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Competition Rules


Competition Rules

International Competition Rules

Two judges chosen from the judges list will judge each category


The contestant can apply for the following categories:


Spaniels and Setters


Other pure breeds scissoring


Beginner *

-Not more than 2 years experience. Dog shows also counts as experience

-The contestant can compete as “beginner” in several contests for 12 months even if winner.

-The second year he/she must enter “Open” class even if not winner.

-In this category all breeds and techniques are confused.



  • All contestants with more than 2 years experience and/or contestants that never won a gold medal in “Open” class.

  • The contestant can compete as “Intermediate” in several contests for 12 months even if winner. The second year he/she must enter “Open” class even if not winner.

  • In this category all breeds and techniques are confused.

  • Commercial *

  • Contestants may enter with any FCI recognized breed to be groomed commercially: breeds that usually need stripping can be clipped or scissored; long hair breeds can be clipped or scissored. Poodles are accepted only to be groomed in Asian style or groomed in different breed shape as Bedlington or Kerry blue.

  • Colouring is not allowed

  • In this category all breeds and techniques are confused.


* These Categories are not eligible for best in show.
In Competitions where “Open” and “Champion” class are scheduled, contestants will enter the one they belong considering their previous results

Per category, the contestant can compete in one of the two following classes:

  1. Open – Can be admitted in “Open” class all contestants that never won their categories and will stay 12 months even if they attain a victory. Contestants will enter “Champion” class, where existing, the year after only in the categories they won and only if the victory was attained in a class of, at least, 5 contestants; otherwise another gold medal must be won in a bigger class.

  2. Champion – Can be admitted in “Champion” class contestants that already won in the same category at a competition.


To participate in the Tournament contestants have to compete at least in three categories.


  • Contestants must bring their own dogs

  • Contestants must bring their own tools

  • In each category there will be three contestants placed per class.

Handstripping without clipper use

  • Small and Medium sizes - 2 :30 hours ·

  • Big sizes - 3 hours

Handstripping with clipper use

  • Small - 2 hours ·

  • Medium sizes - 2 :15 hours ·

  • Big sizes - 2:30 hours

Spaniels and Setters
All Setters, American Cockers, English Cockers, Springers - 2:30 hours


  • Up to 35 cm - 1.45 hours

  • 35 cm up to 45 cm - 2:00 hours

  • Over 45 cm - 2:30 hours

* 15 minutes extra time is allowed to spray up top knot

Pure Breeds

Bichon, Bedlington - 2:00 hours
Kerry Blue Terrier, Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Black Russian Terrier, Bouvier—–2:30 hours

All breeds - 2:30 hours


All breeds - 2:30 hours


  • Small and medium - 1:30 hours

  • Big  - 2:00 hours

10 minutes comfort break must be given 1 hour after the start competition


Grooming regulations

The dogs will need to be washed (except for the handstrip dogs).

The ears and nails need to be groomed and the dog’s underbelly, genitals and hind quarters may be previously groomed for reasons of hygiene, according to the breed standard.

Any evident line or pattern should not be visible. Dog’s coat must be long enough to allow the groomer to make a difference in its appearance.

Contestants competing with dogs showing evident line and/or with coat not long enough to allow to make a difference in its appearance should be aware that will not have any chance to compete for victory.

All grooming techniques are allowed, as long as the chosen technique suites the type of the dog’s coat.

Category Handstripping / Spaniels & Setters

Stripping knives are allowed.

Dog needs to be groomed according to the breed standard .

Colored Chalk powder/block/spray and cream is allowed.

It is not allowed to use clippers except:

  • Scottish Terrier – chest, head and ears.

  • West Highland Terrier – chest and ears.

  • Cockers and Setters – chest and ears.

  • Schnauzer – chest, head, inside of back legs and ears.


Category Poodles / Pure Breeds

  • The dog needs to be washed and fluff dried.

  • Clipper guide combs are not allowed.

  • Poodle muzzle and feet should be shaven prior to the start of the competition.

  • Poodles must be groomed in a style recognized in the breed standard.

  • Poodles with top knots may ask for help from an outsider to hold the dog.

  • Coloring is not allowed.



On the entry form contestants must add the breed of the dog to be groomed and, for Poodle class, also what cut will be done. Signature in acceptance of all rules is required.

Contestants must be in the ring 30 minutes prior the start of the competition with their own dog and tools.

Contestants are not allowed to talk to other contestants and/or the audience during the contest.

Contestants are not allowed to use mobile phone and/or any electronic device during the competition.

Chalk use is allowed however no trace of it should appear on Judges’ hands after the judgment as a disqualification can occur.

Any indecorous or aggressive language used towards the judges as well as a dog handled in rough or unsafe manner may lead to disqualification.

Possible disqualification will be executed by the President of the Jury

When competition ends, Contestants should remove all hair, equipment and products from the grooming table as well as moving all stuffs on the floor under the table, to allow the judges an easy approach to the tables for the judgment

A comb should be placed on the table for the judge to use during judging. Contestants may comb their dogs before and after the judging panel has evaluated their dogs. Contestant should stack his/her dog to present to judge. Dogs not in judgment must not be kept stuck-

Any possible complaint must be in written, presented before the end of the event and will cost $25



  • Two judges will judge each category.

  • Judges are not allowed to judge their own relatives and /or employees.

  • Judges are not allowed to exchange any opinion concerning the judgment during the competition.

  • Judges are not allowed to leave the ring during the competition without the permission of the President of the Jury.

  • “Champion” class must be strictly judged.

  • The President of the Jury should bring with him/her a computer with the point system program.

  • The judges’ decision will be final and binding


Pictures of the dogs will be taken before and after the competition.

The judges will examine each dog during prejudging and final judging and will take in consideration the following issues:

  • Suitability of chosen style to the dog.

  • The difficulty degree of the clip.

  • Ability to camouflage defects and enhance beauty.

  • Up to date with today’s modern grooming styles. ·

  • Respect for today's breed standard. *

  • The quality of scissoring, shaving and or stripping after passing a comb.

  • Balance, symmetry, and smoothness.

  • Presentation of the dog to the judge.

*Allowance to be made for International differences in styling for example USA or Scandinavian styles.


The quality of the clipper work whether the feet, face and tail are clipped with the appropriate blade. All clipper work should be smooth with no tufts of hair around the lips , eyes, pads of the feet.

Hand Stripping

There should be no visible pink of bald patches. The hair must be removed with the lay of the coat and without causing pain. Removing the undercoat by a carding tool is allowed only after the handstripping has taken place. Rolling coats are acceptable; however the work done in the ring must be sufficient to allow the groomer to make a distinct change in the dog’s appearance.

If clippers are used to trim the soft coat on the head or ears, the front of the neck, or on the insides of the back legs, these areas must be trimmed neatly and smoothly with the appropriate blade. The clipper work should blend smoothly with the furnishing or feathering rather than stick out. Excessive scissors use will be penalized.

Pure Breeds and Spaniels & Setters 

If thinning shears are used: the areas that are thinned should blend smoothly and create a natural appearance.




In the four main categories (Handstrip, Spaniels and Setters, Poodles, and Other pure breeds) the judging system is based on points.

Each judge awards 10 points for the first place, 8 points for the second, 6 points for the third in each class.

Each judge will have his/her own place list. Adding up the points of all judges, the President of the Jury will obtain the final place list. Just in case of tie the President of the Jury will discuss with the judges to establish the place list.


Judges may give a warning to any competitor who is seen handling a dog in a rough or unsafe manner. A second warning will constitute disqualification.

If the competitor makes clipper burns, nicks or cuts he can’t be placed as a winner.

It is understood that contestants entering the competition accepted all the items of these rules.

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