What Makes a Good Dog Groomer? (Solved & Explained!)

Being a good dog groomer goes far beyond a love for dogs. They must have passion for what they do while also being patient, compassionate, understanding and an excellent communicator. A good dog groomer will also have prime organizational skills and genuine honesty.

Of course, they should also understand any given dog breed while having a talent for keeping dogs calm. Whether you’re a dog groomer or a dog owner, knowing what makes a good groomer is essential to success and peace of mind.

Isn’t It Enough for a Dog Groomer to Love Dogs?

Unfortunately, it isn’t enough for a dog groomer to love dogs. While it is a major factor, it’s not the whole of the job. This is because some people may only love their dog(s) whereas other people may not be able to handle anything larger than a toy breed.

What Skills Will a Good Dog Groomer Have?

The skills a dog groomer has will heavily combine with their love of dogs. These will include being detail oriented with vast amounts of self-discipline. This means they’ll not only be reliable but they’ll also remember the specific care of every dog they groom.

They will be able to motivate themselves, show up for appointments on time and continually update their knowledge on the latest grooming techniques. This also means a good groomer will have organizational skills and love to learn. They are not only marketing savvy but they also take pride in doing an excellent job.

What Kinds of Natural Qualities and Personality Traits Make a Good Dog Groomer?

The best dog groomers are passionate about what they do and want to make dogs look good. While it’s true they have to make money, they will make a genuine effort to understand various dogs. This includes temperament, coat texture/length and other health conditions.

Also, good dog groomers will be compassionate and patient with both the dog and its owner. They will know how to quell client concerns and have an almost dog-whisperer-like approach to their furry clients. This will be evident in how comfortable the dog is with the groomer. If the dog is calm and happy, the groomer is good.

Plus, any dog groomer worth their salt will be honest and not have any reservations about asking questions like poop, hair mats, fleas, skin irritations, allergies and etc. They know how to communicate in exact terms and speak their thoughts clearly.

What Kind of Training & Experience Should a Good Dog Groomer Have?

A good dog groomer will have either a certificate or a diploma from a credible institution or school. While there are some out there are great without any education, they’ve been grooming for decades and know all the tricks of the trade.

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Ideally, a dog groomer should have some education with at least six months of experience under their belt. However, it’s not entirely outside the realm of possibility for there to be a trade off depending on the training versus the experience.

For instance, if a dog groomer never went to school but has been grooming for 30 years, then they are more than likely excellent. Likewise, if someone only has three months of experience but they went to a topnotch dog grooming school, they will have a solid grasp on what they’re doing.

Are There Any Skills, Qualities or Training a Good Dog Groomer Has but Isn’t Necessary?

The list below contains a few bonus features that a good dog groomer could have. But it’s important to note these are not the end-all-be-all of what makes a good dog groomer:

  • Physical Fitness: Being in shape shows they can handle any size or strength of dog
  • Portfolio: Having some photos of their work will show their style and technique with a demonstration of how much they love their job.
  • Website: While it’s difficult to run any business without a website in this day-in-age, it’s not actually necessary.
  • Social Media Pages: Like having a website, while convenient, is not necessary. Actually, a dog groomer’s social media activity can be a sign for potential clients. A busy groomer won’t have the time to post all day long. So, if they’re posting a lot, they definitely don’t have a huge client base.

What Questions Should an Owner Ask a Potential Dog Groomer?

  • Ask for a Facility Viewing: Whether it’s a brick-and-mortar establishment or a mobile van, check out its hygiene, cleanliness, odors, ventilation and products. This also means observing the sturdiness of the tables, washing tubs and workstation setup.
  • Ask for a Price List of Services: Even if they have a website and/or social media page listing their services, they should also have a price list at the facility. This might be a display sign or a piece of paper.
  • Inquire about Housing: Your dog will more than likely have to wait between grooming steps. This means their safety outside of your care will be a topmost concern. It should have its own crate that is clean and has good ventilation. It should also be hygienic and in view of salon staff.
  • Ask about Experience with Breeds: It’s imperative that your groomer understand your dog’s particular breed as well as others. This means they’ll have knowledge about the dog’s general temperament and behavior, which is invaluable for mixed breeds.
  • Ask about Training: While their website may list their certifications and diplomas, ask about the groomer’s training. A sign of a good dog groomer is not just that they went to school but they continue their training.
  • Inquire about First Aid: Always ensure your groomer has a first aid kit. They should have it well-stocked and sitting in plain view. This will include bandages, cotton gauze, compresses, ointment and etc.
  • Ask about Insurance: A good groomer will have liability insurance to cover medical expenses should it happen that the dog incurs an injury.
  • Inquire about Emergency Policies: See what the policies are in case of tumultuous weather, disaster or medical urgency.