Competitive dog grooming is an rapidly growing sport, especially in Australia.
It becomes an obsession, it becomes a hobby, it becomes your life.
This is a trade, like being an electrician or a plumber, but it is also a wonderful skill and people love watching it begin done skilfully.
Here is what people who participate in the new sport of competitive dog grooming, say about it:
“Congratulations! My hands are still shaking. I didn’t think I was going to finish. But I did.”
That’s what the following lady had to say about competitive dog grooming:
I was pretty much born in the salon, under mum’s feet. Kylie found an odd bit just there. I have been grooming competitively on and off for the last 16 years.
I won Best in Show in 2013 at Melbourne Royal and then I had to compete for Australia and I won Best in Show there. I’m going to make it look like he’s got a pair of sunglasses on. There is a few faults we have on all our dogs.
John Paul Williamson
No dog’s perfect. So in competitive dog grooming we groom to correct that. We can make them have the illusion that they are a perfect dog. Hi, I’m John Paul Williamson.
This is the first year that I have been competing in dog grooming. I actually have my dog Charlie to blame. I got fed up with spending 90 Australian dollars getting him groomed each time, so I thought I’d do it myself.
I tried, but that first time, by the end of it, he looked like he had been attacked by mange.
So then I said “Right, I’m going to do an online course.”
This time two years ago I would never have thought I’d be doing it. What’s your dog’s name? Charlie. Charlie’s first ever competition. Charlie is not a lover of people. Hopefully he’ll be okay. Look.
You can commence grooming. I’m not there looking to win.
I’m there more to learn. I would really love to win in competitive dog grooming and be the “Best In Show”.
When I first started competing I thought I would be ill and I’d start sweating. Your hand is shaking. The worst case scenario is that you could cut your dog. If you cut the dog you get disqualified.
You’re not allowed to talk.
My name’s Paige Stetter. I’m 17. I’ve always hated school and I decided that I wanted to work full time as a dog groomer.
I’d battled getting her to go to school for a couple of years actually.
Leaving school was the best thing I ever did.
She has got that natural ability to be a really good dog groomer. It’s very serious. She gets really anxious.
You’ve actually got to groom to confirmation, the actual dog’s anatomy. Show off where their shoulder muscles are and their thighs and their waist. Some dogs have a waist. Don’t they, Zaas. Shit! F*** this. I took a little bit too much off one of the front legs.
Tools down. We’re going to have a break from in competitive dog grooming.
Go to the toilet, Charlie. Go to the toilet. Good boy, Charlie. Come on. I’ve judged in China and Korea, and I just got back from Brazil. They are truly artists in what they do. Their medium is a fur canvas.
It came to me straight away. I just knew what I wanted to do. Well I’ve called it Pond, for obvious reasons. You see some interesting dogs but you also see some very interesting people as well.
Most groomers are really supportive of each other. Most.
There’s the creative category as well. You definitely won’t see me bringing my Westie to that.
There are people that say it’s cruel. There is always going to be haters and nay-sayers. You could not stand there for two hours unless they really cared for that dog.
The health is the primary reason why we groom. There’s nothing worse to a groomer than when a matted dog walks in your salon door, and the owner says “I brushed it yesterday.” We know you’re lying.
Don’t lie to a groomer. We know our job.
You have half an hour remaining. You can see their little panicked faces. Oh shit. You don’t want to miss a hair. Five minutes remaining. No, Charlie, we’re not finished. Turn you around. Okay, everyone.
Time is up. Tools down. I pulled it off, I think. I’m not a 100 percent happy with what I done but we’ll see.
You can’t mess your hair now, okay? No, Charlie.
I’m looking for the smoothness of the scissor-work, the clipper lines, the pizzazz of the groom.
The waiting to hear first, second or third I think would be the hardest part of the process. So, it makes it a long day for me.
I’ll wait and see if she continues doing this or if she’d rather just focus on the shop.
We’ve had a record entry this year of 78 dogs. I’ve been growing her coat for eight months.
It means so much to me and I’m so happy. Happy tears.
Some people are really competitive and it is their sport and it’s a way for them to achieve something and be recognised.
I think my poodle could have placed if I took a lot more off the front of his chest. It’s not only competition, it’s chance to make new friends. Best in Group, Gun Dog.
When I feel support for my work, for me, from a lot of people in this country… ..we have Candace Breach with her Schnauzer.
Okay, I haven’t a hope now. I was hoping to get a third. Second place, John Paul. Just shocked.
You’ve done so well, Charlie. We’re delighted. I’m representing the men today and the Irish. ..is Paige Stetter.
She’s a star! I’m so proud of her! I’ll keep competing. I love it! I’ve never seen her wanting to learn and strive so much as with the grooming. It’s been amazing…
As found on Youtube