The Common Struggles of Running a Dog Grooming Business

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In “The Common Struggles of Running a Dog Grooming Business,” a video by Go Groomer, the host discusses the challenges that come with operating a dog grooming business. Drawing from their own experiences, the host shares the hurdles they have had to overcome throughout their years as a professional groomer. The video also features special guests from Grooming by Rudy, a father-son grooming team, who provide valuable insights and advice. They touch on various topics such as their preferred tools and products, the importance of early socialization and regular grooming for dogs, and the impact of COVID-19 on the grooming industry. Overall, the video aims to help others in the industry avoid common pitfalls and challenges, offering recommendations for resources, courses, and brand partnerships along the way.

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Running a dog grooming business can be a rewarding and fulfilling venture, but it also comes with its fair share of struggles. In this article, we will explore the common challenges faced by dog groomers and how they overcome them. We will also delve into the importance of grooming for the well-being of dogs. Join us as we dive into the insights shared in the video by Go Groomer and learn from the experiences of Grooming by Rudy and Anthony.

Grooming by Rudy and Anthony

Grooming by Rudy and Anthony is a father-son grooming team that has been in the industry for decades. They are not only skilled groomers but also YouTubers and podcast hosts. They run a successful YouTube channel called Grooming by Rudy, where they share their knowledge and experiences with dog grooming. They also have a podcast called “Groomer Humor” on Pet Life Radio, where they delve into various topics related to grooming. Their social media presence has allowed them to connect with fellow groomers and pet owners, sharing valuable tips and tricks of the trade.

Rudy and Anthony have their favorite tools and products that they swear by. They recommend the Andis five-speed Excel clipper and top performance nail grinder as essential tools for any professional groomer. They also highlight the advancements in hypoallergenic shampoos, which have revolutionized the industry by providing safer options for dogs with sensitive skin. Their experience in the grooming industry dates back to 1985 when Rudy began grooming professionally. Later, Anthony joined him in 2003, and they have been working together since, forming a formidable team.

The grooming journey of Rudy and Anthony started with attending the renowned Nash Academy of Animal Arts. This esteemed institution provided them with the foundational knowledge and skills necessary to excel in their craft. After their education, they gained experience working in a busy grooming shop before venturing out on their own. In 1998, they opened their own store, which allowed them to establish their brand and cater to their growing clientele. Anthony’s addition to the business in 2003 brought fresh perspectives and skills, further fueling their success. Their teamwork and dedication have been evident since their high school days, when they would work together on weekends and holidays.

Struggles with Difficult Dogs

One of the common struggles that dog groomers face is dealing with difficult dogs. Rudy and Anthony have had their fair share of challenging encounters with unpredictablåe and potentially aggressive dogs. Assessing the safety of grooming these dogs is crucial to protect both the groomer and the animal. At times, they have had to turn down certain grooming jobs due to safety concerns. This decision is never easy, but it prioritizes the well-being of both the groomer and the dog.

To avoid difficult situations with dogs, early socialization and regular grooming are key. Rudy and Anthony emphasize the importance of introducing puppies to grooming at a young age to prevent fear and anxiety associated with the grooming process. Regular grooming sessions also help dogs become accustomed to being handled and groomed, making future grooming experiences less challenging.

Cage-shy dogs can pose an additional challenge in grooming. These dogs become fearful when placed in a cage or confined space. Rudy and Anthony share a trick they use to help these dogs feel more comfortable. They use the dog’s belongings, such as their bed or toys, to lure them out of the cage. By associating positive experiences with the grooming area, they gradually build trust and alleviate the fear associated with grooming.

Recognizing the need for expansion, Rudy and Anthony made the decision to open a new storefront location. This move allowed them to accommodate their growing business and expand their reach. However, with any new venture, there are always challenges. Splitting lottery tickets between two people became an unexpected obstacle that required creative solutions. Additionally, they encountered issues with the use of porcelain tubs in their new location, prompting them to find alternatives that provided a safe and efficient grooming environment.

Expanding the Business

Expanding a grooming business comes with its own set of challenges. Building confidence in providing quality grooming services, overcoming the fear of handling difficult dogs, and gaining customer approval are common hurdles for dog groomers. Rudy and Anthony share their personal experiences with these challenges and how they have overcome them.

Confidence is something that grows over time with practice and experience. The muscle memory developed through repetitive grooming tasks helps groomers become more efficient and confident in their abilities. Overcoming the fear of getting bitten or injured by dogs can be a significant barrier for groomers. However, with proper training and the ability to read dog behavior, groomers can navigate challenging situations with greater ease.

Customer approval is crucial for any business, and dog grooming is no exception. Rudy and Anthony understand the importance of meeting customer expectations and ensuring that their furry clients leave their salon looking and feeling their best. Through open communication and a continuous commitment to improvement, they strive to provide exceptional customer service.

Challenges of Dog Grooming

The dog grooming industry can be challenging, even for experienced groomers like Rudy and Anthony. Rudy shares his solo experience of grooming dogs from 1985 to 2003. During this period, he faced many struggles without the support of a grooming partner. The workload and demands of the job took a toll on his well-being. However, in 2003, Anthony joined the team and proved to be a valuable asset, taking on tasks such as bathing and drying the dogs. Having Anthony as a teammate alleviated the pressure and provided emotional support for Rudy.

The role of a groomer assistant is invaluable in the grooming process. Rudy compares it to a dental assistant, highlighting the importance of having someone to support and assist the groomer. Groomer assistants play a crucial role in ensuring the smooth operation of the salon, from prepping the dogs to helping with cleaning and maintenance tasks. Their presence allows groomers to focus on providing high-quality grooming services.

Despite the dedication and hard work put into their profession, groomers often face misunderstandings and a lack of appreciation from clients and the general public. Some people may not fully understand the skills, challenges, and responsibilities involved in dog grooming. Rudy and Anthony discuss receiving disrespectful comments and the lack of appreciation for their profession. They understand the need for education and awareness to bridge this gap and educate pet owners about the importance of grooming for their dogs’ well-being.

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The Importance of Groomer Assistants

Groomer assistants are a vital part of any grooming business. They provide support and assistance to groomers, making their job more manageable and efficient. Rudy compares the role of a groomer assistant to that of a dental assistant, highlighting the similarities between the two professions.

Groomer assistants play a crucial role in the grooming process by helping with tasks such as bathing, drying, and prepping dogs for grooming. Their presence allows groomers to focus on the technical aspects of grooming, knowing that they have reliable assistance.

In addition to the practical support, groomer assistants also provide emotional help to groomers. The demanding nature of the job can sometimes be mentally and emotionally draining. Having a supportive team member by their side can make a significant difference in reducing stress and maintaining motivation.

Educating clients about the grooming process is another important responsibility of groomer assistants. They can help answer questions, provide guidance on grooming routines, and offer advice on products and practices that promote a dog’s overall well-being. By educating pet owners, groomer assistants contribute to building stronger relationships between groomers and their clients, as well as ensuring that dogs receive the best possible care.

Misunderstandings and Lack of Appreciation

The dog grooming profession often faces misunderstandings and a lack of appreciation from clients and the general public. Rudy and Anthony share their experiences with disrespectful comments and the challenges they encounter due to the misunderstanding of their profession.

Some people fail to recognize the skills and dedication required to be a professional groomer. Rudy and Anthony emphasize that dog grooming is not just a simple trim or bath; it involves complex techniques, knowledge of different breeds, and a deep understanding of dog behavior. Educating clients and the public about these aspects of grooming can help foster a better appreciation for the profession.

The Impact of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the grooming industry. The closure of non-essential businesses and restrictions on grooming services affected groomers worldwide. However, Rudy and Anthony mention a silver lining in the form of increased appreciation for groomers. As pet owners had to take on grooming responsibilities themselves, they gained a newfound understanding of the challenges that groomers face daily. This newfound appreciation has led to stronger relationships between groomers and their clients.

The Importance of Grooming for Dog’s Well-being

Grooming is not merely a cosmetic procedure; it is essential for a dog’s overall well-being. Maintaining proper hygiene through regular grooming helps prevent health issues such as ear infections and skin problems. Rudy and Anthony emphasize the importance of educating pet owners about grooming and its impact on their dogs’ health.

Regular grooming sessions allow groomers to detect any abnormalities or underlying health issues early on. By catching these issues in their early stages, groomers can advise pet owners to seek veterinary care and prevent potential complications.


Running a dog grooming business is no easy feat, but the struggles are worth it for the love and care groomers provide to their furry clients. In this article, we explored the common challenges faced by dog groomers, as discussed in the video by Go Groomer. We gained valuable insights from Grooming by Rudy and Anthony, who shared their experiences and expertise in the field.

From dealing with difficult dogs to expanding their business, Rudy and Anthony have overcome various obstacles throughout their grooming journey. They highlight the importance of groomer assistants and the need for education and awareness about the grooming profession. The impact of COVID-19 has brought about a greater appreciation for groomers, and the significance of grooming for a dog’s well-being cannot be underestimated.

Dog grooming is not just about making dogs look good, but also about ensuring their health and happiness. It is a profession that requires skill, dedication, and love for animals. By understanding the challenges and triumphs of running a dog grooming business, we can better appreciate the important role that groomers play in the lives of our beloved pets.

Watch until the end for an exclusive dog grooming Comedy skit. We can help you avoid many of the Common Struggles of running a Dog Grooming business. In this video, we share the dog grooming struggles we had to overcome over many years of grooming professionally.

Join us live to uncover decades of dog grooming truths that can help you miss some of the pitfalls of dog grooming that cost us all time, money, and at times even heartache.

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