About Me:

I am a professional Pet Groomer. I have been grooming for 28 years. This Blog is a kind of diary of my work. I wish I had started years ago, writing some of the experiences I have had while grooming. Most days are fun, some can be sad, some can be just down right crazy. If you are a pet owner and come across this blog, I hope it helps you understand how your pet is groomed. If you are a Pet Groomer, I hope you can relate to some of the stories. Maybe even learn a grooming tip or can leave a friendly grooming tip for me. There is always something to learn, no matter how long you have been grooming.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

THe First Competition

Well, here are the first set of pictures from Groom Expo.

The Salon Freestyle Competition.

You can groom any pure breed in a style something other than that breed style, or groom any mix breed in a breed style.
So, I took my little guy 'Peanut'.
The competition was scheduled for 8am Saturday morning.
We got to Hershey Thursday night.
Friday was our shopping day and a day for 'Peanut' to get acclimated to his new surroundings. 

Friday was crazy, busy and crowded at the trade show.
I don't think that I have ever seen it that crowded.
We got all of our shopping out of the way, mostly stocking up on shampoo.

Friday evening was spent getting 'Peanut' ready for the competition the next morning.

I bathed him down in the grooming area that Hershey has set up for the groomers who are competing.

'Peanut' is a Dachshund/Bichon mix.

His curls really show up when he is wet.

 'Cooper' was standing by wondering if he was going to get a bath too. :)

 I wasn't sure exactly what breed cut I was going to put 'Peanut' in, so he has been growing out for close to 9 months.

He has gotten to look forward to his daily brush outs.

So what should I do?

What breed cut?

I wanted to do something different, something that I had not ever done before.

I have to say, I was pretty nervous before this competition.
I was competing in the Open Level.
I would be competing along side Groom Team Members.
What the heck was I thinking when I signed up for the Open Level?
I was thinking that I have been grooming for 30 years and was not sure it would be right to compete in the Intermediate Level.
But....compete along side Groom Team Members.....I was insane!

 This was only half of the competitors.

The Salon Freestyle side.

The other side of the room was the Sporting Breed competitors.

'Peanut' was still a little on the nervous side, but he had settled down a lot.

We was also very comfortable on the grooming table.

 I have to admit, when the call came "Groomers start grooming!" I stood there for a second looking at 'Peanut' and thinking; 'where the heck do I start?'

Oh, I knew how I was going to cut him, it was just that he had sooo much hair on him.

So, I started at the top and clipped the top of his head first.

I groomed and groomed and groomed.

Can  you tell from the pictures what breed cut I decided to do?

I groomed him like a Cesky Terrier.

At least I tried to.

I had a hard time finding good grooming instructions for the breed cut, and pictures were not much of a help.

So many of the pictures showed different lines, some with skirts high, some low, some with the hair on the back shaved close and tight, other pictures showing the back left a little longer and wavy.

So I did my best.

 'Cooper' was chilling out and watching the competition.

This was one of the dogs being groomed next to me.

Isn't he just the cutest thing?

The Dandie Dinmont cut, what a good job!!

It was time for the Judging.

I wasn't sure how 'Peanut was going to react to someone else checking out his grooming.

He did pretty good letting the Judge fool with his face, but he was giving her 'the eye'.

He did good till the Judge picked up the last leg to comb it, then he gave a little growl.

Lisa Leady (the Judge) was very patient with him.

Now it was time to wait for the Judges results.

All of the dogs looked great.

Did I place?


But, I had a lot of fun and I was very happy with the cut on 'Peanut'.
I was also so happy that 'Peanut' did so well for his first time competing.

I must have done something right, because while walking around the trade show after the competition I had at least half a dozen groomers come up to me and ask if 'Peanut' was a Cesky Terrier.

I might even try again next time.

I can see things in these pictures that need fixing. :)

On to get the next set of pictures ready...


  1. Lisa, what a great job! What a difference in before and after. At first, I thought you were grooming him in Sealyham terrier pattern. I guess, they look a little like Cesky terriers, aren't they.

  2. HI!!
    Peanut looks amazing! I hope i can do that well someday!!

    I am new to grooming, kind of.
    I started out bathing (duh!! ;) )
    then started grooming my own dogs with short "puppy cuts" thats what is requested of me a lot of times

    i just recently started making money grooming, and i love to groom!!

    do you have a specific place to ask Q's or can i ask in comments.

    i have a few q's about hand stripping.

    either way, ill be following your blog, LOVING IT!! THANKS

  3. Hello from Nova Scotia! I want to give you a HUGE thank you for your wonderful blog, fabulous photos, valuable tips, and your BIG dog loving heart. I have been grooming for 4 years now, learning the hard way by doing a 400 hr diploma program online then practising on friends' dogs. And watching Jodi Murphy over and over and over...
    I opened my own shop and jumped in head over heels feet first. I am getting a good reputation of being gentle, patient, good with difficult dogs, and the dogs really like me. One of my first customers didn't come back for a year and told me "We thought we'd wait until you got better at it." Ha ha, at least they came back. I can sooo relate to crazy customer stories! And crazy dog stories. And wonderful dog and people stories. I have been reading every single one of your posts (in reverse order, go figure lol) and they are more addictive than salted peanuts! I have to force myself to go to bed and not read "just one more". You have really helped me get better, your scissoring is awesome, and you have opened my eyes to other ways of doing things. Thank you! Suzanne Miller Barkview Grooming

  4. What an amazing transformation! Job well done!

  5. Peanut looks amazing! Great job. I hope you are well, Lisa and ready to blog again soon.

  6. I LOVE IT!!!! i have cesky terriers and think it is so cool you decided on that for Peanut's groom.