Securing a steady flow of dog grooming jobs is tough if you’re a beginner in the industry. As with every other job in existence, you’ll need an impressive resume if you want to become a grooming hot-shot in your local industry. While it’s entirely possible for you to become Lady Gaga’s private dog groomer right out of the gate, it’s more likely that you’ll need to build your resume steadily until you land your dream job.

So how do you build the perfect dog grooming portfolio? Read on to find out!

Work with different breeds of dogs

Let’s face it: being a one-trick pony won’t get you very far in the industry. It’s great to be specialized, but showing potential clients you can handle a variety of dog breeds is even better. Especially if you’re located in a large, urban area, you’ll encounter a wide range of different breeds. In a city, there will be more competition. The last thing you need is to turn away potential clients because you’re not able to perform the cuts their dogs need!

If you are having trouble finding dogs from different breeds to practice on, do some more training or volunteer under an experienced groomer. A combination of both will provide you with more practice to master your skills. You’ll walk away confident in delivering the best service to your paying clients!

groom a variety of dog breeds


Familiarizing yourself with the latest dog grooming trends gives you a leg up on the competition. You’ll draw in potential clients who are looking for stylish cuts groomers in your area may not offer. You might even be perceived as a hot commodity if you’re good at what you do.

The key is to ensure that you don’t become too wrapped up in just keeping up with trends. Some may turn out to be just passing fads! In these cases, it won’t be worth spending hours honing a particular skill just for the fad to go out of style. When investing your time and money into trends, don’t neglect your traditional grooming techniques! Owners prefer to find a single groomer or salon that’s a one-stop-shop for all their pet grooming needs.

Adding more services

It’s always exciting to introduce new services that shake things up a little. But are you adding services dog owners actually want? Your customers may feel overwhelmed or confused by all the obscure services that they don’t understand. Make sure that potential clients find it easy to secure a grooming appointment with you. Keep things simple!

As we’ve discussed in our packaging your dog grooming services post, you’ll want to create appealing combinations! Does it make sense to include a hair tattoo service when putting together a basic bathing package? Be strategic in defining your services. Bundle together services that fill in any missing gaps in what you currently offer. Do some research to find out what’s currently in demand in your area and go from there!

business owner in grooming industry

Becoming a business owner

While you can undoubtedly find success working under someone else, you can’t deny how impressive it is to be the owner of a successful dog grooming business!

The advantage of being your own boss is that you get to decide what opportunities to take. You have the flexibility to select the services you want to offer. You also get to set your own prices. If you’re established in your area, you can even choose which clients to take on!

Be careful, though. Don’t just start a business because you like the way it sounds on your resume! Starting up a business takes a lot of hard work, dedication, time, and resources. If you’re not up for the challenge, you can quickly fail. It can be incredibly difficult to pick yourself up again if you’ve invested everything into your first go. Becoming a business owner can be great, but making smart decisions is even more impressive!

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participate in dog grooming competitions

Enter into grooming competitions

Some people need a little competition to thrive. Especially if you fancy yourself as being an expert in creative grooming, you’ll find that creative grooming competitions can be rewarding financially. And, if you’re trying to be especially wacky with your submission? You may even go viral!

If you’re confident in your technical skills, why not test yourself against some of the best groomers in your region? You can generate great publicity for your business while also motivating yourself to improve your skills. Expert judges with a great eye for detail will examine your work under a magnifying glass. Make sure that you’re receptive to the judges’ feedback in developing your skills!

Build a Portfolio

If you’re into competitive grooming, you probably already have an impressive portfolio. If you don’t, then it’s time to put together some great shots of your work!  Building a portfolio may sound intimidating, but it’s actually all about showcasing your best grooming looks for potential clients.

Aim to create both an online and physical portfolio.  An online version is the best way to provide easy access to your work. However, a traditional portfolio will really come in handy when you want to show clients your work up close and personal. Building your portfolio is the perfect time to start thinking about your trademark style. So plan out and perfect your grooming technique and have some fun with the before and afters!

build a portfolio in professional grooming

Get Certified

This step is crucial to becoming a professional dog groomer. Programs vary from country to country and even state to state. But if you really want your clients to know that you take your profession (and by extension, the safety of their pet!) seriously, getting your pet grooming certification is necessary.

Programs teach you things that you need to know before you enter the field: basic techniques, grooming prep, essential equipment, and industry best practice. Not getting your pet grooming certification could translate to fewer clients who come knocking at your door. But becoming certified should be a fun and educational process. After all, you finally get to work with the creatures you love!

Any other tips and tricks you’d like to share about boosting your resume? Let us know!

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