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    • December 30, 2017 10:18 AM CST
    • Thank you all for your honest and much appreciated opinions. I will hold on joining an online school or paying $4,500 for a two week course. I will advertise for a bather apprentice and also study on my own. I hope to find a mentor and start with baby steps.

    • December 30, 2017 10:13 AM CST
    • Over the years, since I graduated from the New York school of Dog Grooming in 1973, I have had people ask me to train them....I am not a teacher and do not want the responsibility of entrusting a pet in my care to a novice. I have invited a few to come and sit in my salon for a day and see what grooming is really about...not exactly what they envisioned, lol. I did very well in school, but once out on my own, I floundered a bit, because even after 90 days of hands on learning, I still lacked experience and judgement. Starting out as a bather is an excellent way to learn how to handle the dogs safely and see if this is actually what you want to do. For me, an online course is unfathomable....I don't know how you can learn this craft without actually doing it. Everybody has to start somewhere. Some people buy the equipment and hang a shingle....I would not recommend this. Try attending a grooming show and sign up for classes...It is like any profession. It takes hard work and dedication and getting experience as a bather is one of the baby steps to a good foundation...I wish you good luck!

    • December 30, 2017 8:57 AM CST
    • I completely agree with Barb in all points. I also fine the 20 days program a bit steep for the time involved. For reference I did a program that was three times that for a little more money, though it was many years ago it is probably a few thousand more now. It was mostly hands on because that’s what you really need! I believe it was about three months long, full time 5 days a week.
      The online I would never recommend, and don’t be fooled by a “certificate”. It’s just a piece of paper that says you completed a program. It does not make you Certified. You will get a very basic understanding with that type of education. Definitely not enough to go out on your own for a while. A job in a salon as a bather would be a great start, maybe even get an apprenticeship at a Salon.

    • December 30, 2017 8:40 AM CST
    • While there are groomers that have been successful going that route, honestly, I do not recommend it. I think it is SO important to work with a seasoned and skilled groomer for a year or more before going out on your own.  There is SO much that cannot be taught in just 20 days or through an online course.  It's not about the haircuts. Those can be learned. It's about the handling, the safe restraint, the customer interactions. It's about learning how to be a trainer. We train dogs every single day. We train them to stand up and stand still. We train them to accept handling from strangers. We train them to tolerate brushing and combing and clippers on their ears.  We work on dogs that the owners are unable to work on.  Anyone can learn to do a hair cut, how to safely use a pair of clippers or shears. That's easy. It takes time and skill to handle the dogs safely. If the dog is dancing all over the table and you do not have the skill to gently teach them proper behavior, you will not get a good haircut.

      While this news article shows the extreme, a groomer needs to be trained in reading body language, in dealing with insistant clients, in how to safely remove themselves from a situation like this one.


      Also, many find this isn't quite the career they expected. They see seasoned groomers working on well behaved dogs, giving belly rubs, getting smooches. It looks amazing. It is amazing. It's also hard, dirty, heartbreaking, wet, hairy and smelly.

      If there is any way possible to get hired on at a salon, even part time, as a bather or receptionist or even just cleaning, I highly recommend it. Before you spend thousands on a very basic education, it's important to be in the trenches for a bit to see if it's right for you.



    • December 28, 2017 7:52 PM CST
    • hello all,
      I am interested in getting a grooming certificate. I found a local shop that provides a 20 day program for $4,500. I would need to take 16 days off from work Adam that would be real tough. I also found an online program with an externship with Animal Behavior College. This is a 9 phase program online and 10th phase as a hands on externship. The price is basically the same and the online is very attractive because I have a full time job.
      I like to get anyone’s thoughts on this online school and if online with an opportunity for an externship is a good idea.
      I’m really interested in starting my own mobile grooming business as a second career but really do not want to spend the money on a program that will not provide the necessary training.
      Thanks for your time :-)

    • November 12, 2017 8:15 AM CST
    • I have a Hanvey. It’s my second van. They are the bomb. Feel free to email me if you want to get into details.

    • November 12, 2017 6:41 AM CST
    • I'm going to move this to the Mobile Grooming section. You may get more input there.




    • November 10, 2017 8:55 AM CST
    • Hello,

      I am looking to purchase a mobile grooming van but not sure if I should go for a used van with new conversion or new van and new conversion. I need to finance but plan to put some money down. I looked at Go Mobile, Wag N Tail, and Hanvey. Go Mobile offers the least cost for a fully equipted used van but it's the furthest from me as I am in NJ.

      I'm curious if anyone has purchased a van from these companies and have an opinion or any other company which may offer good options with reasonable prices.


      Thanks all.

    • November 5, 2017 2:10 PM CST
    • Thank you.

    • November 5, 2017 11:48 AM CST
    • Check out Hanvey, I think they are in North Carolina. I don’t know if Odyssey is still doing mobile vans.

    • November 5, 2017 11:21 AM CST
    • Hello, anyone know of a good conversion company in east coast? I am interested in purchasing a mobile grooming van (used or new, not yet sure) but I prefer not traveling to Arizona (GoMobile) or Indiana (Wag n Tail) if I don't have to as I understand these are the top companies. I see Odyssey's website (located in NJ) but not sure if they still focus on grooming conversions. Thanks

    • November 4, 2017 8:53 AM CDT
    • I will be moving this thread to the appropriate topic area.

    • November 4, 2017 8:53 AM CDT
    • I use a lot of towels. The more water you can pull out of the coat before drying, the faster they are going to dry.   In a mobile, you'll be doing them straight through, so won't need as many as I use. I have them sit on towels and drip dry a bit while I work on another dog.

      That said, I would think at least two per dog for mobile. 



    • November 3, 2017 7:20 PM CDT
    • Thanks a lot.

    • November 3, 2017 5:11 PM CDT
    • Hi, if you look in the archives on Groomers lounge there is a thread on using Absorbers.  I won't go into them other than to say they are amazing!  I do 6-8 dogs a day, though I am not mobile.  I use about 3 of them.   Haven't done laundry in years :)  Pat

    • November 3, 2017 3:15 PM CDT
    • Hello, 

      I am working on my business plan and hope to get my mobile business up and running by end of 2018. Question is how many towels would I need if working in a mobile van? I plan to do a full day's work so maybe 6-8 grooms a day? Just checking if anyone has a ballpark.


      Thanks :) 

    • March 30, 2016 7:21 PM CDT
    • Hi Katie; Oddly enough, I never worried about or even considered clogged drains for the 11 years that I did house calls. I tried to do mostly small and medium dogs, and bathed then in kitchen or laundry room sinks, mostlly. The sinks had little drain things that caught most of the hair. Occassionally I had to use a tub and kneel... luckily I was younger then and it wasn't as much of a challenge as it would be now! >grin<

      I used a Clipper Vac so there was little hair, and what was there I could vacuum up with my trusty CV.  I used the one that doubles as a HV dryer, (not terribly powerful, but since I was doing cats, small and medium dogs, it was adequate.)

      I used the customers towels, and wiped out the sink/tub after each shampoo.

      Happy to answer any specific questions.  Best wishes on your new venture!  Daryl

    • March 30, 2016 12:54 PM CDT
    • Hi Katie:
      I think there are many ways to do this.  I only grooms dogs 30# and under which eliminates many of the problems you list above.  I also never (or rarely) do double coated dogs unless they have a place I can let the hair fly.  
      I tend to bathe in kitchen sinks, laundry tubs or last resort, the bath tub as bending over while kneeling has become a real issue for me.  
      I have a basic folding table (weight about 20#) and now find I need to make leg extenders since I'm tall and bending over to reach is a killer for my back and neck.  Those can easily be made out of PVC pipe and made to the specific height I need.  I only do ONE large dog and only because there is a walk in shower with a built in large tiled bench for her and my shampoos.  She is super cooperative about getting on table as well or I'd have to refuse her.
      Know your market and what will work for you.  You may need to re-think your client base.  I assume you're going to want to keep clients from your shop so that's why you're thinking of including large dogs?  
      This is an exclusive and high end method of grooming, including pricing $20-30 per dog over shop prices due to being able to do fewer dogs per day.  You'd be surprised how groomers adjust to this thinking and realize they don't have to wear themselves out doing 10 dogs a day in order to make income.
      I don't make much of a mess while grooming as I sweep hair off the table directly into either a bag or garbage can keeping the loose hair minimal.  I use the client's vacuum or broom to clean up, use 1-2 of their towels and none of mine have every complained about providing either.  I wipe down counter tops with the towel(s) and simply rinse the sink or tub.  I don't have hair clogging issues because of the types of dogs I'm doing.  
      Be OK with making choices on exactly what breeds you will and won't do because not every dog or every person is right for house call.  There are enough that are in order to make a living though.  
      If you have further questions you can reach me directly at  
      Hope this helps you and feel free to ask further questions.
      The Dapper Dog Grooming
      House Call Grooming At Its Finest


    • March 30, 2016 12:14 AM CDT
    • Hi -

      I used to use this BB constantly, and I've been away for a long while. 

      My salon lease situation has become somewhat unstable, and I may have to move soon.  I've been thinking of trying housecall (never even knew there was a name for it) services.

      Anyone know the best way to ensure you don't clog the clients' drains?  I see OXO good grips makes a hat shaped drain protector, anyone use it?  I don't want to have to pay for a plumber to snake their drains. 

      Leaving the space clean is also a big concern for me. 

      Do HC groomers put a table IN the tub so they're not on their knees bathing?  How to do that?  Custom table?  How to keep from blowing hair all over?  Do you just get really good with a squeegee on every surface post-bath/dry?

      Would love to see some chat about this, sure would help me figure out if this would work for me.  I'm actually getting SUPER burned out where I'm at, anyway...feels like someone is sort of closing a door on me and maybe there's a window opening somewhere I need to find, if you know what I mean.

      Sure hope someone reads this. 

      Cheers all,