AKC Adopts Legislative Position Statement on Groomer Safety and Licensing

Standard Poodle

In the last several years, AKC has monitored an increasing number of proposals at the state and local level that are designed to license and regulate professional groomers and grooming salons. In some cases, proposals have been introduced in response to a tragic and negligent accident at a grooming salon. In other cases, proposals are a response to recognition of a general need. 

As part of AKC’s mission, which includes working to protect canine health and wellbeing, AKC urges appropriate grooming for the health and wellbeing of all dogs, and supports training and oversight for professional groomers to ensure that health and safety is always a primary consideration when grooming a dog.

In November, the AKC Board of Directors unanimously approved a new canine legislation position statement on groomer safety and licensing that emphasizes AKC’s commitment to reasonable oversight for grooming practices in the areas of health and safety, while differentiating between professional and other types of grooming. AKC’s S.A.F.E. Salon educational program makes AKC uniquely qualified to provide expertise and advice on both licensing and health and safety issues.  

AKC’s new position statement follows.

Groomer Safety and Licensing

Appropriate grooming to ensure health and wellbeing is part of responsible dog ownership. The time an owner spends grooming a dog helps to build the bond between dog and owner.  Health and safety should always be primary considerations when grooming a dog. In addition to other appropriate training, AKC recommends that professional groomers should pass a course and exam on basic health and safety standards, such as AKC Salon Safety or a similar program, prior to being licensed as a professional groomer. Grooming that is incidental to preparing a dog for a dog show or other exhibition should be conducted with similar care but should not be subject to licensing or professional grooming regulations.  

Together with groomer educational resources, AKC is pleased to provide both policy/legislative recommendations and practical expertise (including training courses and community partnerships) to communities to establish and implement reasonable health and safety standards for professional groomers, without creating burdens on individual dog owners or exhibitors.

For more information about AKC Government Relations contact doglaw@akc.org. For more information about AKC’s S.A.F.E. Salon program visit http://www.akc.org/safe-grooming or contact groomer@akc.org