How Long Does It Take to Become a Dog Groomer?

Love for dogs and want to be a groomer aren’t the only things involved in this career.

You need training and experience, as well as certifications even if it’s not yet a mandatory requirement.

Most of all, there are different steps you have to go through before becoming a professional dog groomer.

That’s why we put all information on this page so you won’t have to waste time scouring the internet.

Learning How to Become a Dog Groomer

cleaning a dog's coat

To be a dog groomer, you don’t need formal education.

So how will you know what you have to do when you enter a salon?

Through training and experience.

We suggest that you volunteer at animal shelters or intern at salons so you can learn how to:

  • Bathe, brush, and trim a dog’s coat
  • Clean ears properly without causing serious infection
  • And so much more

And if you choose to, you can enroll in a dog grooming program, in-person or online.

The Dog Grooming Program

A program course takes six months up to a year to complete.

During these classes, you’re taught the:

  • Basics of grooming
  • Ways on identifying issues and problems
  • Skills necessary to examine bodies or know breed standards

Later, you’ll do a training program to ensure your attentiveness to animal safety, health, and sanitation.

Remember that even a small cut from scissors can bring major consequences on these pretty creatures.

And if you choose not to enroll, you may take a first aid course.

In this way, you won’t be left helpless and clueless in case of an emergency.

Our advice for all aspiring groomers is to take courses offering internships.

After all, theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience are equally important.

In addition, attaining a dog grooming certification will serve as proof of your skills.

And with it, you can improve your job prospects and increase your pay grade.


Like the course, an apprenticeship also lasts up to one year.

In fact, many aspirants would rather choose to learn under an experienced groomer than enroll in a program.

Their mentor can walk them through everything step-by-step and on the spot.

We believe that this kind of education and training is equally significant to you.

It will allow you to receive valuable insights and information about this career, business, and clients.

However, it’s a bit difficult trying to find a mentor to apprentice to.

Not all grooming salons will want to educate you, while others may have many apprentices already.

If you’re lucky enough to find one, you won’t have to worry about employment as the salon will absorb you into their fold.

After all, they’ve already seen what you can do.

So your dog grooming career can start immediately once you finish the apprenticeship.

Practicing Dog Grooming and Volunteering

petting a dog

Practicing and volunteering are very important to your success.

We recommend that you take every chance to do this as this will help you in the long run.

It’s because you’ll get better at handling dogs as you practice more and more.

Who knows, you might get employed by companies like PetSmart once you get hands-on experience with different breeds of dogs.

These companies would welcome a well-educated and highly-skilled person.

Someone who:

  • Pays extreme attention to animal safety
  • Treats all dogs with respect and compassion

Starting A Business in Dog Grooming

If you so choose, you can open and manage your own business.

It may be a salon or independent work.

To start, you’ll have to obtain a business license.

It usually takes a couple of weeks to months to get approved, so be patient.

You also need to possess:

  • Skills in accounting and administration
  • Knowledge or understanding of the law

If you’re not business savvy, don’t worry.

There are dog grooming courses with business classes available at schools.

Evaluating Yourself

Last but not least, you should always evaluate yourself, as well as your services and prices.

You can determine if you’ve achieved career success by asking these questions:

  • Do you like your job?
  • Are you able to make your clients happy with the services you provide?
  • Do you have regular clients?
  • Are dogs relaxed and calm with you?
  • Are you satisfied with your salary? Will you consider working full-time?

If all your answers are yes-es, then that’s proof that you are successful.

The kind of groomer who always upgrades their skills and loves their job.


Being a dog groomer takes time.

One year for formal education and one year for the apprenticeship.

Although knowledge is good, remember that skills and experience are what really matter.

Working with dogs requires you to be careful and patient to ensure you’re not hurting them during grooming.

If you want to learn more, read our library of dog grooming information here on our website.

Happy learning!

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