Rags to Wags

 Being a dog groomer isn’t all about cuddling dogs and puppies.

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With it being the annual celebration of National Dog Day, we met up with Grace Campbell, Business Owner of K9 Care Centre – Just for Dogs in Maybole, Ayrshire.

Grace has worked in the animal care industry and dog grooming sector for over thirty years and is the only Dog Groomers in Ayrshire that provides the City and Guilds qualification.

Grace gives us an insight into what being a dog groomer is really like and her journey to getting to where she is today.

Tell us a bit about yourself?

I qualified as a dog groomer over thirty years ago at the London Academy of Canine Beauticians. I have spent most of my career in the veterinary/dog grooming sector. At home I have 5 Newfoundlands, one Border Terrier, a Springer Spaniel and 2 cats. Two of the Newfoundlands are trained water rescue dogs and the others are in training at present. I have a passion for dogs and love to see them happy and healthy.

Tell us about your organisation?

Our organisation is split into three under the heading of K9 Care Centre Ltd, our dog grooming training centre is ‘Ayrshire Academy of Canine Beauticians’ where students come along and learn how to groom dogs as a career. ‘Just for Dogs’ is our dog grooming salon which caters for regular clients having their dogs groomed by qualified groomers. This is where we offer Work Experience. Our ‘Splash a While’ is our hydrotherapy and holistic unit catering for the health and welfare of dogs.

How did you choose a career in the dog grooming industry?

When I was 15 years old I asked a local vet for a job and then I started working for him. He wanted me to be a vet nurse and dog groomer so I was sent to complete a dog grooming course and the rest is history.

Do you currently employ any young people between the ages of 16 – 24?

Yes, one of our employees is 21 years old.

What have you found to be the benefits of employing a young person and what advice would you give to other employers who may be considering taking on a young person?

The benefits of employing a young person is the enthusiasm to continue learning and participating in training courses.  A young person who enjoys working and learning in the workplace is more likely to stay with you for a number of years and so a benefit for the employer and employee.

What part of your job do you enjoy doing the most?

I really enjoy seeing all the dogs coming in with toussled, overgrown hair and then the groomers work their magic and the dogs leave looking and feeling great

Are there any areas you least enjoy? 

Dogs who come in with matted coats, clearly distressed is quite upsetting for us, but at least we can help the dogs and educate the owners.

Do you offer work experience? 

Yes we do.

What advice would you give to other businesses who may be considering taking on work experience?

Taking on work experience pupils takes planning. If you provide them with jobs to do you will see them thrive and work as part of a team. Give them a chance and you will see the benefits.

What skills and qualities do you look for in a young person?

The young person must like dogs, be able to communicate, especially listening to instructions.

What advice would you give to a young person who may be looking to start up their own business or work within the animal care industry?

The advice I would give is to have an open mind to working with dogs; some dogs are lovely, some dogs are aggressive, they all require their coat groomed. Dog grooming is about health and safety for you, the clients and their dogs, canine behaviour , canine first aid, understanding body language, understanding breed traits and using and maintaining equipment. Then bath/drying and grooming the dog to the clients specifications. Gain as much experience as you can and don’t be afraid to ask questions.


The “selfie” craze is officially unavoidable. Even our pets are jumping on the bandwagon!

Here are some top tips for capturing the perfect shot with your furry friends.

Tip 1 – Give some attitude for that added cool factor.

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Tip 2 – If you think you want to go for “cute”, tilt that head to the side.

St Bernard being groomed

 

Tip 3 – Use a filter to make those eyes pop!

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Tip 4 – You have to work to find your best angles.

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Tip 5 – Make your selfie stand out by cropping your face at an unusual angle.

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Tip 6 – Use props now and then.

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Tip 7 – If you feel silly taking photos of yourself, ease into it with your furry friend.

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Tip 8 – Make fun of the whole idea by pulling a silly face.

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Tip 9 – Finally, the ultimate goal is to try and get the perfect selfie with your canine friend.

Newfoundland

 


Would you like the opportunity to showcase your business or the young people you employ through our blog and social media platforms? Get in touch today:

T: 01292 678666

E: info@dywayrshire.com

 

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