Subject overview

If you love dogs and are looking for a new career or a flexible business opportunity then dog grooming may just be the thing for you!

Dog grooming has changed significantly in recent years; salons are no longer restricted to show dogs or dogs that require significant clipping. Nowadays nearly every breed of dog can be found in a grooming salon with many of them being regular clients. Even dogs with very short coats visit to have their nails clipped, their ears cleaned or to have a basic bath and dry!

Although grooming dogs can be physically hard work and challenging at times it is a very rewarding career that can give you a great deal of job satisfaction.

Is dog grooming for you?

You will need to be able to confidently handle a variety of dogs and have a genuine passion for their care and welfare.

You should have great attention to detail and be able to cope with the physical demands of the job. Many dog groomers work alone, often having their own business so the motivation to succeed in the profession is vital.

The British Dog Grooming Association recognises the City & Guilds accredited dog grooming courses as a professional standard required by all dog groomers. The College of Animal Welfare runs City & Guilds accredited dog grooming qualifications from its state-of-the-art grooming parlours at its Huntingdon and Leeds centres. Courses are available on either a block or day release.

Why choose to study dog grooming at The College of Animal Welfare?

  • Experienced and supportive tutors

We pride ourselves that our tutors are all qualified dog groomers with significant industry experience; bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge to our courses. They are dedicated to supporting you to achieve your chosen qualification and to go on to have a successful career as a dog groomer.

  • Gain real long term job prospects

Many of our former students have gone on to set up their own dog grooming businesses or have gained employment in dog grooming parlours. Gaining a recognised City & Guilds qualification gives your customers the peace of mind that you have the knowledge and skills to groom their dog in a safe and professional manner.

  • Flexible study options

Our City & Guilds dog grooming qualifications can be undertaken on either a day release or block release, giving you the flexibility to choose a method of study that suits your own circumstances

“On leaving the course we were all encouraged to call if we had any problems grooming which I thought was an added touch, it showed the College actually did care about its students and the well-being of the animals we would be working with. Since I left the College in July 2015 I have set up my own business; Petchase Dog Grooming and Walking Services based in Sandy. It has gone from strength to strength, so much so that we now have three people on the team! It was very daunting going out on my own and I must admit the first dog I did without encouragement of the teachers was rather scary… however, it is amazing how much knowledge you are taught and when the time comes you can put it into practice”.
Kim Chase
Level 2 Certificate for Dog Grooming Assistants (2015)
Level 3 Certificate in Introductory Dog Grooming (2015)


Once you have completed the City & Guilds Level 2 and 3 Certificates there are a variety of opportunities open to you.

If you are not already employed in a dog grooming parlour, you may look at finding employment as a dog grooming assistant or stylist; this is a great way to gain the experience and knowledge of how a fast paced grooming salon runs.

Another option would be to start up your own grooming business from home, in commercial premises, or out and about by taking it mobile. Alternatively you could look at working in partnership with an existing business such as a boarding kennels or dog walkers; these existing businesses will already have a client base in place with whom to start your new venture.

You may wish to go on to study the Level 3 Diploma for Professional Dog stylists and/or the Higher Diploma in Dog Grooming. Further information can be found on the Pet Industry Federation website.