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Dog grooming can be a very rewarding career for anyone who loves spending time around pets. There are many options for a dog groomer, whether you want to work in-house at a company or start your own business. Either way, you will need the proper training to start pampering pups.
The good news is you can learn the skills you need and get the training required from the comfort of your living room. Here, we’ve rounded up some of the best online dog grooming schools, so you can move one step closer to landing your dream job.
Penn Foster: Best Overall
If you’re on the hunt for a grooming school that lets you work at your own pace while helping you develop the skills you need to succeed, Penn Foster’s online pet grooming program is a solid choice.
While Penn Foster is a broad (and accredited) online education service catering to a wide range of careers, its grooming program is a real standout. It has a great curriculum that will familiarize you with the grooming needs of all types of dog breeds, plus the ins and outs of running a business for furry friends. The program also earns extra points for its stellar user experience, which comes complete with progress-tracking tools, student support services, and even virtual simulations.
Penn Foster offers several different payment options, which vary slightly based on whether you pay in full at the outset or set up a monthly plan. The “full pay” option will run you about $529, while a monthly arrangement comes to roughly $599 for an autopay option and around $614 for pay-by-mail.
Should you opt for a payment plan, rates start as low as $49 a month.
Online Dog Grooming School: Best Budget
If you are unsure whether dog grooming is for you and want a course that is a little friendlier on the wallet, consider Online Dog Grooming School.
This course starts at about $99 and will teach you everything you need to know about starting your career in dog grooming. There are different tiers of learning, starting with the basic plan that provides access to all online streaming videos and supports you as you go along. You can also upgrade to the second-tier plan (roughly $175), which grants you all of the above, plus access to the owner’s e-book to help guide you along your entire journey.
Most students take about six months to complete the course, but your fee allows you access for up to one year. The cost, however, does not include the tools you will need, but the program will help you find where to buy what you need when you get started.
Overall, Online Dog Grooming School is a great choice for anyone dabbling in dog grooming or even pet owners who want to learn the basics to pamper their dog at home.
QC Pet Studies: Best Payment Plans
Switching careers and investing in learning is never cheap, but it is usually worth it. QC Pet Studies' Dog Grooming Course is an 80 to 130 hours online training guide that helps anyone who wants to start a career in dog grooming.
The course offers the option to do lower monthly payments with a deposit rather than pay all at once to help you start your journey ASAP. This training covers everything from the absolute basics to dog first aid, and most people finish within six months to a year.
The Dog Grooming Course also offers a 21-day guarantee if you are not satisfied with the learning plans and a one-year promise that if you don’t make back the class fees in salary, the company will refund you the cost of the course. Additionally, the price of the program does include all of your necessary textbooks and some tools, though you should expect to purchase a few other ones as needed that you will use throughout your career.
JKL Grooming: Best Variety
If you’re exploring different avenues for dog grooming certification, JKL Grooming has three distinct options.
The most extensive offering is the Diploma Dog Grooming Course, which has JKL Grooming's highest certification accreditation, lasts six months, and covers hands-on training at the groomer assistant, professional groomer, and finishing stylist level. The school also has a three-month certification course without the hands-on component and a four-month groomer tech option for those looking to get their feet wet in the grooming industry.
JKL Grooming’s online programs give you the freedom to study where and when you want, no matter which option you choose. It occasionally runs promotions to offer its courses at a discount, so it's likely you'll be able to save when and if you decide to sign up.
For the highest-tier program, expect to pay roughly $950; the three-month course costs about $575, and the groomer tech option is around $450.
Holly and Hugo: Best for Beginners
If you’re just starting to explore the wonderful world of dog grooming, Holly and Hugo’s Ultimate Guide to Dog Grooming course is designed for anyone with an interest in learning the basics—no formal qualifications required. So, whether you’re looking to start a new career or just learn more about how to groom your own dog, we’re fans of this accessible, affordable option.
Holly and Hugo will teach you essential skills like how to bathe a dog, brush and style a dog's hair, and check for skin conditions and parasites. Altogether, the course includes eight modules, beginning with the history of dog grooming and concluding with the standard styles for various breeds.
This online course costs about $119 and is instructed by Tolo Vicens, a professional dog groomer with more than 20 years of experience. Students who have provided testimonials on the course page praise the ability to work at their own pace, and note that the Holly and Hugo site makes it easy for students to check their progress as they move through the course.
Animal Behavior College: Best for Career Change
If you’re serious about transitioning to a full-time dog grooming career or opening your own business, Animal Behavior College offers the comprehensive training you’re looking for.
In this year-long course, you’ll learn it all: the ins and outs of a groomer's toolkit, health and safety protocol, clipper and scissor techniques, and step-by-step instructions on how to groom specific breed groups. While the program is primarily online, it does have hands-on components—but with more than 6,000 mentor locations across North America, it’s easy to find training near you.
Tuition for Animal Behavior College’s dog grooming course costs between roughly $3,999 and $6,195, depending on your payment plan. It includes around 1,000 pages of study materials, numerous instructional videos, and a 40-piece professional grooming toolkit. Upon completion, you’ll receive certification as an ABC Pet Groomer (ABCPG).
Paragon School of Pet Grooming: Best for Continued Learning
Whether you just started out or you’ve been dabbling for a while, Paragon School of Pet Grooming offers three levels of education to take your dog grooming career to a new level.
Level 1 will teach you to become a grooming tech and is great for newbies and beginners to get a well-rounded foundation. Level 2 offers more learning such as first aid, grooming styles, and low maintenance ideas to help make you an even better groomer. The final one, Level 3, is all about breed-specific looks, hand stripping, and corrective grooming. Level 3 comes with access to Level 1, so you can snag more foundational tips and tricks as needed.
Paragon has been teaching grooming since 1991 and has a graduation rate of about 95%, so you can trust that its program is comprehensive and easy to follow. Most graduates can begin to groom after just six weeks of training, but the company recommends that you adhere to continual learning to ensure you are up to date on the latest trends.
Each course is roughly $900 and requires additional textbooks to complete. You can also purchase a complete toolkit from Paragon, or find the tools you need elsewhere.
How We Chose the Best Dog Grooming Schools
To start, we sorted through every dog grooming school that offered online learning as an option. We then looked for programs that were highly rated with a history of students who land careers after training. Courses such as Penn Foster and Animal Behavior College that are accredited and well-perceived in the industry received very high marks.
Additionally, cost was a factor, especially if the course was not accredited. We placed online courses such as Online Dog Grooming School and Holly and Hugo on our list because even though they are not accredited, they are affordable options for anyone who wants to attempt dog grooming.
Lastly, courses that offered payment plans and guarantees were given space on our list. QC Pet Studios, for example, offers a money-back guarantee if you do not find a job within a year. Overall, the biggest factors in our determination were value, coursework, and reputation.
How Much Can a Dog Groomer Make?
How much you will make as a dog groomer depends largely on whether you work independently or for a company. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average hourly salary for a dog groomer is about $25,000 per year, but this figure changes dramatically based on geography and experience.
How Long Does It Take to Start a Career in Pet Grooming?
A typical dog grooming course will take no less than six weeks to complete. That said, many accredited programs can take up to a year to gain all of the knowledge needed to find a job in dog grooming. Some people start out as grooming techs and learn on the job, while others find it imperative to go through a training course and jump right into grooming.
How Often Does a Dog Need to Be Groomed?
The frequency of grooming depends on a dog's breed and coat. Generally, a dog that needs grooming requires monthly upkeep. That said, some long-haired breeds may need even more maintenance in the summer months. Grooming should start around 12 weeks of age for most dogs. But grooming is about more than professional appointments—clients should also keep up with daily brushing at home for the best results.