Below are the hands on requirements for the JKL Diploma Course. There are no specific 'required hours' for the practicum as students generally progress at their own, individual rate. Some are able to complete portions of the practicum on their first try, while others might feel more comfortable submitting work from a subsequent try.
This provides each student with exactly what they need to succeed - hands on practice in a hands on profession.
In addition to the requirements listed below, there are 3 assignments requiring completion (a smooth coat, a short coat and a double coat). These early assignments offer the student an opportunity to get used to the entire process prior to embarking on more complex grooms.
Should you decide to learn through distance education, it is important you have a hands on practice plan in place prior to enrollment, for without it, a distance learning course may not meet expectations. If you are setting up your own shop, you can obtain this experience through your first customers, while at the same time, developing a very loyal clientele. They will appreciate all your early efforts, your honesty with them, and your progression to a caring, humane professional. They will always remember they "knew you when"! To many consumers, being able to tell others they've been with you from the very beginning of your career is an important factor. They will often be the biggest promoters of your business!
If beginning your business is not a viable option at this time, work on your own pets, the pets of your friends or relatives, or if that is not possible, contact your local animal shelter or rescue group. Many unwanted or uncared for animals are in great need of grooming, and it has been my experience that the majority of shelter operators are happy to oblige in such a mutually beneficial situation.
If your community does not have an animal shelter, often a notice on the public
bulletin boards in your community will bring you all the practice pets you will require to become proficient in professional grooming.
lf you plan on seeking salon employment, large corporate salons often hire JKL groomers in training, so you can actually train while on the job. Some smaller salons will do the same, depending on their current needs.
The practicum subjects required for grading are as follows:
Photos must be in the following prescribed format:
1 before photo of each subject
4 after photos of each subject (1 full side view, 1 full rear view, 1 full front view, 1 close up head view)
photo size at least 800 x 600 pixels
The breed subjects required are as follows:
Spaniel or Spaniel X (set of 5 photos)
Poodle or Poodle X (set of 5 photos)
Terrier or Terrier X (set of 5 photos)
Dropcoat in full coat (set of 5 photos)
Coated Mixed Breed in Teddy Bear type trim or an alternate Pure Bred (set of 5 photos)
Only one subject may be a clip down (#7 or #10 body and leg blade). All other subjects must be in a pet trim which clearly shows your efforts at shaping with clippers, shears and/or thinners. The academy is flexible with regard to breeds for practicum grades, and will work with each student to find alternate breeds, mixed breeds and coat types, wherever necessary.
Optional: (for those completing the cat portion of course)
All photos MUST be clear and up close.
Cat groom (set of 5 photos)
Spot Grooming Photo Before & After requirements: (any coated breed)
a clipped poodle foot: topside, underside
a trimmed hock and a catlike foot
a scissor rounded foot
trimmed or clipped footpads
a trimmed tail showing efforts with thinners or shears
a clipped undercarriage
a plucked and cleansed ear
examples of correct use of shears and thinners
double coat removal utilizing a dog rake
dematting showing correct use of a dematting tool
a photo of you and any finished subject
photo or video of you actually performing the following procedures on any grooming subject: (this will require an assistant to take the photos or video in sequence) pre bath procedures: dematting, brushing, combing, coat removal with clippers and/or shears, nail trimming, ear cleansing and plucking bath procedures: wetting, lathering, rinsing, towel
drying, finish procedures: blow drying, finish brushing or combing with pin brush, wire slicker, combo comb, scissor and clipper finishing
Extra Credits: Photo or video submissions of additional grooms, procedures, additional tools or equipment used (clipper vacuums, slings or positioning systems, muzzles or other restraints, etc.), will help you achieve a higher grade average, so do not hesitate to submit them all!
A grading consideration is the degree of difficulty of a particular groom, i.e. a short coated dog will score lower than a long coated dog. A short coated cat will score lower than a long coated cat; Do not hesitate to submit these photos, just be sure to balance them with photos of more complex grooms, as well.
Remember to keep a photo record of your earliest grooms. This will allow you to see your progress with each completed groom, and allow you to correct any faults you spot. The more you practice, the better you will get!
The best of these photos can also serve as your grooming portfolio, something you can show to potential clients when discussing trims, coat lengths, styles, etc.