Dog Grooming Wivenhoe | Dog Grooming Colchester
I am fully qualified City & Guilds Dog Groomer, having achieved a Merit grade after completing my training at The Dog House in Fakenham, Norfolk. Over successive months I regularly made the slog into the depths of Norfolk & back to train in a job that I now love. As part of the training, I had to complete a First Aid course, so I am also trained in Canine First Aid, meaning, whilst I am not a vet & cannot give you any medical advice regarding your pet & would only ever encourage you to seek assistance from your vet, should the need arise, I am trained for emergency care of your canine whilst veterinary care is sought.
During & also since completing my training & becoming qualified, I worked with various local groomers in my area to keep my up skill base up & learn new skills, this aided me greatly & gave me the confidence to know that I could do the job well, when the time came for me to be able to open my own salon. I try to regularly attend seminars & events to continuously improve on both my skills & knowledge. I attend seminars of interest & also of variety to help me achieve this. The events I attend are a variety of dog shows, such as Crufts & Discover Dogs through to Dog Grooming competitions (although not as a competitor!).
Most people would assume that attending Crufts & Discover Dogs is just a chance to shop – agreed it’s a brilliant place to shop, but for us professionals it also gives a chance to meet up, speak to other professionals (trust me they are all there!), touch the products & ask questions about them. There is also the chance to speak to the owners, breeders & lovers of a lot of breeds in the Discover Dogs stands, this provides you with a wealth of knowledge from breed standards grooms & how to achieve this, ailments in the breeds & how to spot it. Also a lot of groomers show & breed dogs so it is a great chance to meet groomers that you admire & pick their brains. It is sensory overload for all dog lovers!
Whilst I don’t compete (nowhere near clever enough!) I do enjoy attending some of the bigger dog grooming events that are open to spectators. There do tend to be professional stands there so again, you can meets & greet suppliers, pick their brains, touch & learn about products. Its at these events that I have made decisions on most of the larger items of equipment in my salon, such as the hydobath & electric table. Its also great to watch other groomers at work, to understand how they might do things different to you, see trending styles & things that are completely different to what you do.
I have also attending local dog shows – it’s a relaxed atmosphere & gives you a chance to see different breeds & speak to the owners.
In terms of CPD (Continuous Professional Development) I have been attending seminars since before I was qualified & will continue to do so my whole career. I have found them to be of huge benefit to me, teaching me holding techniques, ways to improve my speed, in both drying coats & completing grooms, although I’m still not the fastest, I am just to faffy & a perfectionist within my abilities!, different equipment & its uses, it was at one of these seminars that I figured out the blaster & finish dryer I wanted for my salon, I was able to see them being used, speak to the owner & user & liked how they worked.
During the Covid-19 lockdown & in the times after whilst we tried to emerge into ‘real’ life, seminars & events have all been cancelled & placed on hold. Luckily there have been many high profile groomers at the top of their game, who have hosted webinars where we have been able to watch from the comfort of our homes, these groomers show off their skills & answer many questions on lots of different aspects, such as shampoos used, where they get their equipment, their views on varying subjects. During that time, I have been lucky enough to see breed standard grooms, pet grooms, how to make bows (too technical for me!), American styling V’s UK styling, alternative treatments, teeth cleaning & salon software to name a few.
I am currently also subscribed to the following pages
Groomers Gallery – containing loads of useful videos to assist with breed standard grooms, pet trims etc
Julie Harris Training – a renowned groomer & trainer in the industry, what this lady doesn’t know about handling dogs & their anatomy is not worth knowing.
Groomers Skill Share – this was set up during the Covid Lock down by a group of groomers who contact successful groomers & persuade them to share their knowledge in little vidoes & webinars.
Rachel Bean RVN School – a vet nurse sharing her extensive knowledge about Pet First Aid
I am also a member of many Groomer Forums on Facebook, where we regularly bounce ideas off of each other, ask advise, learn about new products, seminars & events, share grooms & critique each other. Plus it’s a good chance to have a nose at what others are up to 😊