Hi Midget......I started out with my local Yellow Pages for a list of Dog Groomers in the area. Then I checked with friends & family to ask where they took their dogs and their overall opinion on the particular grooming salon and staff.
Eventually, I decided on one that "sounded" like the best choice for me and my "boys." It was a fairly big, busy salon with 3 to 4 groomers on duty at all times. After about 3 or 4 visits, I experienced a few disappointments. For one, the groomer injured my Cocker Spaniel by apparently getting too close with the clippers. She left a nasty gash on the back of his neck (she did not TELL me....I discovered it) Cockers are very sensitive and skiddish and I realized after bringing him home, he was behaving upset & frightened......wouldn't leave my side, etc. Another time, after getting home, I noticed that BOTH my dogs had totally different collars on, obviously belonging to someone else's dogs.
This required another trip for me to exchange collars for our own.
This Salon charged quite a bit, plus, because the groomers worked for an owner....."tips" were expected....(just like a salon for humans)
Needless to say, I then chose a young woman who ran her own smaller salon at home and worked alone, (on the suggestion of a friend who also owns a cocker.) We LOVE Amber. She is gentle, grooms them well and charges much less.
So, my experience was trial and error, but it worked out just fine in the end,