Looking for a great career with dogs? If pampering pooches is your dream, Hartpury can help


Did you know Hartpury can give you the qualifications you need to make a new career out of the growing demand for dog grooming?

Hartpury is the only college in Gloucestershire to offer City and Guilds dog grooming courses. While the next batch of these popular canine grooming courses starting in March are full, places are still available for an intensive course that will run in the summer.

Starting on August 4th, 2014, the course - City and Guilds Level 2 Certificate for Dog Grooming Assistants – will see students come in for five-day blocks every other week. It is 17 days in all.

This course covers dog grooming, nail clipping, ear cleaning, de-matting, grooming out, bathing and drying and basic clipping together with theory on health and safety, restraint and control, diseases and parasites and hazards in a grooming salon.

The tutor, Dog Grooming Manager Kate Turner, has worked in the grooming industry and is experienced in teaching the subject. Hartpury’s grooming facility boasts a wide range of equipment that you would find in a grooming parlour.

Kate said: “By the end of the Level Two course, our learners are fully qualified to work for a groomer preparing dogs for styling. Many of them then go on to do their City and Guilds Introductory Level 3 Certificate for dog stylists and to then start up their own businesses as dog groomers or to work for others as stylists.

“These qualifications are equally suited to school leavers or people looking for a change in career. Our regular courses are one day a week over 17 weeks, so it can be a great way to gain qualifications while you are working and you can fit it in around childcare commitments. Alternatively, the intensive summer course allows people to learn the skills they need and gain their certificate quickly.”

All of the current crop of Level 2 students are moving on to the Level 3 qualification in March, and they will be joined by others from all over the South West and the Midlands.

Penny Searle, 38, from Staunton, said: “I’d had a go at grooming my own Cocker Spanier, Buster, and a few of my friends said I should think about getting a qualification in it, so I must have done a fairly good job!

“I’ve learned so much since I’ve been on the course though. There’s a lot of theory to learn but the best bit is getting hands-on with the dogs. I can’t wait for the Level 3 course and then hopefully to be able to run my own business from home.”

Alice Lee, 19, from Stroud, said: “I had already learned how to groom miniature poodles as I have one at home, Charlie, but I wanted to get some experience of grooming other breeds.

“I’m off to Exeter University to study Zoology and Animal Behaviour in September. By that time, I should also have my Level 3 qualification, which will mean I’m qualified as a dog groomer. It is a business I can fit in around my studies to help me fund my education.”

The dog grooming students are asked to bring in dogs to practice on but the college also has a list of available dogs. Members of the public can also offer their dogs for grooming and they are asked to make a donation to Cheltenham Animal Shelter in return.

If anyone would like to offer their dog for grooming by our students, they can e-mail kate.turner@hartpury.ac.uk

Karen Gwatkin, 29, from Gloucester was this week grooming Mister Socks – a Husky/German Shepherd/Alaskan Malamute cross – on loan to Hartpury. She said: “I’m currently unemployed, and as I love animals, I thought this would be the perfect career to move into. I’ve really enjoyed the course and I would love to find work in a dog grooming parlour.”

Katrin Gierlichs, 42, from Ross-on-Wye, said: “I always had my own business, running a restaurant in Devon, but then I moved to Gloucestershire and had my little girl, Anya.

“She’s now two and I thought this would be a great idea for a career that I can fit in around childcare, running my own business from home. I enjoy spending time with animals more than people – I’ve got lots of them at home – and I’ve loved the course, especially getting to use my brain and study again!”

The next one day a week Level 2 and 3 courses after the intensive course in the summer will start in September 2014.

There’s more information about our dog grooming courses at www.hartpury.ac.uk

To apply and to find out more about any funding that could be available, call our short course department on 01452 702154.

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