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Competitive Grooming is Getting Extreme
Photo: Ren Netherland

Competitive dog grooming has always been a large part of the pet industry, but in recent years dog groomers have been getting more creative. Now, more groomers are getting into the field of Extreme Grooming where groomers turn dogs into works of art.

There are grooming competitions all over the world, and most of them focus on traditional grooming. Some dog groomers make their living by simply traveling around to all of these competitions and showing off their skills. Many have a specific breed that they work with and they know exactly what the judges are looking for in that breed.

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In traditional dog grooming competitions judges are looking for a classic approach. They want poodles to look like poodles and Pomeranians to look like Pomeranians. Judges look for traditional haircuts, clipped nails, and other features that are standard for the breed.

Competitive Grooming is Getting Extreme
Photo: barkandswagger.com

However a new type of grooming, known as Extreme Grooming, has been growing in popularity over the last couple of years, and the dogs in these competitions look nothing like themselves.

The most common dogs used in these kinds of competitions are poodles, Bichon Frises, and Bedlington Terriers. These dogs have the perfect fluffy coats for creating artistic masterpieces. Groomers use non-toxic dyes to color the dog’s fur and then cut it to look like whatever they choose.

The dye is applied in different stages over a period of a few days in sessions that can last up to three hours. Some of the preparation, like the dying, can be done beforehand, but the majority of the cutting and styling must be done in front of the judges at the competition.

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After the groomers have finished with their dogs, each dog is typically presented to the judges and the groomer is usually dressed in an outfit that matches the theme they chose for the dog. Many of the teams put on a short demonstration or performance for the judges that goes along with their theme as well.

Although it may sound a little extreme to some, nothing is done to hurt the animals, and all products that are used are safe. The competitions still get a lot of slack from animal rights activists, but it has never been shown that any of the grooming methods are harmful to the dogs.

Groomers compete for prizes, cash, and, of course, bragging rights as the most extreme groomer.