Posted : 1/2/2008 4:16:58 PM
"I would go with Petsmart. I was a bather there and I loved the job. We had some really good groomers and they had a very good training program. Petco is a joke! That is where I work now as a dog trainer. There is a girl that works there who started as a bather and changed to groomer. Her training was driving 45 minutes (own gas money) to assist another groomer. The dogs she did completely while in training earned commission for this "teacher" as well as the teacher being paid for training. So, she put out the gas money and only got paid minimum wage, no commission, to be trained. I'm pretty sure that is not the way it is supposed to work and someone took advantage of it. After all the training, well....just go read the thread "I cannot believe this groomer." She has improved, but the point is that Petco training is a joke, at least around here it is.
Also, Petco has more of a "get 'em in and out" attitude than Petsmart. At Petsmart, each dog was washed very thoroughly, even twice many times, dried as much as possible with the HV dryer and then let dry with a cage dryer if needed. All dogs were washed before clipping unless matted severely. This give a much better cut. We had lots of different shampoos and just the basic shampoo smelled really good. All dogs got either bows or bandannas. At Petco, the dog is washed as quickly as possible, put in the cage dryer soaking wet. Many times they are clipped first "to save on shampoo." This leaves a choppy look many times because they don't always go back over the body. The shampoos also aren't very good. They have a couple of good ones for promotions, but those are only with special packages that are $15. Their basic shampoo is oatmeal, which is good, but this particular one stinks. They don't focus on quality at all, but quantity...if only they would realize that in this service, quality equals quantity. The better the grooming, the more repeat customers."
petsmart and petco grooming are both responsible for this actually. how good they are completely depends on the store. that you need to research yourself. some stores are run great, while others not so much.
also what was said above about the training is wrong. petco pays for your training, and you get min wage while in training at the school. you work 40 hours a week, so the money is not that bad. they usually put you in a school at a store that is close by, but if it is further than a certain mileage they pay for that as well. and the instructors do not get commission. im actually really shocked by this post b/c petco has very strict rules about the instructor not making commission. if a dog is being done by a person in the school, the groom should be free for the customer, therefore no one should get any commission. there are just as many badly run petsmarts with bad groomers as there are petcos. it comes down to the individual store and how they run their shop.
but if i were to give you advice, i would say petco all the way. the big reason for that is that they pay bathers much better than petsmart does. you get 40-50% commission on every dog you do. i was making triple what petsmart bathers were making when i worked for petco. and the school is as good as the instructor teaching it. the one in my area sucked, but the one in the next zone from me was on the US groom team. and yes the contract for petco is a lot less then petsmart. as far as how long it will be before you go to acadamy, well that depends on the store too. they actually have rules that you have to be a groomer assistant for 3 months before you can go to the school at petco, but they are so short of groomers that they will send you right after you hired in some circumstances. im sure they have similar rules at petsmart, but im not sure of the exacts. you may also want to talk with the people who work at the 2 stores and see which salon you like better. in grooming, you work many long hours with people that you may or not get along with. having some sort of peace with your coworkers will make for a better salon. you should also take note of which salon is busier.
the post i quoted is very wrong in their generalization of petco. like i said, just as many petsmarts are run this way. my petco salon did none of the things she mentioned, and the only salon in my area that i know that does is a petsmart salon. and their base shampoo isnt even oatmeal, its tearless.