“Nurturing Creative Minds™” – Positive Pet Grooming Education.
In Singapore, unlike licensed veterinarians, there are neither regulatory nor educational requirements for a person to provide commercial pet grooming services. Over the past three decades, pet groomers have been operating freely without a need to comply to a minimum standard of pet care, pet welfare or to upgrade themselves with modern continuing education in the field.
Commercial pet grooming is a tradecraft which requires technical knowledge and skill. Today, pet grooming courses offered by pet grooming schools in Singapore are concentrated in various styles – Taiwanese, Japanese, Korean, Asian Fusion, Western, Eastern, or a combination of two, or three. A closer examination reveals that the most of the existing pet grooming schools’ curriculums are focused on the technical handling and usage of grooming tools such as the comb and scissors to attain the desired haircut for the pet. The process of selecting this desired haircut is usually facilitated by the groomer’s advices or the human client’s needs. To achieve these objectives, pets are usually forced to tolerate with the unpredictable stressors brought about by grooming, exacerbated by the need to comply to the time-demands of the groomer and their human parents, before finally culminating in a decent haircut that is achieved at the expense of potential emotional damage to the pet.
Have you ever seen pets exhibiting fear, anxiety, and stress during grooming? If your answer is yes, you are not alone. Dogs struggling on the grooming table, whimpering upon the sight of a nail clipper, shaking in the bathtub, etc. Cats are not spared, either. Forced to adopt infantile-like positions on their back, restrained by two people or more to clip or dry their fur, made to wear socks during grooming, the list goes on. And on. If you allow this to persist, what long-term repercussions might this have on pets and pet parents?
Traditionally, pets have never been considered as (equal) stakeholders in the grooming process. Due to the differences and uncertainties in communication conduits, it has been difficult for conventional pet professionals and pet parents to ascertain the needs and wants of their pets. Hence, these factors have been major obstacles for pet parents and pet groomers to involve pets in the grooming process. However, this changes now. Thanks to recent discoveries in science, we now know conclusively that pets communicate through body language, which reflect their emotional states. This can then be used to predict future behaviour. Unlike our predecessors, we are now blessed to live in an age where pets’ have since outlived their working purposes and become trusted companions in our family who can communicate in their own unique way. Therefore, it is not that pets cannot speak – they just do not speak the same language that we humans do. Nonetheless, there is a difference. We have a way to communicate with them now.
Breaking the correct communication channel apart between us and our pets, we think that it is the minimum right of our pets to have a say in what type of haircut that they would like to have and how they would like to have it. Hence, pet professionals such as pet groomers are expected to become the intermediary between pets and pet parents, putting them in the perfect position to serve as the animal translator for the human parent. In general, pet grooming is a routine event that is performed for the sake of the pet’s cleanliness and health. However, pet groomers are not only responsible for the physical health of pets, but the emotional health of pets too. Hence, a proper understanding of the pets’ and the pet parents’ needs and wants allows the pet groomer to take on a comparatively more integrative perspective towards issues presented by these stakeholders.
Presently, it can be forgiven if pet parents are unable to decipher the needs of their pets. After all, the task of grooming a pet in a fear free, force free manner without unnecessary fear, anxiety, and stress, falls directly and mostly on the onus of the professional pet groomer. Henceforth, it is paramount for the next-generation professional pet groomer to understand and communicate with pets accurately and clearly. With the education of discoveries made in science, there is no excuse for pet groomers to say that ‘they are unable to understand how their pet and human clients feel.’ Without ambiguity in translation, the pet groomer can now be ready to execute their technical skills to the best of their ability in clear communication with the pet, critically enhancing their ability to perform their duties to their pet and human clients.
Today, there is no pet grooming school in Singapore that neither has the expertise nor teaches their students to read, observe and translate the detailed body language of pets into useful action patterns for their human parents. At this juncture, we must reiterate that the necessity to be cognizant of the needs of pets and to incorporate them into pet grooming processes must not be underestimated.
Now that we know that better practices exist, we refuse to accept that we should continue to perform our tradecraft with the outdated education and practices of the yesteryears pet grooming industry. It is clear as day that a better option exists for us to fulfil the common mission of all pet professionals – to serve the needs of pets and their pet parents and the pet professional in a balanced and concurrent manner. Change is here.
Pawrus® Pet Grooming Academy, a Singapore Kennel Club (SKC) Appointed Grooming Establishment, was established to nurture aspiring professional pet groomers who would groom pets and pet parents creatively and compassionately using positive methods.
We are the first and only grooming academy in Singapore to be specialised in the pioneering of modern pet grooming styles with fear free animal behaviour science. The grooming academy is led by Principal Pet Grooming Instructor Jasline Aiw, who has not only consistently broken nationwide records and won top-placing international awards in pet grooming events but has also successfully groomed and coached hundreds of pets and their parents to achieve unique partnerships in countries and continents such as Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Japan and Europe.
Her pet grooming curriculum was designed in exclusive partnership with a Principal Clinical Animal Behaviourist. Together, this allows her to tap into a strong resource pool of collaborative pet care experts that boasts a comprehensive understanding of influential veterinary and behaviour-based variables in grooming environments.
We teach our students to think creatively in reading and interpreting a pet’s body language, the technical grooming skills required to groom a pet and the ways to effectively and efficiently communicate the needs, emotional states and conditions of the pet to their human parents. Vice versa and conclusively, this becomes the starting point for our students to understand the unique bond underlying every pet-pet parent relationship.
Creativity is the act of turning new and imaginative ideas into reality. Creativity is characterised by the ability to perceive the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns, to make connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena, and to generate solutions. Creativity involves two processes: thinking, then producing. To possess creativity, our pet groomers must be able to absorb the knowledge that is taught to them and compassionately conceptualise beneficial setups that is befitting of the pet and pet parent’s needs and circumstances.
At our grooming academy, compassion and creativity are our core values. We have placed extra emphasis in our enrolment process to select and develop pet groomers who we think has the potential to make a difference in the lives of pets, pet parents and the pet industry. Through our programs, we are confident that we will be able to find people like you, potential pet grooming revolutionaries with the ability to grasp the delicate balance between compassion and creativity.
Never underestimate your one-of-a-kind talents to carve a unique mark on this world.
As our story comes full circle, it is now apt to mention that an act of kindness creates an endless ripple. This phrase cogently explains why there is no better reward and motivation for us to be chosen to lead and grow our students to become better than us in all aspects. While we endeavour to nurture the mind of the modern pet groomer based in art and science, ultimately, the pet groomer who can commit to putting their heart at the forefront and centrepiece of everything that they do, will have the highest possibility of actualising their latent potential. With our bar set at its highest point in this industry ever, it now makes sense that our curriculums are the most rigorous and intensive. They are intricately designed to help you become the best pet groomer that you think you can become in your mind. Make no mistake.
We are the new standard in pet grooming education.
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