How to become a dog groomer: Your complete guide

Is your dream job to work with man’s best friend every day? Becoming a dog groomer could be the career for you. Here’s a complete guide on how to become a dog groomer.

How to train to become a dog groomer

There are several ways in which you can train to become a dog groomer. The first option is for you to complete a college course or online course in dog grooming.

There are many dog grooming courses out there, including this Dog Grooming QLS Level 3 course, which will equip you with all the knowledge you need to start your journey to becoming a groomer. If you choose an online course, we recommend that you also gain some hands-on experience before seeking employment or offering grooming services.

Another way you can get into dog grooming is by taking an apprenticeship. There are no entry requirements for these usually, however, it can help to have some GCSEs, including English and Maths.

Finally, there is the option to work as an assistant shadowing a qualified and experienced dog groomer. This option will allow you to learn on the job.

You could also get some experience through voluntary work in kennels. Dog Trust and Do-IT have more information on volunteering opportunities.

What qualifications do I need to become a dog groomer?

There are no specific qualifications you need to become a dog groomer, but a relevant course will give you the knowledge to stand out from the crowd. For example, a dog grooming level 3 course will see you explore topics like the anatomy of dogs, bathing and brushing skills, and much more.

Do dog groomers need a license?

Dog groomers don’t need a license to perform their job. Similarly, there are no licences needed for pet grooming establishments.

However, you will need public liability insurance as a groomer. This will protect you if a member of the public is accidentally injured, or if their property is damaged by you or the animals in your care.

You will also need Care, Custody, and Control which will protect you should an animal become ill, injured, or pass away whilst in your care.

How long does it take to become a dog groomer?

The length of time it takes to become a dog groomer depends on which path you decide to take in learning the trade.

If you decide to go down the route of studying an online course, you can gain the knowledge as quickly as you’re able to. Typically, these courses take between three and six months to complete, but you can complete it in a shorter timeframe if you wish.

The more time you put into your studies, the quicker you will learn how to professionally groom a dog.

Meanwhile, should you choose the dog grooming apprentice route, you’ll gain the skills needed in 12-18 months. You will work alongside experienced and professional groomers who will show you the ropes and walk you through every step of the grooming process.

How much do dog groomers earn?

According to National Careers Service, someone starting out in dog grooming can earn around £13,000 per year. Whereas the average salary for a more experienced dog groomer is £20,000 per year.

This is earnt working between 35 and 40 hours per week, working both weekdays and weekends depending on customer demand.

Five skills needed to become a dog groomer

Work well with your hands

You will be attending to dogs’ coats and making sure they look pristine by working with your hands, so the ability to use them well is a necessity.

Attention to detail

You’re going to need excellent attention to detail, ensuring you follow the owners’ instructions on what they want style-wise.


The ability to stay patient and calm in stressful situations is an important trait to have, as not all dogs are well-behaved.

You may find some dogs are tricky to work with, but staying patient and calm will allow you to do your job in the best possible way.

Customer service skills

It’s not just the dogs that you’ll be interacting with as a dog groomer. You’ll also be speaking to different people, so providing great customer service will go a long way towards them returning.

Work well under pressure

There will be pressure on you to fulfil what a customer wants and to take good care of their beloved pet. If you’re able to cope with this pressure, this will prove invaluable in your dog grooming career..

Have we inspired you to become a dog groomer? If you’re interested in gaining the knowledge you need and starting your journey toward becoming a dog groomer from the comfort of your own home we can help you. Whether you want to work in a salon or set up your own dog grooming business, our Dog Grooming QLS Level 3 course could be the perfect first step for you to take.