A dog show is an important event for both the dog and its owner. Preparation for the show includes numerous steps and procedures. And it’s not just training and working on the animal’s behavior. Its appearance plays a significant role.

What is breed-specific grooming and how does it differ from other types of grooming?

There is breed-specific (show) grooming and everyday grooming. While the purpose of the latter is to maintain the quality condition of the fur with regular care for it (moisturizing, feeding, regrowth, protection against the aggressive influence of the environment), the task of the show grooming is to prepare the animal for a “ceremonial exit”, showing it in the most favorable light: giving the fur shine, emphasizing texture, smoothing it, laying it beautifully, adding or removing volume where necessary.

How important is breed-specific grooming for the results of a dog show?

The dog’s appearance is of great importance to the experts at the dog shows. Shiny beautiful fur indicates the health of the animal and that it is full of strength. The dog should be clean, any unpleasant odor from it is unacceptable. Fur that is shedding, unkempt, or dirty is unlikely to look advantageous and will not receive high marks.

What factors influence the quality of a dog’s fur?

Firstly, for the fur to be in good condition, it must be cared for throughout the dog’s life. In addition, the quality and health of the fur largely depend on the diet – it should be balanced, enriched with necessary nutrients (including polyunsaturated Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, B vitamins, zinc, and others).

Special professional food lines have been developed for show dogs. The ingredients in their composition are selected in such a way as to positively affect the animal’s muscle relief or its skin and hair cover and thus prepare the dog for performance, because at the show it should be at the peak of its form. As a rule, such specialized nutrition is introduced into the animal’s diet a few months before an important event – this allows achieving the maximum effect.

How to prepare a dog for breed-specific grooming?

A dog should visit a groomer not only on the eve of the show. It also needs fur care procedures during the non-show period. If these requirements are met, it is easier for the groomer to prepare the animal for the show – he does not have to struggle with tangles, dull fur, or other accumulated problems. This practice also allows the dog to get used to blow-drying and other procedures. If the dog is not used to this and resists, the groomer will not be able to fully perform his work, and stress will affect the dog’s behavior at the show, which can affect the experts’ marks. To avoid such difficulties, animals should visit the groomer from puppyhood.

The difference in show grooming for dogs of different breeds is significant and often hinges on the peculiarities of the fur determined by the breed. For example, Spitz, Huskies, Corgis, Akita Inu, Shiba Inu, and Chow Chows are considered dogs with a double coat type. To prepare these breeds for a show in their full glory, it’s necessary to comb out all their undercoat a month before the event. In this time, new fur will grow, giving the coat the necessary volume. By the way, according to requirements, such dogs cannot be clipped as this is considered a violation at the show. If the expert detects signs of clipping, the animal may be disqualified. Hence, groomers have to create volume using the undercoat.

For breeds with harsh coats (for instance, Schnauzers, Jack Russell Terriers, Scottish Terriers), grooming should be regular (the dog needs to be “hand-stripped” every 7-10 days). For long-haired breeds (Afghan Hound, Yorkshire Terrier, Maltese), care between shows is especially important. It is necessary to regularly comb the fur to prevent the formation of mats.

What should a groomer be like?

A professional groomer should have a thorough understanding of the breed standard. They must be able to analyze the appearance of the dog, understand what it lacks and how to highlight its advantages. A competent groomer understands biomechanics, they invariably observe the animal in motion and in the stance it should perform at the show. Overlooking these features and details could result in highlighting weaknesses rather than strengths.

To ensure your furry friend meets such a groomer and has a chance of winning, looking better than all others, you need to visit V.O.G DOG grooming salons, where professional masters with extensive experience in breed-specific cuts will create a true marvel!