HipDog School of Grooming Arts

HipDog School of Grooming Arts
Founder/Instructor Credentials

Improving the industry by setting the standard!

Hi! My name is Debbie Stover. In 1980 I moved to Houston, TX to go to work for the top professional handler in the country at the time, Michael Kemp and his very talented assistant, Scott Sommer. You will, no doubt, recognize these names from Westminster Kennel Club in NY each February as Group winners and Best in Show winners at The Garden!

I started my career in dogs as a show assistant. I learned everything I know the old fashioned way, by being an apprentice and show kennel assistant. We had anywhere from 50 -150 dogs boarding at any given time. I learned to groom show dogs first, which is very different than pet grooming. When I made the transition from show dogs to pet grooming it gave me an edge many groomers don't have. Many groomers don't have a clue what a specific breed is supposed to look like, much less how to groom it correctly! This is a real detriment to our profession and the result is that it has made us all look bad at one time or another. We plan to change that by teaching our students far more about the individual breeds than other schools do. We can do that because of the show dog experience incorporated into pet grooming which gives us an edge over other schools.

When I started grooming pets, I wanted to be the best at that too so I sought out the best groomers in Houston and went to work for them at an exclusive grooming salon near the Galleria. I honed my scissoring technique to perfection over the next few years. My talents were noticed and sought after at dog shows along with job offers from all over the place.

One of my mentors in my beloved breed used to fly me to Dallas every 6 weeks to groom all their dogs while I was still living in Houston. I hated the heat in Houston so decided to move to Dallas in 1987. I went to work for one of the first mobile grooming services in the country. After several years I decided to move to the top of the hill country and start my own mobile grooming service, Vanity Fur. During this time I designed my set of 6 instructional grooming videos which were produced by one of the earliest grooming/handling videos producers in the country, K9 Video Library/Sonnen Productions

I designed my videos in 1992 so that anyone could learn to groom dogs professionally from home. Grooming school isn't always feasible for everyone so I came up with a great, affordable alternative so anyone could learn to groom dogs and have a great career as I have.

I sold my grooming van and moved back to Dallas as I really missed city life. I set up a small shop in my home and worked from home as well as for another groomer friend a few days a week. My home clientele consisted of a lot of hand stripping for various show clients. I lost my home in a devastating fire, which you may have read about in the Schnauzer issue of Dog Fancy in 2000.

I started doing web design several years ago which is just another art form for me. I combined the two things I love most, dogs and web design to create HipDog Web Design© in 1996. I've been asked by many people, friends and colleagues why I haven't written a book about my exciting life but I don't think I could help many people by writing a book about myself. But... I have decided to take their advice and write a grooming book chock full of grooming diagrams and illustrations that have not been done before. There is a great need for tons of different styles of teddy bear heads and teddy bear lengths and bodies and many different breeds and mixes in a well defined, easy to understand illustrated book! My grooming students all ask the same questions so there is obviously a need for this. The book is underway and in progress as I type and will be available in 2008 with portin of proceeds going to Giant Schnauzer Rescue. I would rather help people who love dogs as much as I do have a fun, rewarding career by helping them sift through all the confusing stuff and get right down to what they need and don't need to learn the fine art of grooming!

After teaching for one year and successfuly graduating 23 students at another school I realized the tremendous need for a grooming school that truly teaches the fine art of grooming! I have no desire to be a cattle call school, cramming as many students in a semester as I can. I can offer way more hands-on-dogs time with each student and have more experience than any other instructor here in the DFW area! I will be doing affordable weekly breed specific courses (continuing ed) and affordable breed specific online courses as well as a bathing/drying course for a shorter period of time than the full 11 weeks. NO other school here does that! I promise I will not waste your time or your money on time filling "homework" from an antiquated, outdated text book.

I still show my beloved Giant Schnauzers and selectively handle for clients when I feel like it and have time. I founded the G.I.A.N.T. Schnauzer Rescue Network in 1999, giantschnauzerrescue.net and publish Showdog-magazine.com as well as educate people about puppy mills, back yard breeders and dog abuse on my sites and in my teaching.

What really makes my school different and a cut above the rest is that I AM a professional groomer of 30 years and KNOW what its like to be a groomer. I didn't retire or get layed off from another field and decide to start a grooming school. There are actually school owners out there who have never groomed a dog in their life! They don't know how one breed should be groomed from the other. They have to depend on instructors who may or may not know themselves! Those schools use my videos as part of the curriculum so why go to a school that offers second hand instruction when you can come to my school and learn from the best in person!

Physical address:
HipDog School of Grooming Arts
3160 W. Parker Rd
Plano, TX 75075

(located in Dogs Play behind Halfprice Books in the SW corner of Parker and Independence)

Mailing Address:
HipDog School of Grooming Arts
2807 Allen Street #616
Dallas, TX 75204

972-765-8928 school inquiries
972-769-2275 grooming appointments



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