love to create Pet Control HQ and Pet & Livestock HQ, providing top-notch care for your beloved animals.