Course Overview

The level 3 dog grooming course builds upon the knowledge gained during the City & Guilds Level 2 Certificate for Dog Grooming Assistants qualification and will give you the skills and abilities to work as a professional dog groomer.

Upon gaining this qualification you will be confident in handling and grooming a range of dogs of differing breeds, temperaments and ages. You be able to identify signs of normal and abnormal behaviour to minimise stress, and know how to undertake health checks and adjust grooming regimes accordingly. You will also gain an understanding of relevant animal welfare legislation and safe working practices, as well as learn how to manage the administrative and financial aspects of a busy dog grooming salon.

During your dog grooming training, you will work alongside qualified dog groomers in our state-of-the-art grooming suites, complete with professional dog grooming equipment and access to a variety of dogs on which to practice the techniques you will be learning. Practical training will be supported by online learning and all materials will be provided via our online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

Key Facts

Location:  HuntingdonLeeds and Wigan

Start Dates:

Start dates will be discussed at interview. Our dog grooming courses get booked quickly, so we suggest you apply in advance. Below are the start dates for courses which are still available for application.

Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire

  • Wednesday 2 November 2022
  • Thursday 12 January 2023

Leeds, West Yorkshire (Campus Vets and Pets)

  • Wednesday 2 November 2022
  • Thursday 12 January 2023

Wigan, Greater Manchester

  • Wednesday 2 November 2022
  • Thursday 12 January 2023

Day release students will attend College for one day per week for one academic year.

Aesculap are one of the proud sponsors of our Leeds Dog Grooming School, supplying the centre with clippers for dog grooming students to use throughout their training.

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Course Content

You will build on your existing dog grooming experience. Classroom lessons will be complemented by practical experience throughout the programme. Over the course of the qualification you will cover the following units:

Unit 301: Health and safety, legislation and codes of practice for the dog grooming industry
During this unit you will understand relevant animal welfare legislation and look at minimising risks and emergency situations through safe working practices.

Unit 302: Styling and finishing a dog
You will learn how to style and finish a range of dog breeds of differing temperaments and ages. Throughout the unit there will be an emphasis on recognising and minimising stress in dogs and working in a safe manner.

Unit 303: Health checking and handling a dog in a dog grooming environment
During this unit you will learn basic canine anatomy and physiology and suitable handling and restraint techniques. You will understand how to carry out ongoing health checks and recognise normal and abnormal behaviours in order to adjust the grooming regime accordingly.

Unit 304: Customer service and record keeping in a dog grooming environment
You will learn how to communicate effectively with clients, and know how to handle the administrative and financial aspects of the dog grooming salon.


Assessment is by written exam and a synoptic practical assignment. There will be unit tests set in preparation of the final exam.

Entry Requirements

You must have achieved the City & Guilds Level 2 Certificate for Dog Grooming Assistants prior to enrolling onto this qualification.

Application and interview process
All applicants are interviewed and offers for a place on the course are competitive. We are looking for people who have a passion for working with animals and show a commitment to learning how to provide high-quality pet grooming services. During the application process you will undertake basic maths and English assessments and, during your interview, you will take a tour of the centre and facilities, complete a written task, and discuss your suitability for the programme and course start dates.

We are looking for people who are dedicated to improving their work and driving the dog grooming profession forward.

Course Fees

Fees for the programme must be paid in full before the beginning of the course.

Course Fees


If you are over 19 years of age you may be entitled to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan to help fund your studies! (England only)

Awarding Body Fees*

City & Guilds fees: £179

* Awarding Body Fees are payable by all students or employers and recharged at cost and may be subject to change.

Sources of financial help can be found on our student finance page. Please note the Pay As You Learn Scheme is not available for this programme. Before making any financial decision it is recommended that you seek advice from an independent source, for example the Money Advice Service.

These are current figures and may be subject to change. The differences in course fees reflect the level of funding that is available as a result of government policies and priorities. These may be as a result of age, employment status, previous education achievements, or location for example, and are outside the control of The College of Animal Welfare.

What Next?

Achievement of this qualification will demonstrate to employers and the public that you have the necessary technical skills and knowledge to work as a professional dog groomer.

Once you have completed your formal training and gained solid industry experience, many opportunities become available to you. You may wish to seek employment as a dog grooming stylist, perhaps progressing to a managerial role after demonstrating your abilities within a fast paced pet grooming environment. Dog groomer vacancies are sometimes advertised on our job board.

You could also consider starting up your own grooming business from home, in commercial premises, or out and about by taking it mobile, or work in partnership with an existing business such as a boarding kennels or dog walkers. This is a great way to build up connections with existing client bases and industry players, which will help to boost your new venture.

Another option would be to help the next generation of dog groomers to achieve their formal dog grooming qualifications; either by teaching at a relevant college or taking on an apprentice in your workplace.

CAW Connect

After you complete your studies with The College of Animal Welfare, you will be invited to join our alumni association, CAW Connect. CAW Connect is a social networking website and education hub which gives you the opportunity to connect with other alumni, enjoy industry discounts, make use of exclusive careers advice and resources, find new job opportunities and keep up-to-date with the latest industry news. Find out more about CAW Connect