Top 10 Best Dog Grooming Schools in the USA

Why You Should Go to Dog Grooming School

This article is dedicated to highlighting the top 10 best dog grooming schools in the USA. Do you love dogs? Are you thinking about taking that love to the next level by learning how to care for them yourself? 

Dog grooming school is a great way to find your niche in the dog world. Without training, you may already be grooming your dog. Pet groomers simply have the expertise and know the ins and outs of grooming that you may not know about without that training. 

A Review of the Top 10 Best Dog Grooming Schools in the USA

  1. North Shore Community College

The North Shore Community College is a two-year associate program. It has a grooming concentration, and it is located in Danvers, MA. If you are in the Boston area, it’s projected that you will have a 22% projected job growth in the area. 

You will be an “Animal Care Specialist,” which means you will be learning much more than grooming, which will come in handy when it comes to handling dogs of different shapes and sizes. You can learn training, dog walking, kennel management, and, of course, dog grooming.

  1. Cornerstone Dog Grooming Academy

Located in Clyde, OH, this academy is sure to prepare you for the world of pet grooming. Puppy grooming is an excellent subject to study here, as there is a very low student-to-teacher ratio, which helps with in-person learning and experience. 

The instructor is ICMG-certified, so you are ensured to have a great learning environment. To be ICMG-certified, you are an International Certified Master Groomer. With this certification, you can practice practically anywhere. 

For an intensive and hands-on experience, Cornerstone may be the school for you. 

  1. Merryfield School of Pet Grooming, Inc. 

With the Merryfield School of Pet Grooming, Inc., you will have hours upon hours of hands-on experience with animals. With 500 lab hours required and the last 100 focused on an “externship” outside of the school, you will be fully prepared to enter the workforce. 

Dog lovers are sure to be drawn to this school. You will be placed in a veterinarian practice, a salon, or a mobile grooming van if you go there. 

This dog grooming school in the United States in Florida is perfect for those looking for a professional experience, both in the classroom and outside. 

  1. Rio Gran Grooming School

Located in Hastings, Minnesota, this school requires 200 or 436 hours of experience throughout your schooling. Pet grooming does not just require the knowledge of how to groom a dog but also the business of dog grooming. 

The main pillars of this academy are education, reputation, and jobs. They focus on these three to ensure a successful career for their students, and it seems to reflect the school’s true nature. 

Traits of being a good dog grooming student are taking breaks to avoid burnout, being creative, and taking responsibility for your own education. With these, you’ll be sure to be a success story at the Rio Gran Grooming School. 

  1. Paragon School of Pet Grooming

The Paragon School of Pet Grooming is a distanced learning program, which is perfect for the current times of the COVID-19 pandemic. With 240 to 600 hours of training required to complete the program, you’ll have tons of experience to draw from in your career as a pet groomer. 

Within the program, you will be assigned your own mentor, which provides insight and advice from a person you can trust and rely on during your time at the academy. 

The school also has private Facebook Groups and Paragon Alumni that are still connected to the program so that you can get advice from them, as well. 

  1. Texas Allbreed Grooming School

This academy, located in Arlington, Texas, has been around for over 20 years. Though it may not be a dog grooming school online, the in-person experience allows for a unique and close experience with the animals. 

It is a 12-week comprehensive course that teaches you the ins and outs of grooming. Within those 12 weeks, you will complete 480 hours on the clock. 

This school is state-certified and a part of the National Dog Groomers Association of America. You can find a job in salons for dogs or even corporate institutions after completing coursework and certification. 

  1. Golden Paws Pet Styling Academy 

This dog grooming school in Pennsylvania has a curriculum and education that is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. 

This course entails 320 hours of classes/work experience throughout the program. It is a pet styling education, so this is right up the alley of someone wanting to work closely with dogs. 

Styling, bathing, and customer service skills are the main objectives of this program. With these, students are sure to experience a successful career that lasts until they want to retire. You must be at least 17 years old to enroll and have a high school diploma or G.E.D. equivalent. 

Patience and committed safety for the dogs is essential in the pet grooming career, and Golden Paws Pet Styling Academy knows that. 

  1. The Dapper Dawg School of Professional Pet Grooming

Located in Stoneham, Massachusetts, this academy provides a wholesome and well-rounded education. With 300 hours needed to complete the course and gain certification in the industry, this school is on the shorter side of the program completion time. 

While it is shorter, the school does not skimp on training students thoroughly in pet grooming. 

  1. Michigan School of K-9 Cosmetology 

This dog grooming school in Michigan is located in Lansing. The great thing about this academy is the fact that true professionals in the workforce teach it. With this experience, you’re able to learn from the best and prepare yourself for a career that will take you far. 

600 clock hours are required in order to finish your schooling, which can seem a bit intensive, but ultimately you are investing in your future and learning how to be the best dog groomer. Though it is longer, the experience that you have within the course is worth it. 

And to top it off, the Michigan School of K-9 Grooming has a job placement estimate between 97-100% in the past 15 years. 

  1. Clip Shoppe School of Dog Grooming

This dog grooming school in New Jersey is one of the best. With only 420 clock hours needed to receive your certification, you can finish this course quicker than others. 

You will take courses on health and safety, grooming equipment, basics & techniques, grooming all breeds, and management & ownership. This well-rounded curriculum provides the basis for a career that will blow you away. 

With this academy, you’ll be sure to get the assistance you need in searching for which path to take in your career in the dog grooming niche. 

Selection Criteria for Dog Grooming School

When selecting the right school for you, you should also consider what is needed to get into a dog grooming school. Within the dog grooming world, these four requirements will help you decide how to get into these schools that are the best for you and if the program is really worth going for over another academy. 

  1. High School Diploma or G.E.D. Equivalent

To get into most dog grooming schools, a high school diploma or G.E.D. Equivalent is necessary. This is simply to ensure that you have had the proper overall education needed to work with customers and have had the preparation of working with deadlines, be professional, and more. 

With the high school diploma, it doesn’t only show that you are educated. It also indicates that you have taken the time to meet a goal that you have been working toward practically your whole life. 

The G.E.D. Equivalent is there to ensure that those who did not have the typical high school experience can showcase what they have learned. 

  1. Meet Age Requirements

Age requirements are essential, as they can show either maturity, consent, or even education levels. Most dog grooming schools’ age requirements range from 16-18, and any person under the age of 18 must have consent from a parental figure to attend the school. 

This is mainly for legal reasons, although the three traits mentioned above are important, as well. Responsibility is a must-have for this type of job, as it is caring for living, breathing beings that are valuable and vulnerable in your care. 

Without the responsibility, you would be betraying the trust of both the customers and the animals. Trust is essential within this field, and knowing how to properly care for the animal while they are in your care is the most important thing. 

  1. Meet Physical Activity Requirements

While the job of dog grooming may seem as though it isn’t a very physical activity, it truly is. Not only do you have to stand for multiple hours at a time (something not everyone can do), but you also have to lift the dogs onto the table for grooming. 

Lifting 40 pounds or more is often the expectation within these schools. If that requirement cannot be met, dog grooming may not be for you. Though there are objects that can help, such as stairs for the dogs or other aids, some animals cannot go up the stairs.

So, it’s vital that you are physically fit for the position of dog grooming. 

  1. Have a Genuine Love and Passion for Dogs

Without the passion and love for dogs, this job is pointless. Passion is essential for your work to be something you want to do every day. Also, it ensures that you can care for and protect the animals in the way they deserve. 

Of course, there are times when the job feels like a job, but that love for dogs will remind you of why you are putting in the long hours in the first place. 

PetCo Grooming’s Certification Process

An excellent option for grooming school is PetCo’s Grooming Certification Program. Throughout your time in the program, you will learn the basics of dog grooming and get into the nitty-gritty of the business. 

In the first couple of weeks, you will not have contact with the animals. You’ll observe groomers and work online. Then, you will move on to basic grooming techniques and practice on the animals. As the program continues, you will learn the specific techniques for different hair lengths and textures and create relationships with guests. 

The most significant obstacle is completing 100 grooming services before you can get certified. There are also tests on animals to observe the skills you have gained for specialized dogs. Both a hands-on and written exam are taken at the end of the program. 

The Benefits of Attending Dog Grooming School

When trying to decide on a career, it is always wise to look at your passions. Without having a passion for something, you are more likely to fail at your job. When you have desires, you will want to succeed and do well in your career. 

And if you’re reading this, we are sure you have a passion for animals––specifically dogs. So, you probably thought, how can I turn my love for caring for dogs into a career? 

The benefits of attending a dog grooming school are practically too many to count, but we’ve come up with just a few for you to think about. 


Having professional training in dog grooming will increase your chances of finding a good job. Without training, you may be stuck looking for jobs and to no avail. When you choose to go to a dog grooming school, you’re choosing the opportunity to either work for a company or start your own. 

Additionally, training allows you to hone in on your skills. This will show you if you genuinely enjoy dog grooming, just like experience will. With training and adequate education, you have professionals and teachers on your side, which will take you far. 

Training shows employers that you are certified to do the things they need you to do. Without that training, you would be less likely to get the job if you applied for a dog grooming position. 

Practical Experience

During your training, you will be gaining a lot of practical experience. Whether that is in the classroom or on-site at an internship, this experience is priceless. 

With this experience, just like in your training, you will find out if dog grooming is genuinely for you or if you just love dogs but do not want to care for them in that way. If you have the experience from an internship, you’re also more likely to get a job through that internship. 

Finding the routes to various career opportunities is essential in today’s business world. In showing your practical experience, you are learning and showing your employer that you have actually practiced what you have learned, which eases the anxieties from both parties. It makes you more confident in your skills, and your employer will feel the same way. 

Act on Your Passion

Though the main idea in today’s work world is not following your passions, it is essential to keep in mind. Of course, money and what you want your life to look like should factor into this, but following your passion as a career is a way to ensure that you will look forward to working each day rather than dreading it. 

Dog grooming is the perfect career for those who want to take their love for dogs to the next level. It’s a great way to meet new dogs and owners, give advice, and satisfy your customers with their dog’s grooming. 


It’s all about who you know. 

When you choose a dog grooming school, you should be thinking of your future, as well. Oftentimes schools that are set up well will have a networking system of alumni and people working in the field you are going to school for. 

Without networking, many people would not find their dream jobs. So, be sure to look at what the school can offer you through the people they put in front of you!

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