Two apprentices at Moulton College put their dog grooming skills to the test when they competed at the British Grooming Championships at the end of October.
Lucy Maynard and Corissa Richardson, who combine their apprenticeship with working at Snuggles Dog Grooming in Milton Keynes took part in the Newcomers category for groomers with less than 18 months experience at the championships in Warwickshire.
“It was our first ever competition and we were nervous as we had no idea what to expect,” Corissa said. “But it was really fun and a good experience that makes me want to do more in the future. We met new people and got some good tips from the judges for how to improve.”
“I found it really interesting,” Lucy added. “You select a dog to work on beforehand. Corissa brought her own dog and I borrowed a customer’s dog with their permission. You have to grow them out for about eight weeks beforehand and you can’t have any layout or stylings so you are working on an overgrown dog.”
Lucy and Corissa demonstrated a wide range of skills at the championships they learned at Moulton College, such as brushing and grooming, breed-specific styles, how to use and clean equipment correctly and how to handle dogs safely. The course aims to provide a safe environment for students to learn and build confidence.
You might expect that two groomers have always been dog lovers, and while Corissa has always wanted to work with animals, that wasn’t the case for Lucy.
“I never had a dog when I was growing up,” she said. “I was petrified of them and wouldn’t go near them! When I got older I asked my mum and dad for a dog and we got Harvey. We took him to be groomed and I just loved it. I got over my fear of dogs, started volunteering there and eventually got a job.”
While the pair got to select which dogs they groomed with the competition, the nature of college and work means you don’t always get a choice.
Corissa said: “Some dogs can get nervous and fidget.”
Lucy said: “We do have difficult dogs but we just take it in their own time and don’t rush things. We have hammocks that can help calm them down and if they get stressed then we give them breaks and take it as slow as they need us to.”
Both girls hope to go on and continue their career in dog grooming, and Corissa even has aspirations to run her own business. She said: “I can’t see myself doing anything other than dog grooming!”
For more information on how you can achieve a nationally-recognised qualification alongside employment through an Abingdon & Witney College Apprenticeship at Moulton College, please call 01604 491131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.