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  • How do you start?

    How do you start out in grooming competitions? i would like any advice/opinions/tips. I would like to know how to get involved. It seems like fun. can i just use my friend's dog (mini poodle with good coat)?

  • #2
    You would also want the dog to be comformationaly sound. Check out the grooming competition schedule on petgroomer.com and see if there is anything in your area. If you haven't attended before you might want to go and check it out first. You can observe in the audience.

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    • #3
      I have been to one before. but i would like to know how to get involved and where to start. i also need to know how i can get a dog to use.

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      • #4
        You should look on the calendar and go to the web sites of whoever is hosting the event. You usualy register there. You can use friends dogs, your dogs, customers dogs. It is pretty fun.
        What does a dog do on it's day off?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by doggroomer123 View Post
          I have been to one before. but i would like to know how to get involved and where to start. i also need to know how i can get a dog to use.
          To start, you want to compete in C division. That is the entry division for competitors. Even if you have groomed for umpteen years, you can still compete in C division. Once you have so many wins (it seems as if for different shows, different rules apply - always read the rules), you must move up to B and then eventually A.

          The best way to start is to take in a dog that you are comfortable grooming. Take in a client dog, or a friend's dog, if you don't have something yourself. In C division, conformation perfection is not so necessary, but your knowledge of the breed standard is. You will get major points for taking in a dog with not so great conformation and making it look like a dog with good conformation. After the class, make sure you get a critique from your judge(s) so that you know exactly what to do next time to make it better.

          Before I entered my first show, I did sit ringside and watched what breeds I wanted to compete with and studied exactly how the A competitors spent their time and how they groomed.

          It is fun and exciting - go for it!

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          • #6
            Thanks...I am still reluctant. what if i get nervous and totally screw up (you know...do something incredibly stupid and embarass myself in front of the dog grooming world?!) I dont think i would ever attend one again. I am very self concious and i am always afraid that if i screw up once, that is what i will be known for in the dog grooming world (the screwed up dog groomer). I dont want that to happen.

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            • #7
              Lol! I did that my first competition. I couldn't have taken more than a millimeter off my entire dog. He was smooth, but gosh, he was HUGE!! Lol. I compete with a black mini my first year. Hey, live and learn. I chalk that first comp up to learning and breaking the ice. Now I just finished my 3rd competition and feel much much more confident. I'm finishing in time, and I know what I'm looking for. And this all happened in only a year and a half. Way faster than what I learn just in my shop from day to day.

              Go in with one goal in mind. Ok, I'm going to get the feet and face perfect. Or I want my outline to work. etc etc. I can't keep going now, though I'd like to hubby is freaking out cause baby is crying. I will post more later.
              Erin
              No Fur, No Paws, No Service.

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              • #8
                You can use any dog in a competition. Just be comfortable on the groom and try to time it out several times before trying competition. Just take a deep breath and leap! You will learn as you go and yes you will make mistakes but you will learn from them. That's what it is all about. If you're worried what others out side the ring will say just remember they are out of the ring. Many groomers will never even try it for the expereince so you will be ahead of them. The most important thing I cna say is keep it simple. I tried a creative groom my first time that was too hard and I finished but I feel the groom suffered due to the complexity compared to the simple lines of the other competitors! I will be returning tothe creative ring this year after an 8 year absence and hope to keep it a lot simpler!

                All you can do is try! Good Luck

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                • #9
                  dogs to use

                  but...i saw someone post something about using a conformationally sound dog. does this really matter?

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                  • #10
                    It is much easier to put a correct trim on a correct dog...if you can find a correct dog, go that route. Otherwise find one that is decent and not long bodied/short legged, etc with decent coat. You will likely be VERY nervous, but if you do it enough, you get over it!

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                    • #11
                      probably...the first time i showed a dog i was very nervous...then i started doing that more often and now showing is no big deal for me! ooohh...i really want to enter in one of those competitions. i need a dog though.

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                      • #12
                        With a correct dog (or as correct as you can find) you will spend less time doing corrective work and you will have more time to work on a superfinish. Is that even a word?? Good Luck, you will be nervous, but it will pass. When you get in the ring you don't even know whats going on around you, you are too busy working on your own dog.

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                        • #13
                          oh...if i make a mistake will dog groomers stare at me in weird ways?

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                          • #14
                            Just remember that all of us 'A' team people have mistakes on our dogs...nobody is perfect! As good as the dogs look from afar, they are not perfect up close! Let me tell you, being in A division and winning a lot, I get asked how I get such a smooth finish on my dogs. When I look at the dog, I can see all the imperfections, but they can't! I still can't watch a judge go over my dogs, this and when they announce the placements is the only time I get nervous! I am scared to death they may snag a pin matt (and yes, it has happened!). I am mortified at what they pull out with the comb-all those sticky outies! I just don't even watch! So there you have it! You will never excel if you don't dive in somewhere! Just go to a show that has 3 divisions, enter in the lowest division, and do your best. I will admit that I sometimes look at a dog in the ring and my snotty alter ego comes into play, but then I think back to when I first started and how my dogs looked, it puts it back into perspective. And really, who cares what others think. I know easier said than done, but you can't let it get to you! The biggest thing is that if you are going to enter, be a good sport and get critiques!!! There is nothing nicer in the ring than a friendly face! If you would like to PM me, I will converse with you privately about it...I started out at the bottom and worked my way up, and I remember it painfully well!

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                            • #15
                              what is PM? uhh...i would like to find out as much as i can. How old do you have to be to participate in these competitions? is their a minimal age limit (ex. only people over the age of 15 may participate?) just wondering i am only in middle school.

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