Student Features

QC Pet Studies Graduate Feature: Alesha Stanley

QC Pet Studies Graduate Feature, Alesha Stanley, Feature Image
QC Pet Studies graduate, Alesha Stanley

Name: Alesha Stanley

Location: Weyburn, Saskatchewan

QC Pet Studies Courses you’ve taken:

Your Instagram: @aleshas_grooms

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

I am 21 years old and have been working with dogs for over four years. I love sports and the outdoors. Also, I love to travel and go on adventures!

When did you first know that you wanted dog grooming to become more than just a hobby?

When I started working at Off the Leash. They’re a dog grooming salon/doggy daycare. I was hired to work in the daycare, but I quickly realized that I was interested in grooming!

What’s your favorite dog breed that you love to groom and why?

I love grooming Schnauzers! They are one of my favorite breeds in general, but they’re so fun to groom because they all have such different features.

Alesha Stanley Portfolio Image 1

You’re currently employed with Fido’s Place. How has your experience been so far working as a groomer within their salon?

It has been awesome! I love my job and all of the two-legged (and four-legged) customers!

Do you have any plans to open up your own dog grooming business one day?

Probably not, no. I live in a little town, so there probably wouldn’t be enough business.

Why did you decide to pursue your dog grooming training online, rather than in-person?

At the time, two of my coworkers has taken the online Dog Grooming Course with QC Pet Studies. They suggested it to me! It was also cheaper and I could do my training at my own pace.

Alesha Stanley Portfolio Image 2

Ultimately, why did you decide to enroll with QC Pet Studies? What made QC stand out when compared to other online dog grooming schools?

I only looked at one other school, which was a brick-and-mortar school in my hometown. However, it was very expensive! I chose QC Pet Studies because it was affordable. Plus, as I mentioned, I already knew people who had trained with QC.

You’ve also graduated from QC Pet Studies’ First Aid for Groomers Course. In your own experience, why is First Aid training critical for any professional groomer?

There are SO many things that can go wrong during a groom – many of which are beyond your control. It’s important to have some sort of First Aid training in order to keep calm and do the best thing for the dog in every situation.

What was your favorite assignment from QC Pet Studies’ Dog Grooming Course and why?

I loved the Schnauzer Terrier assignment! They are just such cool dogs and so much fun to groom.

Alesha Stanley Portfolio Image 3

What was the hardest grooming technique you’ve encountered in your career so far? Is there a particular technique or skill you’re leaning to master right now?

I find grooming giant breeds (such as Newfies) with compacted coats to be really hard. It’s so time-consuming and rough on your body! I’m still learning the most time-efficient way to groom heavy-coated breeds like that.

Do you have any advice for aspiring groomers who are struggling to find dogs to practice on for their QC Pet Studies assignments? Where should they be looking, and how should they assure the owners that they’re going to take proper care of their pet?

I would try to reach out to people online. Post in local pet groups on Facebook and ask if anyone would be willing to let you use their pet for your QC Pet Studies assignments. Afterwards, see if those people are willing to write you a reference letter. This way, you can provide that letter to other, potentially nervous owners and help ease their concerns.

How do you think that QC Pet Studies’ Dog Grooming Course has prepared you to work in the field?

Yes! One of the biggest things was that I found the tutor feedback is very useful. That being said, I do wish a more in-depth explanation was offered sometimes. For example, I struggled at first with mixed breed dogs. I felt there wasn’t as much information as I would have liked, in terms of average pet trims on mixed breeds. But beyond that, QC Pet Studies definitely got me going in the right direction, which has benefitted my career!

Alesha Stanley Portfolio Image 4

What’s on the horizon for you and your dog grooming career in 2021?

I plan on continuing my work at Fido’s Place and hopefully extending our clientele. Also, I hope to become quicker so I can groom more dogs!

Inspired by Alesha’s journey? Start your OWN and get certified in less than one year by enrolling with QC Pet Studies today!

QC Pet Studies Students and Grads in Action!

QC Pet Studies article, Apr 16 2021, Feature Image

Dream of becoming a professional dog groomer? QC Pet Studies can get you fully trained and certified while you gain hands-on experience and knowledge from the comfort of your own home!

Want proof that our comprehensive, self-paced programs will set you up for success in the grooming industry?

Just check out some of our student and graduate success stories below!

QC Pet Studies Student & Alumni Spotlights

Casey Bechard

Casey graduated from QC Pet Studies back in 2018. Since then, she’s worked her way up in the professional world and is now the Salon Manager at Off The Leash Pet Grooming. While Casey’s knowledge allows her to work with a wide variety of pooches, her specialty lies with curly-coated breeds.

Fun fact: Casey is also a bi-monthly contributor to QC’s blog, Sniffin’ Around! We invite you to check out her articles here.

A Glimpse Into Casey’s Portfolio

Images courtesy of Casey’s Instagram.

Melanie Roias

Melanie joined QC Pet Studies as an already-certified dog groomer. However, she was looking to advance her education and learn more about health and safety on the job. As such, she enrolled in QC’s First Aid for Groomers Course at the beginning of 2021 – and graduated within a month of submitting her first Unit!

As part of her promise to clients, Melanie guarantees “dog grooming services offered in a private, calm, one-on-one setting”. Her business, Bark and Bow Grooming, services customers in the Toronto and GTA areas.

A Glimpse Into Melanie’s Portfolio

Images courtesy of Melanie’s Instagram.

Alesha Stanley

Alesha began working with dogs in the year 2017 and, as she says, has “loved every minute of it”. After working at a boarding kennel/doggy daycare, she soon discovered that her real career interest was dog grooming.

Thus, Alesha became a QC Pet Studies student back in 2019. She first graduated from her First Aid for Groomers Course in June of that year. After that, she successfully became an International Dog Grooming Professional (IDGP) in April of 2020.

Since then, Alesha has found employment and success as a dog groomer for established salons. For the past year, she’s been working at Fido’s Place in Weyburn, Saskatchewan.

A Glimpse Into Alesha’s Portfolio

Images courtesy of Alesha’s Instagram.

Camille Torkornoo

Camille is a Poodle expert, through and through. That being said, her grooming skills go far beyond just this one breed! She first enrolled with QC Pet Studies back in 2019 and has been working her way through her programs ever since.

When she’s not busy acing her assignments, Camille also frequently competes in dog shows with her talented Poodle, Moriah. She is also the owner of Mount Zion Kennels, offering her clients in Eugene, Oregon, both grooming and breeding services.

Like Casey, Camille is also a regular guest writer for QC Pet Studies’ blog. You can check out her past articles here!

A Glimpse Into Camille’s Portfolio

Images courtesy of Camille’s Instagram.

Why YOU Should Enroll with QC Pet Studies

If your dream is to work with dogs every day and become a legitimate dog groomer, there’s no better school to train with than QC Pet Studies!

Here are just some of the reasons why QC’s online learning environment will benefit you:

  • QC’s courses are 100% self-paced and done from the comfort of your own home.
  • Get direct online access to your course materials, as well as a physical copy mailed right to your front door!
  • Don’t have your own dog grooming tools? No problem! Once you’ve enrolled in our Dog Grooming Course, we’ll send you a fantastic starter kit.
  • Tuition at QC Pet Studies is extremely affordable. You can choose to pay upfront or take advantage of our low monthly payment plan. As such, our course prices are achievable for most budgets.
  • You’ll get TWO courses for the price of ONE! As our gift to you, you’ll receive our First Aid for Groomers Course at no extra cost when you enroll in the Dog Grooming Course.
  • All QC Pet Studies tutors are legit industry experts with years of experience. Moreover, your tutor will provide you with thorough audio feedback after every unit!
  • Practical assignments will ensure that you get extensive hands-on training with a wide variety of different dog breeds.
  • Upon graduation, you’ll have an internationally-recognized certification to add to your resume and impress clients!

Become a certified dog groomer in less than a year by enrolling with QC Pet Studies today!

Graduate Feature: April Costigan

QC Pet Studies graduate, April Costigan, feature image
QC Pet Studies graduate, April Costigan, headshot

Name: April Costigan

Location: Centennial, Colorado

QC Pet Studies Courses you’ve taken:

Your website:

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

I’ve been working with dogs for the past 11 years in the capacity of fostering, training, rescuing, and (now) grooming. I simply love dogs and have a deep respect for them. I’m now formally trained by QC Pet Studies to groom all coat types and breeds.

I specialize in practical cuts for the everyday dog, but I can also provide specialty cuts as well. I am smart, friendly, and imaginative. Dogs really seem to like me! I like to bring a little whimsy to my work, as well as a sense of humor.

After my clients drop off their dogs, I often text them fun photos throughout the grooming process. I really love the time I spend with each dog. It just tickles me pink when I’m brushing them out, or trimming around their faces, and they stick their little tongues out to give me a quick kiss on the cheek. To me, that is the highest form of a compliment.

I have also been working in an animal shelter for nearly 2 years now. Nothing gives me more pleasure than grooming a dog that has been lost on the streets or lived a life of neglect. Being able to transform that dog from a miserable state to a clean, comfortable, and happy dog is the greatest reward.

I work full-time at this animal shelter and groom 3 days a week in my own private studio. I absolutely love it!

Bud before groom Bud after groom

How did you know that grooming would become more than just a hobby?

When I first took the position of Kennel Manager at MaxFund No-Kill Animal Shelter in Denver, Colorado, I had no idea the impact I would personally have on homeless animals. I knew that keeping the dogs clean, fed, warm, and comfortable was an important mission. But I didn’t fully understand how much basic grooming could really make a difference in these dogs’ lives until I experienced it first-hand!

After a while, providing basic grooming simply wasn’t enough. I needed to know more because I wanted to give more back. My compassion for these animals grew every day, and I just felt like this was my personal mission. I was driven by the need to do better.

I’m happier now that I ever was when I had a high-level corporate job. This career has more meaning.

Why did you choose to enroll in an online dog grooming school, rather than brick-and-mortar classes?

I worked full-time and could not attend in-person classes. So, I did a lot of research for online courses and that’s when I found QC Pet Studies. This school offered exactly what I wanted!

There were lots of instructional videos that I could watch over and over again. I would have lifetime access to my course materials, in case I ever wanted to refer back to them in the future. The practical assignments offered hands-on training. I like that I had the flexibility of choosing the dog I wanted to work with for each assignment.

The valuable tutor feedback I received throughout the course was the most important thing to me. I wanted individual comments about my specific work – not what the whole class would working on, if in a physical classroom.

It was critical that I had an instructor I could truly connect with. I got just that from Lisa Day! She gave me terrific insights in all my audio feedback files. The QC Pet Studies website doesn’t tell you this, but Lisa Day and Paddy Gaffney are really funny. They make the distribution of important information fun and entertaining! They really connect with their students on a higher level.

Kiwi before groom Kiwi after groom

How did you learn about QC Pet Studies? Why else would you recommend this school to aspiring dog groomers?

Research, research, research! I think I googled and read every single online grooming course curriculum available. Ultimately, though, I found that I got more “bang for my buck” with QC Pet Studies than I would’ve with any other institution.

I really liked that I had to video my work and upload it for grading, rather than simply taking open-book tests. Anyone can do that, but that doesn’t mean anyone can groom a dog. By submitting my actual work and receiving feedback, I felt like I really learned what I did well and what I could do better.

Best of all, I could do it when it was convenient for me. Yes, I did my assignments during the day. But I could do the actual coursework in the evening – or in some cases, very late at night. I loved the flexibility!

Prior to your professional training, how much knowledge and experience did you have with grooming?

My previous experience with grooming dogs was fairly basic. I could trim nails, give baths, bush out coats (but not properly), and clumsily cut out unsightly mats. I also have dogs of my own, and I was able to keep them neat and tidy. But I was never able to give them stylized haircuts. I had very basic skills.

Magnolia before groom Magnolia after groom

You enrolled with QC Pet Studies, completed your courses, and graduated – all in 2020! Why did you choose to embark on this journey during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how do you feel QC’s flexible online learning environment made it possible for you to achieve your goals?

The pandemic wasn’t really a thing until after I had enrolled, so it didn’t really play a role in why I chose to enroll. I enrolled because I really wanted to be able to own and operate my own business.

I will likely always work for the animal shelter because there are dogs out there that don’t have access to a professional groomer, but really need one. However, having my own business – with my own clients – really allows me to connect with dogs on a deeper level. By having my own clientele, I get to build lasting relationships with wonderful dogs and wonderful people.

QC’s flexible, online learning environment allowed me to achieve my goals because I could do the work whenever I wanted. I didn’t have to wait for a classroom to complete an assignment. Rather, I could move forward as quickly as I wanted and at a pace that suited me. I’m a driven individual and I ate up the coursework like it was candy. I loved every minute of it!

What was the most difficult technique to learn from QC Pet Studies’ Dog Grooming Course? What was the most fun technique to learn?

Shaving a poodle’s face was the most difficult technique for me. At first, I was hesitant about shaving the face all the way. I have more confidence now, but it was tricky for me in the beginning.

The most fun technique to learn was creating a round face, such as a Westie or Teddy Bear cut. I love working with a dog that can barely see at the beginning, thanks to all the fuzzy fur on their face. It allows me to create a beautiful, rounded look that shows off the dog’s big, bright eyes.

I love the reaction I get from my human clients when they pick up their dog. Their pup no longer looks like a mop! Instead, they’ve become a bright and intelligent creature; begging for cookies with great big, brown eyes.

Kandi before groom Kandi after groom

You also completed the First Aid for Groomers Course. In your opinion, why is First Aid training essential for a professional groomer?

This is an excellent question. I think First Aid should actually be the first part of the course – and an absolute requirement!

Many dogs that I’ve worked with have underlying health issues that are not always apparent. Being able to identify odd behaviors as a prelude to something happening is key. A groomer must be able to identify risk factors in a dog and stop grooming immediately, so they can assess the situation and take action, if needed.

I realize that stress can trigger events. Therefore, I do whatever I can to keep a dog calm and comfortable. If I see stress levels rising, I take a break or do something else. Sometimes, switching gears is all that’s needed to reduce anxiety and allow the dog to regroup.

What’s your favorite dog breed that you love to groom?

The Westie is my favorite. I actually have 3 Westie clients and I love all of them! One of my clients never had her Westie cut to actually look like a Westie before she came to me.

Another allowed me to use her Westie in one of my video assignments for QC Pet Studies. I followed the instructions offered in the instructional video and created the cutest dog ever. My client loved the look of her dog!

My tutor said that my Westie had a perfect Westie head and that I’d done a great job. That made my day!

Noodles after groom

Is there a particular technique or skill you’re currently working on mastering right now?

I firmly believe that there is always room for improvement in everything I do, that each dog is different. The thing I’m working on mastering at the moment is the ability to change my technique if a dog is becoming stressed out.

For example, nail trims for some dogs are no big deal. However, on other dogs, it can be a whole production. If they hate it, they might want to squirm away. You can spend 15 minutes on a stubborn dog, just trimming the nails.

So, changing the way I hold the foot might make a difference. Clipping them with a different type of trimmer might make a difference. Maybe using a grinder is the answer. Personally, I do not like using a grinder because I feel it takes too long. However, for some dogs, this might be what they need.

Do you have any advice for students of dog grooming classes who are struggling to find dogs to practice on? Where should they be looking? How can they assure the owners that they’re going to take care of the dog?

Go to your local animal shelter and sign up to be a volunteer. Walk some dogs and get to know a wide variety of dog personalities. Once you have built up your confidence in handling dogs, start looking for opportunities to groom them.

A particular breed might not be needed for an assignment. But if there’s a dog desperately in need of grooming, help him out. It’s still experience! Plus, you might learn something that is not included in any course curriculum.

Before you know it, the dog you need for your assignment will present himself. When that time comes, you’ll know exactly how to take care of him. Not only will you excel in your coursework – you’ll excel as a human being as well!

For Practicum Unit 2: Grooming a Natural Breed, you groomed a Sheltie to its breed standard, in which you focused on enhancing the dog’s natural appearance. Looking back on your work now, with your experienced eye, is there anything you would have done differently?

Looking back on my work with this Sheltie, I think I would have liked to have brushed her tail out more. I think there was an opportunity to make the tail look even prettier. That dog was incredibly sweet! I believe she would have allowed me to spend more time on her tail, making sure that it was tangle-free.

Before the Groom
After the Groom

Overall, how do you think QC Pet Studies’ Dog Grooming and First Aid for Groomers courses have prepared you to work in the professional field?

I don’t think I could be where I am today without QC Pet Studies. The Dog Grooming and First Aid courses are fantastic. I learned so much from Lisa Day and Paddy Gaffney. I often wish there was an additional QC course I could enroll in!

What are your career goals as a groomer for 2021 and beyond?

I’ve officially started my own business, Sparkling Dog Grooming. I’ve constructed an entire professional grooming studio in my basement and have started building a very nice client list. I’m looking to grow it more in 2021! I would also love for my granddaughter to join me in a few years, as my assistant. I’d love to teach her everything I know about dog grooming.

QC Pet Studies graduate April Costigan's business logo

Ready to begin your own journey? Enroll with QC Pet Studies and earn a double certification in less than a year!

Student Feature: Camille Torkornoo

QC Pet Studies student, Camille Torkornoo and her 2 poodles

Name: Camille Torkornoo

Location: Eugene, Oregon

QC Pet Studies Courses you’re taking:

Your website:



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.

View this post on Instagram

Freshly groomed!

A post shared by Camille Torkornoo (@mountzionpoodles) on

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!

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!

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.

Enroll with QC Pet Studies today, and we’ll give you our First Aid for Groomers Course FREE when you enroll in your Dog Grooming Course!

Student Feature: Diana Monroy

diana monroy headshot
headshot of diana monroy

Name: Diana Monroy

Location: Orangeville, CA

QC Courses you’re taking:

*Your website: (*site currently under construction)

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

I’m a 38-year-old, stay-at-home mother of two children: a 7-year-old girl and a 4-year-old boy. I freelance as an artist, primarily in Graphic Design. I also have 3 dogs and 1 cat. I’m a total animal lover!

How did you know that grooming would become more than just a hobby?

I graduated college in 2017 and worked in advertising for a while after that. I got married, and after I had my daughter, I made the decision to stay home and raise her. Then came my son, so things were busy! But now that he’s getting ready to start school, I want to get ready to join the work force again.

I knew I wanted to start my own business, and I knew I wanted to work with animals. I’ve always groomed my own dogs, so the idea of becoming a groomer just happened naturally. Now I’m excited to complete my grooming courses, and start growing my business!

diana monroy grooming a golden lab

What’s your favorite dog breed that you love to groom, and why?

My favorite breed that I’ve ever groomed is definitely the Yorkie! I had a tea cup Yorkie when I was younger. He had such silky hair, and it looked so beautiful whenever it’d be washed and combed. The best part would always be in the summer, when I would cut his hair short. It would make him look like a puppy all over again!

Why did you decide to do your dog grooming courses online with QC Pet Studies, rather than in a physical class? How have you found the overall online learning experience?

Like I mentioned before, I am a stay-at-home mom. I don’t have family nearby that can help with my son’s care, so I’m not able to go to a physical dog grooming class. Because of this, the online option worked perfectly for me! I did my research on several online grooming courses, and QC Pet Studies was definitely the one that made the most sense.

I liked the way it was structured: it provides a more organized and straightforward approach. The fact that QC offers the First Aid course for groomers was definitely what made me make my final decision, though! None of the other grooming courses I found online seemed to offer it, but I believe it it’s very important for groomers to have basic first aid when handling other people’s pets!

So far, the experience has been wonderful! I have learned so much, and both the instructions and the course books are so easy to understand and follow. The one thing I would recommend would be to make it a tiny bit easier to contact the instructor with course questions, but other than that, it’s been a great experience so far.  I was really surprised with how thorough the courses are!

fluffy pomeranian before hair cut
fluffy pomeranian after hair cut

What was the hardest dog grooming technique you’ve encountered? Is there a particular technique or skill you’re learning to master right now?

I have to say, the hardest technique has been the nail trimming. At first, I was so afraid of hurting the dog that I would transfer my nervousness to the dog. The dogs with black nails have been especially challenging. I’ve slowly been getting more confident, but it’s still a little stressful. I try to take deep breaths and trim a little at a time. This is one skill I will only get better at with experience!

Do you have any advice for students of dog grooming courses who are struggling to find dogs to practice on? Where should they be looking? How can they assure the owners that they’re going to take care of the dog?

The way I’ve found dogs to practice on is by reaching out to friends and family. I have been lucky so far, in that many of them are dog people; they either have the dog I need, or they know someone who has one. I’ve found that offering a free groom makes it easier to find people willing to lend you their dogs. I let the people see where I will be grooming their dog, and I’ve also made professional business cards to provide them. I find that this helps them feel more secure about handing over their precious pet.

Also, I keep pictures of dogs I’ve groomed, as well as photos of my own pets that I groom myself. This way, potential clients can see that even though I am a student, I do have some experience with grooming.

Admittedly, there is one breed I have not been able to find through friends or family. So I’m going to go on my local Facebook groups, so I can reach out and see if I can find someone local who will be willing to lend me their dog. I believe social media can be a helpful tool to find dogs to practice on.

There’s also the option of visiting your local shelter and asking them if you can help out by grooming dogs there!

scruffy, long haired dog before hair cut
long, curly-haired dog after hair cut

How do you think QC’s dog grooming courses have prepared you to work in the field? (E.g. was the tutors’ feedback useful, do you feel that you’ll graduate with a mastery of all your tools? Etc.)

I think this course is so well-rounded that I now feel very confident when I groom dogs! I think the best part is hearing the instructor’s real work experience. The tips they offer on how to deal with problems you’ll encounter in the field have been very helpful.

For example, a friend reached out to me to help with a dog they rescued. The dog doesn’t allow them to cut his nails, and so the nails had gotten really long. I told them I would give it a shot. I remembered my instructor’s advice for situations just like this one: to hold firm when the dog tries to pull his feet away, and just hold on until the dog realizes you aren’t going to let go.

When I applied this advice, it worked like a charm! I was able to trim the dog’s nails, which obviously made his owners were very happy. I’ve found that those little tips offered by my instructor have been a big help!

You’re still in the process of your dog grooming courses. After graduation, do you want to work in a salon, as a freelance groomer, etc.? What are your career goals, and how would you like to work towards them in 2020?

When I graduate, I plan to open my own business from home. My home has a separate building that I’m currently remodeling, so I can turn it into my dog salon. I’ve already received my permits and business license, and I am a month or so away from finishing the remodel.

So as soon as I graduate from QC, I’ll focus on growing my home grooming business. At first it will be a part-time job, but I am hoping that by the end of 2020, I can turn it into my full-time career!

Want to start your own dog grooming business, but don’t know where to begin? Click here for everything you need to get the ball rolling!

QC Pet Studies’ Top 10 Dog Grooming Articles of 2019

corgi puppy in owner's arms

Wow, 2019 felt like it went by in the blink of an eye! Let’s welcome 2020 by first taking a look back at your top 10 favorite articles over this past year.

It’s pretty impressive that this article made this year’s list, given that it was only published a couple weeks ago! But when you look at what it’s about, it’s easy to see why. Though entertainingly filled with satire, this article succeeds in driving home a very important message: it can be all too easy to destroy a good reputation. Avoid the 7 prime examples listed here, and you’ll ensure that your clients will only ever have the best things to say about you and your business!

female groomer trimming dog's hair

QC graduate and professional dog groomer, Casey Bechard, was on fire this year! Despite the fact that she only just received her grooming certification at the beginning of 2019, her career has quickly taken off and only gotten better ever since. Here, she lists some really fantastic goals that would – and did – strengthen her grooming career. Check them out, and don’t be shy to use some of those goals for yourself in 2020!

Let’s face it: big doggos are precious, but they can also be a little intimidating. Add to that the fact that a lot of your work as a groomer will be with small to medium-size breeds, and you might wind up feeling a little out of your element when a Saint Bernard or Rottweiler comes in for an appointment.

But it doesn’t need to be overwhelming! Just like with smaller dogs, grooming larger breeds can become second-nature – you just need to know what to do! This article will equip you with 3 of the best tips to get you started!

No dog groomer can hope to be successful without sturdy and reliable equipment under their belt. However, even the best grooming kits can eventually become useless if not properly taken care of. If you’re guilty of committing any of these 6 mistakes, your grooming tools may be at risk! Keep your equipment pristine – and your reputation, solid – by avoiding these bad habits!

dog getting hair trimmed

QC Pet Studies loves to show off our talented students and graduates! After all, what’s more inspiring than to see someone who was in your very shoes go on to become successful in the field? Located all the way in New Zealand, Katie was first a graduate of QC Makeup Academy, having started her very own hair and makeup business.

Since then, she’s found a passion for grooming and turned to online dog grooming school. She’s taken both QC’s Dog Grooming Course and the First Aid for Groomers class. Driven by her love of animals, Katie’s dog grooming business now takes up the majority of her time – even being regularly booked up to 3 weeks in advance! Learn more about Katie’s journey, and remember: it can happen for you, too!

Casey’s back, with even more professional knowledge to share! This time, it’s her insight on what it’s really like to work in a dog grooming salon. While there are many pros, there are also challenges that you’ll have to adjust to and overcome. Here, Casey shares 3 of these obstacles. This article is definitely a helpful and insightful read, especially for anyone interested in working professionally within a salon setting!

Any person with basic canine education and a pair of trimmers can call themselves a dog groomer, but it takes a lot more than that to truly be a great one. From knowing your breeds, to proper handling and sanitation of equipment, this article provides you with 7 key tips to make yourself truly stand out from the competition in the dog grooming world.

golden lab getting bath

Let’s be real: dog odors are a nuisance. But aside from making sure that your pooch gets a regular bath, what can be done about the smells already living in your home? You’ll find the answer to that very question – and so much more – here in this article. Save your nose, and start reading!

Dogs are adorable. But dog hair? Not so much – especially when it seems permanently glued to all of your furniture and clothes! Sure, you can make sure to brush your pup regularly, but that isn’t enough! If you really want to get rid of all that pesky dog hair, your best bet is to check out (and then follow) these 6 invaluable tips.

On top of being a fountain of knowledge, we’ve already covered that Casey Bechard manages her very own grooming salon. Needless to say, she knows what she’s talking about! She also knows better than anyone how tricky it can be when first starting out as a groomer; particularly, the most common mistakes that can happen while you’re still learning the ropes.

Luckily, she’s compiled this list of the top 6 errors you may find yourself likely to make, so you’ll be able to avoid them! Definitely worth the read, and no surprise at all that this is 2019’s most popular Sniffin’ Around article!

groomer holding puppy

Who knows what articles will become most popular next year, but we’re excited to find out! Are there any topics you’d like to read in 2020? Let us know in the comments!

Ready to become a professional groomer in 2020? Enroll in QC’s leading Dog Grooming course and start your journey today!