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Grooming Specialties

Grooming SpecialtiesNot every groomer is a generalist; that is, not all of them work on many (or most) breeds in the dog world. Although you will find generalist groomers in pet supply stores, they are typically groomers who are just making a start toward their own careers. In their capacity as generalists, they learn to bathe dogs with all different kinds of coats. Typically, they learn one general kind of "pet" trim, fluffing the coat to make the dog look clean and attractive to the average eye. A generalist will clean ears, trim nails and might add a bow or bandana to give your dog a "finished" look. These groomers provide adequate services for maintaining your pet dog in a cut that might be reminiscent of that typical of her breed. They are not groomers for people who want their dogs in more specific cuts or trims. For such services, you will need to contact a specialist.

As groomers develop more skills, they may choose to specialize. They might decide to select a few similar breeds to concentrate on, such as Australian shepherds, Rough Collies, and Shetland sheepdogs. They might select a small group of similar breeds, such as spaniels, instead of focusing on their efforts on the entire sporting group of dogs. Or they might decide to work with all of the breeds in a particular group, such as the entire toy group from Affenpinscher to Yorkshire terrier. Some groomers divide their services between pet dogs and those being groomed for shows. Others might provide their services to rehabilitate the appearances of dogs at shelters. There are many ways for a groomer to specialize in his or her business.

Specializing by Breed

Some people learn to groom because they own a breed that needs specialized care. They might decide to purchase a poodle to keep as a pet or to show a Golden retriever. Over time they take interest in similar breeds, such as Flat-coated retrievers or Nova Scotia Duck Tolling retrievers. Based on the skills that they have gathered through experience, they open a small business that focuses on with these breeds. Over time, as friends, relatives, neighbors, and referrals are bringing in their similar dogs for grooming. Before they know it, they start to specialize in all retrievers, with the exception of, perhaps the curly- or smooth-coated breeds. Eventually, such groomers might take interest in learning about the other dogs in the group. Specialization in breeds might also evolve in the other direction. The groomer might start a business specializing in a particular group of dogs and eventually find that one breed takes over his or her time.

Pet or Show

As stated earlier, many groomers with general skills concentrate their efforts on pet grooming. As they grow in experience and knowledge, however, they might find themselves learning about grooming for exhibition, often learning from the professional dog handlers who are subject matter experts in their field. These groomers may eventually become "master" groomers, who possess the ability to prepare dozens of breeds for their time in the show ring.


These groomers are similar to those who specialize in pet dog grooming. They frequently use one kind of clip for each kind of coat type or length. Their expertise lies in other areas, however; they might be more knowledgeable in grooming dogs who are frightened or aggressive, due to abuse or neglect or an expert in bathing dogs using various shampoos that treat various conditions. Groomers who specialize in rehabilitation may treat dogs that enter veterinary care, are impounded in a shelter, or are offered to a rescue. At times, groomers specializing in rehabilitation work one or two days a week, on call, or from their own homes. This kind of grooming can be emotionally rewarding, but it is not as lucrative as other forms of specialty grooming services.

Considering a Job in Dog Grooming?

Dog grooming might seem glamorous, especially when show dogs "hair breeds" form the bulk of the clients. The truth is that dog grooming is hard work. Not every dog cooperates, struggling even when they are just being placed on the grooming table. Sometimes dogs will passively resist, urinate or defecate on the groomer, or try to bite or scratch the groomer.

Worst of all, resistant dogs might actually succeed in biting or scratching the groomer.

Some dog groomers provide general services, usually to pet owners. However, some groomers decide to continue growing in responsibilities and skills, taking on dogs that are exhibited in conformation shows. Many kinds of specialty dog grooming services exist. The specialists might focus their efforts on certain breeds, but all grooming businesses are demanding on groomers, especially physically. If you decide that you wish to become a dog groomer, take the time to investigate the career further, to determine if it is really for you.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you are a business owner get listed at Best Dog Care Site, part of Localwin Network.
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