Pet Grooming Course Details

The Pet Grooming Certificate program at Penn Foster Career School includes an introduction to dogs and cats, basic health care of cats and dogs, dog breeds, preparation for grooming, equipment selection, bathing and drying, and more.

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal

The Pet Grooming certificate program teaches students how to care for the grooming needs of their own dogs and cats.

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 and describe how to bathe, dry, and prepare a dog for grooming
  • 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 the 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, and setting pricing and fees to start a pet grooming business

PEP016: Introduction to Pet Grooming

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.
Read about career opportunities in pet grooming.


  • Identify basic equipment you’ll be using.
  • Understand the professionalism and communication skills you’ll need to be successful.

PEP017: Introduction to Dogs and Cats

Introduction to Dogs


  • Identify the types and personalities of dogs.
  • Describe the general handling of dogs.
Introduction to Cats


  • Identify the types and personalities of cats.
  • Describe the general handling of cats.
Anatomy and Health Care of Dogs and Cats


  • Identify the structures of dogs and cats in relation to body parts and purposes.
  • Understand basic health care of dogs and cats.
  • Inform the pet owner of problems noticed while grooming.

PEP018: Pre-Grooming Procedures

Equipment Selection, Use, and Maintenance


  • Demonstrate the use and proper care of equipment and grooming tools.
  • Understand maintenance and care of kennels and crates.
Preparation of Dogs for Grooming


  • Demonstrate combing and brushing techniques.
  • Clean ears and pluck ear hair.
  • Clip nails.
  • Take care of eyes, stomach, and rectal area.
Bathing and Drying


  • Demonstrate the procedures for using shampoos, conditioners, and flea products.
  • Explain basic bathing and drying techniques.
Basic Grooming Patterns


  • Demonstrate the procedures to treat mats.
  • Demonstrate shaving down a dog and choosing the proper cut.

PEP019: Dog Grooming, Part 1

Terrier Group


  • Describe the various types of terriers and the particular cuts for each type.
  • Understand the terminology related to terriers.
Non-Sporting Group


  • Describe the types of non-sporting dogs, the various breeds, and the original purpose of these dogs.
  • Define non-sporting breed cuts.
  • Describe the Bichon Frise.
Toy Group


  • Explain the types of toy breeds and the original purpose of these dogs.
  • Understand the terminology and cut procedures.
  • Describe the Shih Tzu.

PEP021: Dog Grooming, Part 2

Sporting Group


  • Explain the types of sporting dogs, the various breeds, and the original purpose of these dogs.
  • Define sporting breed cuts.
  • Describe the Cocker Spaniel.
Herding Group


  • Explain the types of dogs in the herding group, the various breeds, and the original purpose of these dogs.
  • Define herding breed cuts.
  • Describe the Old English Sheepdog and the Bouvier des Flandres.
Hound Group


  • Explain the types of hounds, the various breeds, and the original purpose of these dogs.
  • Understand the types and terminology of various cuts and procedures.
  • Describe the Norwegian Elkhound.
Working Group


  • Explain the types of working dogs, the various breeds, and the original purpose of these dogs.
  • Understand the working group breed cuts, the terminology, and the procedures.
  • Describe the Giant Schnauzer.

PEP022: Dog Grooming, Part 3



  • Explain the types of poodle cuts and the terminology.
  • Describe the lamb cut.
Mixed Breeds and Drop-Coat Styles


  • Explain the types of cuts for mixed breeds and drop-coat styles.
  • Understand the terminology, procedures, and choosing the mixed-breed cut.


  • Demonstrate the proper handling of puppies.
  • Describe the types of grooming problems associated with puppies.
  • Understand grooming in stages, recognizing signs of stress, introducing the puppy to clippers, bathing and drying puppies, and the positive grooming experience.

PEP023: Dog Personalities and Behavior

Specific Personalities


  • Describe the various personality types of dogs.
  • Understand groomer responsibilities, hazards, and the various procedures/techniques for working with each type of dog.
Grooming Dogs with Behavior Problems


  • Explain owner notification of problems with dogs.
  • Understand the protection of yourself and others.
  • Demonstrate the proper use of muzzles.
  • Explain how to instruct owners to curb grooming behavior problems.

PEP024: Cat Grooming

Introduction to Cats and Their Personalities


  • Describe the different types of cat personalities.
  • Understand the problems faced by groomers with each type and the hazards involved.
  • Explain kitten personalities and problems.
Cat Grooming Procedures


  • Understand proper handling procedures of cats.
  • Demonstrate combing and brushing procedures, dematting and shaving down, bathing and drying procedures, and grooming kittens.

PEP027: Business Practices

The Business Side of Grooming


  • Describe the job descriptions in a typical grooming business.
  • Understand setting prices, phone procedures, customer service, record keeping, advertising, accounting and payroll, and zoning regulations.
The Quick Reference Guide to Dog Grooming


  • Review grooming techniques and procedures, including the use of equipment and the grooming styles for specific dog breeds.
  • Recognize dog behavior, such as aggressiveness and stress.

Additional Details

  • Licensing and/or certification requirements for jobs in this field are not the same in every state and may include educational, testing, and/or experiential requirements beyond those offered in the Penn Foster Program. Prospective students should contact the state professional licensing board or similar regulatory body in the state(s) where they plan to work to determine their requirements before enrolling in this Program. Click here for contact information for state licensing/regulatory boards and certain industry licensing information.

Penn Foster Career School Accreditation & Licensing Details

Penn Foster has been accredited for over 50 years. Penn Foster Career School has been thoroughly reviewed and has earned several important accreditations, certifications, and licensing. Most importantly, Penn Foster Career School is both regionally and nationally accredited.

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A Committed Support System

While you can study independently, you’re not alone! With a dedicated Student Services department, the Student Community, and instructors just a call away, you’ll have access to the support you need.

Progress Tracking and Goal Setting Tools

Our customizable goal-setting tools will help you create a schedule and stick to it. Need some extra time to complete a lesson? Not a problem — you can adjust your study plan at any time to set a pace that works for you.

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Student Community

Looking to connect with other Penn Foster students? Our Student Community is the perfect place for you to interact with your peers — as well as Penn Foster faculty and staff — to discuss your online learning experience, congratulate fellow students, and share your Penn Foster experience.

Sample Pet Grooming Lesson

Penn Foster courses are written in a way that is easy to understand, and materials are broken down into manageable lessons. Check out what a Pet Grooming course would look like:

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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.
We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.
Microsoft and Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
Apple, Mac, and macOS are trademarks of Apple, Inc. registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.