Why Professional Dog Grooming Services Are on a Rise

It’s just a fact of life; dogs are born with nails and fur. Unfortunately, they don’t also have the opposable thumbs needed to trim their own nails and brush and clean their fur. This leaves the task of grooming to their owners or to a costly professional pet groomer. Do you have a natural affinity for dogs and experience with grooming them? If so, then your knowledge is in demand! You can teach classes to show people how to, properly and safely, groom their dogs. You could charge about $10 or more per person and have a class limit of 10-20.

If you are a pet owner, you know how difficult it can be to trim a dog’s nails, let alone the struggle and fighting necessary to get them into a bathtub. Most people give up and resort to taking their precious canine to the vet and end up paying huge fees for each visit. Depending on the breed and pedigree of the dog, professional groomers can charge between $25 and $100 for their services. Some owners just let their poor pets suffer bad hygiene because the trip to the vet and the prospect of doing it themselves are both options that are not going to work for them.

dog groomingAs part of your student’s education on grooming, they will need to know how to decide on the pair of shears appropriate for grooming the breed of dog, or dogs, that they own. Shears come in three shapes – straight, curved, and thinning. Straight shears are the most basic kind used by most groomers and they come in a variety of sizes, ranging from four and a half inches to upwards of twelve inches. The most commonly used size is eight and a half inches. (The breed of dogs they will be grooming will determine the sizes needed by your students.) The smaller shears are usually best for trimming small dogs and getting inside the legs of larger breeds. Larger dogs such as English Sheepdogs and full-size poodles would benefit from the larger size shears. In addition, as is true of most products, the more expensively crafted shears are generally the most durable and long-lasting.

By purchasing dog-grooming tools ahead of time at wholesale prices, you can offer the basic tools needed to groom a dog in the form of a handy kit. Offer these kits to each of your students for an additional fee and thereby increase your profit margin. You can also have someone record your class while being taught and create your own educational DVD. Do not forget to also sell copies of dog grooming books to give people an even more extensive education at the conclusion of the class.

You will likely want to advertise your services by; running a visible advertisement in a local phone directory, list your business with an online business directory, and by printing up flyers and posting them in places where people with pets are likely to visit. Among these places should be elementary schools and day care centers. Be sure to include popular lunch places, coffee shops, and pet stores! Most post offices and grocery stores also have bulletin boards that they will allow you to place an advertisement on. Be sure to take advantage of any public bulletin boards in your immediate area to find the people who are looking for you and your services. In no time at all, you will have built up a large clientele base as word of mouth spreads, because your students will tell others about the wonderful, informative classes you are teaching!…

LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0 Review – What Can You Do With A Mindstorms Set?

What is the LEGO Mindstorms NXT?

The LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0 is a robotics kit that allows you to envision, build and program your own robot. But that’s not all.

With the same kit, you can go on to build more advanced models, and program your robots to be more and more sophisticated. You probably won’t go on to build the next Terminator or Robocop, but the endless programming possibilities can keep you enraptured for a lifetime.

It’s a hefty price tag for a Christmas toy, but as a lifetime investment, the LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0 is definitely worth your attention. Let me explain.

The price tag is justified by a special unique benefit.

If you get this for your child, it won’t be just another Christmas toy that they grow out of. Sure, as with anything you buy there’ll be times when the Mindflex set is cast aside during exams or other phases of their lives.

But it will always be ready to be picked off their shelf to be used in different, more advanced ways – whether your child has gone into their twenties, thirties, forties or older.

There’s no upper age limit, and there’s no getting bored.

Who Is The Mindstorms Set For?

Mindstorms NXT caters for all users above the age of 10. The instructions for building and programming your first few robots are really quite easy to follow.

Sure, the word ‘programming’ sounds complicated, but it can be as easy as just a few mouse-clicks on your computer.

Younger children can find lots of fun things to do with their little robots, whereas the die-hard robotics fan can indulge himself in complex programs that can play noughts and crosses and even solve a Rubik’s cube.

LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0 Rubik’s Cube Robot

What’s Inside The Box?

The LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0 comes with a total of 619 pieces. These include an assortment of rods, beams, sensors, connectors, and wheels.

The Basic Building Block

You’ll notice that the basic Mindstorms unit is a beam rather than the classic LEGO block, giving it a Meccano feel. But unlike Meccano, you can simply snap the pieces together without having to use any tools.

Owing to a large number of similar-looking pieces, you’ll probably be rummaging around at lot at first looking for the right unit. But after a little experience, you’ll almost intuitively know what you’re looking for.

Three Servo Motors

These servo motors will be responsible for making your robot move.

Four Sensors

The sensors will allow your robot to receive information about its surroundings. The Mindstorms NXT 2.0 comes with…

1. A light sensor, which measures levels of light and can even distinguish between different colors, giving your robot the ability to react according to any colors that you might present to it or it may chance upon during its movements around the house.

2. A touch sensor, so you can command your robot to change direction for example when it touches another object.

3. A sound sensor, which allows the robot to respond to different volumes of sound, although you can’t get it to obey exact voice commands.

4. An ultrasonic sensor, which uses sound-beams to determine how far away your robot is a solid object – so it doesn’t have to bump into the wall before it turns away.

The NXT Intelligent Brick

This is your robot’s brain, a mini computer that processes information from the four different sensors and according to your programming, directs the servo motors to respond by carrying out a movement, whether it be by walking, driving, changing direction, sorting balls, attacking an intruder… the list goes on.

Instruction Manual

The instruction manual is great to get you started, with step-by-step instructions to build a shooter bot, robogator, color sorter and alpha rex.

Beyond that, you’re left to use your own imagination to create whatever you want. You can also purchase separate guides (yes, whole guides written just on the LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0) that show you how to build more complex robots with far superior programming.

The frustration in building your own designs is you’ll probably run out of parts to use. If you have this problem, you can always extend the Mindstorms set with pieces from the Lego Technique range, which uses the same basic unit.

What Are The Possibilities? What Can I Do With It?

The sky’s the limit. Experienced programmers have created some phenomenal robots using only what’s provided in one box of the LEGO  Mindstorms NXT.  What are some examples?

Robots that can feed pets, deal cards, write on eggs, play noughts and crosses and even solve a Rubik’s cube!

Your Mindstorms robot also comes fully equipped with Bluetooth support, so you can get it to respond to commands from your phone or Bluetooth remote.  If you want to take things further, you can add extra sensors, which include an accelerometer, compass, clock and a high-tech temperature sensor.

Where Can I Get It Cheapest?

Nobody’s doing any huge discounts, simply because the Mindstorms kit is selling fast as it is and Lego aren’t able to keep up with the demands. I expect they’ll run out very soon and the price will increase toward Christmas. 

Keep checking back at this site, as I’ll be letting you know if any of the stores decide to drop the price.