Happy Tails Pet Styling Academy

A Dog Grooming School in Great Falls, MT


The Happy Tails Pet Styling Academy at Happy Tails Lodge is a premier pet grooming school in Montana and offers the Golden Paws Instructional Pet Styling Program created by Jacqueline Rauch who has used and refined this method over the last 40 years. You may wonder how you can go to school for 8 weeks and really learn quality dog styling when other school programs may be longer. Training success in any field is all about the quality of the program. The Golden Paws Method of Teaching is unique. Jacqueline, who is a master stylist and one of the nation’s top instructors, has broken down each step in the grooming process so the student quickly learns the styling skills needed to create beautifully finished breed designs or customize a style the customer desires.

Our instructors are professional stylists who are proficient with this training program. Each one of these steps builds the framework in which the students develop their skills. For this reason it is essential for both the instructor and the student to follow the program steps in a systematic manner.

We work with each student on an individual basis to help them reach their full potential. Our main priority is the student and if you need an extra week to feel comfortable, one will be provided at no charge.

The most important part of any training program is for you to learn the very best skills. Students from around the world have benefited from the training unique to Happy Tails Pet Styling Academy. You owe it to yourself to see why graduates who have been trained in the Golden Paws method go on to start successful businesses and careers.

Happy Tails Pet Styling Academy
1401 NW Bypass
Great Falls, MT 59404
For information or to schedule a tour, please call Katy Duncan at 406-727-8387 or email at


Choosing a career in the dog styling profession will give you the choice of being self-employed or becoming an employee. The choice is yours. This profession offers opportunities and flexibility nationwide. These opportunities are possible because the demand for well-qualified pet stylists is greater than the supply. This short supply is the result from the profession being somewhat hidden and almost obscure from the public as a career choice. This relative obscurity has created exceptional opportunities for people who love animals and who want an exciting and rewarding career in the pet care profession. If working with animals has always been your dream – now is the time to make it come true.


The instructional program videos complement the instructional manual and they work in conjunction with one another. The composition of the instructional material is arranged and organized to develop quality styling skills, outline shaping, blending, balance and proportion, and how to apply those skills to breed design, control methods, proper handling, and speed techniques.

Our course is 90% hands on. Our comprehensive program is designed for the student to master all of the basic grooming skills with an emphasis on the fine finishing skills. The student will begin the program by learning about the various tools, their usage, operation, and maintenance. The next areas covered will be control methods, safety procedures, proper handling, pet oral hygiene, cleaning and sanitation. The skill development portion of the program is taught in three parts. Part one is the bathing and blow drying skills, part two is the prepping skills, and part three is the styling and finishing skills along with the breed designs.

You will also learn about the dog grooming business if you desire to do so and in addition how to increase your income through “add-on services” such as toothbrushing, the sale of supporting products and de-shedding. Toothbrushing and de-shedding are two of the most requested optional services and you will learn that by offering these and other optional services, you will increase your grooming income substantially with a minimum of extra time and effort.


Prepping 101

  • goldenpaws3Pet Oral Hygiene
  • Clipper Techniques
  • De-matting Techniques
  • Curly Coat Cutdown
  • Pet Psychology
  • Dog Anatomy
  • Control Positions
  • Shaving Skills
  • Tool Usage and Maintenance
  • Blade Lengths
  • Toenails
  • Ear Cleaning

Bathing & Drying 102

  • De-shedding Skills
  • Drying Techniques for optimal results
  • Brushing & Combing
  • Shampoo
  • Anal Glands
  • Flea/Skin Treatments
  • Sanitation
  • Bathing Technique
  • Blow Drying/Fluff Out Brushing
  • Skin and Hair
  • Safety Techniques

Styling 103

  • goldenpaws2CPR and other subjects of importance
  • Pleasing the Customer
  • Creating Individual Styles
  • Skimming Techniques
  • Cut Down Techniques
  • Curly Coat and Straight
  • Outline Shaping
  • Fine Finishing/Balance
  • Blade Skills
  • Breed Design
  • Thinning Shear Techniques
  • Blending / De-bulking
  • Camouflaging Faults by Styling
  • Add-on Services
  • Job Counseling


TUITION $5200.00
EQUIPMENT COSTS $900.00 (subject to change due to manufacturer price increases)
TOTAL FEES $6200.00
TUITION $1000.00
REGISTRATION FEE $100.00 (non-refundable)
EQUIPMENT COSTS $180.00 (non-refundable)
TOTAL FEES $1280.00
  • Students may incur additional costs of blade sharpening of approx. $40.
  • The Professional Dog Styling Student and the Executive Dog Styling Student will also need to pay for the costs associated with the portfolio.
  • Full and part time classes available.
  • Job placement assistance.

*Financing may be available for those who qualify.