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How come so few groomers enter grooming competitions

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  • #16
    I don't compete because I did one competition, did my best, had a great time and got it out of my system. It "put me in my place" in regards to skill level and gave me a realistic idea of how long you need to groom before competing. I'm not scared, but it's just that I know exactly where I fall skill-level wise and at my level of ability, it isn't worth the expense, time or the nerves of it all. I actually am happy, because now I won't wonder or regret not trying.

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    • #17
      I was a competitive, Award winning Home Builder for 20 years before becoming a groomer. I LOVE grooming, but for some reason I have NO desire to compete. Maybe it's the traveling involved... or simply my age. I've never considered it and the groomers I've talked to haven't either.

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      • #18
        Watched several competitions, and love seeing the groomers at work at all levels. But, it was – in my mind – more about the confirmation of the dog, the quality of the coat, and then the skill of the groomer. Was also so far removed from what I did every day to earn a living that it seemed an impossibility that I would ever have the time to train for such an event - even if I did find a suitable dog to work with.
        Besides, if I can't groom a dog in 90 minutes AFTER it is thoroughly bathed and prepped I'd better find another way to earn a decent living.
        This is why I loved the rescue rodeo events. They are more in tune with the reason I became a groomer and are a more realistic measure of occupational skill sets.

        Once overheard a competitor denigrate shelter dogs and mixed breeds since they weren't 'usable' for competitions. Know it was an isolated incident but it left a very bad taste for the regular competitions.

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        • #19
          For me being in Canada very far from all but one show a year, it's about being comfortable to fly someone else's dog. To groom under pressure in unfamiliar surroundings (I'm always alone) and doing my preferred prep with sub par or just unfamiliar equipment/setup ( no recirc/ fiberglass tub/wall mounted ionic fluff dryer/different water) maybe THAT is the competition... Take away your comfort zone and see what you turn out. I think I would stress myself to death and not enjoy it. Don't know frankly if I'm good enough even.

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          • #20
            I have been pondering the "politics" aspect. I thought for sure it was always about the people who knew the judges, who placed because of who they knew. And then I started picking people's brains. The judges got to know me because I was there, asking questions, asking why didn't that dog place.
            And then I started posting pictures, asking what I could fix. Last year, I took a second place in Entry after a 4 year hiatus from the ring (4 entries, no placements). Yes the judges were familiar with my face, but none had seen me groom in 4 years. This year I took another 2nd place with my own mixed breed. I took a class and spent hours watching handstripping videos. I watched other people doing it. I had happy tears up on stage, I was so overwhelmed that I actually placed.
            However, competing is expensive, an average show can cost over $1000 by the time you factor in meals, travel expenses (gas, car rental, air fare and hotels) plus entry fees, dog rental fees if renting a dog. That doesn't include private lessons, unpaid time for weekly upkeep of the show coat and the stress of worrying if the dog you have been prepping for months is going to chew a hole in it's coat or get attacked by another dog while in it's owner's care.
            For me, it's partly about feeling like I have learned something and applied that knowledge. However, what has been even better is the network of people I have met, shook hands with or even hugged. It's the people that have known my struggles to understand something and shared in my joy when it finally clicks. I realized that who you know does matter to an extent because every time you watch, every time you ask, and every time you accept criticism, you absorb information and become a better groomer.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Lucy in the Sky View Post
              I have been pondering the "politics" aspect. I thought for sure it was always about the people who knew the judges, who placed because of who they knew. And then I started picking people's brains. The judges got to know me because I was there, asking questions, asking why didn't that dog place.
              And then I started posting pictures, asking what I could fix. Last year, I took a second place in Entry after a 4 year hiatus from the ring (4 entries, no placements). Yes the judges were familiar with my face, but none had seen me groom in 4 years. This year I took another 2nd place with my own mixed breed. I took a class and spent hours watching handstripping videos. I watched other people doing it. I had happy tears up on stage, I was so overwhelmed that I actually placed.
              However, competing is expensive, an average show can cost over $1000 by the time you factor in meals, travel expenses (gas, car rental, air fare and hotels) plus entry fees, dog rental fees if renting a dog. That doesn't include private lessons, unpaid time for weekly upkeep of the show coat and the stress of worrying if the dog you have been prepping for months is going to chew a hole in it's coat or get attacked by another dog while in it's owner's care.
              For me, it's partly about feeling like I have learned something and applied that knowledge. However, what has been even better is the network of people I have met, shook hands with or even hugged. It's the people that have known my struggles to understand something and shared in my joy when it finally clicks. I realized that who you know does matter to an extent because every time you watch, every time you ask, and every time you accept criticism, you absorb information and become a better groomer.
              Someday i hope to write this exact post. I think i'll just save it and plagiarize it in a couple years, when it finally applies.

              When i competed two years ago, it was SO good for me. Deflated my crazy-huge ego, woke me up to the realities of my current skill, and was a totally necessary education.
              It was a wake up call to discover that competitive grooming is really just a personal, professional achievement. No matter how important and Big Name Status a groomer becomes, it probably won't result in $500 base prices in the shop and a parade in her honor.

              In reality, even for winners, it's more:
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHHK...e_gdata_player


              Definitely isn't:

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4Vp...e_gdata_player
              (instant fame, slutty groupies, household name status)

              And what my ego would have turned it into.
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24Sb...e_gdata_player

              What a nightmare and poor winner i would have been. Someday i WILL compete again, hopefully next year once my current career situation is a bit more concrete and my future puppy is actually in my arms and growing coat. And NEXT time? I'll be prepared.

              Sent from my SGH-T989 using Tapatalk
              <a href="http://funkypuppy.wordpress.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://funkypuppy.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/fpsiggie1.jpg"></a>

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              • #22
                Originally posted by HoneyandChewiespal View Post
                Once overheard a competitor denigrate shelter dogs and mixed breeds since they weren't 'usable' for competitions. Know it was an isolated incident but it left a very bad taste for the regular competitions.
                LOL I find that terribly funny because the biggest group of the sh ows is by FAR the mixed breed class! ANd many of the top groomers have won BIS with a mixed breed or a dog groomed not to standard....and I agree I compete for ME. To make myself a better groomer. I learned tons about speed. coat care. balance. technique.

                I am cu rrently not able to compete (heck some days I can hardly groom) due to a severe tremor in my right hand, but I still maintain coats and work at getting better at it. It transfers over into every day grooming even if you think it doesnt.
                <a href="http://www.groomwise.typepad.com/grooming_smarter" target="_blank">My Blog</a> The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. –Mark Twain

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                • #23
                  Thanks, Parti.
                  I KNOW that mixed and adopted dogs are great and just love them. But the pseudo elitist attitude from one of the 'top' representatives of the groomer hierarchy was a turn off. Again, it was an isolated incident.

                  Personally love how supportive most groomers are abut encouraging others - especially on this board- but am also slightly abashed by the clique like atmosphere surrounding the shows.
                  Granted, a lot of people have made friends and connections attending the shows and these may be some of the few times they get to see each other, but with experience comes a certain amount of responsibility to encourage those with less time in harness.

                  Maybe in order to encourage senior experienced groomers to find others we could have a " number of years grooming" added to the name tags worn at the shows. (Thinking of noting in three year increments 1-3,4-6, 7-10, etc). We already have cities on so this could be another ice breaker and commonality.) Sorry, didn't mean to hijack the thread with a sidebar topic. Bad habit.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Catlin View Post
                    Exactly! That's why I haven't competed. Im terrified that my grooming actually sucks. I've been grooming for 7, almost 8 years, and while I appreciate constructive criticism I'm afraid of being told I'm not very good.

                    Sent from my SGH-T999 using Tapatalk
                    Me too. I want to get certified through the NDGAA but its also expensive to purchase the membership and then travel to shows to test. A real investment for sure, mostly just so I can say Im 'good enough'.

                    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk

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                    • #25
                      I agree that its a very humbling experience. And an expensive hobby. Thats why I love Rags to Riches. It gives you a chance to put your work up against others of your same class and see how it competes for free! Very cool.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by HoneyandChewiespal View Post
                        Watched several competitions, and love seeing the groomers at work at all levels. But, it was – in my mind – more about the confirmation of the dog, the quality of the coat, and then the skill of the groomer. Was also so far removed from what I did every day to earn a living that it seemed an impossibility that I would ever have the time to train for such an event - even if I did find a suitable dog to work with.
                        Besides, if I can't groom a dog in 90 minutes AFTER it is thoroughly bathed and prepped I'd better find another way to earn a decent living.
                        This is why I loved the rescue rodeo events. They are more in tune with the reason I became a groomer and are a more realistic measure of occupational skill sets.

                        Once overheard a competitor denigrate shelter dogs and mixed breeds since they weren't 'usable' for competitions. Know it was an isolated incident but it left a very bad taste for the regular competitions.
                        When I start to feel groomer burn out I raise my prices so I have to take less dogs in to make the same amount of money and focus on learning new skills. Thats how I get around not having time to practice.

                        Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk

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