The best dog groomers in Canberra

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a person holding a dog

WOOOF, one of Canberra’s most recommended dog groomers. Photo: WOOOF.

We all love our dogs, right? And we want them to look their best. But with a busy schedule, sometimes the member of our family that always puts us first doesn’t get the attention they deserve. That’s where a good dog groomer comes in.

A trip to a great dog groomer can actually be enjoyable for your pooch and you. We all know it feels great to get some pampering, a good clean, and a haircut. For your dog, it’s no different. When they look good, they feel good too.

In this article, we’ll give you a few things to look for in a great dog groomer, as well as a list of the best groomers in Canberra.

What makes a great dog groomer?

Unfortunately, not all groomers are equal. Here are some tips to help when seeking a top-quality groomer for your furry friend’s needs, and how you can contribute to making it a positive experience.

  • Early introduction. As soon as your dog is fully vaccinated, they can visit a dog groomer. Introducing them to grooming early helps them get used to it and enjoy a lifetime of positive dog grooming.
  • Experience and knowledge. Do some research and decide what kind of groom you want. For example, you may want a breed-specific groom for a Poodle or Schnauzer, or a cute ‘teddy bear’ style for a Cavoodle. The best dog groomers are experienced in different breed cuts and are willing to work with you to achieve the groom you’re after. Check out the groomer’s website or call and ask questions to make sure you’re a good fit.
  • Welcoming. When you take your dog to a new groomer, it can be a little nerve racking for you and your dog. It’s not uncommon for them to shake in their boots! The best dog groomers will make you both feel welcome and help ease your dog into their groom.
  • Relationship building. It takes time to build a relationship between a dog and a groomer. The best dog groomers will take the time to make the experience a lot less stressful for you and your dog, and in turn, make it easier for you to come back again.
  • Value for money. As with any service, it’s important to have financial peace of mind. The best dog groomers will be able to explain and justify their costs fairly. Note that they will likely need to see your dog first to assess their coat condition, before providing a firm price on the service that is required.
  • Mobility. Some dogs aren’t suited to a busy grooming salon with lots of activity, so a mobile option that comes to your house might be more appropriate. Not only can this be a great time saver for dog owners, but your dog may feel less stressed if the grooming is done in a familiar environment.

The best dog groomers in Canberra

Riotact’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.

To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on Riotact and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.

WOOOF Dog Grooming

WOOOF is Canberra's first premium dog grooming salon using only natural products that are good for your dog, you and the planet.

A pristine salon and healthier experience with a focus on quality grooming for optimum coat, skin and muscular health.

Services include hydro spa treatments to encourage de-shedding and de-matting the coat, a quick tidy up or full grooming services. There’s even a puppy program using the gentlest products made with 100% natural therapy-grade essential oils.

Head to the website to book an appointment and check out the shop for a unique range of products exclusive to WOOOF in Canberra.

Justin Cornock wrote on Google, “What a refreshing change this place is! Its clean, the team are all lovely and they genuinely care about their clients ... the dogs!”

The Waggington

The Grooming Salon, at The Waggington, treats every dog as an individual for a full, positive experience. The extensive range of grooming services includes puppies first wash, nail clipping, all-over groom, wash, dry, brush and tidy, and full breed-specific grooming.

Professional, experienced and dog-loving groomers use the most proficient and safe equipment available for total comfort, including electric tables, electric baths, cordless clippers and trimmers, and hand dryers. They handle, with care and attention, dogs of all personalities, shapes and sizes (small/toy, medium, large and extra-large).

All shampoo products used at The Waggington’s Grooming Salon are made from natural oils. They are soap-free, perfect for sensitive doggie skin and 100 per cent safe for both pets and humans.

Grooming prices depend on the breed, coat-condition and temperament. Book online.

On Google, Jenny Wells wrote, “They did an amazing job with my puppy cocker. He gets complimented a lot in his haircut! Easy to book and great with the pooch.”

Scooby & Friends Dog Grooming

Based at the Canberra Vet Hospital and run by a small team of passionate and talented individuals, Scooby & Friends Dog Grooming is a salon that specialises in small to medium dogs, with a wide range of services promising to make even the dirtiest of pooches look and feel beautiful. Scooby & Friends Dog Grooming are big advocates for many rescue groups and sanctuaries in Canberra, such as Greyhound Rescue and Little Oak Sanctuary. If you’re interested in adopting, fostering, volunteering or donating to a great animal charity, check out Scooby & Friends next time your dog needs a trim.

Christine Mackinnon writes on Riotact, "I don’t know what I would do without Scooby and Friends. My dog gets so excited when he knows he is going there. What’s more, they do a wonderful job with grooming! So professional, friendly and accommodating."

Isabel's Dog Grooming

Established in 2010, Isabel’s Dog Grooming is the happiness of your dog. Whether you’re after a bath, trim or style for your furry friend, expect a clean and secure environment with air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter, ensuring the comfort of your dog throughout their appointment.

As Jennifer Carter writes on Riotact, “We have been sending our Samoyed for years and he always comes home looking great and very happy after his day out.”

Southside Dog Grooming

Southside Dog Grooming is a family owned and run dog grooming services with more than 10 years’ experience in the industry. All dog grooming needs are catered for. Southside Dog Grooming handles all types and sizes of dogs. They also cater for special personalities, including dogs anxious about visiting a groomer.

On Riotact Rebecca Neish wrote, “South Side Dog Grooming always does a fantastic job on my puppy, that isn’t a fan of getting groomed”

The Dog Barber

The Dog Barber is a family-owned pet grooming service providing high-quality bathing, grooming and haircutting for dogs of all breeds and sizes in Canberra. Owners Josh and Dee share a passion for dogs. The Dog Barber specialises in transforming the appearance of dogs. Grooming services include full grooms, style full grooms, de-shedding, wash and dries. A puppy program is available.

As Danielle Jacobs writes on Riotact, "Josh and Dee of The Dog Barber take good care of my Cavoodle even though he’s super anxious. He always comes home looking and smelling great."

Are you looking for more information on dog and pet care in Canberra? Check out our articles on the best vets, the best emergency and after-hours vets, the best pet shops and pet supplies, the best pet desexing, the best pet insurance, the best dog door installers and the best dog trainers in town for some handy guides on how to best take care of your furry friend.

Or, if you’re interested in finding somewhere for your pet to stay whilst you’re away, our articles on the best dog walkers & pet sitters, the best dog boarding kennels and the best doggy daycares in Canberra may be of use.

Alternatively, if you’re interested in adopting another furry friend, check out our article on the best place for rescue dogs in Canberra.

Your experience with dog groomers in Canberra

Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback, if you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.

Have you had experience with any of the dog groomers listed in this article? Share your experience in the comments area below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my dog anxious at the groomer?

Some of the smells and sensations associated with grooming can be a bit scary for some dogs, which is perfectly normal. It might be the feeling of the clippers, being handled too much in sensitive areas like paws, ears and groin, or getting wet that is stressing them out. Luckily, there are many ways to combat this. Ask your groomer for a training visit to acclimate your dog to the salon, keep plenty of treats on hand, and be sure to sing lots of praise to your pet when they’re done.

What are breed-specific styles?

There are some styles of trims that are unique to different breeds, other than just the standard kennel cut. Schnauzers, for example, are traditionally groomed with long beards around the muzzle, short all over, and long fur around the legs. On the other hand, poodles are styled with long fur around the legs, ears, top of the head, and then short everywhere else. If your interested in getting a breed-specific trim for your dog, talk to your groomer about what they’re able to do for you.

Can I trim my dog’s nails myself?

Yes! If you get your hands on an appropriately sized pair of clippers (relative to the size of your dog) then you can try trimming your dog’s nails. Just be careful that you don’t trim too short, as the quick of the nail – the pink area within the nail where the nerves and blood vessels are – is very sensitive and will cause a lot of pain if trimmed.

How often should I take my dog to the groomer?

This depends on the breed of your dog and the time of year. If your dog typically grows thick, fluffy fur, then you'll probably want to get them groomed every 4-6 weeks depending on how warm it is. Naturally short-haired breeds should only need to be groomed every 6-8 weeks, but potentially more often the hotter it gets. While dogs are generally pretty good at regulating their own temperature, Canberra gets very hot summers and very cold winters, so keep that in mind when scheduling with your groomer!

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One Canberra9:01 pm 04 Jan 24

Agreed to it. Here is another list of best dog groomers in Canberra.

Southside Dog Grooming have been grooming my westies for years. Harry and Bella love Mel and Chris and always look brilliant when they have been groomed 🙂

webghost19847:55 pm 07 Oct 21

AVOID Canberra Pet Stylists in Gowrie. My dog was left extremely distressed after a session with these so-called professionals. Took days to calm down. I’m loathed to contemplate what they did to him. Never again.

Christine Mackinnon2:20 pm 12 Sep 21

I don’t know what I would do without Scooby and Friends. My dog gets so excited when he knows he is going there. What’s more, they do a wonderful job with grooming! So professional, friendly and accommodating.

I’ve been very happy with Central Bark Pet Styling at Gungahlin. They are very kind and caring and do an excellent job. My dog has a very thick double coat & I find it impossible to groom her effectively. She came out of Central Bark looking like a new dog, all stripped & ready for summer. Their number is 6174 4203.

Canberra Pet Stylists in Gowrie are brilliant. Thoroughly recommended. Aaron and his team listen to what you want and what is best for your pet.

I’ve been to so many different groomers in Canberra depending on availability when my dogs coat got too long. I read the review below from Aaron Gee and decided to give Canberra Pet Stylists at Gowrie a try. Totally in love with this place! My Shih Tsu came away looking stunning – by far the best groom he’s ever had. Best groomer ever!

slightlydapper5:25 pm 07 Dec 18

I use Snip Dog Grooming Studio in Gordon, very friendly team and they do an amazing groom on my Affenpinscher. Worth checking out if you’re on the Southside.

We use Grooming Genie (Cale) for grooming our spoodles. He is wonderful with the dogs and always totally competent. One of our dogs is not an easy personality to groom and he has no issue with her at all. A++++

Shame riot act didn’t include Canberra’s only Master Groomer’s for cats & dogs in Canberra…

After moving to Canberra. I was driving back to Sydney every four weeks for my girl to be groomed. If you truly want the best in Canberra – Canberra Pet Only MASTER GROOMERS for both Dogs & Cats. Plus an amazing collection of imported designer pet products. I only take my girl to the best, not worth risking her with under qualified groomers. People are opening places without any training or qualifications, or buying a mobile trailer and turning up on your doorstep. Ask the question when booking, are your staff fully qualified and experienced, what level are their qualifications. Not just risking poor groom, safety is paramount after hearing too many sad grooming injury stories. I wouldn’t try anyone else

Totally agree, Aaron. Have been going there for years. My dogs are a difficult breed to shape properly, but Karen knows her breed shapes and has always done a superb job. She is a Master Groomer and is now training up the new staff. So far the results have not been disappointing. I will continue to recommend them.

I’m so glad you think that Aaron, your endorsement must mean a lot, especially since you now own Canberra Pet Stylists. It’s very important to back yourself these days.

webghost19847:51 pm 07 Oct 21

Couldn’t DISAGREE more. My dog was left extremely distressed after a session with these heathens. If you love your pet… AVOID AT ALL COSTS.

Heather Richards2:40 pm 21 Feb 18

Booked Grooming Genie after reading the positive posts- my appointment was at 2.00pm – at 2.10pm Cale sends message to say has to reschedule as he has the ‘man-flu’ – pity he could not have told me a few hours again so I did not waste taking half a day off work!!. Very disappointed, will not use him – will just go back to my normal groomer who is reliable.

I have been a groomer/trainer/handler/exhibitor of purebred dogs for approx 20 years. I can groom any breed any style. Poodles and Gundogs a Specialty. I am located outside of Canberra in Young but I am considering coming to Canberra for 2 days a week and work in a salon for extra money for myself an also to help with the increase of bookings for a salon. Will have own kit. So if anyone is interested you can contact me and we can discuss it.

Getting back to the post though, Golden Retrievers should never be clipped! A good groomer can get that coat out correctly and shape and tidy the feathering without using clippers. Putting clippers on a double coat causes the coat to grow back soft and removes the necessary guard hairs for weather insulation. I hope the groomer you ended up with explained this to you.

Hearing these horror stories makes me want to return to ACT and open a salon again

Showpuppy – Cale needs help with his Mobile Service and he is so skilled I have always thought he may not get anyone locally who is experienced enough – It may be worth you connecting with him. You can tell him Tiffany and Maddie (our pups) suggested you might need so assistance. Cheers

Cale’s phone number at Grooming Genie is actually 0400 661688, have to get a different font on next business cards to avoid confusion 🙂

This is probably a bit late for a post on this thread. However, Cale from Grooming Genie
(0400 667688) just washed and groomed my Golden Retriever. I have taken the dog to a number of salons in Canberra in the hope of finding someone who knew what they were doing for a GR clip, no luck till today. Cale did the best wash and clip I have ever had done on the dog. He looks great. Can not recommend Cale highly enough.

viking princess1:08 pm 23 Jun 14

Cale from Grooming Genie washed and clipped my Jack Russell cross today and I have never been happier with a mobile grooming service. Friendly, efficient, obviously likes dogs and did exactly what I asked for. Highly recommended!

Hi Jessie. Kate from Dogs Best Friend here. Im really sorry to hear you were unhappy with your groom. Just to clarify our price list is an estimate only and price depends on the style of the cut, the dogs behaviour and the condition of the coat.($65/h is what we quote if unsure). Normally I would offer a free re-do to your satisfaction if a customer was unhappy so if u would like this please call me on 0410457850. I actually do Love my job and my customers so im really sorry if I was grumpy on that day!! We all have bad days I guess….! Best wishes

I have noted the recommendation for pet grooming at Ainslie. Don’t go there if you want courteous and competent attention. My spaniel came out looking a mess. Uneven clipping in places I didn’t want clipped. Overcharged. Take a look at the price board on the footpath outside the shop. For what I was charged for a light trim -$65- my 9.5kg dog should have been a Great Dane. Have spent hours trying to straighten him up for a special occasion.
The owner was grumpy and I would not recommend this place to anyone.

troll-sniffer7:47 pm 29 Oct 13

Gee, just had a ‘media moment’ with all the media articles etc on certain adults ‘grooming’ minors, this headline stood out like a sore thumb. I was wondering how one would groom a dog…

Good news, because I had Feral and Cheryl clipped on the weekend by a mobile groomer from the southside, and was less than impressed.

I just found the best mobile dog groomer in the ACT! Cale operates Grooming Genie 0400 667 688. Northside but will travel anywhere. My dog has been badly treated at one salon and his attitude was really bad if anyone touched him. I had tranquillizers on hand but Cale was really gentle. I had a very happy doggy at the end. Can’t recommend Cale highly enough!!!!

One of our dogs has also required tranquilizers in the past and it was still a nightmare – Cale has never needed them.

We go to kippax

Correction that should be $10.000 not $19k

Hi there you are more than welcome at my salon, fancy feathers and fur in kippax 62542323. I promise to take good care of you little one and she wiping look like a 1980s vita grit.

grunge_hippy9:28 pm 12 Oct 13

I took our big hairy kelpie X for a clip at the new best friends at tuggeranong and they did a great job. Bit on the exy side, but I will go back.

goosepig said :

Dog’s Best Friend in Ainslie is supposed to be excellent.

Thanks for the recommendation goosepig. I headed out there today to have my cats claws clipped based on your suggestion.

They were lovely and gentle with him and didn’t charge me anything for the claw clipping. Would definitely recommend to others.

Note: It was a little hard to find, but it’s just down the alleyway next to the ATM near the supermarket.

I have worked for Isabel in Phillip, would heartily recommend her anytime as the dogs are treated sensibly and kindly.

On the other hand, if you want to know who to avoid…they *are* located Northside, but I am *not* referring to the salon at Holt, who are excellent.

Dog’s Best Friend in Ainslie is supposed to be excellent.

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