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Laura’s Story: Training the Next Generation of Dog Groomers

Meet Laura, who has recently joined the Haddon Training team as a Dog Grooming and Animal Care Trainer Coach. With more than eight years of experience in the industry, Laura has worked across various animal care settings and successfully managed numerous busy high street salons.

We recently caught up with Laura to find out more about her journey from managing dog grooming salons to helping train the next generation of dog groomers, her biggest successes so far, and why she believes apprenticeships are valuable within the animal are industry.

Can you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your background?

Hi! I’m Laura and in January I started as a Dog Grooming and Animal Care Trainer Coach at Haddon Training. I have come straight from the dog grooming industry where I have managed several busy high street salons and groomed dogs for the last eight years. Before dog grooming, I completed an Animal Science degree and have previously worked at a veterinary practice and also an RSCPA rehoming centre.

What motivated you to pursue a career in dog grooming?

I never planned on becoming a dog groomer, but since a young child I always knew I wanted to work with animals in some capacity. Towards the end of my degree, I embarked on some work experience at a local dog grooming salon. My previous work placement was at a veterinary practice, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, but it wasn’t until I started at the dog grooming salon that I truly felt like I had found the job for me. I loved everything about it, and I was lucky enough to have a great teacher who was very patient with me, and helped me gain my confidence and skills.

What has been your biggest success so far?

One of my biggest successes would be finding my confidence with hand scissoring. It was always a goal for me to be able to confidently groom any breed/style in a good time. I was lucky enough within my grooming career to be able to work alongside very talented groomers and attend seminars from the best groomers in the industry. Through this experience and learning I developed my skill set and I am proud of what I achieved.

What is your favourite thing about dog grooming? Were there techniques you felt you excelled at?

My favourite thing about dog grooming was developing a bond with the customers dogs, there is nothing better than starting your day with a dog excited to see you. My passion has always been spaniels as I have owned them myself for the past twenty years and love the breed standard cuts that they have. I think I excelled in doing breed standard trims, I love how they accentuate the natural form of the dog and the history that goes alongside the trims and styles they have.

What drew you to pursue your role as a Training Coach at Haddon Training?

Whilst managing salons I was lucky enough to have my own apprentices work alongside me in the salon and always enjoyed seeing the progress they made, and how rewarding it was to see them become qualified dog groomers at the end of their course. This inspired me to want to pursue a career in teaching and now that I am a Trainer Coach, I love that I can still stay in the industry that I love, but also get to have that rewarding feeling everyday with my learners.

What are you most looking forward to in your new role?

I am most looking forward to becoming more confident within my role and progressing my skills as a Trainer coach. I am excited to see my learners through their apprenticeship and experience them passing their EPA and Functional skills exams after seeing firsthand how hard they have worked to achieve it.

What are your thoughts on apprenticeships, particularly within the field of animal care?

I strongly believe that apprenticeships offer the best route into the animal care industry. Getting paid while gaining practical experience is incredibly valuable. Working with animals is something that cannot be taught in a short period of time, and without the practical learning alongside this, you would not be able to progress to the best of your ability.

Are you interested in a future career in animal care? You can find out more about our Animal Care apprenticeships here.

If you have any questions about our apprenticeships or if you’d like to hire an apprentice for your animal care business, please get in touch here.

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