So, you’re ready to turn your dream into a reality and earn your professional grooming certification. Congratulations are in order! You’ve chosen to embark on an exciting and unbelievably rewarding path. Yes, it will require hard work, time, and dedication. But we know you’re more than willing to give it your all!
Now, the next step is deciding which online dog grooming school you wish to get your education from. While you may be eager to get things started ASAP, we urge you not to jump the gun on this decision! There are plenty of legitimate, accredited institutions out there… But there are also even more frauds, whose only goal is to take your hard-earned money.
Without proper research, you could fall victim to a scam “school”. Therefore, it’s important to know which red flags to watch out for. Below are 6 shady signs that an online dog grooming school isn’t the real deal!
1. Their accreditation status is questionable (or non-existent)
Any authentic online dog grooming school worth its salt is going to be properly accredited – full stop.
To be accredited means that the institution is officially recognized by organizations for higher education. It provides a promise that the school follows a strict, ethical set of rules by which it operates. If an online dog grooming school is accredited, it’s like a stamp of approval to let you know it can be trusted.
On the other hand, not having this formal accreditation tells you the exact opposite. When researching an online dog grooming school, check its website to see if any accreditation is listed. If it isn’t, there’s your first warning. Legitimate schools are proud to share their legitimacy. Fake schools will do everything they can to hide it.
2. Be mindful of their reviews
Real schools have real students and graduates. These people will be encouraged to leave a review of their experience, or will choose to do so of their own accord. It’s difficult to find a legitimate online school that doesn’t have at least some reviews!
Here are 2 of the most common red flags to watch out for when checking out any online school’s reviews…
This one’s fairly obvious. On the off chance that the school is on the level, it still doesn’t mean that it’s a good choice. If there are reviews, and they are overwhelmingly negative, avoid this school! It obviously doesn’t have a very promising reputation.
You know how sometimes you can just tell that all of the reviews for a business are made up? It’s fairly common practice for scammers to fake their own reviews, in an attempt to make their business look genuine.
Unfortunately, they can sometimes be extremely convincing – which can make it tricky for you to be able to spot the fakes. Luckily, there are red flags you can look out for here, too. Here are some examples:
- Certain words/phrases are repeated throughout more than one review
- They all have terrible grammar and/or punctuation
- Every review is short, and none go into real detail
- Every review is overly positive, and none provide any sort of critique
PRO TIP: Real students of the school will leave reviews on Google, Facebook, or other online forums outside of the school’s control. Some “schools” will post student reviews directly on their website, but take these with a grain of salt. They could easily be written by the school’s staff! Honest student reviews will also be found on other platforms.
3. You can’t contact anyone
Does their website provide any sort of Customer Support? Do they have an email you can write to, or a phone number you can call? Does anyone actually reply?
Taking it one step further: does this school have any social media pages? Do they have any online presence at all, beyond their website?
If the answer to any of these questions is NO, move onto a different online dog grooming school. Real online schools won’t make you jump through hoops just to speak with a living, breathing human being. If getting into contact with them is near impossible, it’s because they’re trying to hide something.
4. There’s no actual hands-on training
This one’s pretty straight-forward. How can you possibly learn to become an expert dog groomer if your education never requires you to groom a dog? Some things can be taught entirely through books and videos. Dog grooming is not one of them.
As such, authentic grooming courses will always ensure to incorporate real-world training into their curriculum. If you’re looking into an institute that specifically says there’s no hands-on grooming required, beware. This is a scam.
5. You can simply buy your certification
If an online dog grooming school is offering you a certification in exchange for something in return, such as a review, turn tail and run!
Likewise, be on the lookout for “schools” who will sell you your groomer certification for a standard lump sum of money, to be paid upfront – and without any schoolwork to be completed whatsoever.
Real talk: you will never be able to become a professional dog groomer this way. If you can purchase a certification without actually earning it, it’s not a real certification. You certainly won’t be doing yourself any favors, either!
6. It seems too good to be true
As the old saying goes: if it seems too good to be true, chances are it probably is.
Whether the schooling is done online or in-person, you’ve got to be realistic. Proper education requires hard work, time – and yes, some sort of financial investment. Any “school” that tells you otherwise is trying to sell you a big bag of BS.
When researching into an online dog grooming school, here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Are they promising an unrealistically short amount for you to earn your certification?
- Is the curriculum ridiculously easy?
- Is there very little schoolwork actually involved?
- Is the tuition surprisingly low, compared to every other grooming school you’ve seen?
These are ALL huge red flags to avoid! If any online dog grooming school ticks off these boxes, it’s likely just a diploma mill in disguise. In other words? It, too, is a big, fat scam.
When researching into online dog grooming schools, the one thing we recommend above all else is to trust your instinct. If something doesn’t feel right, it’s likely because it isn’t. Follow your judgment, as well as your heart.
In the end, you’ll know when you’ve found the school that’s perfect for YOU! 😊