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Facebook Live Event: Dog Is Good

You’re not going to want to miss this month’s Facebook Live, it’s going to be GOOD! Join us Thursday August 26, at 6pm EST to learn creative ways to…

  • Leverage your time to make money effortlessly.
  • Offer strategic retail streams that don’t require inventory or staffing
  • Enlist your client base to help you make more revenue

Your Hosts: Joe Zuccarello & Gila Kurtz

Join us this Thursday, with Dog Is Good!

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FREE Webinar: Grow Grooming without Haircuts

You CAN have a successful Grooming Business without having a haircut business!

Having a hard time finding Groomers?  If you are relying on solving your grooming staffing issues by waiting for Groomers to come to you looking for a job, you’ll be waiting a long time.  In this session, Joe and Teija will be discussing the option of taking control of your grooming staffing issues and growing your own!  And the best part…..you can grow your business as you grow your Groomers!

Topics include: 

  • Grow Grooming without Haircuts
  • Stop looking for Groomers


Join us this Wednesday, July 14th at 12:30ET!


Webinar: The $15/hour Wage

Joe Zuccarello will be joining forces with National Kennel Sales & Appraisals to offer a FREE Webinar on May 6th, 2021 at 1pm EST to discuss The $15/Hour Wage.

Does the thought of paying a minimum wage of $15 have you questioning what you can do to absorb such a cost in your business? Is the pool of available employee candidates drying up or completely void in your area right now?

Is this really going to be imposed on businesses or should this be something we will need to do regardless of new laws?

In this session, Joe will be touching on the topics that will greatly impact your hiring decisions.

  • Turnover
  • Retention
  • Training
  • Efficiencies
  • Opportunities

Register Now

Practice Makes Pooch Perfect: An Interview with Groomer Contestant Deb Compton

How do you go from an everyday bather to Pooch Perfect all-star stylist? If you’re Deb Compton, the answer is that practice makes perfect.

“Never stop learning. Always seek out judgment, and learn to take critique because you can’t grow without it.”

Compton and her son Jordan Jones made their debut on Rebel Wilson’s Pooch Perfect. The pair joined ten top groomers competing from across the country in ABC’s latest canine fashion reality show. At stake is a $100,000 grand prize.

Striving to be the best is, according to Compton, in her blood. But it really wasn’t until she experienced working alongside nine other top groomers that she felt she belonged there.

“It was so awesome to meet all the Facebook friends and people whose work I’ve followed for years – to be there with them shoulder to shoulder. I felt like a fan-girl,” she said.

A Foundation in Bathing

Compton started working in the pet industry when she was 16. When Petco needed groomers in South Florida in 2003, she signed up, not knowing exactly what that would entail. After a couple of days of bathing, she was thrown into the training program to fast-track her way forward in the grooming kingdom. Today, as Regional Grooming Team Lead at Pet Supplies Plus in Wisconsin, she prefers her hires spend at least 90 days bathing first before pursuing the profession as a groomer.

“Bathing is half the groom. There’s so much you need to learn about dog handling, coat types, and using the right products,” she said. She’s delighted that PSP now has a structured bathing course for their employees through Paragon Pet School’s Distance Learning program. “This standardization is the best thing that has happened to training at PSP.”

The first episode of Pooch Perfect relied heavily on the lessons learned in the tub in what might be called a bathing skills bonanza. The teams hustled to combat enemy #1 – mud, lots and lots of mud. So much mud that team Compton had to re-bathe, she admits.
“Never underestimate the power of mud.”

Trials and Tribulations

True to her own advice to novice groomers, Compton turns every trial into a lesson to do better. She once was disqualified from a competition for missing a matt in the armpit of a deep-chested Portuguese Water Dog – an omission caught by eagle-eyed judge and Learn2GroomDogs.com trainer, Lisa Leady. She went on to persevere in the competition ring for eight years, triumphing in All American Creative for her sumptuous sculptures. Although at one time “terrifying,” the experience in competitions helped prepare her for the pressures of performing on Pooch Perfect.

In competitions and on the show, Compton relies on her artistic background to craft creative results using coloring and sculpting techniques.

Colorful Inspiration Through Groomer Community

Her inspiration came from hours of watching icon “Pina” Irina Pinkusevich create masterpieces in Learn2GroomDogs.com tutorials and elsewhere.
“Watching (Pinkusevich) I had a transformative moment where I realized it was a form of subtractive sculpting, using the dog’s body as leverage.”

This epiphany propelled Compton to hone her skills while simultaneously running her own grooming salon, In the Dogz House, for a decade while homeschooling her children. From the vantage of a Salon Owner, she said grooming can be a lonely business if you don’t reach out to work with others in the groomer community and continually sharpen your skills. Two years ago, she joined Pet Supplies Plus, a move she says gave her the best of both worlds due to the company’s highly personalized approach. Her son Jordan, who trained with her since he was 14 years old, now also works with PSP.

The Pooch Perfect Experience

In addition to the camaraderie of working with fellow groomers on Pooch Perfect, the show also gave Compton and her son a unique opportunity to bond in both a personal and professional capacity.

“It was amazing. I learned how much I had to rely on him and to know when to ask for help. It really strengthened our relationship.”

While she can’t share too many details of what’s to come in future episodes, she said the casting company did a great job bringing all kinds of different dogs to the show.

“It was nice to be able to bring everything I had to every dog I worked on,” Compton said.

Rebel Wilson’s organic and rapid-fire wittiness on and off the camera made the experience memorable, and the collegial bonding among groomers gave the time in California a “summer camp for groomers” vibe. But apart from being a once-in-a-lifetime personal experience, Compton hopes Pooch Perfect gives something beyond entertainment to its audience.

“What I hope comes from the show is that people sitting in their living rooms who love connecting with animals realize that making them beautiful is an actual, rewarding career. I hope it inspires them to take the next step in life.”

The first episode of Pooch Perfect premieres on ABC at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 30. The Trio of Celebrity Judges include TV personality Lisa Vanderpump, dog groomer Jorge Benersky and veterinarian Dr. Callie Harris.

Get Ready for the Rebound: FREE Grooming Resources

Our focus in the new year of 2021 is giving back to the industry. Please enjoy the FREE Instructional Grooming Resources we have assembled for you.

Instructional Videos On Topics Such As:

  • Time Saving
  • Money Making
  • Polishing Grooming Skills
  • Prepping for Certification
  • Quick Tips for Professional Groomers
  • Quick Tips for your customers

Bettering Your Business:

  • Marketing Yourself & Business
  • Business Coaching Sessions
  • Inspiration
  • Finding Future Groomers

And SO Much More!

Visit Here


The Eighth Annual IBPSA Pet Care Services Conference & Trade Show


Join our very own Paragon Vice President, Joe Zuccarello, at the IBPSA Pet Care Services Conference and Trade Show for two of his webinars!

“Grooming 101 – Part 1; People Potential”

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Having a hard time finding people to staff your grooming business?  So is everyone else!  The good news is, there’s a solution and it is better than trying to find and hire Groomers!  Joe will break down the roles associated with a successful grooming business that will cause you to look at your Grooming Team in a much different way than you ever thought you would!  Everyone plays a role in a successful grooming business and Joe will demonstrate how you can have the best blend of talent that generates the best culture and best results!

“Grooming 101 – Part 2; Profit Potential”

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Can a grooming station generate $100k in revenue?  YES!  Can a grooming business be profitable?  YES!  Joe will tackle the difficult topics like compensation, pricing, and productivity.  Done right, the right equation can result in much bigger profit potential than you ever thought!

Join Joe at this year’s IBPSA virtual conference will be held September 29-October 1, 2020.


  • IBPSA Members: $199
  • Non-Members:     $249

Register Now



Grooming has exploded ever since the COVID pandemic hit.  Nationwide, pet care facilities are reporting  extreme surge in in demand for grooming services that has yet to decline.  NOW is the time to re-think Grooming, whether you currently offer the service or not!

Our  very own Joe Zuccarello has partnered with National Kennel Sales and Appraisals to bring this virtual learning course about how to add a profitable grooming service to your facility or how to re-structure your existing one to make it easier to manage and again, PROFITABLE!  This is an incredible opportunity to learn how to provide Grooming in the right structure and avoid (or stop!) all the headaches typically associated with this service.

If you’re wondering whether to attend or not, consider these questions:

  • Do you have a grooming business, but, it seems to give you more problems than profit?
  • Do you see potential in a grooming business but just don’t know how to launch?
  • Are you paying more than 40% in grooming wages?
  • Do you know what the best compensation method is?  Salary?  Hourly?
  • Are you comfortable with ’selling’ or struggle with the stigma?
  • Would you like to generate 20%, 30%, 40% or more in profit?

A “YES!” answer to any of these questions is your reason to attend this 3 session course!

SESSION ONE: To Groom or Not to Groom?! Thursday, August 20th

The Revenue Potential for Grooming Services
How to launch
Stopping problems, adding profits
The formula for a profitable grooming business
Key ingredients of success
The impact of grooming on your business during the pandemic

SESSION TWO: Recommending with Conviction  Thursday, August 27th
Overcoming the stigma of ’selling’
How  to generate 20%, 30%, 40% or more in profits
Selling add-on services to Grooming

SESSION THREE: Profit Power of Grooming   Thursday, September 3rd
Staff Roles and Compensation
Methods and rates of groomer compensation
Analyze groomer talents and how to best use them
How to find, and grow, groomers

Register Now

Webinar: The Power of the Bath Ft. Joe Zuccarello & The Dog Gurus

Who knew there was a way to GROW your grooming business AND your grooming team that was MUCH easier than looking for groomers?!

Well, there IS! And you have the chance to learn how.

  • Shouldn’t grooming help you grow your overall pet care business
  • Shouldn’t grooming be more profitable?
  • Shouldn’t grooming be easier to staff?

The answer to all of these questions is YES! It should! Join us for our grooming webinar workshop and learn how YOU can have a stronger grooming business.

Normally $99, this workshop is now only $79, but hurry….space is limited.


Register Now

Paragon is Going National

The Paragon School of Pet Grooming is excited to announce a new era of educational excellence. We have transitioned to a totally digital learning platform!

Together, with our membership platform, Learn2GroomDogs.com, Paragon will expand online learning resources for professional pet groomers across the globe.

The move is a natural extension for us. In 2008, Paragon introduced our first home study program. In 2018, innovative changes were made to those programs to improve and enhance the learning experience.

Today, students learn online with Paragon’s structured training system. The Paragon team works closely with individuals. Salon owners. And corporate stores. The programs have received impressive reviews. We have helped hundreds of students learn how to groom, while never leaving their hometown.

Established in 2011, Learn2GroomDogs.com has a robust video library. Currently, we have over 1,000 streaming lessons taught by top grooming experts. Whether you are a beginning groomer or a seasoned pro, the library has something for everyone.

The on-campus division of Paragon was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, a difficult decision was made. We have permanently closed our hands-on training center in Jenison, Michigan.

We have loved our “face-time” with the West Michigan community. We’ve enjoyed pampering local pups in the training of our talented alumni.

Thanks to Paragon’s rich history, there are plenty of skilled groomers in West Michigan. They are well-equipped to assist clients who frequented the school for their pet’s grooming needs.

According to Joe Zuccarello, Paragon’s Vice President, “By concentrating on our digital platforms, we feel we can best serve today’s learner.”

“Closing the physical campus of the Paragon Pet School is bittersweet. It has been the foundation – and progression – of our curriculum for 28 years,” said Melissa Verplank, our Founder. “However, the move makes sense. It highlights our commitment to our goals for digital expansion.”

If you are interested in learning how to become a professional pet groomer, we invite you to explore the Paragon Distance Learning Program. Current groomers should watch for opportunities to build your knowledge and grow your skillset through video lessons, virtual short-courses, workshops, and webinars.

Grooming Education Awards Announced – Multiple Award Winner

Paragon Is Voted Top Dog in Pet Grooming Industry Educator Awards

Grand Rapids, MI – The Paragon School of Pet Grooming is humbled to be voted #1 in three categories and nominated in a fourth for its contribution to education in the Pet Grooming Industry.

#1 Grooming School: Paragon School of Pet Grooming

Paragon received top honors for its professional pet grooming training program.

#1 Grooming Book: The Theory of Five by Melissa Verplank

Melissa Verplank’s innovative guidebook took first place in the Grooming Book category. Learn More

#1 Grooming Webinar: Learn2GroomDogs.com Member Webinars

Membership-based webinars at Learn2GroomDogs.com were recognized for their excellence. Learn More

The team for the “Hey Joe!” pet professional podcast hosted by Paragon VP Joe Zuccarello was also delighted to receive the acknowledgment of nomination in its inaugural year.

“We live and breathe for the advancement of professional groomer education so we are deeply honored to receive this recognition from our peers in the industry,” said Melissa Verplank, founder of Paragon companies and esteemed author of The Theory of Five and Notes from the Grooming Table.

“Each and every nominee should be proud of the work they’re doing to elevate our profession across North America. We are united in our passion for professionalism.”

Verplank’s own quest for the highest level of professionalism has lead her on a 30-year journey in pet grooming where she’s won numerous national and international awards, including competitor and director status at GroomTeamUSA. She has founded and owned multiple companies, including a fleet of mobile groomers, Whiskers Pet Resort and Spa, the Paragon School of Pet Grooming and its related companies, Learn2GroomDogs.com and White Dog Enterprises. Both her trials and her triumphs as a self-taught groomer have inspired her quest to share knowledge and accelerate professionalism and respect for the pet grooming industry around the world.

“I am so happy to see the grooming community come together in the Pet Grooming Industry Educator Awards to acknowledge the efforts of the many talented people who have taken up the cause,” she said.

We love helping people improve their grooming skills and turning their dreams into reality… There is nothing more inspiring than watching people find their success.

The Pet Grooming Industry Educator Awards

The awards, introduced earlier this year, are determined by crowd-sourced polling within the pet grooming industry. They are designed to recognize fellow industry educators who invest in the lives and livelihood of others.

In addition to the awards in the Grooming School, Book and Webinar categories, Paragon is especially proud of its Learn2GroomDogs.com Training Experts, who independently were voted #1 in the following categories:

#1 Livestream: Colin Taylor

London-born Colin Taylor has a long history of being an international super star in the world of professional pet grooming. Colin is certified by the United Kingdom City and Guild plus a Certified Master Groomer in the United States. His accomplishments and influence in the pet industry is beyond impressive. Visit Learn2GroomDogs.com to learn more about Colin.

Colin’s Bio

#1 On-Site Skills Classes: Lisa Leady

Lisa Leady is a third-generation groomer, with over 25 years experience. She is also a clinician, speaker, Certified Master Groomer, and Certifier for IPG. She has many Best All Around and Best in Show placements. Lisa is a multiple Cardinal Crystal Achievement Award nominee and was the recipient of the 2003 Congeniality Award. Visit Learn2GroomDogs.com to learn more about Lisa.

Lisa’s Bio

#1 On-Site Educational Classes: Dave Campanella

Dave is an informative and entertaining seminar speaker, contributing trade columnist and genuine grooming enthusiast. He is Best Shot Products’ sales and marketing Director and has over 25 years of pet industry knowledge and experience. Visit Learn2GroomDogs.com to learn more about Dave.

Dave’s Bio

Education is Everything

Professional development is the unifying mission across Paragon’s various educational platforms, including its Online professional groomer programs, it’s publications through White Dog Enterprises, and its membership-based video streaming community at Learn2GroomDogs.com, where groomers can be coached by the best the industry offers.

“We love helping people improve their grooming skills and turning their dreams into reality. We love helping others become more efficient. Become smarter business owners. Become better managers. There is nothing more inspiring than watching people find their success,” said Verplank.

About the Pet Grooming Industry Educator Awards:
For a complete list of nominees and winners, visit: https://www.facebook.com/PhoenixEdAwards/

About The Paragon School of Pet Grooming:
Online School Programs: Visit https://paragonpetschool.com/home-study/

About The Theory of Five:
Visit https://paragonpetschool.com/product/theory-of-5/

About Learn2GroomDogs.com:
Visit: https://www.learn2groomdogs.com/

About “Hey Joe!” A Podcast For Pet Professionals, By Pet Professionals:
Visit: https://paragonpetschool.com/resource-center/podcasts/

Contact Information:
Paragon School of Pet Grooming

Joe Zuccarello, Vice President
(636) 577-8772

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