Dirty Dogs Spa School of Grooming

Dirty Dogs Spa School of Grooming is dedicated to the teaching, training, and advancement of individuals concerned with the care, maintenance, and appearance of animals. To accomplish this, students are given extensive training with close supervision, while grooming pets at Dirty Dogs Spa. This “hands-on” approach allows students to apply knowledge and perfect the skills, resulting in a rapid progression from basic bathing and brushing to a complete professional groom.

Class size is limited to ensure the individual attention each student requires. Programs are designed to proceed at the student’s pace, depending upon the learning style of the individual student.

Our goal is to educate and train students to be the finest groomers possible, to be competent and confident members of the pet grooming industry, and to uphold its professionalism.


 This course is designed to provide the necessary knowledge and skills to prepare the student to obtain future employment as a Professional Pet Groomer. This course may also prepare the student for the management of a grooming salon.


This course concentrates on all levels of grooming, with an emphasis on the finished appearance of the pet. The entire Bather / Brusher Program course is included as a part of the Professional Pet Grooming Program. In addition, scissors techniques in layer cutting, thinning, and line cutting are included in the skills taught and practiced. The students will also master an understanding of breed standards, as well as the ability to provide fine creative grooming for mixed breeds.

Students will complete an extensive study of dog breeds, and conduct in-depth research of temperament, structure, and movement. Pet First Aid and CPR as well as practical experience in dog obedience is also included.

NOTE: Any student with prior bather or brusher experience will still be required to complete all the hands-on skills required in the Professional Pet Grooming Program. 

Bather / Brusher Program

160 Hours

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday 9 am – 5 pm

Prerequisite – High School diploma or GED certificate, and a genuine love of animals,

The Bather / Brusher Program is designed to teach students skills and techniques required to properly prepare a pet to be professionally groomed.

Part I Written

Anatomy, breeds, safety, canine behavior, proper techniques

The classroom studies are via video either on-site or at home and can be completed on the student’s own time. Upon successfully completing and passing with 80% or better each section the student will then move to Part II.

Part II Hands-On

Applying the techniques of proper brushing, de-matting, bathing, drying, nail clipping, ear care, and teeth care.

This is a good course to decide if you would like to become a dog groomer.

Upon completion, the student will receive a certificate as a “Groomer Assistant.”

Required – Books & Reading Materials

Notes From the Grooming Table, Melissa Verplank

Cesar’s Way, Cesar Milan

Professional Pet Grooming Program

400 hours – additional hours may be required, or requested, will be charged at an hourly rate of $75/hr.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday 8 am – 4:30 pm

Prerequisite – High School diploma or GED certificate, and a genuine love of animals

Part I Written

Breed-specific grooming techniques.

The classroom studies via video and can be completed on the student’s own time. Upon successfully completing and passing with 80% or better each section of this section the student will then move to Part II.

The student may “TEST OUT” of the written portion of the course upon completing a written test and scoring 85% or more on each of the 20 sections. 

Part II Hands-On

Applying and perfecting the techniques learned, working with clients in determining the proper style of each pet.

Upon completion, the student will receive a certificate as a “Pet Groomer”

Required – Books & Reading Materials

Notes From the Grooming Table, Melissa Verplank

The Theory of Five, Melissa Verplank

Complete Dog Book, The American Kennel Club, Newest Edition

Canine Terminology, Harold R. Spira

Cesar’s Way, Cesar Milan

What Would Colin Do?

Required Equipment

  • Two Speed Professional Clipper w/ #10 Blade
  • (optional) Andis Mini Clipper
  • Grooming Smock-nylon preferred
  • #30 Blade
  • (optional) #15 Blade
  • #7F Blade
  • #5F Blade
  • #4F Blade
  • Guard Comb Set
  • Greyhound Comb – 7 ½ “to 8“
  • Slicker Brush – 1 Large & 1 Small
  • Matt Breaker
  • Rubber Curry
  • Thinning Shears
  • Scissors: 5 ½ Curve, 8” Straight, 6” Straight, Blunt Tipped
  • Hemostats
  • Nail Trimmers – 1 Large (Miller Forge recommended) & 1 Small
  • Blade Coolant
  • Ear Powder
  • Ear Cleaner
  • Kwik Stop
  • Spray Disinfectant
  • Kennel Lead
  • Duffle Bag
  • (optional) Detangling Spray (such as Quicker Slicker)

Anyone interested in applying to Dirty Dogs Spa School of Grooming is encouraged to visit the salon and meet with the director before enrolling. Although a visit is not required, it will not only give the prospective student an opportunity to meet with the director and examine the facility, but it will also provide a demonstration of the skills and knowledge required to succeed in the pet grooming business. This will assist the prospective student in deciding about pursuing a career in this field. The visit may be scheduled on any regular business day from 8:00 am -5:00 pm. Please call in advance for an appointment, so the director can plan adequate time for an informative meeting. After the decision to apply has been made, the prospective student must submit the appropriate application forms, a copy of the High School Diploma / GED certificate, along with the $100 Application fee. to request copies of the necessary forms call us at (919) 453-0765.


Students should possess a genuine love for animals and High School Diploma or GED certificate. All students must be at least 18 years of age, be in good health, and current with their Tetanus Vaccinations, (a signed poof from your doctor must be provided.) You must be able to stand for 8 hours and be able to lift animals of 50 lbs. or larger into the bathing tub. The school will review the prospective student’s application and qualifications, after which the student will be notified as to the status of his / her acceptance.

Upon acceptance, the student has 7 days to make a deposit for the class and to place their order for grooming tools (as needed for the class.) The student must be drug-free and must be clean, neat, and have no attachments that could be dangerous.


We do not accept transfer credit nor allow credit for prior education, training, or experience.


The first day of class will be a review of the rules and expectations of the school. Students must wear casual clothing and comfortable non-skid shoes. During orientation you will:

  1. Tour the Salon.
  2. Care of Salon Equipment
  3. Dress Code
  4. Salon rules, expectations, and behavior
  5. Animal Handling


Students will be expected to complete the class within 9-20 weeks after their start date assuming no approved absences or other extenuating circumstances have occurred. The class should not last longer than 6 months.


Deposit for all class                                $   100.00

Bather / Brusher Program                   $    600.00

Basic Groomer Program                       $ 4,900.00

Salon Management Program               $ (Coming Soon)

Books and Equipment*                         $ 1,500.00 (Not including tax and shipping)

Any student enrolled in a payment plan must keep payments current and on time.  If a student falls behind in payments, upon notice, the student will have 3 days to bring the account current.  If the account is not brought current, students will not be allowed to continue classes until all past due payments are paid in full.  If the account goes 45 days past due, the student will be dropped from enrollment and will have to reapply for enrollment. 

*Grooming equipment quote is based on the recommended books and tools from the provided list and may vary based on the current manufacturer pricing.


Refunds are described below:

Deposit                                                            Non-Refundable

Grooming Equipment                                  Non-Refundable

Withdrawal Prior to 1st day of class          100% Refundable

1st day of class                                                50% Refundable

2-3 days after start date                               25% Refundable

4th day of start date                                       Non-Refundable

Any Termination due to

Excessive absences/tardiness                     Non-Refundable


All withdrawals must be done in writing and presented to the director – Vanessa Davis.


Any student who is enrolled in this course shall not be employed as a groomer or provide grooming services for any compensation until a certificate of completion is obtained from this course.

If a student does not receive a certificate of completion from this course, the student agrees that the student WILL NOT seek employment as a groomer, directly or indirectly, or operate, own, or participate in a grooming business anywhere within a 100 (one hundred) mile radius of Wake.

Forest, NC for a period of One Year from the time that the student drops out of the course. Student MAY NOT AT any time communicate or divulge any information pertaining to the accounts or customers of Dirty Dogs Spa to individuals, companies, or persons who are in the grooming business or who are competitors of Dirty Dogs Spa. Students shall not solicit clients of Dirty Dogs Spa at any time during or after being a student at Dirty Dogs Spa School of Grooming.


Each student will watch a series of videos and pass each corresponding test with a grade of 80% or better prior to proceeding to the next level. Upon successfully completing the video series the student will proceed with the hands-on section of the class.

The hands-on section of the class will consist of the student successfully grooming the client’s dogs to the desired style as set by the client. To complete this section the student must display proficient skills at selecting the proper shampoos and conditioners needed for bathing, proper drying, brush-outs, and de-matting, blow-outs, clipping, scissoring, and ear, nail, and teeth care.


Each student must attend class as scheduled. Excessive absences (2 no-shows or no calls) or excessive requests to leave early will result in termination. More than 5 absences (excused or unexcused) will result in termination. A medical excuse signed by a doctor must be presented for consideration of waiver of this policy.

Excessive tardiness resulting in 5 or more days (excused or unexcused) will result in termination.

Students are required to fulfill all the designated hours of this program to receive the certificate. Any re-entrance to a student who has been put on probation is at sole discretion of the director. Any tardy or missed class time must be made up within 7 days of the missed class.


Dirty Dogs Spa does not follow a traditional academic school calendar. School is based on students’ individual needs. Hours will be scheduled based on the dog’s availability and students ability to schedule clock hours. Dirty Dogs Spa will work with each student to compose class hours that work for the student.

The weather may be an important factor and class may need to be canceled. The safety of our clients, their animals, and the students must be of primary concern. You will be given a number to call for updated hours based on weather conditions.

Dirty Dogs Spa will observe the following holidays: New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Easter, Easter Monday, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.


Student Conduct and Conditions for Dismissal:

Students are expected to act in a professional manner toward the instructor, the client, and the dogs being groomed. The following may result in disciplinary action, including suspension or dismissal:

  • ANY cruelty to our animals
  • ANY use of drugs or alcohol during or before class
  • ANY inappropriate conduct toward clients
  • ANY theft or deliberate destruction of school property
  • ANY physical aggression towards clients, instructors, other students of staff
  • ANY refusal to complete required hands-on training as required from mentor or instructor.
  • ANY solicitation of mentor or staff for paid training outside of the program enrolled.


  1. Absolutely no animal cruelty
  2. No physical contact with any other persons in a malicious or sexual manner
  3. No foul language
  4. No theft or destruction of property
  5. No weapons brought are to be brought on site.
  6. The student is to attend class alone.
  7. A student may NOT bring a dog to class to be groomed during scheduled class time.
  8. Any student refusing to perform all hands-on work as directed by the instructor. Refusal may be grounds for termination in the program.

EXCEPTION: IF the student is making up missed hours. The dog MUST be preapproved by the director prior to bringing the pet. The student WILL be responsible for the dog including up-to-date shots, behavioral management, and safety of the pet and other pets at the salon.


It is the goal of Dirty Dogs Spa School of Grooming to help students groom pet dogs to their client’s complete satisfaction and have satisfied return customers. Further it is our goal to help students understand the skills necessary to work for another groomer, veterinarian, or kennel.

Students wanting to open their own business we will assist them. A job placement letter of recommendation is available for all students who complete the program.

A job employment board will be placed at the salon with a list of available grooming positions.


Any student who has a grievance with the school or an instructor should discuss the problem with the instructor and or director of the program.


You will receive a certificate upon completion of this course. This program can be completed in as little as ten (10) weeks depending on the individual students outside schedule and/or determination.

Requirements to obtain the certificate are as follows:

Bather/Brusher Program:

  1. Completion of:  –  One Hundred Sixty (160) hours for Bather / Brusher Program
  1. Test scores of Good or better.

A – EXCELLENT -90% – 100%

B – GOOD – 80% – 89%

C – AVERAGE – 70% – 79%

D – BELOW AVERAGE – 65% – 69%

F – FAILURE – 64% and below

  1. Bathing and brushing of at least fifteen (15) animals without the assistance of the
  2. Attendance: At the discretion of the Director for missed days.

Professional Grooming Program

  1.  Completion of:  –  Four Hundred (400) hours for Basic Grooming Program
  2. Test scores of Good or better.

A – EXCELLENT – 90% – 100%

B – GOOD – 80% – 89%

C – AVERAGE – 70% – 79%

D – BELOW AVERAGE – 65% – 69%

F – FAILURE – 64% and below

3. Grooming of at least forty (40) animals without the assistance of the mentor.

4.  Attendance: At the discretion of the Director for missed days.

5.  A typed paper on a topic of the student’s choice as it relates to the world of dog grooming.

Student Registration

Registration for Grooming Academy