Dog groomer's concerns as lockdown sees spike in training online

a women hugging a Irish Setters dog

Pippa Gorman, who runs the Dog House was inspired to set up the business by her own dogs, Irish setters Patrick and Ziggy, and later addition English setter Rosie. - Credit: Pippa Gorman

A dog groomer has stressed the need for thorough training after seeing a spike in interest in the industry as a result of the pandemic.

Pippa Gorman runs The Dog House with her husband Bob in Hempton, and the pair have started offering qualifications from the national iPET network after seeing a surge of people wanting to change careers.

Mrs Gorman highlighted the need for in-person training, as opposed to online.

“There is no law on qualification and the consequence is there are a lot of online courses which is ridiculous,” she said.

“There is no substitute for practical teaching because before you can even start you need to know how to handle it safely for both you and the dog.

A man with two Irish setters

Bob Gorman, with their dogs, Irish setters Patrick and Ziggy. - Credit: Pippa Gorman

“It's not just giving a dog a haircut it is so much more than that.

“We are taking scissors and chemical products to the dogs. It is essential, the animals are being looked after at all times and so important to learn that from a professional.”

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She also said there is a campaign from people in the industry to pass legislation through parliament requiring groomers to be qualified via certified courses.

Mrs Gorman, who has been working with dogs for the past 10 years after leaving her job at Debenhams’ head office, believes the flexibility of the job is one of the reasons people want to start.

“There is a lot of demand for it as lockdown has led to people getting dogs so there is a demand for the groomers," she said.

Dog groomers with their dogs

The Dog House staff caring for dogs across the region. - Credit: Pippa Gorman

"Also, people have been made redundant or off work furloughed and people are reevaluating their lifestyle."

The Dog House in Fakenham started offering training five years ago but their new partnership with iPET means they can offer new courses, such as dog first aid, which she says is so important.

“When grooming we are looking for signs of illness and emergency illness, we can help a dog in that situation and keep the dog alive," she said.

“We have a professional mannequin that students can perform CPR on and we use our dogs for checking pulse, body checks and health checks.

"We are not trying to be a big company, we are passionate about people being caring, good dog groomers to service the industry."

a person training to preform CPR on a mannequin of a dog.

The Dog House have a professional mannequin that students can perform CPR - Credit: Pippa Gorman