1. Find a dog you are comfortable grooming
Your dog should display good confirmation, nice coat, good behaviour, and be easy to travel with.
2. Preparation is key!
Preparation should start months in advance. From setting the pattern several grooms before the competition to washing, blow drying and presenting a well prepped dog on the day.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice feed back
Take pictures and send them to people who’s work you admire or go to dog shows and ask for advice from top show people.
4. Don’t take your whole salon
Check your tool box and make sure you have all the things you need but don’t take every bit of kit you own. It will just get on your way and slow you down.
5. Check the rules
Have a look over the competition rules and timings in advance of the day. Make sure you are in the right class and you know exactly how long you have. Don’t be afraid to ask one of the judges or helpers if you are unsure.
6. Check over your work
Remember the judge will be coming over every inch of hair so double check those areas that always catch people out like arm pits and between the toes.
Don’t forget your table cloth and make sure your dog is well presented. Think of your work as a piece of art which needs to be showcased. Stack you dog correctly and keep it stacked from the start of judging until the judge tells you to relax your dog.
8. Stay calm
Remember that the dog you are working on will feed off your energy so try to stay calm and relaxed and you will find your dog is easier to work on.
9. Be a good sport
If you are Lucy enough to win smile and thank your judges, if you don’t place, congratulate the winners and ask your judge for feedback so that you can improve for next time.
10. Enjoy yourself
Remember why you started out as a groomer and your love for the dogs. Make new friends socialise and use the day to learn something new that you can take home and use in your everyday work.