Little dog about to be groomed

The 7 Best Dog Grooming Courses Australia: Tested & Evaluated 2023

Written By Vedrana Nikolic | Canine Coach, B.A Ethnology & Anthropology, M.A Semiotics.
Edited & Fact Checked By Renae Soppe | B.A Journalism & Science. 
Last Updated: 2nd October 2023

So, you are considering enroling in a dog grooming course? Good for you! It’s definitely a great skill to have.

If you're looking to open your own business, or just get more knowledge on how to groom your own dog, it’s important to choose a good grooming course. 

There are quite a few pet grooming schools around these days, but they don't all offer the same quality of education. We’ve teamed up with an independent panel of experts and done the research for you. After several months and test driving many, many courses, we found some of the best dog grooming courses available in Australia.

Take a look at our list.


Australia's Best Dog Grooming Courses Reviewed

Looking for the best dog grooming courses in Australia? As our independent research team quickly learned, not all courses are created equal. We’ve done the research found these quality dog grooming courses in various parts of Australia:

#1: Best Dog Grooming Course Overall: Vibe Learning Dog Grooming Diploma

Vibe learning dog grooming

What sets this product apart from the rest?

  • Lifetime access to online materials
  • Study at your own pace
  • Mix of practical and online learning
  • Extensive curriculum taught by a professional groomer
  • Lots of positive reviews and success stories from previous students
  • Covers grooming, starting your own business & marketing 

This course from Vibe Learning is an online dog grooming course and it might just be the best and the easiest way to get down all the basics of dog grooming.

And to be honest, this course is not just about the basics - it pretty much covers everything you need to start your own dog grooming business. Since you will have lifetime access to the materials, it's a good idea to purchase for future reference, even if doing a face to face course.

Through 12 different modules, this course from Vibe Learning covers everything. It starts with getting familiar with a grooming kit and the basics of grooming, then you will move onto all the specifics of grooming and styling specific coats of different breeds including bathing, trimming and scissoring, to behaviour handling and first aid.

I especially loved how the last 3 modules are dedicated to the basics of starting your own business, customer skills, and marketing and includes free templates and resources to use in your business. It really sets you up for success! In short, it’s everything you need to stand on your own 2 feet as a newly educated dog groomer.

Once you have finished this course, you’ll be ready to start working from home, set up your own salon or a mobile grooming business, or maybe start by finding a job in an existing salon. This is not a nationally recognised diploma, though, but that’s also not something you would need to run a grooming business: what matters is the skill and passion you have.

Now, the main thing that gets prospective students worried about online grooming courses is the lack of practical training. However, all of our independent researchers agreed that the guys at Vibe Learning have handled this issue quite well. First of all, you will always get one-on-one support from an expert mentor. Then there are videos and interactive lessons, and finally, there are also practical tasks. These are not compulsory, but a great way to gain experience and test your skills.

Here is how it works: You find your own dog models - your own dog, your friend’s dog, or volunteering for local shelters is a great option. You practice grooming while getting advice and feedback from your course mentor. Another popular way to get experience is to advertise for models in your local area. Those models then often become paying clients in your new business.

We also discovered that studying online also comes with some advantages. You can enrol anytime and complete this course at your own pace, so you’ll never get held up by others like in a traditional classroom course. The creators say it usually takes 6 to 8 months, but it’s completely your decision. At the same time, you’ll be able to communicate and share the experience with other students enroled via a private Facebook group.

Finally, they offer flexible payment plans and a 5-day money back guarantee in case you decide this course is not for you for whatever reason. Unlike our second choice, there is no hands-on training, although there are no exams either.

Pros

Cons

  • Lifetime access to online materials
  • The diploma is not nationally recognised, although the skills you get are real
  • Study at your own pace
  • No hands-on training
  • Mix of practical and online learning
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  • Great curriculum
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#2: Best Dog Grooming Course Melbourne: Australian Dog Grooming School

Yorkshire Terrier being groomed
  • Taught by some of the best Australian groomers
  • Lots of hands-on grooming
  • Choose your own path and intensity of courses
  • In-depth knowledge

The Australian Dog Grooming School offers dog grooming and clipping courses in Melbourne. The courses are taught by two ladies who are qualified teachers and Australian grooming superstars: Nicky Renwood and Kimberley Azzopardi.

What we especially liked about the courses at the Australian Dog Grooming School is that you can choose how fast you want to go. The first level is the Bather Brusher Course, where I was able to learn about safety, dog anatomy, and how to handle different dogs and different coat types. You also learn everything about bathing and drying, cleaning ears, feet, and nails, some basics of dog health and skin disorders… in short - you get the base for practical grooming.

The next level is the Intermediate Grooming Course, where I started to learn about clipping and styling. However, if you want, you can actually take these two courses at the same time - it’s called the Intense Combined Course.

Once you are done with these two courses (either separately or at the same time), there are two more you can attend. The Advance Grooming Course will let you fine-tune your skills at your own salon. The Grooming Business 101 allows you to learn about all the details of running your own business so you are ready for everything from day one, similar to our number one choice, the Vibe Learning course.

Finally, as part of the training at the Australian Dog Grooming School in Melbourne, you can also acquire a grooming certification (GCIPG). The certificate is granted through International Professional Groomers Inc. (IPG), and it will require taking a couple of exams. But once you are done, you will have the most commonly recognised dog grooming certificate, and you (and everyone else) will know you have the skills necessary to succeed in the business.

Pros

Cons

  • Taught by some of the best Australian groomers
  • A bit expensive if you want to go through all of the modules
  • Lots of hands-on grooming
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  • Choose your own path and intensity of courses
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  • In-depth knowledge
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#3: Best Dog Grooming Course Sydney: Sydney Dog Grooming School

Grooming Golden Retriever dog on the table.
  • Quality courses with lots of hands-on practice
  • Experienced teacher
  • Private tuition available
  • Teaching in small groups

The Sydney Dog Grooming School covers all things related to dog grooming training in Sydney. They offer everything aspiring groomers need including courses, seminars, and private tuition.

Hannah, the head teacher at the school has a degree in zoology and qualifications in canine behaviour and nutrition, in addition to being an experienced and successful groomer who has practiced here and all over the world. So, there is no doubt - you are in good hands here.

What we are most interested in today are the standard grooming courses. There are three courses you can take. Each of them lasts 8 days, but there is no doubt these days are used to the maximum. In addition to theory and written parts of the course, you get lots of hands-on experience too (they say all courses are 90% hands on). This makes it similar to our second choice with the Australian Dog Grooming School.

Similar to most other dog grooming schools, you have two options to choose from: starting with the Bather Brusher Course and moving on to Moderate Course or take the Intense Combined Course where you cover everything in a short period of time.

In any case, once you are done you’ll have all the necessary knowledge to start grooming on your own (although there is always room to improve). For example, you’ll know how to handle any dog, the techniques to use for different coats and how to choose the correct length and style for any breed.

Pros

Cons

  • Quality courses with lots of hands-on practice
  • Courses are held only at specific times during the year
  • Experienced teacher
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  • Private tuition available
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  • Teaching in small groups
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#4: Best Dog Grooming Course Brisbane: Dentos Pet Stylist Academy Courses

groomer prepares dog for grooming
  • Self-paced theoretical modules
  • Practical sessions at the academy
  • Nationally recognised training offered
  • Combine studying with a Gold Coast holiday

The best grooming course in Brisbane is actually at Gold Coast! And why not, considering you get to enjoy free accommodation at a nice location at the Gold Coast when you attend some of the courses offered by Dentos Pet Stylist Academy. Since the courses are quite intensive, we’ve actually found it is quite helpful to get immersed in the dog grooming community at the Gold Coast - plus you get to enjoy the location when you are not studying.

One thing our expert panel liked most about the Dentos Pet Stylist academy is that they offer a variety of shorter and longer dog grooming courses. This means you can get exactly the education that you need. For example, if I wanted to dip my toes in the world of grooming and see if it is for me, the Bather Brusher short course is the perfect place to start. Just like most of their courses, this course has a theoretical module that you can cover at your own pace.

You get to learn about different dog breeds and dog types, basics of dog anatomy and health, basics of dog behaviour and how to handle different dogs. Finally, of course, you learn everything about bathing and drying. And when you’re done with the theory, you get to come to the academy and enjoy practical training for a week. This type of hands-on experience makes it similar to our second choice.

Once you have completed the Bather Brusher course, you can get a job at a grooming salon as a Bather Brusher or an assistant, or you can even have your own business dealing with bathing and brushing. Moreover, if you decide you want to learn more, you have actually already completed a part of the Pet Grooming Certificate course of study - you just need to keep going.

Pros

Cons

  • Self-paced theoretical modules
  • Requires more of a time commitment than some other courses
  • Practical sessions at the academy
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  • Nationally recognised training offered
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  • Combine studying with a Gold Coast holiday
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#5: Best Dog Grooming Course Perth: WA Dog Grooming & Clipping Academy

Trimming the white Maltese dog
  • Real-life classes in Perth
  • Groom Your Own Pet course offered
  • Certifications offered upon completing a course

Located in Kelmscott, the WA Dog Grooming & Clipping Academy is the perfect place to get your grooming skills and certificates if you are living in Perth. The owner and director of this school is Kim Dean, a professional groomer with over 20 years of experience in the industry who also runs her own salon.

The courses at the WA Academy are practical and designed to get you working on your own as soon as possible. The most popular is probably the Dog Grooming Course. This course lasts 12 days, and during these days you will learn everything you need to give any dog a complete grooming session. That’s actually what you will need to do as a final assessment: groom a dog on your own.

All of the workdays at the WA Academy are full days: they start at 8 AM and last until 4.30 PM. It’s a busy schedule, but you will be learning a lot and you’ll know you’re getting your money’s worth.

If you want to get the best possible education from this academy, I recommend that you choose to attend the Pet Stylist Grooming Course. This one lasts for 20 days - or 4 weeks (5 days a week), and you get to learn all the tips and tricks of becoming a successful stylist.

Finally, at this school you can also learn only what you need to. If you are just looking to learn how to groom your own dog, getting a full-fledged grooming course might seem like a bit too much. Well, at the WA Dog Grooming Academy, our team of researchers loved that you can attend a half-day course to learn how to give your canine companion the perfect grooming session - from bathing to clipping and styling.

Pros

Cons

  • Real-life classes in Perth
  • Classes during the whole day
  • Groom Your Own Pet course offered
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  • Certifications offered upon completing a course
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#6: Best Dog Grooming Course Adelaide: TAFE SA Basic Dog Grooming Course

trimming a pomeranian
  • Short and effective
  • Good value for money
  • Thought by a professional dog groomer
  • Includes a Grooming Essentials Kit to take home

If you are looking for any kind of training in South Australia, chances are you’ve probably heard of TAFE. The acronym stands for Technical and Further Education and they are one of the biggest providers of vocational and training education. They offer a variety of courses in different fields, but today we want to talk about their Basic Dog Grooming course.

Unlike the other options on this list, this course lasts only one day during which you will get exactly 6.5 hours of class time. When you pay for this course, you also get everything you will need to complete the course. This means you will receive a kit with essentials, including a slicker brush, nail trimmers, and various product samples.

After attending the Basic Dog Grooming course, I was able to learn a lot about different types of dog coats and their maintenance. They also teach you everything you need to know about bathing and brushing as well as trimming the nails and performing the basic health checks. You will also touch on the basics of clipping and trimming.

To be realistic, you will not learn all the tricks of the trade in one day, but you will learn a lot and enough to get started on your own. This course is held at the TEFA Gilles Plains campus.

Pros

Cons

  • Short and effective
  • Teaches only the basics
  • Good value for money
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  • Thought by a professional dog groomer
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  • Includes a Grooming Essentials Kit to take home
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#7: Best Dog Grooming Course Gold Coast: Dentos Pet Stylist Academy Courses

grooming white Maltese dog
  • Study the theoretical part at our own pace
  • A variety of courses offered so you can learn exactly what you need
  • Nationally Recognised training offered
  • Free accommodation included with courses

If you are looking for a dog grooming course at the Gold Coast, the Dentos Pet Stylist Academy is definitely the place to be. The Dentos Academy offers free accommodation to all students and lets you get yourself immersed in the life of the Gold Coast, like our number four choice. And of course, you also get top-notch dog styling education.

Our panel of independent experts loved how the courses are designed so everyone can find something to fit their needs. For example, they offer a Bather Brushers Skills short course which involves only practical learning for a week. That’s perfect for those who just want to get the hang of the basics and find out if they will like dog grooming as a job. 

However, if you already know you are serious about it, you can get full nationally recognised certifications. You can choose to get the Companion Animal Services certification or the Pet Grooming Certification or learn both at the same time and finish with a dual qualification.

In any case, all of the courses start with a theoretical part that you can do online at your own pace followed by a couple of weeks at the academy (usually 4). Once you are done, you will have a complete knowledge about dog grooming and styling and be ready to start practicing on your own!

Pros

Cons

  • Study the theoretical part at our own pace
  • Time-consuming
  • A variety of courses offered so you can learn exactly what you need
  • Enrolment possible only on specific dates
  • Nationally recognised training offered
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  • Free accommodation included with courses
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Is Dog Grooming a Good Career in Australia?

According to the latest statistics, approximately 40% of all households in Australia include at least one canine member (1). Dogs are by far the most common pets in all of Australia, and most pet parents do try to give them the best possible treatment, including feeding, care, and grooming.

“If the amount of money spent is any indication of the value Australian households place on their pets, then they could well be considered priceless. We are now estimated to be spending over $13 billion per year to keep our pets fed, healthy and well-accessorised - with food and veterinary services continuing to account for half of all on-going expenditure.”  - AMA “Pets in Australia” report

Considering that many dogs need regular grooming, and that not all pet parents have the time, energy, desire, or skill to clip their pet’s coats themselves, the prospects of a budding dog groomer are not bad at all.

Shih tzu dog grooming with comb and scissors.

How Can I Become a Professional Dog Groomer?

When thinking about getting into professional dog grooming, most people usually wonder - do I need a licence or a diploma in order to start working?

In Australia, there is no certificate required to work as a dog groomer. So, if you were just to start doing it, you wouldn’t be breaking any laws. And sure, it’s definitely possible to start practicing on your own dog and learn by doing. But think about it, would you feel comfortable offering grooming services without proper background knowledge? And as a customer, would you trust someone who didn’t attend any kind of course or training?

Therefore, enroling in a dog grooming course is a must. Dog grooming courses not only teach you how to clip a dog’s coat. If you choose a good course, it will start with the basics, you will learn about dog anatomy, different types of coats, and what are the proper ways of cleaning and caring for the coats of different dog breeds. You’ll also get to learn about dog behaviour, handling dogs, as well as the basics of running a business and dealing with clients.

During our research, we learned that most grooming schools will offer an introductory bather/brusher course. These kinds of courses only introduce you to grooming, but there is space to grow. You get to learn all the basics of bathing and essential hygiene for dogs so you can keep learning with confidence. With this kind of course you can also get a job at a grooming salon and pick up more skills as you work.

Now, although they are not necessary, there are a couple of nationally recognised certifications in Australia related to dog grooming. Various grooming schools will offer you the opportunity to get a Certificate II in Animal Studies, Certificate III in Dog Grooming, or Certificate III in Companion Animal Services. Obtaining a certificate is definitely a good idea because they will give you confidence and credibility that you know what you are doing.


What Can I Do After Completing a Dog Grooming Course?

Once you complete a dog grooming course, you will be ready to start out on your own - either as a bather/brusher or as a grooming professional, depending on what kind of course you choose. In any case, you have many options after this point. The key to being a good groomer is experience, so if you don’t think you have enough, our expert panel suggests that you might consider getting a job at a salon or even volunteering at shelters.

Dog groomers have many options for setting up their business. You could work from home or create a mobile dog grooming business (especially popular for dog shows). Then, you could also consider running your own salon where you could offer either just bathing or full grooming services.


Final Verdict

If you want to become a dog groomer, our independent experts were happy to learn that you actually have a lot of options. These days, there are many online courses offered and some of them are quite good, like the Vibe Learning Dog Grooming Course. Combined with some practice you do on your own, it should set you well on track to becoming a professional dog groomer.

However, most people find it easier to learn in real life. In that case, your choice will depend on where you live and what you want to learn. You can take an introductory Bather Brusher course if you just want the basics or get a full course that gives you a certificate and all the tips and tricks of styling different breeds. It all depends on your plans and your strategy!

FAQ

How long does it take to do a dog grooming course?

It all depends on the course you choose. There are basic introductory courses you can finish in just one day. However, most serious dog grooming courses last around 6 to 8 weeks, including a theoretical and a practical part.

Can you make a living as a dog groomer?

Doing dog grooming professionally comes with its own set of challenges, just like any other career. If you enjoy working with dogs and if you are persistent you can probably make a good living this way. Dog grooming requires a lot of skill, so dog groomers who have the talent and the experience tend to have good careers.

There is no pet grooming school close to me, what should I do?

First of all, there is no need to panic. There are quality options that you can do completely online, like the Vibe Learning Dog Grooming Diploma Course. Additionally, some grooming schools, like the Dentos Pet Stylist Academy will allow you to do a theoretical module online at your own pace and then travel to the school for a couple of weeks of practical training.

Do I need a grooming course for grooming my own dog?

Taking a grooming course is definitely not necessary in order to take care of your own dog, but sometimes it’s not a bad idea to take at least a short introductory course. This way you get to learn a lot about your canine companion, and you get to learn how to give your pet a professional look!

References
  1. “How Many Pets Are There in Australia?”. RSPCA. Retrieved April 10, 2023. https://kb.rspca.org.au/knowledge-base/how-many-pets-are-there-in-australia/#ftn1
  2. “Pets in Australia: A national survey of pets and people”. 22 October 2019. Animal Medicines Australia. Retrieved April 10, 2023.  https://animalmedicinesaustralia.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/ANIM001-Pet-Survey-Report19_v1.7_WEB_high-res.pdf

Vedrana Nikolic


Vedrana Nikolić is Gentle Dog Trainers Canine Coach, Professional Writer, Anthropologist & dog lover.

With a Masters Degree in Semiotics & Bachelors Degree in Anthropology, studying the communication between animals and humans, Vedrana is able to use her expertise to analyse and review dog products and write informative posts on canine behaviour and training.

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