Pet Grooming Certificate

Program Outline

Your program consists of courses designed to take you step-by-step through the knowledge and skills of pet grooming. Your first course will be sent to you as soon as your enrollment has been accepted. Other courses will follow as you complete your exams, so that you will always have training materials to work with.

Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need access to high-speed internet to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 10® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running macOS® or later, and an email account to complete this program.

Here is an overview of what you’ll learn and the order in which you’ll access your lessons:

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal: The Pet Grooming certificate program teaches students how to care for the grooming needs of their own dogs.

Program Outcomes:
Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Identify the duties of a pet groomer and how to establish a grooming business
  • Know the historical background of the dog and cat and identify the anatomy of the dog and cat
  • Identify grooming hand tools and describe their uses as well as know how to prepare a dog for grooming and bath and dry the dog
  • Recognize how to groom dogs from the Terrier group, non-sporting group, and toy group
  • Recognize how to groom dogs from the sporting group, herding group, hound group, and working group
  • Recognize how to groom poodles, mixed breeds and drop-coat styles, and puppies
  • Recognize this basic personalities of different dogs and understand how to groom dogs who have behavior problems
  • Identify the characteristics common to cats' personality types and understand how to properly handle each type of cat
  • Know the basics of bookkeeping, advertising customer service as well as pricing and fees to start a pet grooming business

PEP016: Introduction to Pet Grooming (Delivered Online Only)

Starting Your Program
Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program. Understand how to use your Student Portal. Access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers. Connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.

The Grooming Professional
Career opportunities in pet grooming; basic equipment; professionalism; communication skills needed.

PEP017: Introduction to Dogs and Cats

Introduction to Dogs
Brief introduction to dog types; personalities of dogs; general handling of dogs.

Introduction to Cats
Brief introduction to cats; types of cats; types of cat personalities; general handling of cats.

Anatomy and Health Care of Dogs and Cats
Structures of dogs and cats in relation to body parts and purposes; basic health care; informing the pet owner of problems noticed while grooming.

PEP018: Pre-Grooming Procedures

Equipment Selection, Use, and Maintenance
Use and proper care of equipment and grooming tools; maintenance and care of kennels and crates.

Preparation of Dogs for Grooming
Combing and brushing techniques; cleaning ears and plucking ear hair; nail clipping; taking care of eyes, stomach, and rectal area.

Bathing and Drying
Procedures for using shampoos, conditioners, and flea products; basic bathing and drying techniques.

Basic Grooming Patterns
Procedures to treat mats; shaving down a dog; choosing the proper cut.

PEP019: Dog Grooming, Part 1

Terrier Group
Various types of terriers and the particular cuts for each type; terminology related to terriers.

Non-Sporting Group
Types of non-sporting dogs; various breeds; original purpose of these dogs; non-sporting breed cuts; detailed look at the Bichon Frise.

Toy Group
Types of toy breeds; original purpose of these dogs; terminology and cut procedures; detailed look at the Shih Tzu.

PEP021: Dog Grooming, Part 2

Sporting Group
Types of sporting dogs; various breeds; original purpose of these dogs; sporting breed cuts; detailed look at the Cocker Spaniel.

Herding Group
Types of dogs in the herding group; various breeds; original purpose of these dogs; herding breed cuts; detailed look at the Old English Sheepdog and the Bouvier des Flandres.

Hound Group
Types of hounds and various breeds; original purpose of these dogs; types and terminology of various cuts and procedures; the Norwegian Elkhound is described in detail.

Working Group
Types of working dogs; various breeds; original purpose of these dogs; working group breed cuts; terminology and procedures; detailed look at the Giant Schnauzer.

PEP022: Dog Grooming, Part 3

Types of cuts; terminology; detailed look at the lamb cut.

Mixed Breeds and Drop-Coat Styles
Types of cuts; terminology; procedures; choosing the mixed-breed cut.

Proper handling of puppies; types of grooming problems associated with puppies; grooming in stages; recognizing signs of stress; introducing the puppy to clippers; bathing and drying puppies; the positive grooming experience

PEP023: Dog Personalities and Behavior

Specific Personalities
The various personality types; groomer responsibilities; hazards; various procedures/techniques for working with each type of dog.

Grooming Dogs With Behavior Problems
Owner notification of problems; protection of self and others; proper use of muzzles; instruction of owners to curb grooming behavior problems.

PEP024: Cat Grooming

Introduction to Cats and Their Personalities
Different types of cat personalities are discussed; problems faced by groomers with each; hazards; kitten personalities and problems.

Cat Grooming Procedures
Proper handling procedures; combing and brushing procedures; dematting and shaving down; bathing and drying procedures; grooming kittens.

PEP027: Business Practices

The Business Side of Grooming
Job descriptions in a typical grooming business; setting prices; phone procedures; customer service; record keeping; advertising; accounting and payroll; zoning regulations.


Online Library and Librarian
Students in Penn Foster Career School have access to an online library for use during their studies. Students can use this library to do the required research in the courses they complete or can use it for general reference and links to valuable resources. The library contains helpful research assistance, articles, databases, books, and Web links. A librarian is available to answer questions on general research-related topics via email and to assist students in research activities during their studies with Penn Foster Career School International.

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.

Note: A High School Diploma or GED is required to enroll in this program.

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