Dogs must be prepared prior to the competition. This means that all bathing, blow-drying, and wash-out dyes must be completed prior to arrival at the premises. Bathing on the morning is recommended for most coats but your dog must be dry before arrival.

All styling, clipping and scissoring is to be done during the competition. There is no minimum length, but your dog must have enough coat to show a difference before and after. Only the pads, eyes and sanitary areas can be pre-trimmed. Face and feet may be pre-trimmed in the poodle class only.

If you plan on entering 2 or more classes we strongly suggest having an attendant for your dogs.

Dogs must be free from parasites.


You must register upon arrival to be provided with a number and allocated a grooming area. You must set up a crate ready for your dog if needed, toilet and prepare your pet.

All dogs must be a minimum of 10 months old to be entered into competition and no older then 10 years. Dogs in season are not permitted.


Aggressive or extremely reactive dogs are not permitted in the competition, as every person and dog are entitled to feel safe and secure. A dog that exhibits any sign of aggression towards other dogs (them instigating) or towards people will be removed from the venue immediately.

Do not let dogs approach and meet at any time unless both handlers agree prior to dogs meeting. All dogs must be healthy and exhibit no signs of illness or injury at the time of competing. Any dogs exhibiting signs of illness or injury will be removed from the venue immediately. Any dogs causing a nuisance or excessive noise will be given one chance to be settled by the competitor or attendant and if the dog continues to cause disruption you will be asked to remove the dog from the venue. No extra time will be given and if you cannot make provisions for the dogs your place may be forfeited. It is advisable to have an assistant if entering more than 1 dog. Only assistance dogs with a public access pass are allowed at workshops/competitions and must be crated to avoid distraction of other dogs.

Personal protective equipment

All competitors must wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). This includes, but is not limited to, an appropriate grooming jacket, apron or smock, knee length or longer pants, enclosed rubber-soled shoes and hair tied away from the face. We also recommend the use of face masks and wearing of minimal jewellery.


Due to health and safety for all attending, all dogs must be suitably contained and/or restrained at all times. Dogs must be crated when not in competition (one dog per crate please).

All crates must contain, at a minimum, a water bowl with fresh clean water and comfortable bedding, both of which need to be provided by the competitor. Crates must be large enough for the dog to comfortably sit, stand and lay down. All dogs are to be on a fixed length (not flexi) lead when not crated and not be left tethered. Any dogs in distress will cause you to be pulled from the competition to attend to your dog, no extra time will be given.

No dogs are to be left unattended on tables. Any dogs left unattended will result in immediate disqualification.  All dogs not being competed with at the time must be crated outside of the competition area.


Competitors are required to provide their own industry standard table and grooming equipment. All electrical equipment MUST be cordless. No provisions will be made for electric tables. For each dog in attendance you must provide one adequately ventilated and sized crate, a lead, comfortable bedding, one water bowl, poo bags, any dietary requirements or treats. Please bring a bin bag to keep your area clean for OSH reasons, failure to do so may warrant disqualification. 

Miscellaneous items

You may also bring along anything else you think your dog or you may need to make your day easier, that will not distract the dogs in the competition ring (i.e. no squeaky balls).

Photo of dogs may be taken prior to prejudging. Once prejudging commences all phones must be removed from table and not used again until ALL judging is completed.

Food and drink are not supplied for competitors or spectators, so please organise your own prior to entering the competition area.

Photos will be taken on the day. You will need to ask permission to use the photos taken by Dog Groomers Association of Western Australia.

Reference Pictures- NOVICES may keep one small 10cm X 10cm picture as reference on their table at all times. OPEN/ADVANCED only until commencement then must be put away.



Competitors may be asked to stop grooming if their dogs are exhibiting signs of stress or discomfort, and may also be asked to remove the dog from the venue.  The decision on what level of stress is deemed inappropriate is to be determined by the judge and DGAWA President. This applies to crated dogs as well.


Instant disqualification will occur, but is not limited to, when any competitor handles a dog in a rough or unkind manner, leaves a dog unattended on a table, or uses products that may cause injury or harm to the dog or others.

Any ringside coaching will automactically result in disqualification.

Disqualification may occur if a competitor chooses to start before the competition starts or continue plucking, scissoring, clipping or applying product after the allocated finish/break time.

Professional image

Groomers must conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times, this includes no profanities or foul language, and a positive attitude and body language. Please be respectful and refrain from talking too loudly at any time during the competition.

Contestant are allowed to wear attire with their business logo on them but no sponsorships must be present on or near their stations or clothing.

No smoking, alcohol or food is allowed in the competition area, with the exception of water.  Food and beverages are not supplied for contestants and will therefore need to provide their own to be consumed outside of the competition area.

Groomers must maintain an organised and safe styling area, refraining from leaving scissors on the table, and taking up an excessive amount of space. Grooming equipment must remain under the table.

Contestants are allowed to provide their own table cloths for the presentation to the judge but this cloth must be free from sponsorships and logos. 

Toilet breaks

All competitors will be given a 10 minute toilet break during the competition, all competitors will put tools down at this time.

Tools Down

You will be asked to put tools down at the scheduled toilet break and end of the competition time.

During the this time you may use a comb only with the exemption of combination coat group. Combination group may not touch their breed.



Groomers with LESS than 2 years industry experience may enter this class.  All breed specialist or show exhibitors must enter Advanced. This class is free unless otherwise specified. You will be required to submit a payment upon registration and then a refund will be processed after payment and registration acceptance. *Please note if you pay via bank transfer you will need to email DGAWA your bank details for a refund.


Groomers with more than 2 years industry experience.  Groomers that have not won 1st place twice in the Open class against 4 or more competitors in any grooming competition, at time of entry.


Groomers with more than 2 years industry experience, who have won 1st place twice in the Open class against 4 or more competitors, are a Master Groomer, or are volunteering to be in this class. All exhibitors or breed specialists will automatically be placed in Advanced.


The Judge agrees to judge with integrity, be unbiased and fair. The judge will at all times be polite and act in a respectful manner to competitors, spectators and show officials.
The Judge reserves the right to decide whether or not a competitor receives a place, even if competing alone in a class or group. The Judge will not discuss any competitors dog/groom faults with stewards or other competitors.

All Judge’s decisions are final, any complaints must be in writing within 24 hours of the result and a fee to lodge the complaint of $20 will be charged.

Complaints by Judges, speakers and contestants are not to be posted on personal or any other pages on social media forums, if this is not complied with you may be disqualified from future competition entry.

For Judging please clear table of any hair or equipment, place your display cloth and a comb on the table and stack your dog to be judged.

Contestants must not compete under a judge if the following applies:

  • If the contestant was their student within a period of six months prior to the competition.
  • If the contestant is accommodating the judge or being accommodated by the judge within a period of six months prior or two days after the competition.
  • If there has been, or have plans of a business relationship with the judge including but not limited to consultant, employment, contracting or sub-contracting within a period of 12 months prior or, one month after the competition.
  • If the contestant is a member of the judges family or household.
  • The contestant has had personal mentoring or private/semi-private lessons within the past six months from the judge including: student, instructor, apprentice, trainee.
  • If the dogs the contestant is using is owned, co-owned or bred by the judge.
  • If the contestant had help from the judge with the preparations of the dog or if the dog was personally provided by the judge.


Check out our Breed List Classifications here

Terriers and Wire Coats

Terriers and wire coats; may be hand stripped or clipped or a combination of both. Advanced class must hand strip.

In this category, you must show your understanding of the terrier coat by demonstrating hand stripping or carding technique. Judging is based on breed standard, pattern, technique, handling, overall change of appearance, and safety. Use of show standard products permitted, though not to excess.

Time allocations:
Up to 30cm: 1.5 hours
30cm +: 2 hours
Hand stripping: 2 hours

Asian fusion

This category is aimed to show how well you can style pets to Asian inspired grooming which entails clipping and trimming of a dog with flair. You may have seen the Japanese grooming books where dogs’ head and face are fluffy, round or with very long ears, flared legs and hair plaits. Hair plaits, bows, bowties, cheek blush, hair extensions, spraying up of hair is allowed. These must be easily removed and cruelty free. All spray products must be easily combed through by the judge. Hot curling or straightening irons are not permitted.

Time allocations:
All Dogs: 2 hours

Salon freestyle

This category is to display high quality styling you see in salon. Using your own flair and creativity in mind, you can use your clippers and scissors. You may also decide to correct your dog’s faults by clipping and leaving hair where needed. Grooms in this category cannot be to breed standard but you can change one breed to look like another. Judging will be based on balance of all grooming, creativity, degree of difficulty, technical skills and safety.

Time allocations:
Up to 30cm: 1.5 hours
30cm +: 2 hours

Purebreed scissor

A pure breed dog that is groomed according to conformation and ANKC standards. This dog may be comb or blade clipped and finished with scissors. This applies to all that are not included in the poodle, gundog or terrier classes. These dogs are not traditionally hand stripped for show or are not a poodle.  No gun dogs or combination coats are in this category. Judging will be based on conformation, balance, quality of scissoring, degree of difficulty and handling of pet. ALL ADVANCED COMPETITORS ARE SCISSOR ONLY

Time allocations:
Up to 30cm: 1.5 hours
30cm +: 2 hours
All dogs that are completely hand scissored (no clipping) will receive 2 hours


The poodle must be groomed to ANKC guidelines in any pure breed poodle trim, for example the Continental, German, Puppy Clip, and English Saddle Trim. You will not receive extra time for specific trims so please choose what you believe you can do in the allocated time. Poodle face, feet and sanitary areas may be pre-clipped prior to entering the competition day. All other trimming and scissoring must be done in the competition ring. Top knot banding may be done prior to competition start. Sprays and chalks are allowed, but the judge must be able to comb if needed. A clean poodle face, moustache or beard are permitted in this class. Spray up will give you an extra 15 minutes, but you can spray up at any point of your allocated time.

Time allocations:
Up to 30cm: 1 hour 45mins
30cm to 45cm: 2 hours
45cm +: 2 hours 15 min
Spray Up + 15 mins

Gundogs and combination coats

Gundogs and combination coats; are dogs that are pure breed according to ANKC guidelines and must be groomed to imitate a show dog to ANKC standard, as close as possible. You may use plucking, hand stripping, carding, clippers, thinning, and scissoring to achieve this look. Chalks may be used, as long as they don’t rub off on judge’s hands. Bald patches and red areas are undesirable.

Time allocations:
Up to 30cm: 1.5 hours
30cm +: 2 hours
Hand stripping: 2 hours

Creative styling

Creative styling may include adding of accessories such as extensions, dying of fur, cutting of coat, or creative trimming. Examples of products to use include pet dyes, glitter glues, nail polish, blow pens, hair chalk, and feather and hair extensions. All dyes must be pet friendly or pet safe.

No bleaching or ‘lifting’ of colour, hot glues, or anything inhibiting the pet from moving, seeing or hearing will not be allowed, and may result in disqualification. All semi-permanent and wash out dyes must be done prior to the competition. Only the feet, face and sanitary areas are allowed to be pre-trimmed, all ‘scissoring in’ of coats must be done in the ring. Temporary dyes, accessories and chalks can be added in the ring. Judging is based on most creativity, execution and quality.

Time allocations:
Up to 30cm: 1.5 hours
30cm +: 2 hours

Model dogs

This will be a creative competition.  Creativity may include creative trimming and/or dying of coat.  Model dogs must still be recognizable as a dog. Model dogs must be purchased and sought by the competitor. DGAWA will provide a recommended place of purchase.  Model dogs are not judged within the “best in show.” Please set up your model dog from 8.30am-9am (by 9am) on the day of the competition. Please keep this in consideration when choosing style and props. Model dogs may be presented on a 50cm Table cloth and any props must fit within your 50cm space, including the business cards of competitor (optional).  All ornaments need to be attached securely. All model dogs MUST be presented with a before, during and after photo as evidence of original creativity.  You must pick up your model dog on completion of judging. DGAWA are not held responsible for dogs not collected. Entries must be original works, that have not been entered in other competitions before, either in-person or online.  By submitting their entry, competitors acknowledge this and agree that their creative works have been recently completed by their own hand, for the event in question.

Model dogs will be judges on:

  • Originality and creativity of your design and theme.
  • Quality of technique
  • Sharpness and precision of clipper and scissoring finish.
  • Blending of colours.
  • Degree of difficulty of the Trim Style and Professionalism
  • There will be a judges choice prize.
  • This competition group has two classes, Purebred and Creative.

For any questions about the rules or which class your breed must enter, please email