Tell us a little bit about yourself!
My name is Camille Torkornoo and I am 18 years old. I have a passion for animals – especially dogs. I own 3 standard poodles, two of which I show in UKC conformation, and use to practice my grooming on.
When did you know that grooming would become more than just a hobby for you?
I’ve always enjoyed grooming my own dogs. But I had never thought about making a career of it until after I decided I didn’t want to go to college or get a degree. I had been praying a lot about what I should do next in my life, and I realized that I could learn to groom dogs professionally.
I contacted multiple grooming shops (both local and commercial, like Petco), but I was only 17 at the time. They all required employees to be at least 18. That’s when I found out about QC Pet Studies and their Dog Grooming Course!
Although you groom all types of breeds, you specialize in Poodles. What is it about Poodles that you love so much?
My dad, actually! He fell in love with the breed before I did. When my family decided to get a poodle for me, I instantly fell in love with the breed, too. I love how intelligent they are. They have awesome personalities and a gentle nature.
They’re such great family dogs. I have 7 younger siblings, and would love to have lots of kids of my own in the future. My poodles have been such great dogs around all the kids. Not having hair stuck on all of the furniture is a huge plus, too!
You’re also a reputable Poodle breeder, but have gone on record stating that you do not support the breeding of “doodles”. For those who may not know the problematic history behind this popular designer dog, tell us a bit about why you do not breed doodles.
I have a love for all dogs, but I don’t support the breeding of “doodles” or other “designer” mixes. There are a few reasons for this. For starters, all purebred dogs have been bred for a specific purpose. They’ve been bred to a standard which has made them who they are for centuries. There is a breed of dog for every purpose, and breeders of these dogs have worked hard to preserve their breed and its heritage.
Standard poodles have been around for thousands of years, and have done every job imaginable. They were bred to retrieve waterfowl, and have been used over time in the circus and the military, as guide dogs and service dogs, and much more. They’ve even been used as sled dogs in the Iditarod!
Now, onto doodles. The main reason why people want doodles is because of their “non-shedding” coat. But there are many purebred dogs that have this desirable trait. Some people say they don’t like the poodle haircut, but don’t realize that you can cut a poodle to look like anything. If you don’t like the clean face, you can simply leave it furry.
Another main reason I don’t support doodle breeding is because reputable breeders have been working hard to eliminate and prevent breed-specific diseases and health issues. When you cross two or more breeds together, this increases the number of possible hereditary diseases and health issues that dog can come across in its life.
For example, let’s say that breed #1 is affected by health issues A, B, and C. Breed #2 is affected by health issues C, D, E, and F. The result is that the mixed dog that results from these two breeds will be affected by health issues A, B, C, D, E, and F.
By mixing multiple breeds, you’re increasing the number of diseases and health conditions the dog may be affected by and will need testing for in the future.
I could go over these reasons in more depth, but I think these points alone get my point across. Poodles and other purebred dogs already exist with the desirable traits. Reputable breeders are working hard to preserve and better the breed, and I would rather be a part of and support that. I encourage others to do the same!
Your Poodle, Moriah, has won a number of awards. Tell us a bit about her and your accomplishments together!
Moriah is my 2-year-old standard poodle. So far we’ve earned her Trick Dog Novice title and International Canine Ninja title. We’re currently working on her UKC Championship, and training to compete in agility and hunting retriever trials!
As part of your grooming services, do you offer competition grooming for your clients’ dogs? If not, is this a service you’d like to offer clients in the future?
As of now, I only offer pet grooming for my clients’ dogs. I actually haven’t thought much about offering competition grooming, but I might consider it in the future!
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Before and after pictures of Cecil’s 2nd groom with me. He’s such a good puppy, so calm and laid back on the grooming table. ❤️ . . . . . #doggrooming #goldendoodle #doodle #poodlemix #goldendoodlegrooming #doodlegrooming #doggroomingbeforeandafter #groomingbeforeandafter #beforeandaftergrooming #beforeandafterdoggroom #puppygrooming #doodlepuppy #goldendoodlepuppy #doggroomer #doggroomersofinstagram #aspiringgroomer #aspiringdoggroomer
Why did you decide to pursue your professional dog grooming training online, rather than in-person?
The main reason I decided to pursue professional dog grooming training through an online course, rather than in-person, was because I was still under 18 when I finished high school. I wasn’t old enough to enroll in an in-person grooming program, and I didn’t want to wait a whole year to start!
Ultimately, why did you choose to enroll with QC Pet Studies? What made QC stand out from other online grooming school?
QC Pet Studies was the first online grooming school I came across. To be honest, I had never heard of an online grooming school before that! As I researched the school, I liked it even more.
QC Pet Studies has a great rating with the Better Business Bureau, and was very affordable! I also love how they have a Student Forum, and how their support system and teacher interactions are more personal – just like any other online college course.
You’re currently on your third Unit of QC Pet Studies’ Dog Grooming Course. What’s the #1 best lesson you’ve learned so far?
So far, the #1 best lesson I’ve learned has to be the groomer’s safety unit. I think that handling dogs’ safely is the most important part of working with animals. That unit was very helpful, and I learned a lot from it!
You’re also enrolled in QC Pet Studies’ First Aid for Groomers Course. In your opinion, why should all professional groomers have First Aid training?
I think that it would be a wise decision for all groomers to have first aid training because it’s part of animal safety and good knowledge to have.
What has been the hardest grooming technique you’ve encountered in your career so far? Is there a particular technique or skill you’re learning to master right now?
Probably the scissor technique. Learning how to properly use different kinds of scissors in different ways, for different coat types, is what I’m currently working on mastering.
What advice would you give an aspiring groomer who wants to work with Poodles, but has never handled this breed before?
Use friends’ dogs, if they have poodles. Alternately, you can also contact local poodle breeders and ask if you can practice on their dogs!
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Happy National Black Dog Day! Here’s a before and after picture of Gil getting ready for our last show. . . . #nationalblackdogday #mountzionkennels #mountzionstandardpoodles #antiguaxscapetomountzion #poodle #blackpoodle #standardpoodle #blackstandardpoodle #ukcregistered #akcregistered #akcpoodle #ukcpoodle #showdog #poodleshowdog #beforeandafter #beforeandaftergrooming
How do you think QC Pet Studies’ Dog Grooming Course is preparing you for an even more successful career in the field? (I.e. is the tutor feedback useful? Are you learning new things that you didn’t know before? Etc.)
The tutors have given me great feedback, and the units pretty much cover everything I need to know and learn about grooming. The only part I need to do on my own is practice, and apply what I’ve learned on real dogs.
What’s on the horizon for you and your grooming business in 2021?
I’m hoping to finish my courses in 2021, and start advertising and taking on more clients. My long-term hopes and goals are to get a job at a grooming shop, so I can gain more hand’s on experience, and then eventually set up my own grooming business from home.