To become a successful dog groomer, gaining experience and knowledge is essential. One of the most important cornerstones for your future is to choose a good internship. For many students, an internship is seen merely as a necessary step to get their diploma, but it is much more than that! Doing an internship is not only necessary to complete your education successfully; it also gives you a good view on actual practice and in some cases, it can lead to a job! Below you can read how to choose an internship and why this form of guidance is so important.
The importance of a good internship
A large proportion of dog grooming students indicate that they have no or insufficient idea of their professional identity and qualities. When you have completed an internship, you will get a better understanding of your own abilities, interests and of what gives you energy and satisfaction. An internship also allows you to put your acquired knowledge into practice. After the practical lessons and after you've had your nose in a lot of books, it's time to get to work!
The moment has come to create your own grooming identity and take your skills to the next level. An apprenticeship is all about exploring and getting used to a specific environment and way of working. In the beginning it is uncomfortable, stressful but most of all exciting! You will be entering a whole new world, discovering the professional life of a dog groomer and the day-to-day goings-on. As a trainee you will form an important link in the company where you will be working, and you will learn to participate on a work floor. This way, you can find out if you are cut out for the job of dog groomer and work on your capabilities and strengths. At a good traineeship place, you will learn about how a company works, about the most efficient way to work, how to build up your work pace, which breeds you like in particular, how to groom them well and much more! You will learn different working methods, routines and details that can make a big difference. By taking the time to choose a good work placement, you are laying the foundation for your future. But where to look for an internship?
Be as flexible as possible towards your internship placement and commit yourself. You will not find a 9-to-5 job in this sector. Don't be blinded by the commuting distance either. Often, an internship in your neighbourhood is a pipe dream. Understandably, you would like a location as close to your home as possible, but sometimes it is better to be prepared to travel a bit longer to find a good internship. Experience shows that people are usually not keen on training local students who may go on to become their competitors later. Moreover, it is in your best interest to choose the best possible place, even if it is at a greater distance from your home. After all, your internship also determines your later career.
Unsure whether dog grooming is your calling? Then you will certainly benefit from a “sniff internship”. This constitutes the first step and mainly involves sniffing around and observing. Explore the industry. Visit different dog grooming salons, look and observe. By experiencing different situations, you can better judge whether the profession of dog grooming is for you or not. People often have a romantic image of the job. They sometimes think it is glamorous, when in reality it is far from being so. That it is a fantastic, varied job in which you can fully develop yourself is certain, but the work is also physically demanding and is often underestimated and undervalued. Ask a grooming salon if you can work there for a day. If you do this at a few places, you will get a better idea of the sector and you will be able to make a better assessment. This is also important for your actual internship. By visiting and observing at several places, you will have a better chance to choose a pleasant and for you good working place. Do you choose a large grooming salon, or do you want to keep it more relaxed and choose an internship where the manager is still busy developing his or her business? Do you prefer a big team or a smaller one? Find out what suits you best.
What you can also do is follow breeders who go to shows. Especially if a specific breed of dog has stolen your heart, this can be interesting. Are you fond of poodles, for example? Then it's a good idea to look for a breeder who does shows with this very intelligent breed. Breeders are often short of hands at dog shows and can really use your help. By working together with them, they will get assistance, and you will learn. A win-win situation!
Time for action
Have you found a good internship, and does it click with your supervisor? Well done! This is of great importance for succeeding in your training and will determine your success as a dog groomer. After observing, it is time to roll up your sleeves. During your traineeship, you will learn various techniques that you will later be able to apply yourself. You get the chance to discover how your knowledge and skills translate to the shop floor. At the end of your internship, you will have gained demonstrable work experience and be ready to start as a dog groomer yourself. It is crucial that you are motivated and eager to learn during your internship, because it will help develop your skills and is an important basis for a positive final evaluation. And who knows, maybe there will be a future collaboration with your place of training. Maybe you can build a great future together?
After graduating or starting your own business, it really kicks off! Many groomers tend to get stuck in their routine and do not update their knowledge anymore. The message is to keep learning and to closely follow the evolution in the sector. If you want to be and remain successful as a dog groomer, it is vital to continue investing in knowledge and in the right products and techniques. The dog grooming business is constantly evolving and changing. By staying up-to-date and challenging yourself, you will have a better chance at success. After all, as a good dog groomer, you are never done learning.
Have you seen a certain scissoring style? Then the answer is practice, practice and practice. Or as the saying goes: practice makes perfect! Only after much practice and repeated scissoring, you will get the hang of it. To do this easily and safely, a Model Dog is ideal. The unique fur can be brushed, combed and scissored just like a real dog! It is always ready and prepared for you to do the next exercise. After you're done, just pull off the coat and you can start again.
To conclude, we would like to say the following: it is okay to make mistakes on your traineeship! Learning also means making occasional mistakes and learning from them. Grooming dogs is also a question of courage. Do not be afraid to make mistakes on your internship. Of course, you must have some sense of responsibility. After all, you are working with someone else's dog. Making a mistake can also have consequences for your self-confidence but know that it is ok to make mistakes sometimes. However, make sure you have enough background knowledge before you start something you do not know yet and ask for support. Your internship supervisor is there to guide you and help you on your way! Transgroom is also happy to help you with this. You can always come to us with all your questions and doubts. See your internship as an opportunity to express your creativity and develop your own identity. We wish you success and above all lots of fun!
Need grooming inspiration? Be sure to check out our YouTube channel, Transgroom TV, visit our website and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.