Dog Grooming Courses

"If you are going to do it properly, then do it properly at Dandini's" - Yvonne Lee, Student 2017


The Training Room at Dandini's

Portsmouth, Hampshire

Fancy learning how to groom your own dog?

Thinking about a career change?  


The Training Room offers a variety of courses in dog grooming.  These are well-structured, professional and quality assured by The Groomers Spotlight Training Academy. 


Our dog grooming courses are run for the complete beginner to those wishing to brush up (pun intended!) on their grooming skills.  We aim to be as flexible as possible so that you can do anything from 1 day a week to 4 days a week allowing you to learn around your other commitments.  

On any of our "Groom for a Living" courses the student will groom at least two dogs a day and gain a minimum of 240 hours (30 day course) or 360 hours (45 day course) of guided learning within the training room and salon, grooming dogs.  A number of home study hours are required in addition to this.  This allows a student trained at Dandini's to be knowledgeable, competent and ready for the work place before they leave.  

Dog grooming is a skill that will take time to develop and we believe that the foundations of this skill need to be established correctly and thoroughly at the beginning of a students career and this takes time.  This is why at Dandini's, apart from our groom your own dog day,  we only offer 30 or 45 day courses and each days training is a full 8 hours.


Why choose us?

  • Dandini's has been grooming dogs for over 50 years!  We are proud to say that we are the longest standing dog grooming salon in Portsmouth, Hampshire and across the South-East.  The knowledge handed down through the generations of groomers at Dandini's gives you access to an unparalled wealth of information and expertise.  

  • We have a large and separate purpose built training facility on the same site as the salon  - this allows for quiet, uninterrupted sessions where there are no distractions and an environment that calmly lets you learn.

  • We have a maximum of ONLY TWO/THREE students at any one time.   We pride ourselves on our attention and nurture given to our students.  We find that our smaller than usual class size is invaluable in making sure each student gets the individual attention they deserve.  We want each student to be personally supported throughout their training and we feel, the only way to make sure this is done, is to limit class sizes.  Due to this, two qualified teaching staff are on hand the whole time the learner is grooming which ensures they leave ready to groom dogs confidently in a safe and professional manner.  In comparison to larger college situations where there is a much larger student to teacher ratio, we provides excellent value for money with consistent and thorough 1:1 training.  

  • Along side The Training Room, we have a fully functioning busy salon so that the reality of what it's really like to work in a salon can be experienced without it hampering your learning environment.  

  • All "Groom for a Living" courses include assistant training days in the main salon before starting the 1:1 styling training in the classroom. 

  • All "Groom for a Living" courses include a Canine First Aid certified course as an extra day training.  

  • We can provide a nationally recognised and Ofqual regulated Level 3 qualification alongside our courses.  This is a real qualification  recognised in the industry, by potential employers and by future customers.  Level 3 courses include a years FREE subscription to The Groomers Spotlight and The British Isles Dog Grooming Association. 

  • This qualification can also be Fast tracked and taken over a shorter period of days by dog groomers who wish to gain a qualification. 


Who will be teaching you?

These courses are run by FULLY QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED dog grooming tutors. Caroline, the head tutor, has over 13 years experience of working as a professional dog groomer and building up the existing business to what it is today.  

Dandini's is a very successful salon and well known for quality.  Caroline has developed her skill as a teacher through training staff to maintain this exceptional reputation. She grooms dogs for demonstrations at seminars and grooming shows and is proud to have trained two of her staff members to place first at national pet grooming competions. It was a natural progression for Caroline to open The Training Room so that she could extend this training to external students, which she did in 2016.  She recognised the need in the area for quality dog grooming tuition as she found that there were few courses on the market that gave the student the structure or experience that she would expect from a dog grooming course that professed to train students to be ready for the work place. She therefore focuses on longer courses in The Training Room to make sure her students are getting the necessary and deserved number of hours of hands-on practical experience before leaving.  

So when she says her courses are intensive, she really means it! She has since trained many students who are now successful and competent dog groomers in their own right, running successful businesses in Europe, across the UK and locally in Hampshire.


Groom for a Living

Course Information


We have two options for someone who wants how to learn to groom for a living:  a 30 day and a longer 45 day course are both available.  Both the 30 and 45 day course will teach you how to set-up from home as a professional dog groomer and will be teaching you to a Level 3 standard to include clipping and scissoring of all pet styles.  In most cases the 45 day course would be preferential for a complete beginner without any previous grooming experience.

We ask anyone wishing to do a course with us to attend a taster day so that anyone thinking of committing to a longer course is absolutely sure that dog grooming is what they want to do.  This will include some hands-on experience in the main salon, bathing and drying with a grooming assistant and watching the experienced dog groomers at work, asking them questions and getting a feel for what it is like to be a dog groomer in a commercial environment.  The afternoon is spent in The Training Room working with another student.  The tutor will then explain the course structure and recommend which course would be suitable.  Taster days cost £120 and are refunded off the cost of a 30 or 45 day course.


30 Day Course

Suitable for those with previous dog grooming experience or a Level 2  qualification

You will learn: 

  • Bathing and drying 

  • Preparation of the coat for styling

  • Clipping and scissoring 

  • Pet styling and breed standard styling

  • Hand-stripping of wire and silk coats

  • Maintenance of equipment

  • Health and Safety 

  • Canine First Aid 

  • Business Advise 

  • Customer Care

What you get:

  • A minimum of 5 days in the salon and 25 days in the school

  • 8 hours training a day from 9am until 5.30 pm

  • At least 50 dogs to groom

  • First Aid course as an extra day 10am - 4pm

  • The Groomers spotlight membership for 1 year (OCN L3 students only).


  • £3750 - to include a course manual and certificate on completion.

  • £4600 - to include the above PLUS Level 3 OCN certification.

45 Day Course

From Novice to Professional - Suitable for those with no previous experience

You will learn: 

  • Bathing and drying 

  • Preparation of the coat for styling

  • Clipping and scissoring 

  • Pet styling and breed standard styling

  • Hand-stripping of wire and silk coats

  • Maintenance of equipment

  • Health and Safety 

  • Canine First Aid 

  • Business Advise 

  • Customer Care

What you get:

  • A minimum of 10 days in the salon and 35 days in the school

  • 8 hours training a day from 9am until 5.30 pm

  • At least 70 dogs to groom

  • Optional extra work placement days

  • First Aid course as an extra day 10am -4pm 

  • The Groomers spotlight membership for 1 year (OCN L3 students only).

  • Continual support for the rest of your career


  • £5250 - to include a course manual and Certificate of completion.

  • £5950 - to include a course manual and certificate of completion PLUS Level 3 OCN certification.

For Groomers

Fast track Level 3 and further training:

  • Level 3 OCN - Qualification ONLY - £1250.00

  • Top-up and breed specific training days for people already grooming - £160 per day 

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For the Pet owner

Groom your own dog day

What you will learn:

  • Health checking your dog

  • How to clip your dogs nails

  • Bathing and drying and preperation of the coat to include de-knotting techniques

  • An introduction into clipping and scissoring techniques to create your dogs pet style

What you get:

  • A day dedicated to just 2 students who wish to learn how to groom their own dogs.

  • Your dog groomed to a high standard with the help of the teacher

  • A course manual and starter kit worth £20

Price :  

£200 - to include course manual and starter kit


What our students say....


Yvonne Lee, Deputy Head Teacher, now Dog Groomer

"If you've ever looked at a cute, clean, well - groomed dog and thought it looked easy to do, stop. Having wanted to undertake a dramatic career change for the future, I researched training venues far and wide. Dandini's is a respectable, experienced grooming business that undertakes training to exceptional standards that pushes the City & Guilds 'envelope' far beyond the standard, 'acceptable' curriculum. Should you be a novice with no experience to a business owner needing to hone skills, I cannot but recommend Caroline @ The Training Room alongside the Dandini's team. The certified training is to a very thorough, detailed level taking you from the basics to levels beyond your initial capabilities and on a personalised, training journey depending on your needs and experiences. The ratio of staff to pupil is 1:1 or 1:2 giving personalised tuition on a daily basis while handling a wide variety of breeds, temperaments and styles that is something a college or other training centres cannot compete with. Is it challenging? Hell, yes - yet you are guided, coached, encouraged, nurtured and taught how to be an independent dog groomer under the watchful, expertise of Caroline and the team. If it's worth doing, then do it properly at The Training Room at Dandini's".


Located on the outskirts of Portsmouth we are easily accessible for anyone in Hampshire and the surrounding counties such as Surrey or Sussex, being mintues from the A3 and M27.  We have students commute easily from Fareham, Winchester, Southampton, Emsworth, Chichester, Petersfield, Liss, Hayling Island and Guildford. 

We have also had students from overseas and have comfortable home from home on-site accomodation for those needing to stay away from home whilst training. 

Why not come and see us and find out why we are the best people to help you make that all important career change.


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