Competing in Young Kennel Club Dog Grooming competitions

YKC member grooming
There are various flyball competions held throughout the UK each year, a full list of these can be found on Find a Show. For competitons which qualify for either Crufts please read below.

Crufts

When you would like to start competing in dog grooming competitions, you can try and qualify for the Groomer of the Year Crufts final by entering one of our groomer of the year qualifiers during the year which can be found below. We have two different classes for our members, both split into different age groups.

Rules for Young Kennel Club Dog Grooming at Crufts 2023

Classes
There are two different classes for YKC members to enter:
  • Groom Through
  • Clip, Trim and Strip
Classes
In each of the classes, there are 3 separate age categories:
  • 6-11 Years
    (Handlers 6 years and up to, but not including 12th birthday)
  • 12-17 Years
    (Handlers 12 years and up to, but not including 18th birthday)
  • 18 –24 Years
    (Handlers 18 years and up to, but not including 25th birthday)

The age groups will compete together in each class, but are awarded prizes separately. A member should enter the age category they will be on the day of the qualifier. If a member moves age category after qualifying for Crufts, we will put you into the new age category. Any handlers must be fully up to date members at the time of the qualifier and the finals at Crufts.
Dogs
  • Only dogs of twelve (12) calendar months of age and over on the day of competition are eligible for entry into an Young Kennel Club Grooming class
  • Should you qualify for a groomer of the year class, you must compete with the same breed of dog at Crufts
  • Dogs must be on a Kennel Club register to compete in a Young Kennel Club Grooming competition
  • This can either be the Breed register or the Activity register
Judging
  • No persons shall carry out punitive correction or harsh handling of a dog at any time
  • No substance which alters the natural colour, texture or body of the coat may be present in the dog’s coat for any purpose at any time during the show or used before the competition
  • The use of block chalk is allowed in the preparation of dogs
  • Block chalk and talc is allowed should it be necessary prior to competition but the chalk/talc must be brushed out before exhibition
  • The use of powdered chalk is NOT permitted
  • No substance which alters the natural colour of any external part of the dog may be present on the dog for any purpose at any time during the Show or used before the competition
  • Any other substance (other than water) which may be used in the preparation of a dog for exhibition must not be allowed to remain in the coat or on any other part of the dog at the time of exhibition
  • Competitors may be disqualified at the judge’s discretion if the dog is harmed or distressed (deliberately or accidently) during the competition
  •  Breaking any of the above rules will result in disqualification from the competition
  • If a member is disqualified due to unpaid fees, the placing does not roll down
Time limit
  • Young Kennel Club “Groom Through” and “Clip, Trim and Strip” competitors will have 2½ hours to complete their tasks – before beginning, the judge will take a look at your dog, so don’t start before the judge says so
  • You do not need to use all 2½ hours, if you complete the task before the time is up, let the judge know and they will make their way over to you for their final assessment
Groom through - class requirements
The ‘Groom Through’ class is for groomers to show their understanding and skill required to remove all dead hair and tangles from the dog’s coat. It is acceptable for the competitor to complete a small amount of trimming to tidy the feet, ears and tail. This will form part of the assessment if completed.
  • Basic trimming of feet, ears and tail for the purpose of tidying the coat, this should not be the main focus of this assessment
  • No dead hair remaining
  • No knots or matts in the coat
  • Clean ears, eyes & teeth
  • Nails of a suitable length
  • Classes will be judged on the following standards; handling of the dog, cleanliness of ears, eyes, mouth and other sensitive areas, no loose hair or dirt should remain in the dogs coat, dog should be bathed prior to the competition with no sign of shampoo or conditioner remaining in the coat, skin should be healthy and claws should be short
  • If the competitor is deemed to be completing work beyond the Groom Through class they will either be asked to move to the Clip/Trim/Strip class or to reduce the work according to the class
Special note
There are no restrictions on dog breed, although it is highly recommended that Groomers bring a dog that is suitable for grooming (you may enter a Chinese crested or Xoloitzcuintli [Mexican hairless], but you will not be able to score highly in many areas of the competition. This also includes dogs with very little hair such as Greyhounds etc).
Clip, Trim & Strip - class requirements
  • Show skills in coat removal by stripping, trimming and/or clipping the coat. Competitors may use either one or all of these skills in this class
  • The handler will be judged on the ability they have shown with any grooming skills they have used to remove the coat. The coat should be even in length for trimmed and clipped coats
  • Stripped coats should lie flat and give a smart appearance
  • Clean ears, eyes & teeth
  • Nails of a suitable length
  • Classes will be judged on the following standards; handling of the dog, cleanliness of ears, eyes, mouth and other sensitive areas, no loose hair or dirt should remain in the dogs coat, dog should be bathed prior to the competition with no sign of shampoo or conditioner remaining in the coat, skin should be healthy and claws should be short
Coat shaping 
The judge for this class will not ask for a specific cut, or coat shaping, but they will be asking that whichever cut you attempt, should be appropriate for the breed.

Special note
There are no restrictions on dog breed, although it is highly recommended that Groomers bring a dog that is suitable for grooming (you may enter a Chinese Crested or Xoloitzcuintli [Mexican hairless], but you will not be able to score highly in many areas of the competition. This also includes dogs with very little hair such as Greyhounds etc).
Final at Crufts
The grooming competition will feature 2 parades and a prize-giving in the YKC ring. The actual grooming competition will be held in another breed ring.

Each of the six (6) categories will have separate placings and prize-givings.
  • Groom Through
    Under 12 - Over 12 - Over 18
  • Clip, Trim and Strip
    Under 12 - Over 12 - Over 18
There will also be a prize for the overall “Groomer of the Year” winner and reserve for all classes combined.

Qualifying heats for Crufts 2023

Club name Dates
Marboo Dogz
The Granary Farm, MK43 7AE
10-11 September 202