Thursday, September 24, 2015

Groom Expo 2015

Last Friday my friend and I attended the Grooming Expo, which we are very fortunate to live close-ish to.  I still feel like a foreigner in the world of grooming, and nothing intensifies that feeling like being around the professionals.    There was a major grooming competition going on, there were poodles of all sizes in all sorts of pristine clips, there were dogs dyed different colors, there was creative grooming, and there were tons and tons of products to buy.

One thing I was looking hard to buy was a new hose that would fit my high velocity dryer.  I had purchased a new hose for it about a year ago, only to find that the hose I had purchased fit the newer model of that same dryer.   I was determined to get the appropriate hose!  I found the actual B-Air vendor and began discussing my issues with her.   When I described the model of dryer that I had, she was beside herself!   The blower is probably over 10 years old and she could not believe that someone was still using one and that it still worked.  We all had a good laugh about that, and she told me that I could not buy a hose to fit that model, but that I could order a new end piece that my new hose could screw onto, and that end piece would fit onto my good old dryer just fine.  And that is great because my current hose is broken in two pieces and blows apart at least 20 times per coat dry.  It drives me insane!

We spent a large amount of our day attending a 6 hour AKC Poodle Grooming seminar by Sue Zecco.   It was an hour on, hour off.   We learned about poodle history and purpose as well as their versatility, different clips, different colors, and then began to learn some grooming.   We got to watch a demo of a spray up for the confirmation ring.  Sue had two of her standard poodles there and the one had a full topknot.  The whole process seemed daunting for me and pretty not applicable to anywhere I am headed with poodles, but it was fascinating all the same!  I did not realize that the dogs actually lay down for this procedure (see, I am such a beginner!).   They lay down in a sphynx down and their head rests on a pillow while they are getting their spray up.  I have to admit what I loved the most was that particular poodle's attitude.   While most of the presentation was going on, she was like "the mayor", she trotted around from chair to chair getting people to pet her.   When asked to come to the grooming table she tried to make herself invisible!  

We took a break and on return we got to watch a different poodle get her hair clipped into the lamb trim.  One thing I will take away is to always keep in mind the skeletal structure and build of the dog underneath of all of the hair and honor that.  

As ever, I am so torn.  I see plenty of poodles clipped right to the skin all over and their owners are completely happy with that. (especially in hunting and agility.)  But a well groomed poodle with longer hair on the legs and body takes my breath away.   I seem to want both.  Long hair is an extreme amount of work and Perri's lifestyle makes keeping a longer coat even more work.  Letting a dog run amok through the woods and swim and get muddy is counterproductive with keeping a gorgeous coat.  I love the longer hair, but is it fair to the dog?  A few days before the groom expo I did a full clip down on Perri except for her topknot and ears, so I will have to wait for new growth before I can experiment with what I have learned.   Maybe Perri can have longer hair in the winter and then in the summer when the dirty-making is at its peak, we can clip it all off.

No matter what, that is what I love about the poodle coat.  It is what you make it, it is what you want it to be.   They are true versatile dogs in hair and mind!


  1. Wow! 6 hour seminar. I have to agree on keeping Perri's hair shorter since she is prone to mud and seeds from weeds in the woods.

  2. Wow! 6 hour seminar. I have to agree on keeping Perri's hair shorter since she is prone to mud and seeds from weeds in the woods.