Top 5 Competitive Dog Grooming Essentials for 2023 

Unlike traditional dog shows, competitive dog grooming focuses on professional dog groomers’ skills, scissor work and how well they can groom dogs.

Most salon groomers require tools suitable for performing everyday cuts that support the health and well-being of dogs. In contrast, competition grooming can be intricate and meticulous and requires a different kind of kit.

To ensure you’re prepared for the world of competitive dog grooming, we’ve rounded up our top tips and essentials to get you ready to compete like a pro!

Table of contents:

What is a dog grooming competition?

  1.  ShowTech Paw And Grip Spray
  2.  Groomers Topaz Scissors
  3.  Eye Envy collection
  4.  Wahl Mini Arco Pink Trimmers 
  5.  ShowTech+ Featherlight Combs

Grooming Competition Top Tips 

What is a dog grooming competition? 

A dog American Cocker spaniel with a long wool skirt in a rack

Competitive dog grooming concentrates on either the standard of a groom and how well it meets the specifications outlined by the Kennel Club relating to that breed or the creative flair of an individual stylist and how inventive they can be with their cuts.

Professional groomers are judged on their preparation before the competition, their knowledge of the breed, the skill of their scissor work and how they handle the dog they’re grooming.

Unlike standard dog shows, where dogs canter around a show ring to show off their form and breed credentials, in professional grooming competitions, judging occurs at the grooming table, where cuts are closely inspected. 

In creative grooming, dogs are transformed into pieces of artwork through creative sculpting, bold colour, design and character creations. Using dog-friendly colouring, each dog is restyled to take on a fabulously bright and colourful design, and groomers are judged on their boldness and creativity.

During standard professional grooming competitions, judges will comb out the dog’s coat to check the length and detail of the cut, so it’s important to have the correct tools to master it to the best of your ability.

Here are our top picks to add to your competition grooming kit, whether your dog is being judged at the table or in the show ring!

  1. Show Tech Paw Grip Anti-Slip Spray
a tin of showtech paw grip

To create a perfect, even groom under pressure, you’ll need to ensure the dog you’re grooming is safe, steady and unable to slip on the grooming table.

That’s why Show Tech Paw Grip Anti-Slip Spray is a great addition to your top dog grooming must-haves. Easy to use, by simply spraying it directly onto the paws of your dog minutes before entering the competition arena, it dries quickly and prevents slippage on grooming tables and show-ring surfaces. 

A useful addition to grooming salons, it’s also handy for elderly dogs, offering them a safer footing on the grooming table.

Key features: 

  • Recommended by professional grooming experts and dog-handlers
  • Easy to apply and quick-drying 
  • Highly-effective
  • Non-irritant 
  • Perfect for show rings, competitive grooming, and use in the grooming salon
  1. Groomers Topaz Scissors 
A promo shot of Groomers Topaz grooming scissors

If you’re looking for dog grooming tools that guarantee precision and excellent performance, our Groomers Topaz Scissors are the perfect collection for your competition grooming kit. 

Groomers Topaz scissors are available in various styles and sizes:

  • Bull Nosed (4.5″)
  • Straight (7″ or 8″)
  • Curved (7″ or 8″)
  • Thinner (7″) with 50 teeth
  • Blender (7″) with 40 teeth
  • Chunker (7″) with 23 teeth

Each pair of Groomers Topaz scissors is available for left- and right-handed groomers. Offering maximum comfort for the user, they have an off-set crane handle, allowing the hand to sit in a comfortable, natural position to prevent strain. 

The Topaz collection was tailor-made for long-haired coats and is perfect for cutting Cockapoos, Maltese, Shih Tzus and Bearded Collies and finishing various breeds and coats. 

An elegant, sophisticated and desirable scissor, each cut will be finished with precision, perfect for when your grooming technique is being judged.

Key features: 

  • Durable and hard-wearing 
  • Made from recycled and recyclable stainless steel 
  • Precision cuts every time
  • Excellent performance 
  • Off-set crane handle for comfort
  • Blue Topaz raised tensioner
  • Built for heavy-duty cutting
  1. Eye Envy collection
a selection of tear stain removal products

If you’re at a competition grooming event, the last thing you want to deal with is tear-stained fur. 

Luckily, Eye Envy Professional Tear Stain Remover Solution and Eye Envy Tear Stain Remover Powder are the ideal products to help you remove tear stains whilst also helping to treat and prevent problems caused by overactive tear ducts and canals. 

First, apply the Tear Stain Remover Solution to clean the affected area. It uses a natural astringent to close the hair shaft and fight bacteria. With continued use, this natural antibacterial solution acts as an antibiotic to control and prevent the growth of bacteria that causes the tears. 

Secondly, follow up with the Tear Stain Remover Powder, which contains a mild cleanser and antibacterial to prevent the growth of bacteria and help remove tear stains.

Key features:  

  • Great for removing tear stains from around your dog’s eyes
  • A treatment to prevent tear stains from recurring
  • Easy to use, gentle formula made with human-grade ingredients
  • Free from parabens, peroxide, bleach, steroids, antibiotics and harmful agents
  1. Wahl Mini Arco Pink Trimmer  
Wahl mini arco trimmers for competition grooming

If your competition grooming project requires intricate, detailed work, the Wahl Mini Arco Trimmer is an exceptional addition to your professional grooming kit. 

Perfect for carving and shaping, the blade and trimmer are small, making it easier to clip difficult-to-reach places. 

Running for 100 minutes without the need to charge, it’s ideal for competition arenas where you might not have the opportunity to charge or plug in corded clippers. 

Its precision ground blade with a 0.5 mm cutting length and 400mm cutting width make it essential for taking care of even the most intricate of trimming jobs, and its lightweight casing adds comfort and ease of manoeuvrability. 

Perfect for use on smaller breeds, add a Wahl Mini Arco Trimmer to your dog grooming essentials kit for shaping faces, ears and paws or for adding intricate details to your grooms.

Key features: 

  • Lightweight with quiet vibrations
  • 100 minutes of cordless trimming from a single charge 
  • Perfect for small breeds and intricate details
  • Comfortable manoeuvrability 
  • Ideal for difficult-to-reach places such as between the toes
  1.  ShowTech+ Featherlight Combs
showtech featherlight grooming comb

Show Tech + Featherlight Swirl Comb

If you’re looking for essential tools to add to your competitive grooming kit, the Show Tech+ Featherlight combs collection will allow you to elevate your scissoring technique to the next level.

Made for a quicker and more precise technique, each comb in the collection, whether straight, curved or swirl, is made with an ultra-lightweight handle to alleviate the stress on the joints and muscles caused by scissoring.

Built with dog and groomer in mind, each comb’s round-tip, stainless steel teeth prevent damage to the dogs’ skin and coat, whilst the lightweight design makes for comfortable, prolonged use. 

The ultimate comb choice for fluffing and styling coats, whether you choose a curved or straight comb, you’re guaranteed an easier scissor-over-comb technique with every use!

Key features: 

  • Available in straight, curved and swirl options for precision cutting, styling and improved scissor-over-comb technique.
  • Various lengths and teeth widths are available
  • Lightweight for comfortable use
  • Stainless steel
  • Durable 
  • Curved options allow you to easily follow the shape and contours of a dog’s body for precise styling

Grooming competition top tips

Now you’ve updated your grooming kit and are ready for your next competition, here are our top tips for preparing for the day. From what to expect to some other failsafe essentials to take with you, here’s what you need to know to make your competitive grooming debut a real success!

  1. In the run-up to the competition, it’s important to practise cutting the dog that you intend to groom for the competition. Choose your products before the event, and don’t try anything new on show day.
  2. If you know any grooming judges or competitive pros, take photos of your practice cuts and allow them to give you feedback so that you can improve your techniques before the event.
  3. Bathe your dog before the competition with the products you intend to use in case of any allergic reactions that it may have.
  4. On competition day, ensure your dog is fed, watered and exercised and your equipment works before the show. Oil scissors and take spare equipment where possible, just in case anything breaks during the competition.
  5. If you have time and help available, go to the competition venue first to get set up, then get someone to bring your dog along later so it is less stressed and restless when it’s time to be groomed.
  6. Ensure your tools, shampoos, and conditioners are all breed-specific and that you’ve studied the competition guidelines and breed standard you’re aiming for before the show.
  7. Pack some detangling spray to spot-treat any tangles to the coat and some coat conditioner spray to tame unruly hair. 
  8. Pack treats to reward your dog for its good behaviour throughout the competition.
  9. When the judge critiques your work, always keep one hand on your dog when they comb its coat. The dog should be facing the judge and should only be allowed to sit and relax once the judge is happy they have reviewed your work fully.
  10. Be sure to choose a patient, well-behaved dog that’s comfortable being groomed.
  11. Stay calm and have fun! An anxious groomer can make for an anxious dog, so try not to get too stressed on competition day. 

Find all of your competitive grooming products at Groomers

Groomers Online is the perfect place to pick up all the tools required for your next grooming competition. Explore our full range of professional products, including scissors and clippers, by shopping the links above. Browse today and get your grooming kit competition ready.

Related Posts:

What Is Competitive Grooming All About?

The Best Scissor Care Maintenance For Your Dog Grooming Scissors

Tips On Dog First Aid For Groomers

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