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Grooming Dogs for Gold – In the Form of Trophies and Ribbons

by Staff

in For Our Pets

Anyone who’s seen the dog show parody movie, Best In Show, has a good idea of how passionate show dog owners, handlers and groomers can be. So, it should be no surprise at all to find a series of dog grooming stations set up in the bowels of the Expo Hall in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. After all, this weekend is the Keystone Cluster Dog Show at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex.

While you may wash your dog outside (if it’s on the large side) or inside in a bathtub (if it’s a small dog, or if the weather is cold) and dry it with a towel, show dogs are treated a bit differently. After a vigorous wash, show dogs are dried with a hand-held blow dryer, just like the ones that their owners use on their own hair. They are then brushed so that their fur is gleaming and, in some cases, it’s also teased, perfectly arranged, trimmed, or braided and clipped into place — all to make them look their best for the show. It’s the little things that matter when you’re a show dog.

Dogs are judged based almost solely on their looks, and how closely they conform to their breed standards are what truly matters. Their teeth are checked to make sure that they are not only cleaned, but perfectly aligned. Their muscles, bones, and length and texture of their coats are all judged as well. On top of this, the reason why the dogs are walked around the main judging area is not only to see how well-behaved they are, but also so that the judge can get a good look at their gaits. The fancy fur-do’s, braided, clipped and fussed-over hair is just the icing on the cake. Every little thing matters, and the smallest detail can separate a champion from a second runner up.

 

 

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