Bathing, nail trimming, teeth cleaning, ear care and breed-specific grooming techniques are best learned by doing. For this reason, prospective animal groomers should enroll in programs that offer ample opportunity for hands-on experience. Some of the best grooming schools run their own pet salon where students can train under the supervision of an instructor. A school salon that services a large volume of both pure-bred animals and mixed breeds will generally offer students the best training for a career in animal grooming.
10 Animal Grooming Schools
Here are some schools with animal grooming programs, and basic information about each one to help you choose:
|Schools||Location||Program Length*||Tuition (total program cost)*|
|North Shore Community College||Danvers, MA||2-year associate's degree program with grooming concentration||$4,536 per year in-state, $10,104 per year out-of-state**|
|Cornerstone Dog Grooming Academy||Clyde, OH||600 clock hours||$6,198|
|Merryfield School of Pet Grooming, Inc.||Fort Lauderdale, FL||600 clock hours||$11,944|
|Rio Gran Grooming School||Hastings, MN||200 or 436 clock hours||$3,000 for short course, $7,000 for full course|
|Paragon School of Pet Grooming||Jenison, MI||240 or 600 clock hours||$3,125 for short course, $5,750 for full course|
|Texas Allbreed Grooming School||Arlington, TX||480 clock hours||$6,302|
|Golden Paws Pet Styling Academy||Miami, FL||300 clock hours||$5,780|
|The Dapper Dawg School of Professional Pet Grooming||Stoneham, MA||300 clock hours||N/A|
|Michigan School of K-9 Cosmetology||Lansing, MI||600 clock hours||N/A|
|Clip Shoppe School of Dog Grooming||Newfoundland, NJ||420 clock hours||$6,631|
Sources: *School/program websites, **National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Additional information to keep in mind when selecting a good grooming program include the following:
- Comprehensive programs should entail coursework covering animal anatomy, psychology and behavior.
- Students interested in running their own salon or mobile grooming service should look for programs offering small business courses.
- Some schools offer evening and weekend courses for students needing a flexible schedule.
- Students seeking greater education and job opportunities should earn an associate's degree in animal science with a grooming concentration; credits may transfer to a bachelor's degree.
Programs in Animal Grooming
Associate's degree programs or courses, typically involving several hundred hours of instruction, are common ways of learning how to be an animal groomer. Hands-on training is important as well, and good programs should offer plenty of opportunity for practical experience. There are animal grooming programs across the country, with options to suit a variety of career and lifestyle needs.