Dog Grooming Education Programs and Certifications

dog grooming education programs and certifications

Dog groomers are responsible for making sure that dogs look good, feel good, and are in a position to remain healthy thanks to their supreme hygiene. While most states don’t mandate formal training programs as a prerequisite for hiring dog groomers, this small step can go a long way in ensuring professional success.

However, before you enroll in a dog grooming program, it is usually important to consider a handful of factors, such as the program duration, accreditation status, coursework, and more.

Doing these independently for all the available options can be quite challenging. And that is why we have provided below a comprehensive list of some of the best dog grooming education programs and certification alternatives nationwide.

Top Dog Grooming Education Programs

North Shore Community College

Students at North Shore College acquire the theoretical and practical knowledge they need to practice as successful dog groomers. The school offers graduates the Animal Care Specialist Certificate. By the time they finish, they will have obtained extensive knowledge in kennel management, dog walking, training, rescuing, and the retail business.

New York Academy of Pet Styling

The New York Academy of Pet Styling boasts many knowledgeable staff and instructors. Students learn how to cope with both the technical and business side of pet grooming.

The program lasts for 300 hours and touches upon various topics, including the basics of dog care, bathing, drying, and finishing techniques.

Paragon School of Pet Grooming

Established in 1991, Paragon School of Pet Grooming is another top dog grooming program that has produced numerous successful professionals throughout the year. The classes last for around 249 hours and include topics such as bathing, nail clipping, hair cutting, and ear cleaning.

Groomadog Academy

Kathy Sounders founded Groomadog Academy to produce successful dog groomers who can style all dogs regardless of breed. The program takes 12 weeks to complete, after which students graduate with a certificate.

Groomadog Academy is located in Blythewood, South Carolina, with branches elsewhere.

Michigan School of Canine Cosmetology

Located in Lansing, Michigan, this school is in high demand, and given its quality, it isn’t hard to see why. Along with the technical aspects of the job, the school also teaches the business aspect.

The basic grooming program lasts 400 hours, while the Pet grooming plus program lasts 600 hours.

Texas Allbreed Grooming School

A beautiful class space, independent workstations, and hydraulic tables are some things students get to enjoy at the Texas Allbreed Grooming School. The program lasts 12 weeks, during which students will have acquired everything they need to know about pet grooming, including dog psychology and breed recognition.

Greenville Technical College

With over 100 technical courses and a team of professionals teaching them, Granville Technical College remains one of the top destinations to learn how to be a successful dog groomer. The program emphasizes health and safety. Graduates can work in various environments, including grooming spas, veterinary practices, pet shops, and kennels.

Merryfield School of Pet Grooming

Students at the Merryfield School of Pet Grooming will learn, in 600 hours of training, everything they’ll need to become professional dog groomers, including the basic skills, confidence, speed, and accuracy.

Adhering strictly to the standards laid out by the National Dog Groomers Association of America, students also undergo an externship to acquire hands-on experience in the real world.

Rio Gran Grooming School

Rio Gran Grooming School adopts innovative strategies and teaching techniques to help students become their best. Focusing on hygiene, physical appearance, and healthy development, students at this institution also enjoy the luxury of small, manageable classes to proceed sustainably without getting overwhelmed.


While dog groomers are not legally mandated to become certified before they can practice, doing so can be a good idea for several reasons. For one, certification brings about a level of credibility that separates you from the pack and groups you with the elite professionals in the field.

Moreover, most employers prefer to hire certified dog groomers, which means obtaining certification can lead to substantial financial benefits.

While the decision to become certified is often straightforward, the decision regarding which certification to go with is slightly less so. Below are some of the most notable options to consider.

The National Dog Groomers Association of America

Getting the National Certified Master Groomer credential offered by the NDGAA gives you access to tons of helpful resources, provides instant credibility and recognition, and may also provide upward mobility regarding pricing structure.

To become certified, dog groomers must demonstrate their skills before the NDGAA certifiers on 14 different breed profiles.

International Professional Groomers Inc.

The IPG allows dog groomers to become certified on two different levels. The first level is the International Certified Master Groomer (ICMG) credential, while the second is the Advanced Professional Groomer Certification (APG) credential.

The organization is quite respected worldwide and is in charge of accreditation on institutional and programmatic levels in a handful of countries around the globe.

International Society of Canine Cosmetologists

The ISCC also offers a respected certification credential. To qualify, dog groomers must already have a strong base knowledge of critical concepts in the field and demonstrate it by passing written and practical examinations.