Course Catalog


Courses offered

at wCGA


This course is designed to provide students with the instruction and hands-on experience grooming dogs within an actual salon environment. The student will learn how to properly bathe dogs and style their hair according to breed standard and owner requests. The student will work with dogs of a wide variety of breeds, coat types and temperaments, as well as gain experience working with peers and communicating with pet parents. This invaluable experience will prepare the student for providing exemplar customer service and high quality grooming services in their future careers endeavors. Upon completion of this course as well as the Introduction to Dog Grooming hybrid course, the student will be eligible for job placement assistance and will be able to work in any dog grooming salon or veterinary office as a Certified Dog Groomer.

To complete this course, the student must complete a minimum of 120 hours of hands-on experience, to be performed both on-campus and during field trips to a WCGA participating Animal Shelter. The student must also score a minimum of 75 points out of 100 points on the Final Technical Evaluation, in which they must groom a dog to completion without assistance. This course does not require internships or externships, but 2-month long internships with the Academy may be applied for, if available.

Curriculum Includes:

• Review of Pet Hygiene Basics

• Review of Proper Bathing, Drying & Brushing Techniques

• Introduction to Clippers, Blades and Guard Combs

• Disinfection Protocols for Grooming Tools & Equipment

• Basic Clipper and Nail Grinder Repair & Maintenance

• Using Tool/Tool Maintenance/Guard Comb Comparison Charts

• Body Contour Cuts (i.e. Shave Downs) Hands-On Practice

• The 10 Danger Zones

• Avoiding the Bite Zone & Reading Stress Signals

• Advanced De-matting

• Communicating with Pet Parents

• Breed Profiles (Sporting Group/Spaniels, Terriers, Poodles, Shih Tzus, etc)

• Common Breed Health Concerns

• Functions of the Coat

• Steps to Grooming a Dog

• Breed Standard Hair Cuts & Styles

• Creative Interpretation & Effective Communication

• Customer Service & Relations

• Safe Puppy Grooming

• Grooming Senior/Disabled/Special Needs Dogs

• Canine Personalities & Temperaments

• Canine Nutrition

• Business Management

• Marketing & Customer Retention

• Introduction to Advanced Grooming Styles

Program Outcomes:

1) Certified Dog Groomer certificate received.

2) Ability to build trust with potential clients by demonstrating knowledge and understanding of dogs.

3) Adequately and safely groom dogs of a variety of breeds and temperaments.

4) Comfortably use the tools, products and equipment required to groom dogs.

5) Handle a wide variety of dog temperaments and personalities.

6) Work with dogs safely and without incident.

7) Communicate effectively with pet parents.

8) Job placement assistance

9) Have a clear pathway to employment or business ownership.

Pre-Requisite: (1) Completion of Introduction to Dog Grooming

Format: Hands-on class on campus.

Duration: 8-weeks for 4 hours per day, Mondays-Thursdays.

Cost: $3,500 (includes testing fees) + $250 non-refundable registration fee (waived if course is taken within 2 semesters of Introduction to Dog Grooming).

Semesters Offered: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall

Disclosure: The State of California does not require state licensure to work as a Pet Groomer, Bather or Pet Hygienist. If the student resides outside of California, they will need to file for applicable occupational licensing (if any) in their state or country of operation.


     West Coast Grooming Academy is a private vocational school approved by the Bureau for Private Post-secondary Education under the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009 and Title 5. California Code of Regulations Division 7.5. Private Postsecondary Education. The Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education approval means that this institution and its operation comply with the standards established under the law for occupational instruction by private post-secondary educational institutions. Institutional approval is subject to continual review and the institution must reapply for approval every three years.

      The Bureau for  Private Postsecondary Education  can be  reached by calling 

(888) 370-7589 toll-free or on the bureau's internet web site