Frequently Asked Questions

How do I become a dog groomer?
The Dog Groomers Association of Western Australia Inc. is pleased to inform you that the new grooming certificates have been released. It has been a long road since we started campaigning for this and the eventuation of these certificates is a huge step in our industry being recognised as a skilled profession and not a hobby. The grooming certificates are Certificate III in Pet Grooming and Certificate IV in Pet Styling. All certification is governed by the Industry Skills Council for our industry which is the Food, Fibre and Timber Industries Training Council.

How do I get my dog trimmed in a particular style?
If you like a certain look/style bring a picture to your groomer and discuss what would need to be done to get something similar. Don’t be afraid to ask for something different or point out what you’re not loving about the groom. Every groomer has a slightly different set of skills and aesthetic, so will approach styling in an individual way. Giving your groomer creative rights can bring out the best in them - often groomers go above and beyond on delivering when they are given free reign over style. If you see another dog in a style you like, ask them for their groomer's details. If you are looking for a breed trim, you can often find groomers that specialise in particular breeds in your area. You can use DGAWA's Find A Groomer tool to search for groomers that are skilled in particular techniques.

I'm not happy with how my dog was groomed, what can I do?
Groomers aim to keep their canine and human clients happy, but sometimes that doesn't happen. Please let your groomer know if there is something you don't like about the groom. If it is just a case of taking a bit more hair off the beard or tail, we can usually accomodate you on the spot. If it is your first time at the groomer, it may take a couple of visits for your groomer to fully understand the style you are looking for, or for your dog to be comfortable and settled enough for your groomer to complete the procedure to a reasonable standard. Unfortunately, if your dog is matted, the only humane styling option is a short clip to start over. Remember, grooming is a skill and art, so every groomer will approach styling differently, with different results. If you are not happy with the way your dog is handled during grooming, again, please speak to your groomer. Sometimes the use of restraint is necessary to keep your dog and the groomer safe during the procedure, especially if they are biting or lunging around scissors where there is a risk of injury. If you think your groomer is using excessive force, please contact DGAWA to let us know.

I missed an appointment with my groomer, and now there's a cancellation fee and they can't fit us in for 4 weeks. What do I do?
Your groomer may be booked many weeks in advance and unable to reschedule your appointment at short notice. Ideally, its best not to miss appointments, but emergencies happen and sometimes it's unavoidable. Cancellation policies vary from salon to salon, and are put in place to ensure that your groomer is able to cover business expenses despite the missed appointment. If you've missed an appointment, consider asking your groomer to go on their cancellation/waiting list, where you will be informed if an appointment comes up at short notice. You may need to be more flexible with your time, and do some extra brushing at home in the meanwhile!

My dog hates grooming, what can I do?
When you make an appointment with a groomer, make sure you point out any problems your dog has had with grooming before. This allows us to leave extra time if needed, or refer you to a more skilled professional. Sometimes, it may be better if a dog's owner stays with them while other times it is better that they are out of sight for the whole groom. Please be upfront so we don't get any unpleasant surprises. Your groomer may give you homework to help your dog be more comfortable with handling and grooming. It may also pay to visit the groomer more often, so that your grooming appointments can be short and pleasant, and there is no matting or knots to remove.

How often should I take my dog to the groomer?
This question depends on your dog's coat and the amount of grooming you perform at home. It's best to speak to your groomer about a regular program and schedule your appointments ahead of time. Most dogs need grooming every 4-6 weeks, whether that be for a bath and blowdry or a full groom.

How much will grooming cost?
The cost of your groom will vary from groomer to groomer and is dependant on a number of factors including how experienced your groomer is, whether they are in a shop/home salon/mobile, the number of dogs they see each day, how long your dog takes to groom, the quality of products used and the condition of your dog's coat. You can use DGAWA's Find A Groomer tool to locate groomers near you and discuss your needs with them.

Why did the groomer shave my dog so short?
When a dog's coat is knotty and matted it can be very dangerous to use a longer blade as the knots pull the skin which may become caught in the clipper blades and cause cuts. Brushing the knots out can be very painful and potentially cause irritation and bruising to the skin. It is also extremely time consuming, which causes additional unnecessary stress for your dog and physical discomfort for your groomer. When clipping a matted coat a groomer needs to remove the mats by clipping with blade that fits safely between the matting and your dog's skin. This can only usually be done safely with a very small (short) blade as larger (longer) blades can become caught in the matting and cause pain and injury. Your groomer may charge an additional fee for removing matting, as it is a skilled and time consuming process that can dull or damage clipper blades.

How can I avoid matting and having my dog shaved so short?
Regular grooming at home and by your grooming professional will prevent matting and the dreaded shave off! Your groomer is more than happy to show you the correct tools to use and how to take care of your dog's coat at home between appointments. Additionally, they may suggest a manageable length for your groom, to suit your grooming schedule and budget. Generally, longer coats require brushing daily to keep knots at bay. If your dog's coat is prone to matting and your groomer may suggest maintaining a short cut.

I just brought my puppy home, when do I need to get them groomed?
We recommend you start brushing your puppy at home as soon as they arrive to get them accustomed to the process. Most groomers also cater for puppy's first groom where they perform a short tidy, allow your puppy to become accustomed to the salon and show you how to take care of your puppy's coat at home. Your puppy is able to visit the salon as soon as they have completed their vaccinations. Don't wait to book though, we recommend calling a month in advance to ensure you get an appointment time that suit you. Please don't wait until your puppy is 6 months old or their coat becomes matted, as this can be a shocking introduction to the grooming salon and lead to your dog disliking grooming.