• What started as staff training tools for me, utilizing my decades as a high school teacher creating engaging, informative lessons for my staff at Love Fur Dogs, has become now a new layer of my grooming career – teaching Groomers interesting and academically rich seminars nationwide at grooming and pet industry conferences. My seminars were fairly unique in the grooming industry speaking circuit in that most of the great programs for groomer training were all “how to’s”. But mine were history, science, powerpoints, heavily academic. Really I had introduced Groomer Theory to the field. After just two years of speaking at a very few conferences with my programs, I was nominated by Barkleigh for Up and Coming Speaker of the Year in the grooming industry. And it now looks like I will be writing a book as well, destined for dog groomer publication. I find it extremely rewarding to merge these two great careers I have had all my life – teaching and grooming – into one. And I find I may be one of only a handful of Certified Master Groomers in the USA who is also a credentialed career high school and college teacher and has a Masters Degree with much graduate work in Education.

    I started with an indepth powerpoint called A Groomers Guide To Purebred Dogs that focused on teaching all the groomers in our industry who love dogs but were never dog show people and were not raised to know the 200+ AKC (American Kennel Club) Breeds. Our pet grooming industry is diverse – which is good – but many groomers nationwide do not know the difference between a Vizsla and a Wiemaraner because they have never been to a dog show. And too many really differentiate their approach depending on the dog’s different breed or coat type. This four-hour seminar introduced all AKC breeds, the 7 AKC Groups and included a mind-blowing opening hour about Human-Dog Co-Evolution in which attendees would “meet the scientists” who have proven — among other things — that dogs are responsible for the survival of the human species. (You’ll have to email me if you want to know more or “like” my Fan page on Facebook: “Jennifer BIshop-Jenkins’ Groomers Guide Seminars”

    That first Groomers Guide seminar introduced all the currently accepted AKC Breeds, and outlined briefly the differences in their coat types and proper grooming techinques. I especially spend time emphasizing the importance of treating the most common type of dog coat of them all – the natural coat, the DOUBLE coat, as unique. Too many groomers use the same products, the same tools, and the same techniques on any dog that comes in their salon, no matter the breed or differing coat type. A Doodle or a German Shepherd would be groomed the same – shaved down. Reading my other blogs here you will learn more about why one must never shave the double coated dog.

    That led to a request to go more indepth on that information that groomers really wanted – what are the various coat types and how should they be groomed differently? So the newest full seminar is called “The 15 Coat Types and How To Correctly Groom Them”. It is exciting to see the industry response to this workshop. And it will help advance my other secret agenda item – to try to get some standardized language into grooming texts and training. There are lots of great grooming books out there written by our most masterful Master Groomers. But there is no uniformity of curriculum, if I may borrow from my teaching career language. No commonly accepted ways to refer to a coat type. Does a Newfoundland have a “heavy coat” or a “thick coat” or a “double coat”? Grooming is a fairly young profession in the modern era, although I am finding it has deep historical roots – and that is another book I intend to write in the next few years – the definitive history of grooming, as I may be the only history teacher Master Groomer –that I have been able to find, at least.

    So the Seminars that I have out there now at conferences ranging from Pasadena and Seattle to Hershey, Pennsylvania and Orlando, Atlanta to Chicago and many states in between, are currently as follows:

    1. A Groomers Guide To Purebred Dogs
    2. A Guide To PureBred Dogs (written for the general public of dog enthusiasts, not for groomers)
    3. Human-Dog Co-Evolution: History’s Longest Love Story
    4. A Groomers Guide to Herding and Working Group Dogs
    5. The 15 Coat Types And How To Groom Them
    6. The Importance of the Underside

    I also have presented at churches, Senior Living Communities, and Public Libraries. These programs are highly adaptable for high school and college classrooms and the general public because so many of us love dogs. And my heavily visual powerpoints are fun, easy, and inspiring.

    On my bucket list – get the 15 Coat Types program into the Veterinary Schools in the USA. Too many veterinarians don’t know this stuff either because veterinary schools do not teach it. In no way am I implying that they don’t know dogs – they are incredibly smart, hard-working animal EXPERTS in every way – but many of them see an 8 year old Schnauzer with skin problems and think “allergies” instead of “the hair follicles are clogged and dying because the dog has never been hand-stripped in its life.”

    You can reach me to set these seminars up for general public audiences or dog care professional audiences on my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/groomersguide.jenniferbishopjenkins