Procedures,Policies and Protocol

Procedures, Policies, and Protocol


Dogs should be clean, dry, and free of mats and tangles. Nails should be clipped and/or dremmeled, ears clean. Sanitary area and pads may be clipped prior to competition.

  • Decorative objects such as bows and scarves are not permitted with the exception of the Creative Styling Class.
  • Coloring, other than to enhance the natural coat color of the dog is prohibited.
  • Switches/wigs (hair extensions) ,provided they are of the same coat color of the dog, are permitted. Competitors MAY band and add switches prior to the start of the class.
  • Product such as sprays and styling gels may be applied prior to or during the competition time frame, with the exception of hairspray which may only be applied DURING the duration of the competition. Spray is limited to only “freshening up” once time is called. Re-shaping such as that done on Kerry Blue jacket, shaping or patting coat into place utilizing water or product or shaping of a show Poodle may not be done once time is called.
  • Chalk, such as terrier chalk may be applied prior to or during the competition time frame to aid in hand stripping or enhance the coat color. It is prohibited to apply after time is called.



  • Contestants must pick up their registration packet at the show registration desk upon their arrival at the show.
  • The competition check in station opens 1 hour prior to the contest start time.
  • Contestant must bring their contest entry ticket and signed acceptance of the rules to the contest check in station prior to entering the ring.
  • Contestants will be assigned a table and MUST have the pre-contest photos taken PRIOR to the start of each class. Failure to have a pre-contest photo taken will result in the loss of any possible class placements and awards.
  • The check in station closes 10 minutes prior to the competition start time. HOWEVER the show sponsors and/or judges reserve the right to accept entries after the 10minute class cutoff.
  • Contestants should arrive at the check in station 15 to 30 minutes prior to the start time of their class.
  • Contestants who have not checked in 10 minutes before the start time of their class will not be permitted to compete unless otherwise states by the show promoters/judges.


Entry deadline:
The competition closes 5:00 pm est, 14 days prior to first day of show. Entries WILL be accepted after this cutoff online and at the door, however, for an increased fee.

  • Dog must be of an age appropriate for competition. Dogs must be between one Year  and 10 years of age.  Any dog outside of this age range but be approved by show staff to validate the dog is appropriate for competition.
  • All competition dogs MUST be in good health, in good condition and free of infectious disease and parasites.
  • Competition dogs MAY NOT be pregnant or nursing.
  • Competition dogs must not show signs of viciousness or aggression.
  • Competition dogs must not be left unattended AT ANY POINT while in the bathing areas or during the competition.
  • Competition dogs must be properly crated and cared for with food, water and exercise while on the show premises. Failure to do so will result in a show committee hearing and may result in loss of awards/points and possible restriction from further participation.
  • All dogs must be leashed or crated when not being groomed.
  • All dogs must be in compliance with applicable regulations in reference to vaccinations for city, county, state and country hosting the competition.



  • Confirm that your dog is entered in the correct class.
  • Confirm your time frame by size, breed or technique of your competition dog.
  • Confirm that you are entered in the correct division.
  • Have your judge make a notation of specific information such as, but not limited to: ear infections, missing coat, moles, scars or healing injuries.


The contestant should notify the ring steward immediately if he/she needs assistance during the competition.

CONTEST BREAK “The Safari Break”

  • A “Safari Break” will be announced at the start of each class if one is offered.
  • Should a break take place during the competition, the time and length of the break will be announced at the beginning of each class.
  • All contestants and their dogs must proceed as a group to the designated break area. No exceptions.
  • Water will be offered for both contestants and their dogs.
  • A toilet/potty break opportunity will be available for both the contestants and their dogs.
  • Assistants are permitted to be present to move dogs for groomers inspection or hold them while the groomer uses washroom.
  • Any discussion with regard to dogs or grooming is prohibited and could be construed as coaching which could possibly result in disqualification of offending contestants. Please instruct assistants not to speak about grooming.
  • A member of the judging team will announce the time to return to the competition arena and the group will proceed together.
  • No grooming or styling of ANY kind is permitted while on the break.
  • An announcement will be made when grooming can resume and the group will resume grooming at the same time.
  • The time of the break is not included in the posted grooming times, it is additional time.


  • Contestants should remove hair, tools and equipment from their grooming table.
  • The comb that you want the judges to examine your dog with should be placed on the table.
  • Contestants may comb their dogs after scissors down, prior to and after judging.
  • Contestants may use finishing sprays, to freshen up their dogs after scissors down, prior to and after judging, but excessive Use of hair spray, products or water is prohibited.
  • Contestants should stack and present their dog to the judges.


  • The overall uniformity of the trim.
  • The overall balance, symmetry and style of the trim.
  • For purebred dogs the adherence to the acceptable breed profile and trim as outlined in the standard for each breed.
  • For Salon Fantasy classes, the ability of the groomer to create the best possible profile for the dog chosen according to his/her body type, coat and structure.
  • For scissored dogs, the “finish” or plush overall appearance without scissor marks and proper technique.
  • For hand stripped and carded dogs, the smooth and natural appearance and proper technique.
  • Clipper lines should be clean and free of irritation.
  • Edges such as in the cocker foot or poodle foot should show neat and tidy bevels.
  • The difficulty with regard to the amount of coat removed, whether the pattern is created or followed, difficulty of the coat type, texture, quality and quantity and how the stylist achieves the ultimate trim.
  • The difficulty with regard to correcting conformation faults and accentuating profile attributes.
  • POST CONTEST PHOTOS Post contest photos MUST be taken after the technical evaluation for each class has been completed. The contestant should take their number, a comb and their dog to the photo station and then return to their table and await further instructions.


  • Use of phones, radios and headsets At any time during the duration of any class.
  • Standing on tables or chairs.
  • Beverages NOT in spill proof containers.
  • Coaching by anyone, at any time during the competition.
  • Visual or written instructions.
  • Smoking, Flame devices.


  • Contestants must provide their own equipment including but not limited to: grooming loops, scissors, clippers, blades, brushes etc.
  • Tables and grooming arms may or may not be provided. See individual show addendum’s.
  • Hair dryers are not permitted in the grooming arena.
  • Holding crates are not permitted in the grooming arena.
  • Flat irons are permitted in the grooming arena.
  • All personal equipment must be removed from the grooming arena after each class.


  • Appropriate grooming attire and shoes should be worn at all times.
  • Open toe shoes are not permitted
  • Contestants determined to be dressed inappropriately will not be permitted to compete.
  • Professional manner and attitude must be maintained at all times.
  • Contestants must maintain a safe styling station at all times (As an example: Open scissors left on the table for the dog to step on would be considered an unsafe styling station).
  • Contestants must practice kind and safe handling techniques at all times .
  • Dogs must not be left unattended at any time. Assistants are permitted to, calmly and quietly, stand with your dog for a short time if the competitor needs to briefly leave the ring.
  • Contestants must apply technical skills with safety.
  • Nicks, cuts and clipper burns are considered unsafe technical skill application.
  • Good sportsmanship must be displayed at all times.
  • Poor sportsmanship is displayed when a contestant shows disrespect to fellow competitors, judges and contest dogs.
  • Professional conduct is also carried into the care and responsibility of your contest dog and the hotel grounds, rooms and property.


Contestants may receive warnings or notification of disqualification for rule infringements contained in Procedures, Policies and Protocol.

The judging panel will determine if cuts and abrasions result in a disqualification depending upon the severity.

Awards will not be withheld unless the judging panel determines there is a disqualifying factor.

Clarification of ANY issues that may arise, that are not covered by the rules, will be determined by the judging panel and/or the show management.

**Any Grievances or Complaints against a competitor or dog, ie. Previous class wins, amount of coat growth, etc. , MUST be filed with the show promoter AND/OR judges PRIOR to the start of the class to be valid.**

By entering this competition you agree to  the event rules, regulations, polices and protocols for this event.  All entries are non refundable and non transferable.  Groomer will be able to make changes to divisions within classes if needed.