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 • Competition check in & set up opens 1 hour prior to contest start time.

• Contestants should arrive with their dog at check in station 30 to 60 minutes prior to competition start time.

• Contestant must supply and set up all tools required, dogs must be leashed or kenneled and under control at all times.

• Check in station closes 15 minutes prior to competition start time.

• Contestants who have not checked in 15 minutes before contest start time will not be permitted to compete.



• Dogs should be clean, dry, and free of mats and tangles. Nails should be clipped and/or filed, ears clean. 

• Sanitary and pads may be clipped prior to competition. All other grooming must take place during contest time frame with exceptions as noted in Poodle (ie Poodle feet may be clipped prior to start time) 

• Must be of an age appropriate for competition environment. Suggested age is between 1 year and 10 years.

• Must appear healthy, in good condition and free of infectious disease and parasites

• Must not show obvious signs of pregnancy or nursing

• Must not show signs of viciousness or aggression

• Must NEVER be left unattended

• Must be properly cared for with food, water and exercise while on the show premises

• Must be leashed when not crated or not being groomed

• Must follow applicable vaccination regulations for city, county, state and country hosting the competition


PREJUDGING DOCUMENTATION AND ENTRY CONFIRMATION Judge will evaluate, confirm and note the following:

• Correct class

• Sufficient coat growth and evaluate preparation

• Time frame by size, breed or technique

• Correct division

• If pattern is pre-set

• Contestant comments such as, but not limited to: ear infections, missing coat, moles, scars, healing injuries, etc. 



• Decorative objects such as bows, and scarves are not permitted in regular purebred classes.

• Coloring, other than to enhance natural coat color of the dog is prohibited in purebred classes.

• Hair extensions that are the same coat color of the dog, are permitted and if used, must be applied during the competition time frame.

• Products such as hair sprays and styling gels may be applied during the competition time frame. Spray is limited to “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 a show Poodle headpiece may not be done once time is called. Hair spray is prohibited on poodle tie-ups prior to competition time frame and after 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 coat color. It is prohibited to apply after time is called. 

• Salon freestyle may apply a bow or small accessory collar.

• Small amounts of color (1 inch or less) may be added and is limited to paws, ears, tail and/or cheeks.



• A mandatory break will take place during the competition. The time and length of break will be announced at the beginning of each class.

• All contestants and dogs must proceed as a group to the designated break area.

• Water will be available for dogs and contestants.

• Toilet/potty break opportunity will be available for dogs and contestants.

• Assistant may be present to move dogs for groomer or hold dogs while the groomer uses washroom.

• Judges are available to hold or move dogs, if no assistant is available.

• Any discussion regarding dogs or grooming is prohibited and could result in disqualification 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.

• All grooming and use of tools are prohibited during break.

• An announcement will be made to resume grooming.

• The break time is additional time and not included in the posted grooming time.



• Contestants should remove hair, tools and equipment from grooming table.

• A comb 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 ANY reshaping or styling with hair spray, products or water is prohibited.

• Contestants should stack and present their dog to the judges.



• Overall uniformity of the trim

• Balance, symmetry and style of the trim

• Purebred: adherence to correct breed profile

• Freestyle: ability of groomer to create the best possible profile according to body type, conformation and coat

• Scissoring: plush appearance without scissor marks

• Hand stripping and carding: smooth natural appearance and proper technique

• Clipper lines should be clean and free of irritation

• Edges such as cocker and poodle feet should show neat and tidy bevels

• Difficulty regarding the amount of coat removed, pattern created or followed, coat type, texture, quality and quantity

• Camouflaging conformation faults and accentuating profile attributes 


• Cell phones, radios and headsets

• Standing on tables or chairs

• Beverages NOT in spill proof containers

• Coaching by anyone, at any time during the competition time frame or Sally Break

• Visual or written instructions

• Smoking, Flame devices

• Hair dryers

• Holding crates



• Contestants must provide all of their own equipment including but not limited to: grooming table, grooming loops, scissors, clippers, blades, brushes etc.

• All personal equipment must be removed from arena after each class.

• All grooming tools are permitted such as snap on combs

• Flat irons are permitted



• 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 Example: Open scissors left on the table for the dog to step on would be considered unsafe styling station

• Contestants must practice kind and safe handling techniques at all times

• Dogs must never be left unattended

• Contestants must apply technical skills with safety

• Nicks, cuts and clipper irritations are considered unsafe technical skill application and will be penalized

• Good sportsmanship must be displayed at all times

• Poor sportsmanship is displayed when a contestant shows disrespect to fellow competitors, judge, contest dog, staff, sponsors and spectators

• 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 infractions.

• Judging panel will determine if rule infraction(s) result in disqualification.

• Judging panel will determine if injury to contest dog result in disqualification depending upon severity and cause.

• 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 judging panel and/or show management

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