Thursday, 29 January 2015

Asian Fusion Grooming

What is Asian Fusion Grooming?
Asian Fusion style grooming takes traditional styling commonly used in the UK and mixes it with the more extreme and creative grooming styles popular in Japan, Korea and Taiwan.

Dogs are usually made to look like extremely cute teddy bears and are often compared to cuddly toys or cartoon characters due to their exaggerated features.

Asian Fusian grooming has become quite popular in western countries such as the USA and is gaining popularity here in the UK thanks to it's introduction by Pammie Carmicheal Hogg. Pammie is considered to be the UK's resident expert and inventor of the Asian Fusion style and hosts and judges many competitions and workshops across the UK and abroad.

Pammie showing off one of her Asian Fusion styles.

Alternative Asian Fusion styling by Riza Wisnom - another Asian grooming expert!

Asian Fusion grooming usually incorporates softer versions of common Asian grooming elements such as:

  • Short, round faces and muzzles
  • Round ears set high on the head
  • Pronounced and/or rounded tails
  • Rounded, volumised trousers and leg furnishings
  • Decorative accessories such as ties, bows and ribbons as well as the use of creative colouring.
The great thing about Asian Fusion is that it is easy on the owner. The bodies are often kept short which means owners can have a really manageable style that is easy to maintain at home but still have a look that is extremely cute and appealing. 

Asian Freesyle Seminar by Scissor Yappy

Ever since I became aware of Asian Grooming early last year I have wanted to try it. I love the exaggerated cute look and was lucky enough to witness my mentor Heidi Anderton demonstrate a fusion style used to transform a matted poodle during my training, so when my friend Lia told me about the demonstration day she was holding at her salon in Ascot by the fabulous and award winning Wayne Roby from Scozzor Yappy I knew I had to book my place.

I had a great day at the salon demo with 11 other groomers from across the South East and got to watch demonstrations of 4 different Asian freestyle trims on 4 different breeds. The great thing about Asian freestyle is that it's so versatile that you can adapt aspects of it to fit almost any dog. You can go the whole way with short bodies and dramatic flared legs or just incorporate a cute face into your usual styling.

I came away with lots of new information and a sketch book of new ideas and styles that I can't wait to try out.

What do you think about Asian fusion grooming? Do you like the Japenese inspired looks or do you prefer the more traditional styles?

Let me know in the comments below, and don't forget I'm on the look out for volunteers to practise on!

Hayley x

Monday, 5 January 2015

Is My Dog Groomer Qualified? And Why Does It Matter?

Did you know that there are no legal requirements for qualifications within the dog grooming industry? In fact, other than vets and vet nurses, there are no legal requirements for training or Qulifications in any animal care jobs. How scary is that? Literally anyone can buy a pair of scissors or clippers online and set up a business as a dog groomer with no training, knowledge or qualifications.


Yes, that's right. There are no legal requirements to ensure that your dog groomer went to school to learn how to do their job.


Dog grooming, like human hairdressing is a skilled profession. There are severe health risks involved in this job to both the groomer and the animal and attempting to do it with no qualifications or training is both dangerous and irresponsible. You could badly injure yourself or the animal, cause death or disfiguration, skin irritation, infections or even spread contagious diseases.

There are many ways in which people can become dog groomers. You can set up with no training at all and just make it up as you go along (not recommended), be trained by an already established and practising dog groomer through an informal apprenticeship program (these are extremely hard to find and you have no way of knowing that the level of training you are getting is appropriate), do an online course and receive a certificate that is not accredited (these involve no practical work with live animals at all and do not provide recognised qualifications) or undertake one of the recommended pathways into the industry by shelling out the thousands of pounds that it costs to gain a City and Guilds qualification through a college or private training school. If you are dedicated to provided the bast care possible to your clients then you will take the last option.

What are City and Guilds Qualifications?

Until 2014, there was only 1 nationally recognised dog grooming qualification in the UK. This is provided by City and Guilds. The Certificate in Introductory Dog Grooming (Level 3) or the Diploma for Professional Dog Stylists (Level 3) is suitable for those who have experience of working in the dog grooming industry or have completed a related qualification. Each of these stages of qualification have lengthy practical and written examinations as well as candidates providing a portfolio of work to the exam board. These qualifications can be passed with a pass, merit or distinction.

In my personal opinion, if you are leaving your dog in the care of a professional groomer the Certificate in Introductory Dog Grooming (Level 3) or the international equivalent is the absolute minimum level of qualification that they should hold unless they have over 5+ years experience in the industry already.

All City and Guilds Level 3 work is provided to the same standard and is the equivalent of other nationally recognised qualifications such as NVQ level 3, A-Level, Scottish highers, AVCE, BTEC National, Certificate/Diploma, and Vocational A-Levels.

Are there International Grooming Qulifications available for my groomer?
Until 2014 City and Guilds was the only nationally recognised qualification in the UK. In 2014 the International Certified Master Groomer qualification was introduced by the IPG.

Although the ICMG qualification is new to the UK, the International Professional Groomers Inc. is well established and highly regarded. The Association certifies groomers from USA, Canada, Australia and Singapore and provides international industry standards, a Code of Ethics and an extensive examination process. It certifies groomers at two levels and globally promotes and preserves the professional certifications and accreditations of Pet Groomers, Grooming Salons, and Grooming Schools.
The exams and study materials have been written to reflect the UK recognised breed standards and will enable the groomer to be certified in 5 stages. Each stage has a written and a practical exam. A certificate will be awarded for a score of 70% and above and a score of 86% and higher will earn the applicant the chance to take the Masters Exam. Providing this is passed, also at 86% or higher, the candidate will be awarded a coveted International Certified Master Groomer Certificate (ICMG). This qualification will eventually be rolled out to cover the rest of Europe too. This qualification is usually taken by extremely experience groomers who usually have already achieved their City & Guilds qualifications or have the relevant experience.

What qualifications should my dog groomer have?

A minimum of City and Guilds Certificate in Introductory Dog Grooming (Level 3) should be sought.

Further qualifications include the City and Guilds Diploma for Professional Dog Stylists (Level 3), IPG Certified Salon Professional Certiciate (CSP) and the International Certified Master Groomer Certificate (ICMG). 

Qualifications from any other sources other than City & Guilds and IPG are not recognised in the professional grooming community.

Professional Groomers can also choose to be members of The Pet Industry Federation and The British Dog Groomers Association if they wish. Both industry bodies provide strict codes of ethics for groomers to abide by and keep the, up to date with industry news and developments.


Further career development steps should also be undertaken to ensure their knowledge and techniques are up the date with new methods and technologies. This includes going on regular training days in areas such as first aid, safe handling, breed workshops, alternative trims and keeping all equpitment and learning materials such a books, industry magazine subscriptions and DVDs current.

How do I know if my groomer is qualified?

Simply ask them. Most groomers will proudly display their qualifaction certificates (but remember to check they are a recognised qualification). You should also ask them if they regularly go to workshops, demo days, competitions and training days to keep they knowledge current. All of these things can be very expense and groomers can travel hours to get to them but a dedicated and professional groomer will always make the time to go.

If you don't feel comfortable asking your groomer directly, alternatively you can contact IPG or City and Guilds directly and ask if they can tell you if your groomer holds the qualification they are claiming too. Sadly some groomers will use official logos to deceive clients when they have not passed the exams. It's always best to double check if you are unsure. You wouldn't send your child to an unqualified and unregistered child minder so don't do the same for your pet.

Hayley currently holds the City and Guilds Certificate in Introductory Dog Grooming (Level 3) which she passed with Distinction and is currently working towards the City and Guilds Diploma for Professional Dog Stylists (Level 3).

Saturday, 3 January 2015

2014 Wrapped Up

Following on from last years post, here's my year wrapped up in a neat little blog post.

The first week of January we celebrated our official first birthday. Now we are officially 2 years old. How exciting! Bear also celebrated his 3rd birthday!

Our website had a little makeover, we recovered from the January blues and started to prepare for the next step in my career journey.

Went to Crufts for the first time, quit my part time job at the grooming salon and left for London for 5 weeks to undertake my grooming training and take my exams.

I finished my training, passed my exams and started work on The Parlour.

The first two weeks of May were consumed with getting The Parlour read to o
pen and we finally opened the doors on May 13th.
Just 2 weeks later I had a family emergency and had to close and fly to Ireland for a few weeks.

This was a tough month. We returned from Ireland and got stuck back in to getting my business up and running again.

After just two weeks of being open again after our family emergency, we had a huge fire at our property and had to close business again until the investigation was over.
I also had my stall at Maidenhead Festival for the second year running and my friends visited from Ireland.

In August Bambi and Bear competed at Littlewick Show and came home with lots of prizes and rosettes. We also spent a lot of the time clearing the remains of the fire and attempting to get back to normal. August was also the month we announced our plans to hold Maidenehads first doggie event in 2015.

Bambi celebrated her 6th birthday.
Back to business as usual
We also celebrated Puppy Awareness Week.

We celebrated Halloween, welcomed lots of new clients and entered an international grooming competition which we placed 4th in!

November was spent welcoming lots of new grooming clients and introducing some new services to the parlour. We were fully booked for grooming and dog sitting appointments and went to Discover Dogs in London and had a lovely time.

December was such a busy month for grooming appointments and we even got to go to the most famous house in the country! Had a lovely Christmas with family and a well deserved rest!


2014 was a roller coaster for me. It featured such highs like passing my exams and opening the parlour and also some real lows that took quite some time to get over.

Hopefully 2015 will come with more peaks than pits and I'll be back next week with my New Years resolutions and annual inspirational vision board.

I hope 2015 brings you lots of love, health, happiness and prosperity.

Happy New Year!!
Hayley x