This post continues our series of very interesting interviews with dog groomers working in the field. Fiona, from Fur Creations Dog Grooming, has kindly provided us with her insights into what it is like to work as a professional dog groomer. You can find details of Fiona’s mobile dog grooming salon at the end of this interview.
Interview with Fiona from Fur Creations
- I have a lot of readers who are thinking of becoming dog groomers. What qualifications & regulations do they need to have in Australia (South Australia) at the time of publication of this article?
There are currently no qualifications or regulations to becoming a dog groomer in SA. If you do however start your own business, you will need public liability insurance, as well as a registered business name and ABN.
- Is there a range of salary that they could reasonably expect in Australia (working for a salon/running their own business)?
Salaries based on a 38 hour week, vary from a basic wage in a salon $35,000 per year, to running your own business starting at approximately $50,000 before expenses and more if you work more :).
- Could you tell us about how you became a dog groomer? Did you do a course or take an apprenticeship or was it on-the-job training?
I learned all my dog grooming from on-the-job training. I was employed by a salon and trained over a period of 12 months full time. I feel this is the best way to learn as you experience all aspects of grooming, dog behaviour and the running of the business.
- How long did the course/training take?
It only took approximately 3 months to learn the grooming side of things, but dealing with difficult dogs and difficult situations took a little longer, only because it’s not something you have to deal with every day.
- Do you have any recommendations for others wanting to train to be a dog groomer?
This way of training has made me a great groomer, and organised business owner. I would recommend anyone who wants a business in grooming to learn as much as you can before starting out on your own. It’s the small things that can make or break a business.
- Many readers ask about the pros and cons of working as a dog groomer. Do you have any advice for them on this point?
Pros of being a dog groomer
- You get to work with dogs all day. 🙂
- You can start your own business without much layout.
- Once you have your own business, the pros are endless.
- Cons of being a dog groomer
- Can be tough physically, especially on the back and wrists.
- In the hot weather fur can get stuck in the pores of your skin, which can be painful.
- Having your own business means work never ends.
- You mention on your site that you do grooming and styling of all types of dogs, including specialty breeds. We have a lot of readers looking for help with grooming Poodles & Cockapoos. Do you have any advice on mastering grooming of specialty breeds?
Working on specialty breeds is fun, it sometimes requires more work but the end result is very satisfying. The advice I have when working on specialty breeds is:
- Take your time.
- Always ensure the preclip is almost perfect, this will help with attention to detail on the final clip.
- When doing poodle feet & face, try to get them as perfect as possible on the preclip, this will prevent clipper rash when doing the final clip, if the feet or face are slightly damp.
- It is very important to have the fur completely dry, especially curly fur. If you don’t, your final clip will not be even. Also, once the fur is dry, brush the fur up. This will ensure a smooth even clip.
- Are there any other tips you have for want-to-be dog groomers and/or for dog owners doing their own grooming?
I guess the only tips I have are:
- Love the dogs,
- Remember they are animals not humans,
- Stay focused,
- Be passionate,
- Enjoy yourself,
- Never rush and
- Be happy doing what you do!
Thanks so much Fiona for taking the time to provide this very interesting interview!! This is the kind of information that really helps want-to-be groomers.