Personal Experiences as a Dog Groomer
A lot of people think I have an easy pet job in clipping dogs. Well, yeah, it's kind of easy. But it's not the easiest animal job when you think about everything I have to do and what I have to deal with! You see besides cutting a dog's fur, I do also have to trim their nails, make sure they are nice and neat and have to deal with the constant smell and doggy 'deposits' that I sometimes have to find while dog sitting!
I do also get bitten from time to time from a fiercely independent canine friend, a doberman, there is the noise, the smell and the confusion in trying to actually get the dogs to stay and heal while you do the pet care service! So for every 'easy' moment there are several hard ones as well! But does that mean I don't like my job as a dog sitter? Far from it! I love my job and it is a great passion of mine for working with dogs and care for them. I have always having found that I have a passion for them since I was young! Which is probably where I should start off and tell you how I got involved in dog grooming, because it really isn't as easy as you may think.
I actually started off wanting to be a hairdresser after my dad ran a local barber shop since I was little. Everyone from all around the neighbourhood used to always come to Theo's hair and get what he called 'the greatest snip this side of the pond'. It was fun to meet and greet all the different people who would come in for a haircut and I used to always watch my dad have some very interesting conversations with all types of people (he one time spoke for an hour about dental floss, seriously!).
I would help around my dads shop when I was younger, cleaning the floor, bringing out drinks and helping out the customers. It was great fun! And when I was old enough my dad would teach me some basics of haircutting and I soon found a bit of a passion for it! When I had finished Australian high school I went for TAFE course and did my studies in hairdressing before working full time at my dad's salon. But one afternoon I was coming home fro a shopping trip with my friends when I stumbled across a doggy grooming parlour and watched in awe. I saw this woman cutting a dog's fur and having a great time! I thought to myself as soon I saw this that this is what I wanted to do: I wanted to cut dog's hair instead of people's hair!
So after telling my dad what I wanted to do, I soon worked out what I needed to do in order to become properly trained and qualified and it was back to TAFE Australia. I went to do an animal care course in dog grooming. It was pretty simple as I already had the work experience in cutting peoples hair so the basics were there, and after gaining my certificate I decided to start up my own dog grooming business and attract customers in myself! It was a bit of a hard task to do at first as there were already several established businesses in my area, but after some good publicity from my dad in his shop and word of mouth, I soon started to get some customers!
Starting out I was essentially a 'mobile dog groomer' and would go to the clients, rather than them come to me! After a year or so I managed to get myself a small place to work out from (only two streets away from my dad's salon!) and I haven't looked back since! I had non-stop pet jobs where dog owners would come to me for grooming their pet. I soon had to get used to my customers not talking to me though whenever I cut their hair! That was a little bit strange at first but after getting used to it there really was no problem!
I certainly was glad to have switched over to grooming dogs instead of people because it really is something that I have become so passionate about and am happy to go into work everyday knowing I will leave with a smile on my face! As I said before I absolutely love work with animals who are social as dogs so working with them all the time is just amazing! The fact too that I also get to keep cutting hair is also great, as I do really love doing that and getting the chance to work with so many different types of 'customers' everyday. I still do cut people's hair from time to time, and my friends would hate me if I all of a sudden refused to cut their hair! But it still is something a little bit different that my friends seem to respect me for and it's just great fun!
So this is the part now where I have to recommend the profession of dog grooming to you, and well honestly I can say that you really should consider it. You should ask yourself how much you love dogs, and how much you are willing to do in order to actually cut hair and do it as a profession because as I said at the start it really isn't as easy as you may think it is!
It's something that you do really need to be committed to and I would probably recommend doing what I did and doing both a course from an University in Australia in pet grooming to be a professional pet sitter as well as hairdressing because it can then give you the chance to do two different things and be qualified for both which is always convenient should you wish to have a break from one profession in order to go back to the other.
Students who wish to study abroad in Australia, can choose an appropriate course from a college in Australia. They can also study travel and work in Australia, take part in part time jobs for animals and do a comprehensive internship on pet grooming.
It also allows you to have a lot of experience that can look great on your CV should you prefer to work for an established business rather than start your own. That's another thing that I love about my job too, is the fact that I am my own boss and nobody can take that away from me, and that is what you have the potential to become as well; your own boss and I can assure you it's a fantastic feeling!
Get out there right now and do your job search in Australia and find out what is available in your local area and if you really are stuck then why not call into your nearest dog grooming business and ask some questions to them about the profession? It worked for me when I was a little bit stuck and they were able to provide me with all sorts of information that helped steer me on the path that I am on today.
You never know what you will find out and you may be all the better off for it when you realise in a few years how great your job is! So give it a go, try it out and you will be a happy little dog groomer for it!